20 May, 2023

Egypt: a family-friendly exotic destination?

The latest campaign from The Egyptian Tourism Authority is designed at promoting the country as a family-friendly exotic destination.  But,  what makes a family-friendly holiday destination?  

I suppose holidays and vacations are meant to be free from stress, a time to relax, a place to chill, and to enjoy lots of activities with the family without the day-to-day worries that surround us back at home. If you're travelling with kids,  then this can be a bit of a challenge in itself,  however, Egypt's all-inclusive hotels and resorts can help to remove many of the difficulties of keeping the little ones happy and entertained. Many resorts offer animation/entertainment/activity programmes for children of various ages and tastes that can give parents a much-needed break and a chance to relax worry-free for a while.

There are different pools, waterslides and all that kind of fun stuff that can make a day by the pool a wonderful adventure for those big eyes and little feet. In addition, multilingual caretakers are available to look after children when parents want to pursue their own plans undisturbed for an afternoon or evening. This allows parents to relax and enjoy their holiday with peace of mind, the Egyptian Tourism Authority says. 

The clubs and resorts offer a range of outdoor activities, like mini golf, and beach ball games like football and volleyball, some are also equipped with tennis, badminton and basketball courts. Then of course, there are the watersports such as diving, snorkelling, boat rides, jetskies, or kite surfing, there are beginner courses as well as special children's courses available.

Egypt also has something else that many destinations just don't have....a deep and rich history that stretched back millennia. The Egyptian Museum in Cairo has guided tours specifically designed for kids. elsewhere the history that is ever present can really engage and mystify young curious minds. The pyramids and camel rides along with desert tours, buggy rides and those kinds of adventures offer fun for all the family - although they can be a bit pricey, the memories they make will last years. But having said that, many of those adventures, tours and experiences compare favourably to European prices, so maybe it won't break the bank.

So, maybe Egypt really is a family-friendly exotic destination that you've not thought about when planning the summer holiday. There are loads of all-inclusive hotels and resorts that cater to the needs of families with children. Plus there are all the museums and cultural sights that feed the mind and soul of each member of the family making a vacation educational as well as entertaining.  In addition to this, there is the weather,  it is warm and dry throughout the year which means Egypt can be a winter, spring and summer destination.....

Places to go and things to do.........

Egypt’s capital Cairo is situated right by the Nile and is home to some of the country’s best historical and contemporary offerings that vie for attention. It is a busy metropolis with so much always going on, there are numerous heritage sites in and around the city that can make you feel like you are stepping back in history. Places like Al-Muiz Street, Amr Ibn Al As Mosque, the Hanging Church, and the Saint Samaan Monastery are all worth a visit. 

If you only have very limited time in Cairo, other than a trip to Giza and the pyramids and Spinx, then a visit to the Egyptian Museum in the morning and in the afternoon head on over to the 187-metre-tall Cairo Tower for the most amazing panoramic views of the Egyptian capital is an ideal way to spend the day.  Go up to the tower's circular observation deck in the late afternoon for the clearest views of the city. There is also a restaurant at the top of the tower, which I'm told sometimes revolves.

If you've got a little more time, then a rather leisurely meal on one of the boat restaurants, followed by an exhilarating felucca ride for a wonderful view of the sunset might be a nice way to spend time as a family. 

The Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo is the largest Islamic art museum in the world, showcasing the world’s rich Islamic history. It displays an extensive collection of antique Islamic artefacts from various regions and countries like China, Iran, North Africa, Andalusia and of course Egypt. 

The Museum of Prince Muhammad Ali’s Palace in Al-Manial district of Southern Cairo is one of modern Egypt’s most important eras. It is known for its whimsical fusion of different art styles: Mamluk, Persian, Syrian, Andalusian, Moorish, and Ottoman. The palace in itself is considered a work of art, as it encompasses a myriad of Islamic art elements. It is worth a trip for sure, but tiny ones might not be amazed by the surroundings as the big kids.

Something for little and big kids that isn't all about history is a day at Dream Park,  a massive theme park with rides for all the family.  There are so many fun things to do and exciting options for the family that you'll easily find yourself exhausted at the end of the day and not having done everything! Like most theme parks, it tends to be fairly quiet in the early morning and gets busier as the day unfolds, so plan your day carefully. Oh and take some snacks too. 

Beach time and resort wonders....

Sharm El Sheikh is located on the Gulf of Aqaba, about 186 miles from Suez and around 12 miles from Ras Mohammed National Park. 

With sunshine and warm waters all year round, Sharm El Sheikh is the closest destination to Europe where you'll find all-inclusive resorts, clubs and hotels that will help you make the most of your trip. 

You can soak up sun, dive down to fantastic coral reefs and enjoy all the options many of those all-inclusive resorts offer.  Sharm El Sheikh boasts the widest array of fun, exciting and even crazy water and extreme sports: besides diving, snorkelling, sailing, wind and kite-surfing, you can even try sky diving or parachuting from a helicopter on your next holiday - if you don't mind spending a fair amount. 

Here, you are not all that far from the Sinai desert, the amazing St Catherine Monastery and the Sinai Mountains, all of which you can enjoy with a tour arranged from the hotel or resort. 

Photo by Oleksandr Podoima on Unsplash
Sharm is also home to a number of top-quality spas, so while the kids are having fun in the kids club, grown-ups can replenish their energy levels with a bit of indulgent papering.

The old town is the place to go for shopping and souvenirs, but make sure you shop around a bit as the prices can be a little high at first.

Oh and why not take a ferry ride to Hurghada City from Sharm el-Sheikh which runs four days a week at the moment.  It is a fast ferry and covers the 56-mile journey in about 90 minutes and is actually like a day out in itself for kids. 

The Egyptian Tourism Authority (ETA) was established in 1981 to boost international tourism by highlighting Egypt's long history and traditional civilization and promoting the country and its many tourist attractions. ETA's mission also includes promoting domestic tourism, raising awareness of tourism throughout the country, and strengthening the connection between Egyptians and their heritage.


Trafalgar Tours offers trips to Egypt, including the 12 Day Ancient Egypt Tour with Nile Cruise,  the enduring buzz of Cairo's bustling city streets and imposing Great Pyramids of Giza launch your discovery of Ancient Egypt. Cruise down the Nile to Kom-Ombo, past Luxor, and explore the Valley of the Kings.

An ideal hotel in Cairo is the InterContinental Cairo Citystars, which occupies a prime position next to Stars Centre, the largest shopping and entertainment centre in Cairo. The hotel also features one of the largest meeting and conference facilities in Egypt. Explore Cairo's heritage amidst modern luxuries and stay at the five-star InterContinental Citystars Cairo hotel in Cairo's Heliopolis, next to Stars Centre Mall. 

Relax in grand rooms with beautiful furnishings and views. Indulge at one of the 10 exquisite restaurants and bars. Need event space? It also has Egypt's largest ballroom and the hotel's concierge gladly arranges private tours of the nearby Cairo Citadel, the Pyramids and more. 
InterContinental Hotels Citystars Cairo