May is a traditional time not only for the opening of the barbecue season, but also for trips abroad, especially in the first half of the month. Among the most obvious destinations is Egypt, where the beloved all-inclusive, smiling service and the sun at its fullest. What is the weather there, what hotel is better to choose and how to get to Egypt in general in May 2022, I will tell in this article.
It is quite possible to have a rest in Egypt after the events of February. At a minimum, regular flights fly from Russia to Cairo and resorts. As a maximum, some tour operators right now regularly send tourists to Sharm and Hurghada and deliver them back to their homeland on Boeings! Details below.
What documents do you need for a holiday in Egypt?
I'll start with the main one – a passport, it must be valid for more than six months from the date of entry. Upon arrival, you need to prepare $25 for a visa or pay it when buying a tour; except for the Sinai Peninsula – Sharm el-Sheikh, Taba, Dahab – they put a stamp there for free (but keep in mind that you can't go to the pyramids with such a stamp).
Next – covid certificates in English with a QR code. In 2022, all tourists over 12 years old (inclusive) need one thing:
- PCR test in 72 hours
- antigen test in 24 hours
- certificate of a vaccinated person (from Russian only Sputnik V is suitable)
- certificate of a recovered person
You also need to provide a health declaration. There are two options: fill out an electronic form no earlier than 2 days before the trip, and save it in your smartphone; or the old-fashioned way – with a pen on paper on an airplane or already at the airport.
Beach holidays in Egypt – weather in May
Somehow, while planning a trip to Egypt in early May, I wondered if it was possible to swim in sea at this time? wouldn't it be too cold? But the almighty Internet convinced me that the tourist season just begins in April-May, and Egypt at the end of May is for those who like it hot.
- Indeed: Egypt in May surprises with heat! Of course, I understood that the temperature here is an order of magnitude higher than in Moscow in the spring, but I did not expect daily marks “over +30 ° C”.
This climate makes a beach holiday as comfortable as possible: in mid-May, the water warms up to +26°C, which is a couple of degrees higher than the temperatures for a pleasant swim. At the same time, the Red Sea is not yet “tired” of tourists, so it looks clean enough to spend time on the coast. Below I will give some good hotels to ease the pangs of choice.
So, is it possible to swim in May– definitely yes! By this time, there is no longer a wind blowing from the desert, and there are solid sunny days, so you do not need to bother with choosing a windless hotel. True, the good weather and the gentle sea in Egypt in May attract families to relax with children – especially on the May holidays – so be prepared that your peace may be disturbed.
Water and air temperature in Egypt in May
- The maximum air temperature in Egypt in May is + 36 ° C during the day, at night it can drop to + 22 ° C
- The number of rainy days in May is 0 (!!!)
- Sunny days are more than 29
The weather in Egypt in May is close to ideal. It seems to me that this particular month is optimal for a varied holiday in the country: the air temperature is kept at around +30 ° C, but at the same time you don’t want to fall into hibernation from the heat. The night brings coolness – about + 25 ° С, which you will not expect in July-August.
A few years ago I was in Egypt at the end of the summer and it was not the best experience. I had to get up around 7 am (on vacation!) and be back under the air conditioner by 12 noon to avoid getting burned and getting heatstroke. May weather is milder, while the water temperature in Egypt in May warms up to + 26 ° C, depending on the resort. It may seem cool to some, but harsh Russian tourists with balalaikas and bears, this sea temperature is usually suitable.
Average water and air temperature:
|Resort||Air temperature, ℃||Water temperature, ℃|
|Sharm El Sheikh||+32||+24||+26|
Resorts in Egypt – where is it better to relax in May?
Probably the most popular resorts in Egypt are Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh. I will also talk about other places that receive undeservedly little attention. But let's start with the classics.
Hurghada is about a calm, clear sea without living creatures and corals and wide beaches with soft sand. Plus and at the same time minus Hurghada is that it is not just a resort from the picture, but also quite a self-sufficient Egyptian city.
If you are an inquisitive traveler who wants to immerse yourself in the culture of the country and is not afraid of unsightly little things like garbage and not the most well-kept buildings, this location will suit you. But if you are very impressionable, then in the early days you may want to lock yourself up in a hotel. Outside the tourist center is dirty, and the locals do not inspire confidence. In principle, Hurghada is rich in good hotels with lots of entertainment, so staying in greenhouse conditions can also be interesting. But the city, of course, has something to see.
2. Sharm El Sheikh
But Charm is about fins, masks and coral slippers in a backpack. It is the capital of diving and snorkeling in Egypt and the world: such a wealth of underwater beauty you will find only in the local Red Sea. Plus, Sharm is the warmest (especially for winter) and the most resort place in the country, which was built specifically for tourists. Our complete guide to the resort, its beaches and the best hotels can be found here. As for prices, Sharm El Sheikh is quite budget-friendly in May, you can afford a lot of things.
3. Marsa Alam
A small resort town 270 km from Hurghada. If you want to retire on the cleanest beaches away from the hustle and bustle – you are here. Everything is “eco” here: natural sand with coral pieces lies on the beaches, the picturesque Samadai reef stretches along the coast, where you can dive with instructors. You can also go sea fishing and watch dolphins and dugongs. Nearby there are several national parks where you can take excursions.
Of the minuses: the road direction – a weekly stay in a 5 * hotel will cost 10-15 thousand rubles more than in Sharm. There are very few of our compatriots at the resort, and the hotel staff does not speak Russian.
The resort is located 200 km from Sharm El Sheikh, right on the border with Israel and Saudi Arabia. In pre-pandemic times, this location was a big plus, as it was possible to go on excursions to Israel and Jordan. Not so long ago, some guides resumed tours to Petra, but somehow hesitantly and irregularly, and in my opinion, Taba became boring.
Yes, there is a very interesting relief here – a combination of mountains and the sea with picturesque lagoons and grottoes, but apart from diving and trips to the sea on yachts/boats/boats, only an excursion to the Vishwashi Canyon and the Sinai Desert, quad biking and camel riding, visiting salt cave and Saladin's castle on the island of the Pharaohs. Prices are not cheap, as Taba is considered a presentable resort. But this is the place where it is warmer in Egypt in May – the temperature is a degree or two higher than in Hurghada or Sharm.
5. Makadi Bay
A young resort 25 km from Hurghada. Well suited for lovers of beach holidays, water rides, surfing and diving (yes, there is also a coral reef). The city has a very beautiful and well-groomed embankment, which is buried in flowers, there is also a good Makadi World water park. More here, unfortunately, there is nothing to see. In addition, living here is 10–15% more expensive than in Hurghada.
Where can I buy tours to Egypt now?
It would be hard to name low prices for holidays in Egypt in May – due to high season. And this year, political nuances have also accumulated here, and here they are numbers above the pain threshold …
Which airlines fly to Egypt and where from now?
For independent tourists:
✈️ Direct regular flights Moscow-Cairo and Moscow-resorts entirely on Egypt Air. If you have a foreign bank card, buy tickets on their website; if not, or you need to pay in rubles, Aviasales will save you. The cost of tickets for May 2022 is from 45,000 rubles per person round-trip to Cairo, and from 57,000 rubles to resorts.
Another option is a direct flight from Sochi to Cairo on a Sukhoi Superjet from Rossiya Airlines. It flies daily at a price of 30,000 rubles round-trip.
🏨 The entire selection of hotels in Egypt and abroad in general is now on the Russian Ostrovok search engine. Although Booking does not refuse bookings for Russians abroad, you still don’t want to be left homeless at the moment when the service decides to write off the money, and the card does not work (any Russian one).
And finally, read our material about an independent trip to Egypt to make a route and take into account all the organizational moments.
For package tourists:
⛱️Tours and trips — there is. But only from Moscow and St. Petersburg. Russian planes really take off and return without problems (and arrests), and hotels have been waiting for tourists for a long time. So far, there are few options for flights as part of the tour: this is either a regular flight from Egypt Air to Sharm or Hurghada; or charters to resorts from Red Wings – moreover, Boeings that have been flying back and forth since April.
All current offers from tour operators – which really take place – are collected by aggregators:
Services show prices directly from tour operators, the average cost of a tour to Egypt in May is now 100-130 thousand rubles for 7 nights for two.
Prices for hotels of the same category at different resorts in May differ slightly, so I would advise choosing Hurghada or Sharm el-Sheikh based on the geographical proximity to the sights you want to visit. For example, to see the pyramids or Luxor, it is more convenient to stay in Hurghada or even plan an arrival in Cairo, and then go to bask in the resorts. If educational and historical excursions are not your thing, take a closer look at Sharm, it is more focused on tourists and the prices are a little more pleasant for the wallet.
By the way, about money.Mir cards are not accepted in Egypt (they are approved in these 9 countries), and other Russian plastic does not work at all. But with ATMs and payment terminals, Union Pay and foreign cards cope tolerably well + good old dollars are in use in the resorts, which do not even have to be exchanged for Egyptian pounds, they will be taken in any stall anyway.
List of the best hotels (Hurghada and Sharm)
When I went to Egypt, one of the main criteria for choosing a hotel for me was its location: preferably on the first line, while within the city, in order to be able to quickly get to the sights. I found a list of my preferences and diluted it with a few more decent hotels in the main resorts – Hurghada and Sharm.
I will give two prices: the first from the Travelata tour aggregator is for a tour in the current conditions for 7-8 days on two on the all inclusive system/the second from the Ostrovok search engine – for self-booking a hotel for the same 7-8 days for two.
First in line – Hurghada
- 5 * Sunrise Garden Beach Resort – the hotel has its own private beach with free sun loungers and beach chairs, swimming pools, its own water park, gym and spa. Within walking distance is a good shopping center for Egypt and a park with sand miniatures of the country's attractions. There are several restaurants on the territory of the hotel, the food is acceptable, but not very varied.
Price: from 175,000 rubles per tour/from 85,000 rubles per hotel
- 5* Dana Beach Resort is a hotel near the coral reef, renovated in 2020, on the territory of 5 outdoor pools with and without heating and 1 covered with warm water for the coldest ones. Every day there is a new animation for adults and a good entertainment program for children.
Price: from 135,000 rubles for a tour/from 60,000 rubles for a hotel < /li>
- 4 * Sindbad Club – not on the first line, but across the road from the sandy beach. During the day there are 9 swimming pools (one of them is heated), for children there are slides and a mini-aqua park. In the evenings – live music, disco and animation. Tourists praise for cleanliness, tasty and varied food.
Price: from 115,000 rubles for a tour/from 40,000 rubles for a hotel
- 4 * Mercure – in addition to the main all-inclusive restaurant, there are several bars, a hookah bar, a cafe by appointment (Mediterranean, Asian cuisine, seafood). The food is tasty, and the drinks are not diluted with water. There are only 2 pools, but a huge private beach with sand.
Price: from 160,000 rubles for a tour/from 40,000 rubles for a hotel
Because May is high season in Egypt, all kinds of water activities become available: yachting of different durations, diving, snorkeling and parasailing.
But first, I’ll tell you about the entertainment “ashore”. In HurghadaI advise you to make the first sortie to the center: most of the sights are concentrated there. You can go to the Central Mosque, an unusual Coptic church, look at the architecture of administrative buildings and be sure to walk through the Central Fruit Market. Another nice point is the Marina embankment – a very well-groomed boulevard with good cafes and restaurants, beautiful lighting and live music in the evenings. And I advise you to get to the aquarium with an underwater tunnel – it's very interesting there.
In Sharm el-Sheikhthere is also something to do: modern Soho Square with shopping centers and fountains, the old market as in the classic description of the oriental bazaar, dolphinarium, theme parks and many more leisure options.
The best excursions in Egypt
With regards to field trips: the main thing is not to settle for a “tasty” price and dubious offers. Remember, safety is above all. It’s better to see what to do in Egypt in May online before preparing for the trip and plan everything in advance. On the largest sites for excursions in Russian abroad:
…there is also a whole range of entertainment in Egypt, and numerous reviews of tourists who have been on excursions, and – which is also important – payment by Russian card is available.
Here are the main destinations and excursions with good reviews:
🚌 Nile Cruise.There are several options for the trip – from a 2-hour dinner (mainly starting from Cairo) to belly dancing and tanura to a 7-day trip (not everyone is ready to devote so much time on vacation) when you can immerse yourself in history and mythology. Depending on the duration of the route may vary, you need to specify additionally. And don't forget to take a strategic supply of seasickness pills!
💰Price: from $50 for an evening cruise in Cairo, from $320 for a full 4-day tour from Hurghada.
But there is also a more realistic option of walking along the Nile – literally for 30-60 minutes. For an additional fee of $12–$15, it is included in any excursion to Cairo to the pyramids or to Luxor ↓
🚌 A trip from the resorts to Cairo and the pyramids.Going to Egypt and not kissing the Sphinx for a photo is like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. To see the lion with the face of Pharaoh Khafre and the ancient pyramid tombs, you need to go to Cairo, where buses (cheap) and planes (fast) fly from all over the country. For a complete immersion in the life and culture of the ancient Egyptians, the tour, in addition to the capital and the pyramids, includes a visit to the Egyptian Museum. From Sharm, the tour is more expensive, as it takes longer to get there than from Hurghada.
💰Price: from $40–$60 for a group by bus, from $180 for an individual by car
🚌 Sea excursions.It would not be an exaggeration to say that the underwater world is an Egyptian force, any experienced diver will confirm this. The best reefs in the world are concentrated in Sharm el-Sheikh, and there is something to see in Hurghada. Snorkeling and diving are offered at every step, those who do not dive can go sea fishing, just sunbathe on a yacht or look at bright algae, anemones, schools of tropical fish and the remains of sunken ships through the window of a submarine.
💰Price: from $25–$40
- Yacht, island and snorkeling near the reef from Hurghada
- Bathyscaphe with panoramic windows is a super option for everyone who with children, or who wants to see the underwater world, but is afraid
- Diving and snorkeling in one of the best places in Sharm
🚌 Mount Sinai from Sharm El Sheikh.But towards the dawn on the top of the mountain, which is mentioned in the Bible, it is better to go from Sharm. Departure at night to be in time for the first rays of the sun. On the way you will meet the monastery of St. Catherine and the church of the VI century. The trip is harder than it looks: in addition to the night crossing, you need to climb 750 steps almost sheer, be prepared.
💰Price: from $35 for a sunrise climb
🚌 Desert Safari .Excursion in the opposite direction from the sea, moderately extreme and with magical views of the desert. The standard set includes quad biking, a dune buggy ride, and, if desired, a trip to the Bedouin village to get acquainted with the traditions, tasting local food, tea, hookah and watching a bright oriental show. In just a few hours, it seems that a little life has passed.
💰Price: from $17 for a group safari, from $30 for an individual
Egypt Review in May — is it worth going?
My review of Egypt in May is definitely positive: I liked everything. The weather was excellent, no excursion was interrupted by a sudden storm. Perhaps there were too many people, but I would not say that this caused particular inconvenience. The hotels were already in their optimal condition, there were enough staff.
After a difficult start to 2022, the most delicious fruits that the country is rich in at the beginning of May help to restore spiritual balance. These are peaches, bananas, citrus fruits, strawberries, melons, watermelons, which are much cheaper than anywhere else in Russia at this time.
Tourist reviews about Egypt in May are also generally positive. If they complain, then mostly on hotels (which is not related to the time of year). Of the climatic complaints, someone seemed to have cool water in the sea, someone complained that not all water parks were open yet. They also complain about prices in Egypt in May, but this is the height of the tourist season, you need to be mentally prepared for this, but it’s better to book your trip well in advance.
Summing up, I will say that if they ask me whether it is worth going to Egypt in May, I will answer “Yes!”.
+ comfortable air and water temperature
+ at least you CAN FLIGHT to Egypt – from Moscow, St. Petersburg and Sochi
+ a lot of cheap fresh fruits
+ a wide selection of excursions
+ a variety of activities in and out of hotels
– vacation in Egypt in May is not cheap
– still need PCR test or certificate
– severely reduced number of flights from Russia, which affects prices
— too many tourists
Note: to quickly decide where to rest in Egypt in May, check out our detailed article comparing Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada.