Thursday, 27 December 2012

Egypt Travel - Getting There and Around

Egypt's mystical and timeless appeal has for centuries seen the ancient country being ranked among the most spectacular sightseeing destinations in the world.

Egypt is reached by air, water as well as road and rail. Those travelling by air can come in through Cairo International Airport, Alexandria, Noah, Luxor and Aswan in Upper Egypt, Hurghada in the Red Sea area, and Sharm El-Sheikh in South Sinai.

There are several airliners that offer Egypt flights including British Airways, Alitalia, Turkish Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Royal Dutch Airlines, and Thai Airways International.

In addition to airports there are a number of marine harbors for those that prefer to travel by sea. For those travelling on the Mediterranean Sea, the ports of Alexandria, Port Said, and Damietta are all possible entry points. There is also a port right at the Gulf of Suez and another, the port of Nuweiba on the Gulf of Aqaba. The Red Sea offers three options for travellers; the ports of Hurghada, Safaga, and Sharm El-Sheikh.

For those who prefer road trips, there are three overland entry posts. The Salloum entry post is located on the northwestern border (for those coming in from Libya). The famous Rafah crossing is on the northeastern border for those coming in from the Gaza strip, the Occupied Territories, and Israel. On the eastern border there is a post at Taba for those coming in from Israel.

Getting the right paperwork and visa is essential to a stress free entry into Egypt. Non-Egyptian visitors arriving in Egypt are required to be in possession of a valid passport. Visas can be obtained from either the Egyptian Diplomatic and consular Missions Abroad,  the Entry Visa Department, or from Immigration and Nationality Administration (TDINA). However it is  possible for visitors to obtain an entry visa at any major points of entry.

Visitors entering Egypt at the overland border post to Taba to visit Gulf of Aqaba coast and St. Catherine can be exempted from visa and granted a free residence permit for fourteen days to visit the area. Citizens of the following countries are required to be in possession of a pre-arrival visa: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Chechnya, Croatia, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Lebanon, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, The Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Sri-Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and all African countries.

Those in possession of a residence permit in Egypt are not required to obtain an entry visa if they leave the country and return to it within the validity of their residence permit or within six months, whichever period is less. There are three kinds of visas to Egypt. Tourist visas are usually valid for a period not exceeding three months and granted on either single or multiple entry basis. Entry visa are required of any visitors arriving in Egypt for purposes such as work, and study that are not related to tourism. This visa is necessary for the completion of the residence procedure in Egypt. Transit visas are made available to travellers transiting through Egypt. Once in Egypt, visitors have different options to get around the country in an easy and comfortable way. The options range from car rental, luxury trains, and coaches to domestic flights to connect tourist cities.

For those who prefer to travel by air locally, EgyptAir - the national carrier - links most of the tourist cities in Egypt with its reliable domestic flights. It is possible to fly directly from Luxor to Sharm El Sheikh or Alexandria. So book your cheap plane tickets to Egypt and get ready for a vacation of your life.


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