£1379 per person based on 2 sharing
Don’t just visit Egypt, fall in love with it, become part of it and understand the total enchantment of this beautiful country on our 8-day tour with an optional, but highly recommended 3-day extension. Pharaoh Trails offers the best and most captivating sights of Aswan, Luxor and Hurghada.
Witness the extraordinary biannual Sun Festival at Abu Simbel, explore the indescribable vastness of the Valley of the Kings, observe the iconic and otherworldly Tombs of Nefatari and relax on the warm shores of the alluring Red Sea. Find yourself transported back in time to the days of the Pharaohs when temples and tombs were built bursting with magical and mysterious tales that will leave you in awe of these amazing constructions and the beautiful people that once were.
Follow in their footsteps, travelling from Aswan to Luxor and onwards to Hurghada as you unearth sights and explore temples that cannot be described in words or by photos, but ones that will remain in your memory for a lifetime.

Aswan and Abu Simble Highlights (non riding)

~ Incredible bi-annual Sun Festival at Abu Simble – one of the most inspiring temples in ancient Egypt ~
~ Ancient city of Edfu & its enormous sandstone temple ~
~ Unusual double temple of Kom Ombo & mummified crocodiles ~
~ Tour of Philae Temple, Aswan Dam & Obelisk & the twin temples on the edge of Lake Nasser ~
~ Sailing the Nile aboard a traditional felucca ~

Luxor Highlights (Riding and Sightseeing)

~ Ancient temples & tombs on the Nile’s east & west Banks by horseback ~
~ Cultural insight into the era of the Pharaohs from horseback ~
~ Mount Thebes incredible panoramic views by horse ~
~ Ancient tombs in the famous Valleys of the Kings & Queens, Karnak Temple and Luxor, the ‘World’s greatest open-air museum’ ~
~ UNESCO World Heritage Site ruins at Dei el Medina by horseback ~

Hurghada – Red Sea (fast riding, dolphins & snorkelling)

~ Exploring a world-famous area for diving & snorkelling ~
~ Swimming with wild dolphins ~
~ Galloping across the desert on your very own Arabian horse ~
~ Swim in the Red Sea with your horse ~
~ Vibrancy & diversity of the fantastic marine life ~

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Aswan (Flight via Cairo). Our driver will be waiting for you at the airport to take you to your accommodation.

Day 2 – On our first day wake up to the warmth of the Egyptian sun and smiles of the locals. Spend some time relaxing at our hotel and after a late breakfast, get ready as we head out on our first adventure to visit the Temple of Isis at Philae.

The Temple of Isis at Philae is one of Nubia’s most important monument sites saved from a watery grave by UNESCO’s rescue project, which transferred the monuments block by block from Philae Island to Agilika Island.

Consisting of The First Pylon (the temple entranceway), The Forecourt (the temple’s main courtyard), The Second Pylon (the entry to the inner temple), The Vestibule, The Sanctuary: House of Isis and the Gateway of Hadrian, the imposing buildings that stand today were erected by the Ptolemies in the last two centuries BC and by the Roman Emperors in the first three centuries AD. Even after their move to Agilika Island, the magnificently preserved temples of Philae still retain their power to impress.

After a truly incredible day of sightseeing, we will return for a sumptuous Egyptian dinner on the Nile before heading to Abu Simbel at 11pm in readiness for sunrise at the temple.

Day 3 – Sunrise and the Sun Dance Festival.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Abu Simbel – wow, just wow! Abu Simbel is a complex of two massive rock temples situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser. The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II in the 13th century BC, as a lasting monument to himself and his Queen, Nefertari. They were built to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Because of their remote location near the Sudanese border in southern Egypt, the temples remained unknown until their discovery in 1813.

The main temple really is a sight to behold. Carved high into the face of the mountain with four seated colossi flanking the entrance, and stretching back into the rock itself, the interior consists of a series of halls and rooms extending back a massive 185 feet from the entrance.

The most remarkable feature of the site is that the temple is precisely positioned so that twice every year, on 22nd February (Ramses II’s ascension to the throne) and 22nd October (his birthday), the first rays of the morning sun shine down the entire length of the carved temple to illuminate the back wall of the innermost shrine and the statues of the four gods seated there. This is the Sun Festival.

As the early sun rises, slowly tracking into the internal chamber of Ramses II’s temple at Abu Simbel be prepared for a moment of tranquil astonishment, Egyptian mystery and sheer magic. Be part of the crowd who gather outside to witness the gradual stream of light sneaking through the stone and enlightening the chamber within. Gaze in awe as time stands still while the chamber and the statuettes of Ramses, Ra and Amun are illuminated by the exact alignment of the sun outside. Unbelievably, only the statue of Ptah – the god of darkness – remains in the shade at all times!

After observing this fantastic event at sunrise and exploring the remainder of this incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site, we will drive back to Aswan visiting the award winning Nubia Museum along the way. Opened in 1997 and designed by Egyptian architect Mahmoud al-Hakim, the Nubian Museum is full of antiquities recovered from tombs, temples and settlements – a must see for all you history lovers. The museum is also home to a beautiful garden and an Amphitheatre for local and international music and dance performances.

After a hugely busy day, we will retire to our evening accommodation on board a traditional Felucca where dinner will be provided before a quiet evening of relaxation under the stars and a good night’s sleep as our Felucca.

HorusDay 4 – Rise and shine for a delicious breakfast before our departure to Luxor, but, before leaving Aswan, we head to Kom Ombo, which stands on the Nile between Aswan and Edfu. The Kom Ombo Temple, as it is more commonly known, is a unique double temple shared by Sobek and Horus, each having its own gateways and chapels. Sobek, the crocodile god, and Horus the Elder, the falcon-headed god, are the two primary gods so the temple was also known as the ‘House of the Crocodile’ (Sobek) and the ‘Castle of the Falcon’ (Horus).

After saddling up, we will head out for an afternoon of horse riding along the West Bank of the Nile, through the local villages and within the sugarcane fields for you to experience our home first hand. Have your camera at the ready to capture the smiles of the locals, the beautiful scenery and the authentic scenes of real Luxorian life.

Day 5 – The ULTIMATE trail ride through the land of the Pharaohs. Our morning takes us into the countryside of Luxor, where the lush green sugar cane fields are perfect for a good canter and the scenery is spectacular! Watch the farmers working in their fields just as their ancestors did using old traditions.

Mid-morning you can prepare to be amazed as our sure footed horses will take you behind the Valley of the Kings and to the top of Mount Thebes so you can see panoramic views of Luxor. Lunch is served in a local village before completing our trial dashing through the sugar cane fields and banana plantations.

This is approx. 6 hours end to end. In the evening we will have dinner on a sailing boat, the perfect way to relax after a long ride.

Day 6 – After yet another delicious breakfast cooked by our friends at Nile House, we will leave the stable by camel for an epic camel safari through the villages.

The birds eye view makes a fantastic setting for photo opportunity as your guides lead your camels through the back streets. Lunch will be served at the hotel and you will have a well-deserved afternoon resting by the pool, and we highly recommend one of the fabulous massages available too!

Day 7 – Valley of the Kings. After breakfast, our transport will collect us and take us on another journey back in time. No trip to Luxor is complete without a visit to the unforgettable and awes inspiring Valley of the Kings. The Valley of the Kings never ceases to leave me speechless no matter how many times I visit.

During Egypt’s New Kingdom (1539-1075 B.C.), the valley became a royal burial ground for pharaohs such as Seti I, and Ramses II, as well as queens, high priests, and other elites of the 18th, 19th and 20th dynasties, and it was at the Valley of the Kings that Howard Carter discovered the resting place of a boy king called Tutankhamun. On 26 November 1922, with Lord Carnarvon and his daughter in attendance, and using a chisel given to him by his grandmother for his 17th birthday, Carter made a ‘tiny breach in the top left hand corner’ of the doorway to the Tomb revealing the many gold and ebony treasures that remained in place and a promising sealed doorway between two sentinel statues. When Carnarvon asked, ‘Can you see anything?” Carter replied with the famous words: ‘Yes, wonderful things!’

Another massive tick on that bucket list for many visitors to Luxor is a visit to Madinet Habu Temple and we are lucky to have this ancient temple near enough on our doorstep. Built as a mortuary temple for Ramses III (1186-1155 BC), one of the great pharaohs of ancient Egypt, Habu Temple was built on land that was considered to have magical powers by local farmers long before his time.

Ramses often lived in the in the adjacent palace, but other deities resided at Medinet Habu permanently. The Temple is now accessible to visitors, steeped in history and only a couple of hours ride from our stables on the West Bank.

After a light lunch we will set off to Habu passing through local villages and sugar cane fields, where local farmers tend to their crops. On arrival, we dismount and tether the horses outside in the shade before heading inside this magnificent complex to explore and learn more about its history. Our guide will be on hand to take you on a magical tour inside of Ramses and after a cold drink we will ride back at sunset making this the end to a perfect day.

Red Sea Extension

The Sun and Sea Hotel in HurghadaDay 8 – Today marks departure day from Luxor Airport if your trip with us ends here. Alternatively, you can add on a 3-day extension in Hurghada.

For those opting for the extension, we continue our tour of Egypt on route to Hurghada at the Dendara complex, one of the best-preserved temple complexes in the whole of Egypt. Here we will visit the Temple of Hathor. Hathor was the goddess of love and joy. Her temple is one of the grandest and most beautiful in this complex. Its grand entrance, detailed carvings, hieroglyphs, and decorated ceilings will have your mind wandering back in time to when the Pharaohs ruled the land.

Our onward drive to Hurghada winds through the mountains and along desert roads late into the afternoon. When we arrive in Hurghada, you will check in at the Sun & Sea hotel, our gorgeous guesthouse overlooking the Red Sea. Here you will have dinner and relax before the final leg of our adventure gets underway in the morning. There is an optional upgrade available to the luxury Sunrise resort.

Day 9 – After a night of comfort in the hotel and a delicious breakfast, we saddle up the horses for a full day of riding, exploring the vast golden deserts and sand dunes that create the backdrop to Hurghada. Away from the crowds, we have plenty of space to really push the horses to their limits and watch them fly before heading back to the hotel for another night of luxury and a few cocktails!

Swim with dolphinsDay 10 – Today acts as a ‘bucket list’ tick for many. Not only do you have the chance to experience ‘Real Egypt’ on horseback, but we have also incorporated a full-day excursion which allows you to get up close and personal with wild dolphins.

We will pick you up from your hotel in Hurghada and transfer you to the local marina, where you will hop on board and set sail for ‘Dolphin House’. Here, wild dolphins can be found swimming in their natural environment.

You can jump in, snorkel and swim with these majestic playful creatures – a truly memorable experience and something that must be crossed off your bucket list! The area is also ideal for snorkelling and offers a chance to see the underwater beauty that hides beneath the surface so after a delicious seafood lunch, you will have time to explore the stunningly beautiful reefs of the Red Sea.

Day 11 – Our final day in Makadi Bay puts a big fat tick next to another point on many a bucket list. In the morning, we ride down to the crystal clear shores for a chance to unsaddle and splash about with your horse in the Red Sea while soaking up some Egyptian sunshine at the same time! Nothing really comes close to this unforgettable riding experience.

After finishing our ride, we’ll head back to the hotel so you can prepare for your afternoon departure from Hurghada Airport.

Standard Accommodation
Villa Nile House

Villa Nile House

Villa Nile House is a quirky charming guest house with outstanding service. Built in an oriental style with traditional materials like wood and cob, and comfortably decorated.

Kato Dool Nubian House, Aswan

Kato Dool Nubian House, Aswan

Kato Dool is your gateway to the best Nubian Experience in Aswan, being surrounded by the Nile and simple colored cozy homes.

Tuya Hotel, Abu Simble

Tuya Hotel, Abu Simble

Situated in Abu Simbel, this guesthouse is close to Abu Simble Port, Abu Simbel Temples, and Sun Temple of Ramses II. Also nearby are Nefertari’s Temple of Hathor and Temple of Queen Nefertari.

Red Sea Extension Accommodation
The Sun and Sea Hotel in Hurghada

Sun and Sea

The Sun and Sea Hotel in Hurghada is a an 80 room hotel offering 3-star accommodation as well as a private beach and a swimming pool.

Sunrise Holiday Resort

Sunrise Holidays Resort (Adults Only)

The 5 star Sunrise Holidays Resort was the first adults-only resort in Egypt, and is situated on a private beach lagoon that enriches the rejuvenating holiday vacation with its idyllic sea views.

Travel Dates & Information

Dates

  • 20th – 28th October 2018
  • 20th – 28th February 2019
  • 20th – 28th October 2019

Recommended Fights: Flights to Aswan are available nearly every evening from Cairo. Return flights should be from Luxor or Hurghada if extending.
Price: £1379 per person based on 2 sharing accommodation. Red Sea extension £399 per person based on 2 sharing accommodation.
Meals are included, but payable locally are drinks (soft and alcoholic), museum & temple entry fees, and tips.
Shared Transfers: Included.
Single person supplement: On request.
Maximum group size: 10.

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