2017 marks the start of an incredible new holiday for Ride Egypt. ‘Temples, Tombs and Trails of Luxor and Aswan’ combines the magic, majesty and ancient history of Luxor with the laid back, colourful scenery of Aswan.
Our two-centre, 8 day/7 night holiday consists of 3 fabulous riding days in Luxor followed by a 3 day/2 night hop on/hop off Luxury Nile Cruise of Aswan taking in all of the history, colourful Nubian villages and temples that Aswan has to offer before heading back to Luxor for your final day. And if that’s not enough, you can still add our Makadi Bay leg to this tour for a further three days of riding fun on board our four-legged friends in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada!
We start this holiday in wonderful Luxor, home to Ride Egypt HQ and a city brimming with ancient history and culture. On this leg of the holiday, we visit the Valley of the Kings, Tutenkhamun’s Tomb, Hatshepsut Temple, Carter’s House and the Colossal of Memnon, to name just a few of the mind blowing sights you should be camera-ready for! You will also get to see ‘Real Egypt’ when riding through local villages and sugar cane fields, across farming land where local farmers tend to their herds and crops, and along both the East and West Bank of the Nile.
Our second stop is Aswan with its vibrant Nubian villages full of hospitable locals. Aswan offers a much more laid back lifestyle, but is still pitted with historical sites such as the Temple of Philae, Kom Ombo and Edfu.
On this leg of the holiday, we cruise the Nile, which is wide and stunningly beautiful here, flowing gently down from Lake Nasser, around dramatic black-granite boulders and palm-studded islands. On board, you will be treated to traditional Egyptian food, a Nubian folkloric show and even an Egyptian Galabaya party, which is definitely not to be missed! It is the perfect place to linger for a few days before heading home or extending for a further three days in Makadi Bay, Hurghada.
The optional extension in Makadi Bay is the ultimate in luxury and a must for all advanced riders, beach lovers and sun worshippers! Staying in a 5* hotel, we spend three further days exploring this stunning Red Sea resort. You will have the chance to whip through the desert on our stunning horses kicking up the glistening golden sand behind you as you fly and ride beneath the beautiful, towering mountains, which line the perimeter of the desert. What’s more, we offer two fantastic bucket list adventures – swimming with wild dolphins in the Red Sea and swimming with our beautiful horses in the gem blue waters!
Day 1 – Travel Day: Direct flight to Luxor & private transfer to your accommodation staying at our guesthouse on the Nile. Alternative direct flights to Hurghada are also available with a private transfer (approx 3.5 hours).
Day 2 – In the morning, accompanied by our private Egyptologist, we head out by car on a tour of the West Bank. This jam packed morning takes us to the awe inspiring Valley of the Kings, Tutenkhamun’s Tomb, majestic Hatshepsut Temple, Carter’s House (my favourite!) and the Stone Factory. Be sure to have your camera at the ready to snap some amazing memories of these fantastic sights!
After a delicious Egyptian lunch, we continue our exploration of the West Bank, but this time on horseback. Wave at the children running out of the houses to say hello as you ride beneath the shade of banana plants through local villages and sugar cane fields to the Colossal of Memnon; two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who reigned in Egypt during Dynasty XVIII.
In the evening and after a beautiful afternoon in the saddle, we settle down for a relaxing dinner at the guesthouse in readiness for another magnificent day of sightseeing.
Day 3 – Built as a mortuary temple for Ramses III (1186-1155 BC), one of the great pharaohs of ancient Egypt, Habu Temple is now accessible to visitors, steeped in history and only a short ride from our stables on the West Bank.
Leaving the stables around 9am, it takes us about 2 hours to ride up 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.
We move on to fill our stomachs with a late breakfast while enjoying breathtaking views of Habu before heading back to the stables. The ride home usually takes another 2 hours, but there is an amazing dirt track through the sugar cane fields on the way back which is perfect for a really long gallop and a chance to really see our horses fly!
And our day does not end there! In the afternoon, we saddle up again and head out for a tour of the East Bank including a visit to the infamous Karnak Temple, one of the most beautiful ancient temples in Luxor and the Avenue of the Sphinx, which connects the vast Karnak Temple in ancient Thebes to the Luxor Temple.
We end the day at Luxor Museum and the Mummification Museum before heading back to the guesthouse for quiet evening.
Day 4 – After a couple of very busy sightseeing days, day 4 of our holiday is a much more relaxed day starting off with breakfast at the guesthouse. After breakfast, we get the horses ready and head out on our final ride through the farming land of Luxor. It always amazes our guests just how lush and green Luxor is – an image that doesn’t spring to mind when you think of Egypt.
Following a delicious lunch, we travel through the desert by car to beautiful, slow-paced Aswan where we stop overnight in a local guesthouse before hopping on board our 5* ship for our non-riding tour of Aswan. The Luxury Nile Cruise features spacious cabins; both double and single cabins and 2 suites offering the highest standard of comfort.
Day 5 – On our first morning in Aswan, we board the ship and cruise the Nile, to the High Dam and Granite Quarries. The High Dam is a rock-fill dam located at the northern border between Egypt and Sudan. The Dam is fed by the River Nile’s waters, and the reservoir created by the Dam forms Lake Nasser.
In the afternoon we will be treated to afternoon tea on board the ship as we head to the Temple of Philae, 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 long day of sightseeing, we head back for a sumptuous dinner on board the ship followed by a Nubian Folkloric Show.
Day 6 – Probably my favourite day of the holiday – an interesting visit to both Kom Ombo and Edfu Temple.
In the morning we sail to Kom Ombo, which stands on the Nile between Aswan and Edfu. After breakfast on board, we visit Kom Ombo Temple shared by two gods Sobek and Haeroris. Sobek and Horus the Elder are the two primary gods, and so the temple was also known as the ‘House of the Crocodile’ (Sobek) and the ‘Castle of the Falcon’ (Horus).
We then sail to Edfu whilst enjoying lunch on board the ship. Here we visit Horus Temple, built entirely of sandstone blocks during the reign of Cleopatra VII. We sail on to Esna with afternoon tea on board the ship and settle down for the night, but not before having dinner on board and experiencing the fun and frivolities of an Egyptian Galabeya Party!
Day 7 – With an early start, we have our final breakfast on board the ship before disembarking and returning to our guesthouse in Luxor. After a hugely busy few days, you will have the morning to relax before setting off on a 3.5 hour mountain safari in the afternoon. With your cameras at the ready, climb onto your trusty camel and head into the desert and towards the mountains to watch an incredible Egyptian sunset.
In the evening, we will have a delicious dinner on the Nile and enjoy some shopping. With your haggling skills at the ready as we hit the souks and barter with the local shopkeepers!
Day 8 – Our final day starts bright and early in the morning with an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over the vast expanse of Luxor, the West Bank of the Nile and the Valley of the Queens, Workers and Nobles, to watch the sun rise.
Check out after a late breakfast for your return flight home or optional onward transfer to Makadi Bay in the afternoon.
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!
Day 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 into our ‘Adventures of Luxor and Makadi Bay’ holiday, 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.
We have our final lunch on the beach under the shade of the palm-clad umbrellas before checking out of the hotel in the afternoon and heading back to the airport for your return flight.
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