Magda – Italy (Review)

Riding in this country was something I wanted to do since at least 10 years. But I didn’t find anything inspiring enough. UNTIL I spotted Emma and Ride Egypt, thanks to a common friend on Facebook (thanks, common friend!).

I’ve done 30 riding holidays in different places worldwide, and this is one of the best. Here’s why:

THE HOLIDAY – Never a dull moment. Fast gallops in the desert and swimming with the horses in the Red Sea in Hurghada, exceptional sights in Luxor from the saddle, on foot and on camel, good food in carefully hand-picked restaurants or on a boat crossing the Nile. Most of all, interesting experiences equestrian-wise and in culture and fun.

Emma gives a lot to make you feel at home and enjoy local life, and she has the talent to make it happen. All while managing to coordinate everything/everyone and being a great company!

THE HORSES – They are utterly beautiful to see and ride, with that special Arabian spirit I adore. They are loved: they live in 5-stars stables in Luxor and Hurghada, and they’re treated with great respect and care. I.e., they daily eat quinoa, which in my country is a quite expensive treat for healthy-bio-naturist food addicts. It shows: they look happy, they feel happy when you ride them and – last but never least – they are happily matched with the kind of rider you are.

THE STAFF – Everyone I met was the kind of person I wish to interact with when I travel. The Ride Egypt family: Emma and her friendly, knowledgeable, polite guides & fun stable boys – we were all dancing together on New Year’s Eve party. The driver in Hurghada talking to me about Coptic Christmas, the one in Luxor with his Lordish manners coupled with sense of humour, the ever-smiling tuk-tuk chauffeurs. From the hotel staff in Luxor, to the guide who will be with you for temples and archaeological sites: a lady so full of passion, culture and charming speeches you’ll feel like you’re cantering through Egypt’s history.

SAFETY (and SAFETY FOR SOLO FEMALE TRAVELERS) – As long as you’re with Emma and her staff, you’re so cared for you’ll feel pampered. I had a couple extra days in Luxor after the holiday as an “independent traveller”: people in general are very warm and make you feel welcome, it’s easy to have friendly chats with them. Emma always kept in touch, but I never felt in danger or uncomfortable even when I wandered alone exploring the city.

As for the “Egypt is dangerous” issue: North Sinai is a troubled area these days, but the country is huge. Luxor and Hurghada are far away from there and looked to me less dangerous than European cities such as Paris, London, Berlin or even – sadly – Nice. As for petty crime: I didn’t experience it at all in Egypt, but I’m sure in Naples, Milan, Prague or other touristic Western cities it’s much more frequent and “professional”. As for the “I’m-a-woman-and-I’ll-be-harassed” worry: are you really scared by children waving and shouting “hello!” or by men saying “welcome!”/ “hi, girls!” on the street?

Amici e amiche italiani/e: andateci. Pour les amies et amis francophones: à ne pas rater