Fayoum, a place of picturesque landscapes where you can ride for days uninterrupted, and offering authentic hospitality, food and accommodation.
Tombs, Dunes and Kingdoms
Day 1: Arrival
Arrive Cairo and our first meeting it’s at dinner overlooking the magical pyramids.
Day 2: Giza Ride, Sphinx. Desert dinner
Wake to the frenetic sounds of a thriving city. The pyramids at Giza are a must-see for most visiting Cairo, but today we elevate this experience by riding onto the plateau on our beautiful Egyptian horses.
After a traditional breakfast and a briefing from our guides we will make the short journey to the horses who wait for us within the site. Pure of heart and renowned for their stamina, these horses are the pride of Egypt and a symbol of its strength and fortitude. The open desert allows for fantastic riding at all paces including exhilarating gallops.
After exploring the desert on horseback it is then time for a tour of the Sphinx on foot. Carved from one solid piece of stone this mysterious statue is one of the oldest sculptures from the Old Kingdom and was built during the reign of Khafre.
Our lunch stop is at a local restaurant in town; flatbread, kofte, fragrant rice as well as various delicious salads and dips make up a typical lunch.
Satisfied, we now pack our bags for the transfer to Fayoum, a road trip of approximately 1.5hrs, aiming to arrive late afternoon to enjoy a leisurely sunset ride through the surrounding villages. We finish this glorious first day with dinner in the desert.
Day 3: Full Saddle Day
A full day ride to explore the extraordinary hidden gem that is the Fayoum Oasis, considered by many as a time capsule harking back to Egypt’s eminent past. We drive for 20 minutes along with our horses to the centre of the National Park, one of the most magical, off-the-beaten-track places you will visit.
The oasis itself is one of the first areas in Egypt where agriculture took hold. Here we are surrounded by vast open desert, perfect for fast gallops across the dunes! There will also be time to take in the awe-inspiring rock formations and unspoilt scenery. Dinner is overnight at our guesthouse.
Day 4: Magic Lake Afternoon/Sunset Ride
Today we have a free morning, to soak up the sun, relax by the pool and generally reflect on the adventure so far! After lunch we will ride to Magic Lake located in Wadi El Hitan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its abundance of fossils including some of the earliest whales. Riding through the sands it will seem like a mirage!
The lake’s name derives from the variety of colours it becomes throughout the course of the day depending on the sunlight it gains and the time of year. It is also said to contain healing minerals for ailments such as rheumatism. The desert is the horses’ playground, vast and open, inviting fast canters and gallops, but here we also have the contrasting peace and serenity that’s this mystical lake emanates. Famous for its sunsets, you will have the chance to watch the sun fall below the horizon from between your horse’s ears.
Could there be anything more enchanting?
Day 5: Wadi El Hitan. Pottery School. Luxor
A non-riding start this morning with a tour of Wadi El Hitan, also known as Whale Valley. This extraordinary lowland plain contains the fossilised remains of the Archaeoceti, the precursor to today’s whales, at the stage in their evolution where they took to the oceans having previously been land-based mammals. Whale Valley remains the most significant and important example of this stage of whale evolution in the world.
Following this fascinating tour we make our way to the Fayoum Pottery School. Founded in the 1970s by Swiss artists it has become a successful business as well as educating people in the local pottery-making traditions. With the help of village craftsmen and local materials they built their kiln, studio and house. The school lies within a striking mudbrick compound and we will have a tour of the studio with a local guide.
After a day of cultural sight-seeing it is back to Cairo Airport for our flight to Luxor. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 6: Luxor
Today we give you the option of a full day in the saddle or a combination of sight-seeing and riding; a non-riding tour of the Valley of the Kings followed by an afternoon ride.
Accompanied by an Egyptologist you will have the opportunity to visit three very different tombs all representing the values of the pharaohs to which they belong. The choice is yours whether you’re a saddle-junkie or culture-vulture Luxor has it all! Of course, if you prefer a relaxing morning by the pool combined with an afternoon ride this is also an option, especially for returning guests who have already visited the sites.
Today allows everybody to enjoy what makes them happy, followed by a delicious dinner of typical Egyptian fare cooked by our wonderful hosts.
Day 7: Full Saddle day
A full day ride today gives you the chance to really get to know your Egyptian steed. Our horses are spirited and forward-going but they are also polite, sensitive and willing to please.
You will notice how they listen to you, receptive to voice and tone. Highly intelligent with expressive eyes and ears it is easy to bond with them and understand their ways. All possess endless enthusiasm for the journey and you will feel this as they carry you effortlessly for hours in the sometimes unforgiving heat. We will head out into the fields where you will see farmers working the land as their forefathers did. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant while the horses dose in the shade.
You’ll return to the stables via the Colossi of Memnon, two imposing statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, offering fantastic photo opportunities.
After an inspiring day of riding it’s time to freshen up and head by boat to the East Bank for cocktails at the Winter Palace Hotel, made famous by Agatha Christie’s ‘Death on the Nile’. Built in the 1900s it was designed to accommodate nobility and much of its opulent nature is retained today. Famous guests include Howard Carter and his team, who discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun. Post drinks we offer two evening options:
Option 1: We sail our way back in time for an alfresco dinner in the courtyard of our hotel and a spot of belly-dancing! Lessons and accessories included.
Option 2: Take in the delights of historic Karnak at night with their light and sound show followed by dinner on the boat.
Day 8: Sunrise Hot air balloons. Temple of Hatshepsut
We will rise with the morning call to prayer today as we head out for truly a magical experience – a sunrise balloon tour by horseback. The sight as they all take flight is simply breath-taking. Glide through the Valley of the Kings and the farms of the West Bank watching the shadows fall away as the sun fills the sky with colour and light. This is a must-do activity when visiting Luxor. It is also possible to ride the Valley to witness this spectacle from horseback, please enquire.
We will next head to the Temple of Habu for breakfast and a tour of the site. Amun, the god of air, was one of the primordial Egyptian deities famously twinned with Ra the sun god in later times. This memorial temple, built by Rameses III, is said to be the place where Amun first appeared according to ancient belief. It is an imposing structure and boasts some beautifully preserved murals and hieroglyphs. We visit early morning before the crowds descend so it feels like a well-kept secret!
Our final site of the day is the Temple of Hatshepsut, thought to be a masterpiece of the pharaonic era. It represents not only her devotion to her god Horus, the falcon-headed god, but is also a reflection of her peaceful and prosperous reign. It would later become her mortuary temple as the afterlife beckoned her forth. This is a magnificent example of the wealth and master craftsmanship of the time – the paintings are exquisite and the scale of the monument, truly astonishing – a spectacular finale to your journey through Egypt.
After a farewell lunch it is time to say goodbye unless you have booked one of our fabulous extensions.
Optional Aswan extension from the afternoon of Day 8. After lunch we will travel by road to Aswan stopping along the way at Horus temple in Edfu & The temple of Sobek Kim ombo, this temple is dedicated to the Crocodile Headed God Sobek and the Falcon headed God Horus the Elder. Dinner and overnight at our charming Nubian guest house.
Day 9: Aswan
Aswan is known for its beautiful Nile Valley scenery, significant archaeological sites and its peaceful aura. Its weather is warm all year round, which makes it a perfect winter destination. The city provides splendid views and attractions to sail through the Nile with a felucca (Egyptian sailboat).
- Temple of Philae
- Unfinished Obelisk. 890. Historic Sites • Ancient Ruins
- Aswan High Dam.
- Nubian Museum (evening opening times)
- Nubian Village
- Elephantine Island
- Cocktails Hotel Sofitel Legend Old Cataract (Where Agatha Christie wrote Death on the Nile)
Overnight at your guest house.
Day 10: Abu Simble
Rise and shine bright and early today marks the highlight and “must do” when visiting Aswan, the UNESCO Abu Simble World Heritage Site.
Abu Simbel is a historic site comprising two massive rock-cut temples in the village of Abu Simbel (Arabic: أبو سمبل), Aswan Governorate, Upper Egypt, near the border with Sudan. It is situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km (140 mi) southwest of Aswan (about 300 km (190 mi) by road).
The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC, during the 19th Dynasty reign of the Pharaoh Ramesses II. Their huge external rock relief figures of Ramesses II have become iconic. His wife, Nefertari, and children can be seen in smaller figures by his feet. Sculptures inside the Great Temple commemorate Ramesses II’s heroic leadership at the Battle of Kadesh.
After an awe inspiring morning we will stop off at our favourite local sea food Resturant for a delicious lunch before driving back to Aswan in preparation for your evening flight to Cairo and your onward journey home.
Accommodation & Information
- Price & Duration: £2699 per person based on 2 sharing accommodation for 8 days / 7 nights. Single person supplement: £500. Airport transfers and ticket entries included in the price.
- Aswan extension £899. Single supplement £300
- Board Type: All meals & water.
- Type of Ride & Paces: This is multi-centre guest house based riding holiday
- Rider levels: Confident intermediate.
- Suitable for beginners: No.
- Riding months: October to May.
- Weight limit: 100kg.
- Recommended airports: Cairo for arrival & Luxor departure.
- Language: English. All guests must have a good level of spoken English.
Our information page has more details on what is and isn’t included as well as useful general advice.
Your accommodation is based at the following locations – more information is available on the pages below:
- Cairo: Pyramids Edge Hotel
- Giza: Panoramic views of the pyramids from the hotel rooftop restaurant. 5 minutes walk to our Stable.
- Fayoum: Local guest house next to the stable with a swimming pool and amazing authentic food.
- Luxor: Nile House. Our beloved authentic guest house in Luxor has over several years will continue to delight customers with its quaint picturesque lodgings, warm hospitality, incredible food and Nile views.
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