Luxor riding holiday in Egypt - Far and Ride
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Luxor, Egypt





Reviews



There are many places and countries where one can take a mounted wildlife safari, but there is only one Luxor. This ride is an opportunity to experience rural Egypt and one of the wonders of the ancient world.

Duncan H.
Amazing! Emma is a fabulous hostess. She has beautifully trained, happy, healthy horses and operates from a great location. Every aspect of the trip was perfect. Very impressed with the condition of the horses, every single one was fit and happy and a pleasure to ride. Emma and her team were brilliant.

Jess R.
Wow, wow, wow!! The mixture of culture, history and horse riding is fantastic. Luxor has to be seen to be believed! It is a crazy, vibrant, friendly place. Hurghada was a complete contrast with its beaches, sea and desert. I loved both parts of the holiday equally.

Emily S.
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Arab and Arab X

Nature of horses:

Strong, sure footed and well cared and forward going.

Height of horses:

14.2 hh - 16hh.

Weight limit:

90kg / 14st 2lbs

Tack type:

English

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

If you are looking for the ultimate history and culture holiday, combined with some beach and relaxing whilst riding fabulous horses throughout, then this trip is a dream come true! You will begin your holiday in historical Luxor which has often been called the world’s greatest open-air museum, as indeed it is and much more. The number and preservation of the monuments in the Luxor area are unparalleled anywhere else in the world.

Here you can visit the site of ancient Thebes, the Pharaohs’ capital at the height of their power during the 16th-11th centuries B.C.E. Today’s city surrounds two huge, surviving temples. The Royal Tombs of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens are on the river’s west bank.

Your adventures will take you on a trip through Gezira village to the Nile shore. Pleasure in Luxor comes not only from riding beautiful horses, but also through the opportunity to see true Arabian village life and the splendid nature. There is a wealth of riding options from cantering along the Nile watching buffalo graze along its lush green banks, travelling through the villages on horseback, galloping along the banana and sugar cane fields or visiting the Temples on horseback.

The horse facilities are located on the West Bank. It’s quirky and it’s real Egypt. The horses have a fabulous life. There are several well-maintained boxes, although most live out in huge, lush, green paddocks with mountain views (and who can blame them!). You can meet some of the proud and gracious stallions in the stables, whose skin is shot with copper or steel and who glitter in the sun. You cannot help but smile while watching funny, cute donkeys, who will follow you around, checking your pockets in case you have carrots.

After three fabulous days in Luxor, you will head to Makadi Bay in Hurghada, located on the Red Sea Riviera and nestled between a desert and a mountain range. Here there is a sister stables with a different set of horses. Makadi Bay has beautiful, white sand beaches and crystal blue water. Each day is unique and includes steady canters along sandy deserts, as well as faster stretches along the shoreline. You will explore the sand dunes, mountains and neighbouring Bedouin villages set high in the wilderness. The bay’s crystal blue waters and golden sand make it one of the most picturesque places in the Red Sea.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

In Luxor you will stay on the West Bank at Villa Nile House. Villa Nile House is a charming guesthouse which offers excellent service. The house has been built using traditional materials in an oriental style - it has two roof terraces with views of both Luxor and Hatsheput temple. The grounds offer great relaxation with a flower garden, 'Bedouin corner', swimming pool and jacuzzi. The rooms are appropriately named... 'Nefertiti' and 'Cleopatra' are just two examples. Rooms have air-conditions, LCD TVs and Wi-Fi. They have private bathrooms.

The location is perfect for those wishing to take an evening stroll, visit one of the charming Bedouin bars or restaurants along the Nile or visit one of the traditional shops offering keep sakes not found in standard tourist shops.

When in Hurghada you will stay in the Steigenberger Makadi. This is a 5 star hotel with amazing sea views. The rooms all have spacious bathrooms, air-conditioning and satellite TV, plus WiFi. In addition to the pool the hotel has a private stretch of beach, sauna, jacuzzi and gym.

The unique Egyptian cuisine has been influenced throughout history, particularly by its neighbours from the Middle East. More recently, the foods of other Arabic people in the Middle East such as the Lebanese, Palestinians, Syrians, as well as some foods from Europe, have affected the Egyptian diet. However, Egyptian cuisine maintains its uniqueness. After thousands of years, rice and bread remain staple foods, and molokhiyya (a spinach-like vegetable) and fulmudammas (cooked, creamy fava beans), a national dish, are nearly as popular as long ago. Other popular dishes include Kebab and Kofta usually of lamb meat, chops and minced meat on skewers grilled on charcoal. Egyptians are famous for stuffing spicy rice in vegetables like green pepper, aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes to make Mahshi.

Special dietary requirements are not a problem with advance notice.

 

Activities

Diving and sightseeing.

 

Further Details

Languages: English and Arabic

Health requirements: There are vaccinations required, please check with your doctor.

Age limit: 12 years and must be accompanied by an adult

Tuition: No

Included: Full board, all riding, an experienced guide, entrance to some historical sights, group Hurghada airport transfers (effectively set times).

Not included: Insurance, visa, drinks with the meal, flights, private airport transfers, extra activities such as hot air balloon ride.

 

Travel Information

Flights are available via Easyjet from Gatwick to Hurghada twice a week. Direct Luxor flights can be expensive but the drive from Hurghada to Luxor is very scenic and takes you through the mountains. It is a 3 hour drive but very pleasant. Group airport transfers from and to Hurghada are included in the price - private transfers which do not coincide with other arrivals/departures cost extra. Luxor airport transfers also available at additional price.

Here is an example of reasonably priced flights.


Wed 11th January 2017 – London Gatwick to Hurghada Dep 09:45 Flight EZY8861
Wed 18th January 2017 – Hurghada to London Gatwick Dep 17:45 Flight EZY8862

Airport: Hurghada

Alternative Airport: Luxor Airport International

 

Programmes


Adventures of Luxor & Makadi Bay



A fabulous adventure in Luxor and Makadi Bay riding on beautiful Arab horses along sandy deserts with visits to Bedouin Villages. The itinerary begins with three days in Luxor and then you will head off to Fort Arabesque Makadi Bay in Hurghada which is nestled between a desert and the mountain range.

Sample Itinerary 

Day One:

You will fly to Hurghada and will transferred to Luxor (c.3.5 hours) where you will stay at the guest house on the Nile.

Day Two:

After breakfast you will travel by Tuk Tuk to the stables on the West Bank. The first day is a fabulous introduction to Bedouin Life. You will ride through the villages on horseback under the palm trees along the River Nile. The Nile is incredibly peaceful and you can see the buffalo grazing along the banks. Lunch will be provided at a village and the afternoon continues along the Nile. Dinner will be around 8 pm with a local Egyptian feast and with a party at the guesthouse. Eating with your hands whilst sitting on the floor on plush cushions is a must when in Luxor! The first day is a true impression of the Egyptian way of life.

Day Three:

The second day of riding takes you into the countryside of Luxor. The lush green sugar cane fields are perfect for a good canter and the scenery is spectacular! You can see the farmers working in their fields just as their ancestors did using old traditional methods. After lunch, you will ride on into the desert and visit the Temple Medinet Habu, known as the shadow of the mountains of Thebes. You will have an early dinner at the guesthouse before heading to Karnak Temple one of the most beautiful ancient temples in Luxor for a "Sound and Light Show". The show itself takes place in a theatre near the Sacred Lake which overlooks a breathtaking panoramic view of the Temple. Enjoying this magical atmosphere is an experience of a lifetime!

Day Four:

The last day in Luxor is going to be fun and busy where the plan is to see as much as possible in one non-riding day. After an early breakfast at around 7 am, you will start with a half day tour of the Necropolis of Ancient Thebes. You will visit The Valley of the Kings, the last resting place of the ancient Pharaohs, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut and the Memnon Colossal Statues.

The Valley of the Kings is magnificent with grand architecture which was used for burial places. There are many Kings buried in this valley. The most well known tomb is that of King Tut-Ankh-Amon. This is one of the most popular tourist sites in the world and people flock here in vast numbers. The Temple of Hatshepsut is one of the most striking monuments in Egypt. She courageously posed as a male to gain the throne. The most unique scenes on the walls of the temple were from her expedition to Somalia, included will be a photo stop at the Colossi of Memnon which marks the remains of the funerary temple of Amenhotep III.

After the morning tour and some lunch, you will cross the West Bank by boat. You will taking a horse drawn carriage throughout the hustle and bustle of the city and the carriage will take you past the Obelisks and Temples. You will visit the colourful and vibrant markets and there will be some time for shopping too! The last day here finishes with an informal dinner on the West Bank before taking a boat back to the East and returning to the guesthouse.

Day Five:

After an early breakfast you will cross to the East Bank and do a morning tour of Karnak Temple. You start your day by catching a ride on hantours (traditional horse-drawn buggies) and set out up the Corniche a kilometre or two to Karnak. Karnak! The largest religious complex on the planet. Forget all you have come to expect in regard to scale and space, and be astonished by the Temples of Amun-Ra and his divine wife, Mut and their son, Khonsu.

Your hosts will be on hand to show you through the labyrinth and explain the purpose, meaning and history of the amazing ruins of Karnak. Many visitors walk right past one of the treasures of Karnak – its Open Air Museum. They will introduce you to some of the architectural wonders which were re-used as fill by later generations of Egyptian architects but which have been re-erected in all their glory in this Museum. Enter the Great Hypostyle Hall built by Seti I, father of Ramesses the Great – over 6000 sqm, 134 columns – the 12 which flank the processional way are 23m tall – words, facts and figures can never do justice to the experience that is Karnak. Your hosts also plan to visit the small Temple of Ptah that lies within the Karnak complex and contains a wonderful statue of the lioness-goddess Sehkmet.

After a wonderful morning visiting these historic sites and lunch you will leave Luxor late afternoon around 4pm and drive to Hurghada for the beginning of your beach and sea holiday. You will arrive early evening and check into your hotel. Take the opportunity to spend some time relaxing with a cocktail and have the evening to relax.

Day Six:

This is the first beach day and after breakfast you will be picked up and brought to the stables in stunning Makadi Bay. The facilities overlook the stunning turquoise sea, with miles of mountain and deserts behind you making it the perfect riding destination. The morning begins along the coastline of the Red Sea. Its long expanses of open ground make this an ideal place to stretch out and enjoy long canters or faster pace gallops, Local Bedouins will serve lunch on the beach and there will be plenty of time to relax (or snorkel for those who would like to) before riding back to the stables whilst taking in the stunning coastline.

Day Seven:

Today will take you in to the beautiful desert, mountains and sand dunes for an exhilarating day in the saddle. During the morning you will ride through the mountains to a Bedouin Village in the desert where lunch will be served. You will meet the villagers and be welcomed into their homes where their hospitality is as legendary as their tea. After the visit you will take the route via the sand dunes catching the sunset over the mountains on the way home. You will witness the kaleidoscope of oranges and red from horseback at the end of another beautiful day.

NEW for 2017: For new bookings from now for 2017 this day has been switched to a non-riding day. Today takes you away from the land and into the crystal blue waters of the Red Sea where you will spend the day lapping up the sunshine and relaxing. However, this isn’t any old boat trip! Today you will have the opportunity to meet new underwater friends at Dolphin House where you will have the chance to swim with wild dolphins and stop off at 2 stunning snorkelling spots to see an array of underwater beauty around the reefs of Hurghada – a truly once in a lifetime experience. Not only that, you will also be treated to an exquisite seafood lunch by the wonderful crew on board.

Day Eight:

No trip would be complete without swimming with horses in the Red Sea! After breakfast you will collected from your hotel and taken to the stables. You will enjoy a morning canter along the sea before taking the saddles of the horses and you can join them for a swim. You can enjoy a relaxed lunch on the beach and a few relaxing moments before heading back to the hotel to prepare for your return flight in the evening.



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Fit intermediate+ riders - you should be able to canter and gallop comfortably in open countryside in an English saddle and happy to ride a forward-going horse.
Type of ride: Stationary programme but combining half a week in each of two different locations for variety.
Total riding time: Riding on 5 days as described in itinerary (from 2017 onwards it will generally be 4 days but can be flexible).
Departure dates: Dates available on request, outside of peak summer.
2-9 November
11-18 November 2017 (FULL)
23-30 November
 
Pricing: £1279 per person based on two sharing.

Single Supplement available on request.



*NEW* Temples, Tombs & Trails of Luxor and Aswan



A two centre holiday with three fabulous riding days in Luxor followed by a three day hop on-off Nile cruise taking in the colourful Nubian villages and temples of Aswan. Visit the Valley of Kings, Tutenkhamun's Tomb etc whilst riding through local villages and sugar cane fields. Then relax for a few days on a cruise down a beautiful and wide section of the nile. There is an optional extension min Makadi Bay for beach lovers and sun worshippers!

Day One:

Arrive in Luxor and be transferred from the airport to your guesthouse on the Nile. No riding today.

Day Two:

In the morning, accompanied by a private Egyptologist, you head out by car on a tour of the West Bank. This jam-packed morning takes you to the awe-inspiring Valley of the Kings, Tutenkhamun's Tomb, majestic Hatshepsut Temple, Carter's House and the Stone Factory. You will need to have your camera ready for these amazing sights!

After an Egyptian lunch you continue your exploration of the West Bank, but this time on horseback. Wave at children running out of their houses to say hello as you ride beneath the shade of banana plants, through local villages and sugar cane fields and onto the Colossal of Memnon - two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III who reigned in Egypt during Dynasty XVIII.

At the end of the day, settle down for a relaxing dinner at the guesthouse in readiness for another magnificent day of sightseeing.

Day Three:

Leave the stables at 9am and ride for c. 2 hours through local villages and sugar canes fields, where you may see local farmers tending to their crops, until reaching Habu Temple. Built as a mortuary temple for Ramses III (1186-1155BC), one of the great pharoahs of ancient Egypt, Habu temple is now accessible to visitors. Tether the horses in the shade and head inside this magnificent complex to explore and learn more about its history.

After a late breakfast/brunch whilst enjoying the breaktaking views of Habu you head back to the stables. This journey, which normally takes 2 hours, can be shortened as there is an amazing dirt track through the sugar cane fields which is perfect for a long gallops and a chance to really feel your horse fly!

In the afternoon you head out again on horseback 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. End the day at the Luxor Museum and Mummification Museum before heading back to the guesthouse for dinner.

Day Four:

After the last two busy days of sightseeing, today has a more relaxed start. After breakfast at the guesthouse, set out on your final ride through the farmland of Luxor - you will be amazed at how lush and green Luxor is - an image that would not immediately spring to mind then thinking of Egypt.

After lunch you travel through the desert by car to the beautiful, slow-paced Aswan where you overnight in a local guesthouse and prepare for your voyage in the morning.

Day Five:

Board your five star ship for this non-riding tour of Aswan, cruising the Nile to the High Dam and Granite Quarries. The High Dam is a rock-filled dam located at the northern border between Egypt and Sudan; fed by the waters of the Nile it creates a reservoir called Lake Nasser.

Whilst enjoying afternoon tea on board you 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 (temple entrance), Forecourt (main courtyard), Second Pylon (entry to inner temple), Vestibule, Sanctuary, House of Isis and Gateway of Hadrian, the imposing buildings which stand today were erected by 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 you head back to the ship for a sumptuous dinner followed by a Nubian Folkloric Show.

Day Six:

In the morning you sail to Kom Ombo which stands on the Nile between Aswan and Edfu. After breakfast on board, you visit Kom Ombo Temple which is shared by two Gods - Sobek and Haeroris. Sobek and Horus the Elder are the two primary Gods and so the temple is also known as the House of the Crocodile (Sobek) and the Castle of the Falcon (Horus).

You then sail to Edfu whilst enjoying lunch on board. Here you visit Horus Temple which was built entirely of sandstone blocks during the reign of Cleopatra VII. During afternoon tea you sail onto Esna and settle down for the night - after dinner on board and the fun and frivolity of an Egyptian Galabeya party!

Day Seven:

An early start, with breakfast on board before disembarking and returning to Luxor by road. After your busy few days you will have the morning to relax before embarking on a 3.5 hour mountain safari in the afternoon. Climb on board a camel and head out into the desert and towards the mountains to watch an incredible Egyptian sunset - don't forget your camera!

In the evening you have dinner on the Nile and can attempt some shopping - with your haggling skills at the ready you hit the souks and barter with local shopkeepers.

Day Eight:

An early start for your final day, with an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over the vast expanse of Luxor, West Bank, Valley of the Queens, Workers and Nobles as the sun rises. After a late breakfast at your guesthouse you head to the airport for your flight home.

Optional extension to Makadi Bay: Instead of transferring to Luxor airport you transfer to Makadi Bay in the afternoon and your comfortable hotel.

Day Nine:

Saddle up for a full day of riding across the vast golden deserts and sand dunes that form a backdrop to Hurghada. Away from the crowds you have plenty of space to push your horses to the limits and fly over the sands. Return to your hotel for dinner and cocktails.

Day Ten:

You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to a local marina where you set sail for Dolphin House where wild dolphins can be found swimming in their natural environment. You can jump in, snorkel and swim with these playful creatures - a memorable experience on many peoples bucket list. After a delicious seafood lunch you can continue snorkelling the underwater beauty of the Red Sea reefs before returning to shore.

Day Eleven:

For your final morning you ride down to the crystal clear shores for a chance to unsaddle and splash through the waters bareback. After a final lunch on the beach, under the shade of palm-clad umbrellas, you shower and change at your hotel before heading to the airport for your return flight.



Accommodation: Four nights in a guesthouse in Luxor; 1 night in a guesthouse in Aswan; 2 nights on a luxury cruise ship.
Optional extension to Makadi Bay: 5 star hotel for three nights.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Fit intermediate+ riders - you should be able to canter and gallop comfortably in open countryside in an English saddle and happy to ride a forward-going horse.
Type of ride: A combination of riding and then sailing the Nile.
Total riding time: 3 days on normal programme.
Departure dates: Dates available on request (programme will run for 2 or more). 4 - 14 April 2018 is open for booking.
 
Pricing: 2017: £1299 per person, based on shared accommodation.

Price includes 7 nights of accommodation (5 nights in guesthouses, 2 nights on ship), all meals, riding and sightseeing as mentioned.

Optional Hurghada add-on: £450 per person.



Magical Makadi Bay



This magical holiday showcases the speed and power of Arabian horses as you enjoy near unlimited galloping opportunities through the vast Sinai desert, at the foot of the mountains, and kicking up the sand and salty sea water as you fly along the beautiful coastline of the Red Sea. This is the ultimate beach holiday including a swim with the horses - don't forget your swimwear for a dip with your new four-legged friend! 

You will also spend a night under the twinkling stars of the Sinai night sky - a true adventure as you camp out in the desert, basking in the peaceful silence and perhaps even catching a glimpse of the Milky Way! 

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1: On arrival you will be met at Hurghada airport and transferred to the hotel to settle in. 

Day 2: After breakfast your hosts will meet you at the hotel and bring you to the stables in Makadi Bay. The facilities overlook the turquoise sea and are ideally located for riders to enjoy miles of desert and mountain scenery too. 

Your money will begin with a ride along the vast coastline, getting to know your horse and enjoying some long canters along the Red Sea or some faster-paced gallops for those who prefer. There will be a leisurely lunch break with plenty of time to relax, snooze or snorkel before riding back to the stables. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

Day 3: Today's ride is an exploration of the desert terrain. After breakfast and tacking up, you will head out into the desert where you can really see these beautiful horses fly! There are miles and miles of untouched sandy terrain surrounded by impressive mountains - thrilling gallops through the almost eerie emptiness of the landscapes are something special. There are plenty of photo opportunities along the way before you head back to the stables for an Egyptian feast. 

Day 4: Another day at the beach with cantering in the surf and swimming on horseback! After riding the coastline your horse will be unsaddled before you join them for a memorable dip in the Red Sea. 

Lunch today is eaten on the beach with time to relax, then you'll be mounting back up for a ride back to the stables and a chance to dry off. 

Day 5: This morning you will have some free time to rest up at your hotel, enjoying cocktails, massages or whatever you prefer. 

 After lunch and the peak heat of the day, you will be picked up from the hotel for a ride into the desert. Tonight you will witness a true Egyptian sunset - an awe-inspiring experience never to be forgotten! Before darkness falls you will ride on to your camp for the night, settling the horses before tucking into a delicious feast of local cuisine. You can relax under the stars, try some shisha, enjoy some drinks or simply just chill out and listen to the happy sound of the horses munching in the background.

Day 6: After a restful night's sleep you will be served breakfast in camp before mounting up for the last leg of your journey. You will ride back to the stables, arriving there late morning and in readiness for your flight home. You will be transferred to the airport in time for your departing flight. 

NB. Please note that the itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. 



Accommodation: Guests are accommodated at the Cleopatra Luxury Resort Makadi Bay for 4 nights and then have 1 night in camp with the horses. The Cleopatra Resort has eight outdoor pools, a dive centre, shops, supermarket and bazaar. There are two restaurants and various bars and lounges, plus a great range of spa facilities.
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Primarily suitable for riders happy to ride at all paces, including gallop, but please contact us if you are less experienced.
Type of ride: Based stay but with one night out camping.
Total riding time: 5 riding days, varying hours.
Departure dates: 2017: Dates available on request for 2 riders or more.
 
Pricing: 2017:

£875 per person, based on 2 sharing a twin room.

Single supplement available on request.

The price includes 5 nights of accommodation (4 in a hotel, 1 in camp), all meals and riding. Alcohol is not included but is paid locally on a 'pay as you go' basis.



*NEW* Pharaoh Trail and Sun Dance Festival



This sightseeing and riding trail combines some of the most captivating sights in Aswan, Luxor and Hurghada. Witness the extraordinary biannual Sun Festival at Abu Simbel, explore the vastness of the Valley of Kings and observe the iconic Tombs of Nefatari. Available on only two dates each year to coincide with the Sun Festival.

Day One:

Arrive in Aswan after an internal flight from Cairo and be transferred to your accommodation.

Day Two:

Wake to the warmth of the Egyptian sun and enjoy a late breakfast and relaxing morning at your hotel before being collected for your first day of sightseeing. 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 an incredible day of sightseeing, return for a sumptuous Egyptian dinner on the Nile before heading to Abu Simbel at 11pm in readiness for sunrise at the temple.

Day Three:

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 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. The statuettes of Ramses, Ra and Amun are illuminated by the exact alignment of the sun outside, whilst 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  UNESCO World Heritage Site, you transfer back to Aswan visiting the award winning Nubia Museum along the way. Opened in 1997 and designed by Egyptian architect Mahmoud al-Hakim, the Nubia Museum is full of antiquities  recovered from tombs, temples and settlements. 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, retire to your 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 on your Felucca.

Day Four:

After breakfast it's time to depart to Luxor, but before leaving Aswan you head to Kom Ombo, which stands on the Nile between Aswan and Edfu. The Kom Ombo Temple 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). The Temple is quite different to many of the temples found in this area, steeped in history and home to a fair few mummified crocodiles too!

Upon arrival in Luxor, settle down to a traditional Egyptian lunch before being greeted by the riding team and horses for an introduction to life in Luxor. After saddling up, head out for an afternoon of horse riding along the West Bank of the Nile, through the local villages and within the sugarcane fields. 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 Five:

In the morning, visit the Valley of the Queens, the site where wives of the ancient Pharaohs were buried. Here you will find around 80 tombs belonging to the Queens of the 18th , 19th  and 20th Dynasties including the Tomb of Nefertari, one of the five wives of Ramses II, which is said to be one of the most beautiful tombs in Egypt.

With a camera no doubt bursting with photographs of ancient times, head back for lunch and some time to relax before packing an overnight bag for your riding and camping trip in the desert.

Your riding trail starts at the stables. From here, you ride through the traditional local villages of Luxor, onto the sugar cane fields before reaching Mount Thebes and  the golden sands of the desert where the horses love to kick up their hooves and fly.

Ride until reaching your camp for the night. Here you will bed down and sleep under the stars in the tranquility of the vast desert. Enjoy a traditional Bedouin feast cooked over an open fire and sit back and relax with a shisha as you listen to the enchanting sounds of the locals singing and playing the Oud around the warmth of the roaring fire. You will be treated to an evening of live Egyptian music and belly dancing under the twinkling stars and glowing moonlight.

Day Six:

After a delicious breakfast cooked in the desert, you leave camp and continue riding to explore Mount Thebes, the surrounding temples and historical sites such as the Orthodox Church. A late lunch will be served at the stunning Moudira Hotel where you can also take the afternoon to lounge by the pool or enjoy a relaxing massage. This will be your home for the evening.

Day Seven:

No trip to Luxor is complete without a visit to the unforgettable and awe-inspiring Valley of the Kings. 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.

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!’

This incredible morning of sightseeing on foot will likely blow your mind so for a more relaxed afternoon, you head to a Bedouin guest house, Nile Villa for a spot of lunch before heading off along the Nile on horseback for a memorable sunset ride under the shade of the blowing palm trees. A fabulous way to conclude your stay in Luxor.

Day Eight:

Today marks departure day from Luxor Airport if your trip ends here. Alternatively, you can add on a 3-day extension in Hurghada.

Optional extension to Makadi Bay: Instead of transferring to Luxor airport you transfer to Makadi Bay in the afternoon and your comfortable hotel.

Day Nine:

Saddle up for a full day of riding across the vast golden deserts and sand dunes that form a backdrop to Hurghada. Away from the crowds you have plenty of space to push your horses to the limits and fly over the sands. Return to your hotel for dinner and cocktails.

Day Ten:

You will be collected from your hotel and transferred to a local marina where you set sail for Dolphin House where wild dolphins can be found swimming in their natural environment. You can jump in, snorkel and swim with these playful creatures - a memorable experience on many peoples bucket list. After a delicious seafood lunch you can continue snorkelling the underwater beauty of the Red Sea reefs before returning to shore.

Day Eleven:

For your final morning you ride down to the crystal clear shores for a chance to unsaddle and splash through the waters bareback. After a final lunch on the beach, under the shade of palm-clad umbrellas, you shower and change at your hotel before heading to the airport for your return flight.



Accommodation: 5 nights hotels, one night Felucca, one night Bedouin camp
Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 10
Ability description: Fit intermediate+ riders - you should be able to canter and gallop comfortably in open countryside in an English saddle and happy to ride a forward-going horse.
Type of ride: Combination of riding and sightseeing
Total riding time: 8 days/7 nights/Riding on 3 days
Departure dates: 20-28 October 2017
20-28 February 2018
 
Pricing: 2017/18

£1379 per person sharing
Single supplement: on request

Includes: full board and soft drinks, transfers
Excludes: Alcoholic drinks and flight from Cairo to Aswan

Hughada Extension: £399 per person sharing