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11 Days Sun Festival and Red Sea Horse Riding Adventure in Pharaoh Trails, Egypt

Ride Egypt - Felucca, Aswan, Egypt

Egypt Horse Riding Holiday

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 Tutankhamun. This holiday is available on only two dates each year to coincide with the Sun Festival!

Key Information

  • Rider Weight Limit: 220 pounds / 100 kilograms
  • Tack Type: English Tack and Western, Arabian, and Australian trail saddles are subject to availability
  • Horse Breeds: Arabian and Baladi (Local Breed) Horses

Highlights

  • Riding through various terrains
  • Approximate daily riding time: 2 to 6 hours
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided
  • Services of riding and non-riding guides are included
  • Complimentary water bottles on riding trips
  • Use of horses and tack including saddlebags
  • 10 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Styles


6 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: Arabic
The maximum participants in the group is 10
Airport transfer available:
Aswan International Airport (US$31 per person)
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Accommodation

Felucca

A felucca is an open-decked boat covered in colorful cushions and pillows for passenger comfort. This accommodation is basic and traditional, built from wood and powered by the wind, feluccas give the opportunity to sleep on the open water of the Nile, looking up at the night sky is incredible. Please note that the accommodation is basic and guests should bring sleeping bags for overnight trips.

Tuya Hotel, Abu Simble

Situated in Abu Simble, this guesthouse is close to Abu Simble Port, Abu Simble Temples, and the Sun Temple of Ramses II; also nearby are Nefertari’s Temple of Hathor and the Temple of Queen Nefertari. Along with a restaurant, this guesthouse has a coffee shop/café and serves continental breakfast. All 10 rooms offer free Wi-Fi, room service, and flat-screen TVs with cable channels. Other amenities available to guests include ceiling fans, showers, and free toiletries.

Villa Nile House, Luxor

Villa Nile House is a quirky charming guest house with outstanding service, built with an oriental style and traditional materials like wood and cob, and comfortably decorated. It has two terraces on the roof with views of Luxor temple and Hatshepsut temple. When you enter the grounds, you will be delighted by the flower garden, and enjoy the Bedouin corner to relax and drink a mint tea or the traditional Egyptian Karkade.

Yes, you are on holiday! At the back of the garden, the swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and a hammam are waiting for you. From the patio, you will find the dining room. An open-air stair will lead you to the bedrooms and to the two terraces on the roof. Each of the charming bedrooms celebrates Luxor, find yourself staying in Hathor, Nefertiti, Kheops, Cleopatra, Nefertari, Akhenaton, or Touthankamon to name a few!

Each room is full of character and has air-conditioning, an LCD TV, and Wi-Fi access. Also, each has a private bathroom and an outside sitting area close to the room.

Ride Egypt Red Sea Accommodation

Ride Egypt offers a choice of three to five-star hotels, subject to availability. Ride Egypt likes to have the freedom to choose and these are the favorites. Hurghada Hotels are mostly tourist hotels and you should consider that they will not have the same small intimate feeling as Luxor and Aswan.

Ride Egypt chooses hotels based on being in the best locations and access to the horses and dolphins, plus an opportunity to dine out or shop in the evening. All hotels offer both beach and swimming pool access and work on a soft all-inclusive basis covering meals, snacks, and soft drinks. Alcohol is payable locally.

  • Elysees Dream Beach Hotel - 3.5-star

The hotel is in the heart of Hurghada. Overlooking the Red Sea, the hotel provides a warm Egyptian hospitality experience. With its special flair of professional staff and its friendly atmosphere, providing 24 hours service in multi-languages. All rooms are spacious and airy with Wi-Fi, a safety deposit box, TV, minibar, and balcony; some feature views to the Red Sea.

A buffet breakfast is offered each morning and the on-site restaurant offers an array of local dishes and refreshing drinks with a sea view; while several regional picks can be found in the surrounding area. The outdoor swimming pool is surrounded by a sun terrace equipped with loungers and parasols.

Guests can also benefit from a 24-hour reception, laundry service, and hairdressers on site. The beach is just moments away, where guests will find loungers and parasols for prime relaxation.

  • Sunrise Grand Select (Adults Only) - 5-star

Sunrise Holidays Resort has a private beach with a lagoon and island. It offers a dive center, health club, and an outdoor pool overlooking the Red Sea. This property offers an array of restaurants, bars, and lounges. Free WIFI is available in the lobby area; with a balcony or terrace with sea or pool views, the air-conditioned rooms have a satellite TV, minibar, and a private bathroom with a bath.

Some rooms feature a lounge area with sofas. Egyptian and international dishes are served at the Nasaya Restaurant and Lounge, El Sol International restaurant, and Arabian Nights restaurant. Snacks and drinks are on offer at the pool and beach bars. Room service and packed lunches can be arranged.

  • Bel Air Azur (Adults Only) - 4-star

This all-inclusive beach hotel is located along the Red Sea, just three kilometers from the center of Hurghada. It features 800 meters squared of freshwater pools and rooms with balcony and free minibar. There is also a pool bar with a selection of ice creams, and other five bars serving light snacks and drinks.

The contemporary rooms of Bel Air Azur Resort overlook the central pool area. They are all equipped with satellite TV, a small coffee table with wicker chairs, and a hairdryer. This property also has one of the best-rated locations in Hurghada!

Program

Type of Ride and Paces

This holiday showcases the best of Egypt both in and out the saddle; its primary event is the bi-annual Sun Festival at Abu Simble and Nubian hospitality of Aswan (non-riding). Luxor offers several days of sightseeing on horseback; the paces would be trot, canter, and occasional gallops. The finale at the Red Sea offers all forward going paces and open ground.

Day 1: Arrival in Aswan

The driver will be waiting for you at the airport to take you to your accommodation onboard the traditional Egyptian sailing boat where a warm Nubian welcome awaits you. Dinner and relaxation come afterward.

Day 2: Philae Temple and High Dam then Transfer to Abu Simbel (Non-Riding Day)

On your first day, wake up to the warmth of the Egyptian sun and the smiles of the locals. Take breakfast on the top deck of the boat with picturesque views of the River Nile. The first morning in Aswan is spent exploring the High Dam and Lake Nasser. This huge freshwater reservoir, formed by the construction of the High Dam at Aswan, provides a relaxing gateway to the south of Aswan to visit the monuments placed along its banks and to enjoy a motorboat ride to The Temple of Isis at Philae.

The Temple of Isis at Philae is one of Nubia’s most important monuments and was saved from a watery grave by UNESCO’s rescue project; this transferred the monuments block by block from Philae Island to Agilika Island. You will stop to have lunch at one of the local restaurants before returning to the boat to prepare for the drive to Abu Simbel, ready for the following morning’s biannual spectacle.

The drive takes around three hours and Ride Egypt aims to arrive at the guesthouse in the early evening, allowing time for dinner and a few hours of rest before the sunrise in the morning.

Day 3: Sunrise and the Sun Dance Festival (Non-Riding Day)

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. 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 February 22 (Ramses II’s ascension to the throne) and October 22 (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 gathers 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, you will return back to the guesthouse in Abu Simble for breakfast and a shower before starting the drive back to Aswan; transfer time is approximately two hours.

Upon return to Aswan, you will have the afternoon to relax on the sun deck of a traditional Felucca where dinner will be provided before a quiet evening of relaxation under the stars and a good night’s sleep. There is an option to visit the Nubian Museum in the evening for those who are interested.

Day 4: Kom Ombo, Sobek Crocodile Museum, and Transfer to Luxor (Non-Riding Day)

Rise and shine for a delicious breakfast on the sailing boat before the departure to Luxor, stopping off along the way, first, at the Temple of 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). Ride Egypt will aim to arrive in Luxor for an early dinner at the charming Egyptian guesthouse close to the River Nile where you’ll eat some of the best food in Luxor and experience the best service and hospitality.

Day 5: Habu Temple Ride and Karnak Temple

Rise and shine for a 7 a.m. departure, it’s time for another tick-off-the-bucket-list for many visitors to Luxor, a visit to Medinet Habu Temple! Leaving the stables at around 7:30 a.m., it takes us about two hours to ride up to Habu Temple, passing through local villages and sugar cane fields.

On arrival, dismount and tether the horses outside in the shade before heading inside this magnificent complex to explore and learn more about its history. 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 adjacent palace but other deities resided at Medinet Habu permanently. During the Libyan invasions of the late Twentieth Dynasty, Medinet Habu sheltered the entire popular of Thebes. You will have a light brunch after the visit at around 11 a.m., before riding back in time to change for your afternoon adventures and your non-riding tour to the East Bank of Luxor, starting with the incredible Karnak Temple. Karnak is 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. Ride Egypt 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.

Ride Egypt will introduce you to some of the architectural wonders 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, with over 6,000 square meters and 134 columns. The 12 which flank the processional way are 23 meters tall, words, facts, and figures can never do justice to the experience that is Karnak.

After Karnak, you will visit Luxor Temple, largely built by the New Kingdom pharaohs Amenhotep III (1390–1352 BC) and Ramses II (1279-1213 BC). This temple is a strikingly graceful monument in the heart of the modern town. Also known as the Southern Sanctuary, its main function was during the annual Opet celebrations when the statues of Amun, Mut, and Khonsu were brought from Karnak, along the Avenue of Sphinxes, and reunited here during the inundation.

The day ends with a tour of Luxor Museum; this wonderful museum has a well-chosen and brilliantly displayed and explained collection of antiquities dating from the end of the Old Kingdom right through to the Mamluk period, mostly gathered from the Theban temples and necropolis. This is one of the most rewarding sights in Luxor and one of the best museums in Egypt. Today's riding time is approximately four to five hours.

Day 6: The Ultimate Trail Ride through the Land of the Pharaohs

Your first full day with the horses, prepare to fall in love with both Arabian and Baladi (local breed) horses who are famed for their beauty and endurance. These wonderful breeds are chosen for their ability to form a cooperative relationship with humans and they are good-natured, quick to learn, and willing to please. Longer trails encourage you to experience horses and country life.

You will see farmers working their fields just as their ancestors did. Mid-morning, you can prepare to be amazed as the 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 will be served at a local restaurant and the trail home will take you past the Colossi of Memnon (Arabic: el-Colossal or es-Salamat), which are two massive stone statues of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, who reigned in Egypt during the Dynasty XVIII.

They have stood in the Theban Necropolis for the past 3,400 years (since 1350 BC)! This is a wonderful opportunity for photos together with the horses. This ride is approximately six hours from end to end. You will have a couple of hours left of the day to enjoy a well-deserved rest by the pool and you are highly recommended to have one of the fabulous massages available.

Day 7: Valley of the Kings and Sunset Camel Safari

After yet another delicious breakfast cooked by friends at Nile House, you will begin to retrace the steps of the Pharaohs through the West Bank of Luxor starting with a tour of the Valley of the Kings, where you will be able to visit at least four open tombs including that of Tutankhamun, the "boy king". You will return to the guest house for lunch and a couple of hours off before experiencing Egypt by camel!

The camel safari takes you through the villages and along the Nile, the bird's eye view also makes a fantastic setting for photos of real Egypt up close and personal, not to mention how beautiful the ride is at sunset along the river. This is your last evening in this region and you will finish the Luxor adventures with a belly dancing show and an Egyptian barbecue dinner and music. Today's riding time is about two to three hours and the optional extras on request are:

  • Guided tour and shopping at the souk markets (No charge)
  • Sunrise Balloon Tour - 150 USD
  • Private Boat Dinner on the Nile (Price on request)
  • Massage service at Nile House - From 35 GBP per person

Day 8: Transfer to Hurghada

After breakfast, you will depart from Nile House to begin your journey to the Red Sea for your next adventures! There is an optional but highly recommended stop off at Dandra temple on the way. You will arrive at the Red Sea by early afternoon.

Day 9: Makadi Bay Riding

Today you will have a full day trail ride with the “desert Arabians”. The horses in Hurghada are chosen for their forward-going nature and their ability to gallop endlessly in the deserts. This a superb day of riding including the beach, sea, and deserts of Makadi. Lunch is served out and about and the riding time is approximately five to six hours.

For less experienced or less fit riders, there is an option to divide the day, riding two hours in the morning and then riding again in the afternoon with lunch at your hotel in between.

Day 10: Swimming with Wild Dolphins(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 underwater friends at Dolphin House where you can swim with wild dolphins and stop off at two stunning snorkeling spots. There is an array of underwater beauty around the reefs of Hurghada and this is truly a once in a lifetime experience. Onboard, you will also be treated to an exquisite lunch by the wonderful crew.

Day 11: Swimming with Horses

No trip would be complete without swimming with horses in the Red Sea. This is a full morning ride with lots of exhilarating canters along the desert before arriving at the sea. On arrival, you will dismount and remove the saddles before entering the sea with your horse. The horses love to swim too so it’s a wonderful trip for both. After your swim, you’ll have some time to dry off in the warm sunshine before riding home. Today's riding time is four hours and check-out is by 12 noon (late check-outs are available on request at the hotel) and then it’s time to head home or continue with your travels. Optional extras available for this day are:

  • Quad Bike Safari - 30 GBP per person
  • Diving and Snorkelling Packages (On request)
  • Kite Surfing Lesson - 45 GBP per person
  • Cairo Day Trip by Plane - 200 GBP per person (Non-riding)

Included excursions

Aswan and Abu Simble (Non-Riding)

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

Luxor Highlights (Riding and Sightseeing)

  • Ancient temples and tombs on the Nile’s east and 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 and 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, and snorkeling)

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

Location

On this horse riding trip in Egypt, 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, traveling 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 will remain in your memory for a lifetime.

Food

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be provided on riding holidays. Soft drinks and alcohol are payable locally. There will also be complimentary water bottles on riding trips.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • All riding and non-riding tours
  • Services of riding and non-riding guides
  • Use of horses and tack including saddlebags and water
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Complimentary water bottles on riding trips

What's not included

  • Airport transfers
  • Insurance
  • International and local flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Tip kitty (100 USD or 75 GBP)
  • Temples, museums, and historical sites local fees (Around 80 USD)

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Aswan International Airport (ASW). Transfer from this airport is available for 25 GBP.

Airport: Aswan International Airport Airport transfer available: Aswan International Airport (US$31 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 16.94% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 60 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 60 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
11 days / 10 nights
from --
Pricing information

Please keep in mind that Egypt has a strong tipping culture and leaving tips is a way of life. You are kindly asked to factor this into your budget: 100 USD or 75 GBP, to be paid on the first day of arrival. This goes into a tipping kitty in order to tip hotel staff, porter, tour guides, riding guides, grooms, drivers, camel guides, and boat guides for the week. This rate is quoted pro-rata so if you have a longer holiday than a week or over several locations, please budget accordingly. Ride Egypt will be happy to help if you need further assistance in budgeting. Temples, museums, and historical sites all have local fees, you are recommended to budget around 80 USD but of course, this can vary depending on the client's interest in visits and history.

Wednesday October 30, 2019
(11 days / 10 nights)

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