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Experience miles of open desert space surrounded by colossal mountains and the burning rays of the sun glistening on the sand, lush green palm trees blowing gently in the breeze and sheltering the shallows of the Nile where water buffalos graze, and the sound of birds happily chirping in the trees! This holiday is designed for ‘riders’, especially set travel holidays that see many solo travelers coming together from around the world riding together. You should be confident on a horse at all paces, as a minimum up to canter. In addition to the horse riding, the excitement of the ancient temples and monuments exploration is waiting for you.
Villa Nile House is a quirky charming guest house with outstanding service. It is built and comfortably decorated in an oriental style with traditional materials like wood and cob. 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. You can 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 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. Single supplement is available on request.
You will arrive in Luxor and will be transferred to your guest house on the West Bank, Villa Nile House.
After breakfast, you will travel by tuk-tuk to the stables on the West Bank. The first day is a fabulous introduction to the horses and Bedouin life. This is a half-day ride through the villages on horseback under the palm trees along the Nile River. The Nile is incredibly peaceful and you can see the buffalo grazing along the banks. Lunch will be provided at a village.
In this handmade holiday, you will find two full-day tours including the Valley of the Kings, Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple, and the Colossi of Memnon on day one and Karnak Temple, Avenue of Sphinxes, and Luxor Museum on day two. The holiday also includes an incredible full-day sailing the Nile on your own feculla, a sunrise balloon tour, horse-drawn carriages along with East Bank, and of course full riding days exploring the ancient land of the forefathers. A visit to the Bedouin villages and gallop through the banana plantations and along the lush green banks of the Nile are also available. There is also a camel safari included which is a must when in Egypt.
In the afternoon, you will take a motorboat and cross to the East Bank. Here, you ride on hantours (traditional horse-drawn buggies) and set out up the Corniche a kilometer or two to Karnak. 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. Additionally, there will be time to visit the vibrant markets for a spot of shopping before catching a boat back to the West Bank for an Egyptian feast and barbecue at your 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”.
The first of the two extensive sightseeing day tours start in the morning with a visit to the Temples of Karnak. You will walk along the Avenue of Sphinx to enter the complex as your guide explains how the massive facade was constructed. On entering the Temples of Karnak, you will see each legacy left by the various pharaohs as the complex grew even larger. The deeper you go into the complex, the further back in time you will travel with the oldest ruins dating back over 3,000 years.
Walking through the Great Court into the Great Hypostyle Hall, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by the 134 columns towering above you like an ancient forest. At the rear of the complex, you will find the sacred lake where centuries ago pharaohs and their offerings to the Gods were purified.
You will continue to Luxor Temple which was once joined to the Temples of Karnak by a two-kilometer-long Avenue of Sphinx, a portion of which marks the entrance to the temple. Dominated by statues of the great warrior pharaoh Ramses II, Luxor Temple has survived Nile floods, foreign invasion, and thousands of years exposed to the elements. A pure Egyptian temple, the inner walls, and columns are decorated with intricate hieroglyphics which your guide will help you decipher. Find out how Alexander the Great wrote himself into Luxor Temple’s history and see one of the original pair of the obelisk, the second of which now stands on the Place de la Concorde in Paris.
In the afternoon after lunch, you will head onto Luxor Museum and Luxor Temple Sphinxes. One of Egypt’s best museums, Luxor Museum holds a beautifully exhibited collection from the local area that tells the story of ancient Thebes from the Old Kingdom right up to the Islamic Period. The museum’s prize possessions are the two Royal Mummies of Ahmose I and what is believed to be Ramses I in two rooms on the ground floor, which are worth a visit here alone. The upper floor has a dazzling display of amulets, silver bowls, grave and tomb furnishings, and votive tablets running across the middle of the floor space.
While here, check out the reliefs on the re-erected Wall of Akhenaten. The 283 sandstone blocks are covered with painted reliefs and originally belonged to Akhenaten’s Temple of the Sun at Karnak. An avenue of human-headed Sphinxes of over one and a half miles (three kilometers) once connected the temples of Karnak and Luxor. Your day finishes on the East Bank with some shopping in the markets and a sunset riverboat dinner where you will dine on traditional Egyptian cuisine to the backdrop of the Nile before returning to your guest house.
Today, the 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. Watch the farmers working in their fields just as their ancestors did use old traditions. After lunch, you will ride on into the desert and visit the Temple Medinet Habu, known as the shadow of the mountains of Thebes. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant and you will take the Nile route back enjoying plenty of exhilarating canters along the way. You will return to the stable late in the afternoon, allowing you some rest time by the pool ahead of the evening's celebrations.
The New Year's Eve celebrations start with an evening show at Karnak Temple. This fantastic one-hour show takes place at the great complex of Karnak Temples. The show begins as you walk along the avenue of Sphinx, stopping at the towering facade into the great court and the awesome hypostyle hall. Walking through the complex, a booming Pharaoh’s voice narrates the history of rulers shared in building the largest temple in Egypt, more than 2000 years history of construction and various additions left by rulers like; Tutankhamen, Ramses II, and Queen Hatshepsut, as well as the Greek and Roman rulers. After the show, you will have dinner at one of the stunning Egyptian restaurants. New Year is regarded as a big celebration so don’t be surprised if you end up dancing on the tables!
Today, you are in for a treat on a day sailing the Nile in a traditional felucca. You'll experience the peace and tranquillity of the Nile water that has been the lifeblood of Egypt since Pharaonic times. Enjoy a cool drink as you gently glide down the river. Watch the real Egyptian life pass by and enjoy the fantastic scenes that have not changed in millennia, the children playing in the water, the camels and donkeys, the farmers going to their work in the same ways they have done for centuries, and admire the water buffalo and a wide variety of birds.
The felucca will sail to the Banana Island, an island covered with banana plantations. The boat captain will berth the felucca off the island and take you on a short exploratory tour of the island where you’ll be offered a refreshing cup of traditional Egyptian tea and some of the sweetest, most delicious bananas you have ever tasted. Watch the sunset over ancient Thebes and discover the amazing view of the historical city. This is the perfect way to end a relaxing day.
This is the second of your tour days. Today, you will visit Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut Temple, and Colossi of Memnon. You’ll step back into Egypt’s ancient history at the Valley of the Kings and Hatshepsut Temple. You will also visit the necropolis of the ancient city of Thebes.
You will arrive at the Valley of the Kings, burial place of the kings of Thebes (ancient Luxor). If you wish to visit the tomb of King Tutankhamen, an additional cost is payable directly. Leaving the hot sands of the Valley of the Kings, you will visit the Temple of Hatshepsut, one of the most striking monuments in Egypt. Your guide will introduce you to the history of the temple and the story of Queen Hatshepsut, the famous female ruler of Egypt who posed as a male to gain the throne.
On a private guided tour, you will visit three tombs in the Valley of the Kings and another three tombs in the Valley of the Queens and the Colossi of Memnon. The Valley of the Kings is the most famous site in Luxor. The valley was the burial place of the pharaohs of the New Kingdom (1550 - 1070 BC). You will see three tombs of the most famous Pharaohs ruled Egypt from Luxor, such as the tomb of Ramses IV, Merenptah “son of Ramses II”, Thutmose III, the founder of the ancient Egyptian Empire tomb, Ramses III, Ramses I, Tausert and Setnakht, Seti II, and more. Here, you will also have a chance to visit the tomb of King Tutankhamen and Ramses V and VI.
After your tour here, you will continue to visit the Valley of the Queens, known as Ta-Set-Neferu “the place of beauty”. The valley served as a necropolis for the tombs of royal family members and the elite with about 90 tombs belonging to Queens and Princes of the New Kingdom (1550 - 1070 BC). You will proceed to the two Colossi of Memnon, the twin statues depict Amenhotep III in a seated position. His hands resting on his knees and his gaze facing eastwards towards the Nile River. Two shorter figures are carved into the front throne alongside his legs: these are his wife Tiy and mother Mutemwiya. Lunch will be provided at one of the local traditional restaurants.
This morning, you will have a sunrise call and a fabulous hot air balloon flight over Luxor West Bank and Nile River. You will see the sun rises over some of Egypt’s most famous ancient monuments on this exhilarating hot air Luxor balloon ride.
After early morning pickup, you will travel to the West Bank of the Nile River and board a shared balloon basket for a 30- to 45-minute flight. Then, as you ascend, behold the thrilling bird’s-eye views as the sunlight illuminates the temples and mountains below. Gaze down over Karnak, Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple, and other monuments and absorb the peaceful dawn.
During the hot-air balloon flight over Luxor, you will enjoy amazing sunrise aerial views of the River Nile, Karnak Temple, and Hatshepsut Temple and see the West Bank in the early morning away from the crowds and desert heat. The balloon flight includes an English-speaking guide/pilot and pre-flight snacks and refreshments.
After your morning trip, you will return to the guest house for breakfast and a few hours to relax by the pool. Ride Egypt will pick you up after lunch for a camel safari. Possibly on everyone’s to-do list when visiting Egypt is to ride a camel. This is an amazing three-hour trip across the farmlands and desert arriving at Hatshepsut Temple where you will stay for dinner at a favorite local restaurant.
This is the last riding day. Today takes you into 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. Witness the kaleidoscope of oranges and red from horseback at the end of another beautiful day.
Today will be a travel day back to your home.
This fantastic new years adventure takes you on a colorful and vibrate tour of Luxor in Egypt. Luxor stands head-and-shoulders above Egypt’s other towns for its sheer wealth of temples and tombs. Luxor is an open-air museum and there’s no better place in Egypt to stop for a few days and simply lose yourself in the wonders of the ancient world. Egyptian life is wonderful and Ride Egypt is delighted to invite you to come and explore it with them.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided on riding holidays. Soft drinks and alcohol are payable locally.
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