Day 1: Travel Day. Arrive in Luxor, transfer to your guest house on the West Bank, Villa Nile House.
Day 2: After breakfast you will travel by Tuk Tuk to the stables on the West Bank. Our first day is a fabulous introduction to our horses and Bedouin Life. This is a half day ride through the villages on horseback under the palm trees along to 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.
This fantastic New Years Adventure takes us on a colourful and vibrate tour of Luxor. 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 we are delighted to invite you to come and explore it with us.
In this handmade holiday you will find 2 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. Our 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 our forefathers. Visit the Bedouin villages, gallop through the banana plantations and along the lush green banks of the Nile! There is also a camel safari included which is a must when in Egypt!
In the afternoon we will take a motorboat and cross to the East Bank. Here we 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. 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 BBQ at our 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 3: The first of our 2 extensive sight seeing day tours starts in the morning with a visit to the Temples of Karnak. 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.
Continue to Luxor Temple which was once joined to the Temples of Karnak by a two-kilometre 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 obelisk, the second of which now stands on the Place de la Concorde in Paris.
In the afternoon after lunch we 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 (3 km) once connected the temples of Karnak and Luxor.
Our day finishes on the East Bank with some shopping in the markets and a sunset river boat dinner where you will dine on traditional Egyptian cuisine to the backdrop of the Nile before returning to your guest house.
Day 4: NEW YEARS EVE – Ride Day. Today our riding takes us 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 using old traditions.
After lunch we 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 we will take the Nile route back enjoying plenty of exhilarating canters along the way! We will return to the stable late afternoon allowing you some rest time by the pool ahead of the evenings celebrations.
Our NYE celebrations start with an evening show at Karnak Temple. This fantastic 1 hour show 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 and the Greek and Roman rulers as well.
After our show we 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!
Day 5: NEW YEARS DAY – Sailing the Nile. Today we are in for a treat! A day sailing the Nile in a traditional felucca. 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 about 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 sun set over ancient Thebes and discover the amazing view of the historical city. The perfect way to end a relaxing day.
Day 6: The second of our tour days. Today we 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’ll visit the necropolis of the ancient city of Thebes.
Arriving 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 direct. 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, visit 3 tombs in the Valley of the Kings and another 3 tombs in the Valley of the Queens and the Colossi of Memnon. The Valley of the Kings, The most famous site in Luxor. The Valley was the burial palace of the pharaohs of the New Kingdom (1550 – 1070 BC), you will see 3 tombs of the most famous Pharaohs ruled Egypt from Luxor, Like The tomb of Ramses IV, Merenptah “son of Ramses II” Tomb, Thutmose III, the founder of the ancient Egyptian Empire tomb, the tomb of Ramses III, Ramses I, Tomb of Tausert and Setnakht, Seti II and more. Here also you will have a chance to visit the tomb of king Tutankhamen & Ramses V&VI .
After our tour here, we 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). 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.
Day 7: This morning we have a sunrise call and a fabulous Hot Air Balloon Flight Over Luxor West Bank and Nile River. See the sun rise over some of Egypt’s most famous ancient monuments on this exhilarating hot air Luxor balloon ride.
After early morning pickup, 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.
- Hot-air balloon flight over Luxor
- Amazing sunrise aerial views of the River Nile, Karnak Temple and Hatshepsut Temple
- See the West Bank in the early morning away from the crowds and desert heat
- English-speaking guide/pilot
- Pre-flight snacks and refreshments
After our morning trip we will return to the guest house for breakfast and a few hours to relax by the pool. We 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 3 hour trip across the farmlands and desert arriving at Hatshepsut Temple where we will stay for dinner at a favourite local restaurant.
Day 8: Ride Day. Our last riding day! Today takes us into the beautiful desert, mountains and sand dunes for an exhilarating day in the saddle! During the morning we 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 our visit we 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.
Day 9: Travel Day
Villa Nile House is a quirky charming guest house with outstanding service. Built in an oriental style with 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 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 celebrate 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.
Egypt Air- £394 return (price correct as of September 2016)
28th Dec: London Heathrow – Luxor
5th Jan: Luxor – London Heathrow
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