If riding a hot air balloon is on your bucket list, imagine doing it while watching the sunrise over the ancient valley of the kings in Luxor. This unmissable experience is the one that you simply can’t miss in Egypt. Why? It’s magical where else would you float over Queen’s Hatshepsut’s temple? Not only that, but it’s super cheap too. Probably, cheaper than any air balloon ride you’d ever take. In this post, I’ll try to sum up everything you need to know about hot air balloon rides in Luxor while sharing my own experience.
The Usual itinerary
The pick up
There are dozens of companies that operate hot air balloon rides in Luxor, and they all offer a pretty similar experience, Firstly, they will pick you up around 3:30 am from your hotel or cruise ship. The riding happens from the west bank of the Nile river. However, most hotels are located on the east bank; that means unless your hotel is on the west bank you will first cross the Nile in a felucca. you will probably also be offered a light breakfast depending on your package. Then, you’ll take a minivan or a bus to the take-off location where the balloons will be getting ready for your adventure.
Watching tens of air balloons getting inflated is in itself a fun experience, specially when it’s done write before the sunrise. It’s like watching huge Chinese sky lanterns
When your balloon is ready, you’ll then get in, where your Captain will explain to you how’s the trip is going to be like. He will also rehearse with your position during the landing. Finally, you’ll ride will actually start. You’ll be floating close to land first, and then your captain will take you higher to witness a magnificent unforgettable view. That’s definitely worth waking up at 3 am!. We also enjoyed chatting with the captain and he told us all about his training, which he did in England.
The wind direction will determine your landing spot. You might end up landing on a sugar cane field or in the desert you won’t really know. Either way, the land crew will handle all of that. Lastly, your company will pick you again from where you landed and drive you home. They will also give you your certificate ( it’s not really a certificate though but just nice memorabilia).
Quick Facts and Tips For a Perfect Ride
It’s very cheap
You can get a ride for as low as $60 and it shouldn’t cost you more than $150 per person, which is really cheap when you compare it to other countries.
How to book a hot air balloon ride in Luxor
You can either ask your travel agent or your hotel or cruse ship front desk if they have an arrangement with one of the companies. You can also contact the companies directly on TripAdvisor. There are tens of them. compare the packages and the prices and choose what suites you best.
Hot air balloon rides in Luxor are usually from 45 minutes to an hour. Sometimes, a little over an hour.]
Hundreds of people, including children, do this ride every day in Luxor. Yes, there has been an accident before. However, compare it to the actual number of successful trips going every day and it will be close to nothing. You’ll be safer in a balloon than in a car.
You are not allowed to carry a professional camera with you because there’s a military base nearby . One of the tourists in our group had one and he had to leave it in the van. Some people hide their cameras when close to land and use it while flying but I don’t think it’s worth getting in trouble. You can take amazing photos with your phone and don’t forget your selfie stick because you’ll need it.
What to wear in a hot air balloon ride
The nights in Luxor in winter could be chilly especially if you’re riding a felucca in the Nile. So, bring a scarf or a light jacket for the way from your hotel to the balloon. The ride it self will be nice and a bit warmer.
How many of us will fit into the basket ?
The basket is usually divided into 5 sections. The one on the center is dedicated to the pilot. The other four sections on the other hand are for the riders. make sure there are no more than 5 or 6 people in each section so it’s not too crowded and you can enjoy the view and take selfies.
Make sure it’s a sunrise ride
They are a little bit more expensive but they are worth every penny. Make sure while booking that this is the trip you’ll be getting.
If I only have one day in Luxor, I’ll do that ride again without hesitation. Our family loved every minute of it and it was the best morning we had in Luxor.