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A trip through Egypt is one of the most beautiful and amazing trips you are likely to make in your life and although this country is known for the wonderful beaches in Hurghada and the Pyramids of Giza there are many other adventures that you have to experience.
One of the best things to do in Luxor and which was on my bucket list for a long time is hot air ballooning in Luxor with sunrise as you’ll float over a unique and famous landmark in Egypt, the Valley of the Kings, the burying grounds of the Pharaohs.
However, you are likely to see a beautiful sunrise, and once back on Egyptian soil, you can visit the Tombs of the Valley of the Kings or explore the many other temples along the Nile River during a Nile River Cruise.
In this article, I will tell you more about how you can book a hot air balloon ride yourself, what you can expect, how much it costs, and my personal experience, including inspiring photos of the experience.
READ ALSO: The perfect 2 weeks in Egypt itinerary
How to get to Luxor?
Depending on which way you prefer to travel you can easily reach Luxor in Egypt with different types of transport. A flight from Cairo is probably the fastest way while the train is much cheaper but it takes a lot longer to get there.
Here are a few options on how to get to Luxor in Egypt.
BY FLIGHT: Domestic flights from Cairo to Luxor are running daily every hour and cost about EGP 2500 (US$100) for a one-way ticket that will take you in 60 minutes there.
BY TRAIN: The train is very popular in Egypt as it is ridiculously cheap and convenient. It is easy to go from Cairo or Giza to Luxor, which will cost about EGP 250-400 (US$10-15) per person and takes 10 hours.
However, you can book a night sleeping train where you can book a shared cabin or a single cabin with a bunk bed between EGP 2000-3000 (US$80-120) per person.
The train departs around 7 PM and arrives at 6 AM and tickets can only be purchased at the station. If you have a guide, they can help you to book the tickets for you.
BY BUS: It’s possible to travel by bus from many cities in Egypt to Luxor. I traveled by GO-BUS from Hurghada to Luxor and it is very comfortable as you get your own seat with a video player and USB charger if you book the Elite Class for only EGP 260 (US$ 10).
BY CAR: Traveling around Egypt by car is possible, although I wouldn’t recommend it if you are not familiar with or comfortable driving in hectic traffic. The way of driving in Egypt is different than in most European countries.
If you decide to rent a car, consider having good insurance and coverage in case something happens.
Where to stay in Luxor?
You should spend at least a few nights in Luxor if you intend to see the many ancient temples and landmarks Egypt is famous for.
During my trip to Luxor, I stayed on board the Le Fayan Nile Cruise and joined this incredible once-in-a-lifetime experience on the morning of the second day as you have to get up early.
The hot air balloons in Luxor depart from the West Bank, however, every hot air balloon company or travel agency offers a transfer included in the package to the take-off zone, so it doesn’t matter where you stay in Luxor.
READ ALSO: 18 x best hotels in Egypt
What can you expect?
Your Itinerary for Egypt should definitely include a stop in Luxor, as it is arguably the most stunning destination in the country. The Nile River divides the city in two, making it more challenging to figure out the best hotels in Luxor.
Although the city itself can be found on the East Bank of the Nile, most of the city’s highlights and hotels can be found on the West Bank. As I stayed at the Le Fayan Nile River Cruise, which is docked at the East Bank, I explored all the temples and sights from there.
If you decided not to join a Luxor to Aswan cruise, I do recommend spending a few days in this fascinating place, allowing enough time to see all of the incredible temples that Luxor has to offer.
How much does a hot air balloon ride cost?
When you are visiting Luxor you should not miss this bucket-list experience as it is one of the best things to do in Egypt.
People are often shocked when they see the prices of a hot air balloon ride, but this adventure in Egypt is one of the cheapest hot air balloon rides in the world.
You can already join a sunrise hot air balloon ride in Luxor for €80 per person and enjoy the impressive ruins and temples of the Valley of the Kings from a bird’s perspective!
Please note that you definitely book a sunrise balloon flight as some cheaper priced flights are not during sunrise and this will make your experience even more unforgettable.
How to book a hot air balloon ride in Luxor?
If you are interested in booking a hot air balloon ride in Luxor, you have a few different options to choose from.
The best option is to book a hot air balloon ride in advance because it is very popular and, despite the fact that there are 20-25 balloons departing, these are frequently fully booked.
Even though you can book a balloon flight through a local travel agency if you decide to explore Luxor on your own, I would recommend going with a trusted and verified company.
Do some research online where you often can find better deals, read reviews from other travelers, and ask questions in English.
During my trip from Luxor to Aswan aboard Le Fayan, I hired a tour guide for 5 days including transfers and entrance tickets to many different temples and famous landmarks in Egypt but it did not include a hot air balloon ride and a visit to Abu Simbel.
Although, I definitely did not want to miss out on the balloon ride in Luxor or the trip to Abu Simbel, so I added them to my Egypt itinerary.
Good to know before a hot air balloon ride
Before you plan to join a hot air balloon in Luxor there are a few things you need to know, which will make it easier or more pleasant during your experience.
- Hot air ballooning in Luxor is affordable and among the cheapest balloon adventures in the world
- A certified pilot will fly the balloon
- it’s not recommended for people with a fear of heights
- Every hot air balloon company or travel agency offers a hotel transfer included in the package
- The hot air balloon flights depart before sunrise so you’ll need to walk up early
- Bring a jacket or sweater as it gets cold in the air
- you fly over some of the most remarkable and famous landmarks in Egypt such as the Valley of the Kings and The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
- There are many balloons departing every day at the same spot
- Make sure you book a ‘sunrise’ hot air balloon flight to experience the best views
- The landing can be intense and the basket can tip over
- If the weather is not suitable, the balloon ride will be canceled
A sunrise hot air balloon ride in Luxor
This was going to be a very memorable experience for me, and I couldn’t wait. A sunrise flight in a hot air balloon over some of the most stunning and impressive temples in Egypt.
Around 3 AM they picked us up from the promenade where Le Fayan was moored as I joined this amazing Nile Cruise and booked the hot air balloon as an extra activity.
After taking a small boat to cross the river, we took a minivan to the location where the balloons would take off.
The pilot introduced himself and gave an extensive safety speech before announcing that the flight may be canceled due to unfavorable weather conditions.
That was not the news we hoped for although, we still had to wait for the approval of the air traffic control tower. Luckily after 40 minutes, we received the signal to depart.
The staff inflated the balloons pretty fast, and ours was among the first to fly into the air.
During the flight
As the sun begins to rise on the horizon, we are slowly ascending to an altitude of 1500ft. above the valley of the kings. In the distance, we can make out the Hatshepsut Temple and the Memnon colossi.
We ascend a bit more to an altitude of 3,000 ft and the pilot starts explaining about the ancient temples and other religious landmarks we could see below. It was the perfect moment to make beautiful photos and admire the stunning views.
There are no words to describe the sensation of floating through the air in a woven basket with fourteen other people underneath a hot air balloon as there is no cabin pressure like there is in an airplane so you experience true weightlessness.
After 45 minutes of wandering through the sky and soaking in the breathtaking views of the Nile River, the balloon makes its descent back to the ground.
The landing and after the flight
As soon as the landing started, we held on tightly to the basket because during landing the basket could tip over depending on the weather conditions.
The landing was perfect, and the basket didn’t fall over. Even though our flight was delayed because of bad weather, we were still able to enjoy this wonderful experience.
Once on the ground, the crew was ready to tighten the ropes and get us safely out of the basket.
in no time the balloon was deflated and we returned to the banks of the Nile in a pickup. there we took another small local boat to the other side where Le Fayan was moored.
READ ALSO: 8 best things to do in Luxor Egypt
I truly believe that a balloon ride over Luxor is an experience that cannot be missed on your Egypt itinerary and hope that this article has inspired you to join one.
If you have any questions or if something in this blog post is unclear, please let me know in the comments.
Save these pins for later
Plan a sunrise hot air balloon ride in Luxor with my favorite travel apps
To plan my adventures, I use these FREE websites and apps as they provide the best information, the best deals, and they are user-friendly.
- Trip – Flight deals
- Booking.com – Hotels and accommodation
- TourRadar – Group trips
- TripAdvisor – Reviews and activities
- HostelWorld – Hostels
- GetYourGuide – Activities and excursions
- RentalCars – Car rental
- Omio – Transport
- iVisa – Travel documents
- Wise – Money transfer
- InsuredNomads – Travel Insurance
PICTURES AND EDITING
All the pictures on this page are made and owned by me. If you are interested in some pictures to use for your magazine, website, blog, or any other purpose, just send me an email and we’ll figure it out.
Do you like the edits? My Presets will be online soon so you can edit your pictures in just one click!
The camera gear I used for this trip
I never go out without my camera and many people ask me which gear I use. So to make it quite easy, I listed all the gear I used for this trip below.
Most of the time, I travel with the Sony A7III and the Sony 24-105mm/f4 as my primary lens but depending on the location, I change to another setup. However, I love the Tamron 17-28 to shoot in the big cities.