Hot Air Balloon in Luxor - Everything You Should Know

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Located on the eastern bank of the River Nile, Luxor is a city fraught with history. And there is perhaps no better way to view its historical, cultural, social and physical landscapes than taking a ride up a hot air balloon! From up in the clouds, the city spans below in myriad shapes and colours, laying open a stunning view of an ancient civilization. The hot air balloon rides in Luxor are open all throughout the year. But the early morning rides are the most beautiful and fantastic. Various tour operators are available that can be booked both offline and online. But what can one expect from a hot air balloon ride? How safe are they, how much do they cost etc.? Let’s find out!

Location of Hot Air Balloon Rides in Luxor

All hot air balloons take off from the western bank of the River Nile near the Valley of the Kings. No matter which tour you book, transfer from the hotel to the hot air balloon ride location is included in the package. If your hotel is on the eastern end of the Nile, the pickup includes a ride to the river and a cruise ride across the Nile. Another vehicle then takes the passengers from the river bank to the actual hot air balloon take-off location. The ride from the river to the take-off point takes approximately 15 minutes.

About Hot Air Balloon

Hot Air Balloon over Medinat Habu, Luxor
Hot Air Balloon over Medinat Habu (Source)
Each balloon allows 15-20 people on board, along with a guide and an experienced pilot. There are 6-8 compartments inside the basket, and passengers are spread across them evenly to adjust the load.

The ground staff help people board the balloon, which can be a task considering the basket's walls are relatively high. Children are just picked up and put into the basket, whereas adults need to climb over. Also, children usually have no age limit; however, young children must be accompanied by adults. Besides, the height of the child is relevant, as younger kids who are short might be unable to see the views below.

The hot air balloon reaches a height of about 1500 feet in the first few minutes of takeoff itself.

Cost and Duration of Hot Air Balloon Ride in Luxor

The Hot Air Balloon rides in Luxor are extremely affordable and perhaps one of the lowest rates when compared to other destinations in the world. The price ranges between $75- $150, and the ride lasts for around 45 minutes to an hour.

Hot Air Balloon Tours

Sunrise In Hot Air Balloon
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There are several tour companies that arrange and manage hot air balloon rides in Luxor. It is advisable to book tickets directly from the company, either online or by visiting their office.

Services offered:
  • The tour operators offer pick-and-drop services from the hotel to the hot air balloon take-off sight and back.
  • Most companies provide a light meal before boarding the hot air balloon. This might include tea/coffee and some snacks in the van or cruise that take passengers to the takeoff sight.
  • Operators also provide a flight certificate to those who complete the hot air balloon ride. This is a great token of appreciation to keep at hand!
  • Each balloon also usually has an experienced guide who explains the tourist attractions seen below.

Hot Air Balloon Tour Operators in Luxor

Tour Operators
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Here are some of the tour operators that you can choose from to book your hot air balloon ride:

1. HodHod Soliman Hot Air Balloon
Address: Omar Ali Street, Television Street, Luxor
Ph: 00201222222811
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://hodhodsolimanballoons.com/contact/
2. Sindbad Hot Air Balloons
Address: 37, Abdel Hamed El-Omda Street, off Television Street, Luxor
Ph: 0020952270437, 0020952272960
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://www.sindbadballoons.com/Contact-Us.php
3. Egypt Tours Portal
Ph: 00201004051515
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://www.egypttoursportal.com/en-in/egypt-day-trips/luxor-tours/luxor-hot-air-balloon-ride/ 
4. Magic Horizon Balloons
Address: Khaled Ibn Al Walid, Luxor
Ph: 00201005688439
Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.visitluxorinhotairballoon.com/
5. Sunrise Ballooning
Address: Television, Gazirat Al Awameyah, Luxor
Ph: 00201007027158
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://sunriseballooningluxor.com/
6. Emo Tours Egypt
Ph: 00201223471972
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://www.emotoursegypt.com/en
7. Red Sea Reisen
Ph: 00201024675805
Email: i[email protected]
Website: https://www.redseareisen.com/
8. ETL Travel
Ph: 00201211688884
Website: https://www.etltravel.com/egypt-tours-contact/
9. Holiday Tours
Ph: 0020225905289
Email: [email protected]
Website: https://holidaytours.one/
10. Civitatis
Website: https://www.civitatis.com/en/luxor/luxor-hot-air-balloon/

Hot Air Balloon Experience in Luxor - Things to See from the Top

View From Above Hot Air Balloon
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Once in the air, there are several delightful sights to watch from above. There is a reason why the early morning hot air balloon rides are highly sought after and recommended. Not only are the city attractions visible from above, but the first rays of the sun and its tantalizing effect are amazingly memorable and beautiful.

Here are some of the things to look forward to once you are up in the hot air balloon.

The Theban Necropolis

The Theban Necropolis
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The Theban Necropolis is where the burial and death rituals of the rulers of the New Kingdom were conducted. One can view the various monuments and sights within the Theban Necropolis from the hot air balloon.

The Valley of the Kings

The Valley of the Kings lies in the heart of the Theban Necropolis and was the resting place of the New Kingdom Egyptian rulers for around 500 years. With a total of 63 tombs that include the legendary tombs of Tutankhamun and Rameses III, the Valley of the Kings is Luxor’s most important tourist attraction. And the view of it from above is even better as the rock tombs lie tucked away amongst the rising mountains.

The Valley of the Queens

Just like the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens is a feast for the eyes from up in the air. The landscape looks anew when seen from above instead of from the ground. The Valley of the Queens is the final resting place for the queens of the New Kingdom and is home to more than 90 tombs in total. Located at the foot of Theban Hill, the most popular tomb is that of Nefertari, the first wife of Rameses II.

Colossi of Memnon

Colossi of Memnon
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Two huge statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III that stand in front of the Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep III look majestic from the ground. However, a bird's eye view of these gigantic structures is worth a good look, for it is not only awe-inspiring but gives a relative sense of the magnitude and massiveness of the statues. Some of the other attractions inside the Theban Necropolis that can be viewed clearly from above include the Medinet Habu (temple and palace of Rameses III), Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, Deir el-Bahari, Mortuary Temple of Seti I, Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple and more.

The River Nile

On River Nile
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When in Egypt, it is impossible to escape the magnificence of the River Nile. A view of this river from the hot air balloon will bring a smile to your face as you watch it flow and curve. You might also spot some boats, fishing etc., on the river from up above. However, the colours of the sun's rays and the shine of the light on the surface of its water make the Nile look glorious in the early morning hours.

The Sunrise

There is no doubt that a view of the sun rising from no matter where is always a wonderful sight to behold. Now imagine watching the sun rise from the hot air balloon, and there is no surprise if you have goosebumps!  The view of the rising sun from an elevated vantage point is amazing, and watching the rays of light spread in different hues across the vast sky is nothing short of magical.

Besides, the hot air balloon ride also brings several lighter viewing moments. People waving from below, the green fields swaying in the wind, the dugout agricultural lands, buildings, homes, vehicles – all of these have a charm of their own that is enjoyed from watching them from up in the air.

Best Time for Hot Air Balloon Ride

The hot air balloon rides are available all throughout the year. The peak season for tourists in Egypt is from September to April. During these months, there are large crowds, and the rates for hot air balloon rides may also increase. However, since early morning rides are the best, the variation in temperatures is not much, no matter the season or time of the year. 

Safety Rules & Regulations

Hot Air Balloon Are Safe
Source
The hot air balloon rides in Luxor are quite safe. The tour companies take the required precautionary and safety measures to ensure a safe ride. Before the commencement of the ride, there is a brief security briefing where visitors are shown basic safety precautions and actions to undertake during any emergency. The pilots are highly experienced and well-trained.

Several men of the ground staff hold the basket on the ground until all the passengers have boarded and the pilot gives the go-ahead for takeoff. Similarly, on landing, the pilot waits for the right spot to land. This might take a while, and the ground crew is often seen running to keep pace with the hot air balloon slowly making descent towards the ground. The ground staff again holds the basket until all passengers are safely on the ground.

Most importantly, there are times when the hot air balloon rides are delayed or cancelled due to bad weather. This might be a disappointment but, in fact, is a good sign that the tour companies are cognizant of safety measures. Bad weather, strong winds etc., can act as deterrents to the safe takeoff and landing of the hot air balloon.

Tips

  • There are many flights every day so make sure to book an early morning hot air balloon ride. You do not want to miss the sunrise from the balloon!
  • The only downside of the early morning hot air balloon ride is that you have to get up really early. Pick-up may be as early as 3:30 – 4:00 AM, depending on the time of sunrise.
  • Make sure to book the hot air balloon ride in advance, especially during peak tourist season. Book the ticket directly from the tour company. Do not depend on any middle agents or resellers.
  • Strictly photography is not allowed inside the hot air balloon. However, in Egypt, some rules can be bent without much hassle.
  • Though carrying a large camera is not recommended, you can speak to your operator and manage to squeeze in a small camera. The phone would work best.
  • Carry a small bag with all your essential requirements, such as water, light snacking, hat, sunglasses, phone and identification documents.
  • Early mornings there might be a slight chill in the air. Carry a shawl or light jacket to cover yourself during the ride. However, the fire inside the balloon will balance the temperatures, so do not carry something too heavy.
  • Do not ride the hot air balloon if there is bad weather. The tour companies do delay or cancel the rides. However, if you are not too sure about the weather conditions, you should ride the balloon another day.
  • Booking a hot air balloon ride for the next day is best as soon as you arrive in the city. This gives leeway if any flights are cancelled due to bad weather.
  • Landing may take longer than you imagine. It is very common for the pilot to hover over the ground for a few minutes, with the ground staff following before the hot air balloon lands. Do not panic, as this is a common practice.
  • It is not a bad idea to tip the ground staff crew. They help in boarding and landing, and tipping them a bit can make their day.
  • Usually, motion sickness is not a problem in a hot air balloon ride. Even if you are prone to feeling sick, the chances of feeling nauseated in the balloon are minimal.
  • There are many balloons that depart, so do not be surprised to find the sky dotted with other hot air balloons as well.
A hot air balloon ride is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. And Luxor trumps the list of destinations that offer fascinating hot air balloon rides for multiple reasons. The rides are reasonably priced, safe and comfortable. Coupled with it are the beautiful views of the city below and interestingly, the beauty of Luxor is a wonderful combination of its past and present. For all those seeking some adventure that is affordable, unique and meaningful - a hot air balloon ride in Luxor is the way to go.

This post was published by Tasneem

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