The ideal break for families or groups of intermediate riders who want time to relax pool side or travelling with non riding companions, this destination offers luxury 5 star hotel accommodation alongside beach and desert rides on spirited Arab horses. You'll explore the landscape of the Eastern Desert in the Egyptian hinterland, far from the tourist centres and fit in plenty of beach gallops along the shoreline of the Red Sea. You'll be mainly riding at sunrise or sunset, both of which offer spectacular views. With guaranteed sun year-round, this holiday is perfect for families or those with non-riding companions as a whole host of other activities can be arranged from diving, snorkelling and parasailing to beach volleyball, to fishing and bike tours there's no shortage of activities.

The programme also gives you the chance to try your hand at camel riding and includes both a full day boat trip to the white beach of Mahmya, which offers fantastic snorkelling and diving opportunities and a city tour.  Accommodation is provided by a 5-star hotel directly on the beach. The hotel offers a huge array of facilities including 3 restaurants with a large outdoor dining area, various bars, 2 heated outdoor pools, a fully-equipped spa, a gym, various shops, and free WiFi in the lobby and pool area.

As well as riding you can relax on the beach and enjoy the weather or take part in other activities such as diving, fishing or walking. This is the perfect holiday for those who want shorter hours in the saddle, luxury accommodation and the opportunity to take part in other activities or simply relax in the sun.

Please Note: The opinions expressed in these reviews are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Unicorn Trails Ltd. These reviews are "directly from the horses mouth" and unedited. Unicorn Trails may make additional comments for clarification clearly identified in red.

Review received from JB of Adliswil on 23/10/2022

Ride Summary
Excellent accommodation, wonderful hosts. Horses were beautifully cared for, hot and fun. Guenda was the perfect host, and we loved meeting all the rescue dogs and learning about their good work. Big thanks also to Elizabeth for all her help and excellent company.
What was your overall impression of the holiday
Overall impression
Unicorn Trails sales staff

Riding tour leader

Additional Comments
Horses and Tack

Additional Comments
Meals

Accommodation

Miscellaneous

Was this trip accurately described to you beforehand?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
Was there anything you should have known and were not told? NO
Please give more details to explain your response:
What could we do to improve this ride?
How would you rate the difficulty of this ride out of 10 where 1 is very easy and 10 is very advanced?
8
Please explain why you scored it as you did:
The horses are hot and fit. Great fun for experienced riders. They were never nasty (no bucking, etc).
Would you recommend Unicorn Trails to your friends?
YES
Please give more details to explain your response:
May we use you as a reference for other people wishing to go on this ride?
NO
Any other comments:
Unicorn comments: Thank you for your feedback. Glad you had a great time! :)

SAMPLE ITINERARY - RIDE & RELAX

Day 1
Arrive in Hurghada Airport where your hosts will meet you and drive you to your hotel. Enjoy a welcoming cocktail and then your holiday begins.

Day 2
Free morning to relax around the pool, after lunch your car will collect you to travel to meet your hosts and the horses at the stables. Enjoy an introductory 2 hrs sunset ride in the desert.

Day 3
A full day ride into the desert through breathtaking scenery. You will visit a Bedouin camp and enjoy a typical Bedouin lunch. After your lunch take a ride on a camel before riding back to the stable (approx. 5 hrs riding).

Day 4
Enjoy a full day trip on a Diving Boat, with 2 stops for snorkelling, 1 hr stop on the beach and enjoy lunch on board the boat (snorkeling equipment, lunch, soft drink, coffee and tea included). 

Day 5
Today you will have a morning beach ride with the possibility to swim with horses (weather permitting). After your ride you will be dropped back to the hotel for lunch and the afternoon is free to enjoy at your leisure.

Day 6
Final sunrise desert ride, back to the hotel in time for your last relaxing day.

Day 7
Departure Day. Checkout from hotel & transfer to Hurghada International Airport.

 

Non Rider Options

"Relax" include 7 nights accommodation, full board, airport transfers a full day boat trip.

''Adventure' includes the Relax package plus a Private Wrangler Jeep deep desert ride where you will join your riding partner for a Bedouin lunch and camel ride.

"Bike Extreme" includes the Relax package plus a biking adventure in the desert riding Enduro Bikes suitable for experienced bikers. Includes 2 ½  to 3 hours riding (depending on experience), you will cover 100km in the desert crossing all terrain from soft sand to rocks. 2 drink breaks included. Safety equipment is provided. This will be taken on the riders full ride day.

 

SAMPLE ITINERARY - GHOST CITY RIDE

Day 1
Arrive in Hurghada Airport where your hosts will meet you and drive you to your hotel. Enjoy a welcoming cocktail and then your holiday begins.

Day 2
Free morning to relax around the pool, after lunch your car will collect you to travel to meet your hosts and the horses at the stables. Enjoy an introductory 2 hrs sunset ride in the desert.

Day 3
A full day ride into the desert through breathtaking scenery. You will visit a Bedouin camp and enjoy a typical Bedouin lunch. After your lunch take a ride on a camel before riding back to the stable (approx. 5 hrs riding).

Day 4
Enjoy a full day trip to the Natural Dolphin House, with stops for snorkeling, and if you are lucky enogh to see or even swim with the dolphin. lunch on board (snorkeling equipmet, luch, soft drink , coffe and tea included).

Day 5
You will be picked up from your hotel in the late morning. Then you will be transferred to the starting point where you will find your horse ready to start the visit to a natural water spring in the heart of mountains, riding through valleys and sand canyons on the way to Ghost City. Once we reach the panorama view on a high mountain, we will have the view of the whole city. You will ride through the he Ghost City and its historical places such as old mosque, houses, schools, shops, hospital, the British engineer house and phosphate mines. Back to the camp for a dinner under the stars. You will be transferred back to your hotel at around 19:00.

Day 6
Today you will have a morning beach ride with the possibility to swim with horses (weather permitting). After your ride you will be dropped back to the hotel in time for your last relaxing day.

Day 7
Departure Day. Checkout from hotel & transfer to Hurghada International Airport.

Please note this itinerary is for maximum of 4 riders.

Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.

Horses & Riding

You will experience the thrill of riding the fantastic Egyptian corssed Arab horses called "Baladi" which combine warm blood with a more resistant body.  The horses range in size from 145cm to 160cm.

They are docile and patient with beginners as well as always ready to gallop "like the wind" with more experienced riders! Up to three/five hours per day are spent on horseback and the riding takes place either at sunrise or sunset in order to avoid the hottest part of the day.

The guides are European and speak English.

The tack used is English style. 

Riding helmets are compulsory and can be borrowed if required. 

Years of experience and passion for horses has brought our hosts to evolve and become the biggest in the Red Sea. The stable is managed in European style paying special attention to safety. This is one of the reasons why all their activities, from lessons to excursions, are custom-made to suit the clients needs.


Rider requirements

Riders must be confident and secure at all paces and have experience of riding out. The horses are lively and forward going and some are of a young age. Riders should be comfortable both sitting and standing at all paces (rising in trot). Horses will be groomed and tacked up but riders are welcome to groom and tack up if they wish.
Riding helmets are compulsory, we recommend you bring your own but there are some on site to borrow although these may not be of the same standard.
Children from 12 years old are welcome and must be accompanied by an adult.

Weight Limit

The weight limit for this ride is 198 lb/90 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.

You'll be staying in a 5 star hotel on an all inclusive board (local alchool included)



Old Palace Resort - located in the exclusive Sahl Hasheesh district, only 18 south of Hurghada Airport and a 20 minute drive to the city. Tugged behind high Red Desert Mountains, the Resort is within a walking distance from the Old Town and sets right on the 12 KM promenade connecting together the various beach areas on that seemingly endless stretch of white sand. It boasts a 200 meter long, sandy beach with effortless access to the crystal-clear turquoise water of the Red Sea. This 5-star resort offers spacious rooms with a balcony overlooking the pool, gardens or Red Sea. The resort's bright rooms have a satellite TV, a safety deposit box and a minibar. Some rooms include a separate seating area. The bathroom comes with a hairdryer, shower, and tub. 



The main restaurant serves International Cuisine in addition to 2 a la carte restaurants serving Italian and Brazilian Cuisine plus 24 hours room service. The resort also has 4 bars and a night club. 

Old Palace Resort has a heated outdoor pool and hot tub. It boasts a kids club, a health club and a water sports center. It also includes as a multilingual animation team offering entertainment around the clock.


Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.

Documents - Visa and Consulate Info

Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip.

NB: Be sure to check the COVID status of the country you plan to visit including entry procedures and requirements while travelling.

When visiting Egypt your passport should be valid for 6 months from the date you arrive.

You can get a visa before you travel from the official Visa2Egypt portal or your nearest Egyptian consulate. A tourist visa granted using the e-visa system is valid for a maximum of 3 months. It is advisable to get a visa before you travel, particularly if travelling for work or business.

If you wish to get a visa on arrival, you can do so at approved bank kiosks within airport arrival halls, before reaching immigration counters. The visa fee is US$25, payable in US dollars as the preferred currency, although you may also be able to pay in pounds sterling or Euros. Visas granted on arrival are valid for a maximum of 30 days. There’s no need to buy a visa from an agent. In many cases agents will charge more than US$25 for a visa. If you’re harassed by an agent, report the incident to the tourist police in the airport terminal.

Passport and Visa requirements can change regularly depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country.
Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate should you need a visa.

In the UK the British Foreign Office gives advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/egypt

In the US: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Egypt.html

In Canada: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/egypt

Climate Summary

In Hurghada, the climate is subtropical desert, with mild winters and hot summers. The average temperature ranges from 16 °C (61 °F) in January and February to 31 °C (88 °F) in July and August. Precipitation is very low, and amounts to a few millimetres per year: in practice it never rains. In winter, the temperatures are very mild, and the sky is usually clear. The rains are very rare also in this season. Every now and then, a bit of cold air can comes in the area, lowering the night temperatures below 5 °C (41 °F), from December to February and more rarely in March. Spring is pleasantly warm at the beginning, ie in March, it becomes hot in April, when it's similar to the Mediterranean summer, while by May the heat is intense. Summer, from mid-May to September, is very hot, with high temperatures and the sun always shining. It's true that this season is windy enough, and the air is usually dry, especially on hotter days, but the heat is felt, and sometimes the temperature exceeds 40 °C (104 °F), with peaks of 45 °C (113 °F). Autumn, in October and November, is warm and sunny; sometimes in early October the heat is still intense, then the temperature decreases gradually. In Hurghada, clear skies are the norm, so the sun shines all year round. However, at times the sun can be obscured by sandstorms, while cloud banks can sometimes pass over the area between November and February.

Climate Chart

Health

COVID: Be sure to check the latest COVID regulations for travelling in any country you visit.

Tap water is NOT considered safe to drink, bottled water is widely available and reasonably priced. Bilharzia and water-borne parasites are rife in the canals and under no circumstances should guests bathe or swim in the canals or rivers.

Travellers should come prepared for heat particularly from April to October. High Factor sunscreen should be worn at all times and rehydration salts should taken and taken daily as a precaution.

Medical facilities around Cairo are good. Outside Cairo they can be basic and in case of emergency you are advised to travel to Cairo. You should ensure that your medical insurance covers the cost of local hospitalisation and medical repatriation to your country of residence.

Please refer to your country’s latest health guideline for travel in Egypt and contact your own GP for up to date advice on vaccinations and prophylaxis prior to travel.

Health (ride specific)

The heat may be a problem for guests in the summer especially and every effort should be taken to avoid sunstroke. Rehydration salts should be taken if required and more water than usual consumed, even if you don't feel thirsty. Try to ensure a good volume of urine is produced at least 4X daily and that it is a light colour (not concentrated). This is a far better measure of hydration status than thirst.

Electricity

In Egypt the supply voltage is 220V. If the appliance is a single voltage rated appliance, it will need to operate at the same voltage as the supply voltage of the country i.e. 220V. If this is not the case it should be used alongside a voltage transformer or converter to allow the appliance to work safely and properly.

Film and Camera Equipment

As this is a hotel-based ride, electricity is readibly available for charging equipment such as cameras and mobile phones. Please check with your network supplier for coverage (normally very good and also 4G). To call Egypt from the UK you should dial 00 + 20 + area code + number. To ring the UK from Egypt, you should dial 00 44 before omitting the first 0 of the area code. WiFi is available in the public areas of the hotel (lounge and pool side).

Packing List

We have put together a suggested packing list for your trip. This should be used as a guideline as requirements may very according to your preferences.

• Riding Helmet - we strongly recommend that you wear a properly fitted riding helmet of the current standard which is PAS015 or BSEN1384. Helmets are available at the stables if you do not have your own but may not be to the same standard.
• Jodhpurs - jodhpurs, breeches or other comfortable trousers (jeans may rub and can also be quite hot)
• Riding Boots - it is important to have correct shoes or boots for horse riding. Jodhpur or ankle boots with a rubber sole are recommended but sturdy shoes with a definite heel are acceptable (such as walking boots)
• Half Chaps - these are great when worn with ankle boots and help prevent the stirrup leathers rubbing against your legs
• T-shirts and Long-sleeved Shirts
• Sunhat
• Sunglasses
• Fleece - Although the weather is generally very warm, the evenings can be a bit cooler
• Casual Clothes - for when out of the saddle
• Water Bottle - it's very important to drink a lot of water when it's hot, especially when doing physical activities
• Swimwear and Beach Towel
• Raincoat - although it rains very rarely it may be a good idea to pack a lightweight waterproof
• Personal Items - toiletries, any medicines you require and please be sure to take inset repellent and plenty of sun cream
• Camera and Spare Batteries/Charger - It is also a good idea to take a camera case you can strap around your waist or onto a belt for whilst you are riding.

Programmes

This is an 7 day/6 night programme available on request all year round with any day arrival.

Departure Dates

2022: Dates available on request year-round.
2023 Ride & Relax: 22 Jan; 12 Feb.
2023 Ghost City Ride: 12 Mar; 16 Apr. (max number of riders is 4)
Other dates available on request year-round.

Pricing
Single supplement must be paid if booking alone.
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description £
20227d/6n4double pp1,139
20227d/6n4Non Rider Relax 869
20227d/6n4Non Rider Adventure929
20227d/6n4Non Rider Bike Extreme995
2023 - Ride & Relax7d/6n4double pp1,159
2023 - Ride & Relax7d/6n4Non Rider Relax 999
2023 - Ride & Relax7d/6n4Non Rider Adventure1,059
2023 - Ghost City Ride7d/6n4double pp1,239
2023 - Ghost City Ride7d/6n4Non Rider Relax 999
2023 - Ghost City Ride7d/6n4Non Rider Adventure1,059
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description
20227d/6n4double pp1,295
20227d/6n4Non Rider Relax 989
20227d/6n4Non Rider Adventure1,059
20227d/6n4Non Rider Bike Extreme1,129
2023 - Ride & Relax7d/6n4double pp1,319
2023 - Ride & Relax7d/6n4Non Rider Relax 1,139
2023 - Ride & Relax7d/6n4Non Rider Adventure1,209
2023 - Ghost City Ride7d/6n4double pp1,409
2023 - Ghost City Ride7d/6n4Non Rider Relax 1,139
2023 - Ghost City Ride7d/6n4Non Rider Adventure1,209
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description $
20227d/6n4double pp1,429
20227d/6n4Non Rider Relax 1,095
20227d/6n4Non Rider Adventure1,169
20227d/6n4Non Rider Bike Extreme1,249
2023 - Ride & Relax7d/6n4double pp1,459
2023 - Ride & Relax7d/6n4Non Rider Relax 1,259
2023 - Ride & Relax7d/6n4Non Rider Adventure1,335
2023 - Ghost City Ride7d/6n4double pp1,559
2023 - Ghost City Ride7d/6n4Non Rider Relax 1,259
2023 - Ghost City Ride7d/6n4Non Rider Adventure1,335
No of   
days/nights
Riding days Product item description SEK
20227d/6n4double pp14,319
20227d/6n4Non Rider Relax 10,949
20227d/6n4Non Rider Adventure11,699
20227d/6n4Non Rider Bike Extreme12,495
2023 - Ride & Relax7d/6n4double pp14,595
2023 - Ride & Relax7d/6n4Non Rider Relax 12,605
2023 - Ride & Relax7d/6n4Non Rider Adventure13,359
2023 - Ghost City Ride7d/6n4double pp15,589
2023 - Ghost City Ride7d/6n4Non Rider Relax 12,605
2023 - Ghost City Ride7d/6n4Non Rider Adventure13,359
Recommended Reading

- The Amelia Peabody Mysteries by Elizabeth Peters. This is a series of murder mysteries set in the 1880 - 1920s in Egypt.

- The Complete Pyramids by Dr Mark Lehner 

- Tombs, Temples and Hieroglyphics by Barbara Mertz


Other Country Information

Egypt is 90% muslim (mostly Sunni) and 9% Coptic.The type of Islam practised is far more moderate than in the gulf states and very accepting of other religions. There is no requirement for women to cover up or wear the veil. Having said that it is a conservative society and both women and men should dress modestly, keeping upper arms and legs covered. We recommend loose fitting T-shirts with short sleeves (to just above the elbow), no low cut necklines or shorts, trousers and skirts ending below the knee. Public displays of affection are frowned upon. What may be acceptable in the tourist resort areas may be frowned upon in other areas. Drinking alcohol in the street and anywhere other than a licensed restaurant or bar is not allowed.

Apart from visits to "must see" tourist sights much of the itinerary is off the beaten track. This means you will be welcomed and treated as an honoured guests by most villagers you encounter and be far safer than the average tourist. The Muslim relision commands its followers to honour and protect visitors and this is taken seriously in the countryside where hospitality is without strings.
At mass tourism sights you will often be besieged by guides asking you to visit a shop, and consider souvenirs to buy. Most guides make their money, not from their job as a guide, but from the commissions they earn when you buy something. Should you not wish to buy anything it is worth explaining to your guide that he will receive a good tip but it will be in inverse proportion to how much you are hasseled to buy things. In any event decline politely.
The dialling code is +20.
The time difference is GMT +2
The crime rate in Egypt is low and mostly consists of petty theft/pickpocketing in crowded areas. You should safeguard valuables including your passport and money. You should carry some form of photographic ID at all times. A copy of your passport is sufficient.

Travel Summary

Meeting-point (getting there):
Hurghada International Airport (HRG)
Transfer:
Included from meeting point.
Flight Guide:
London to Hurghada (HRG) from £267 return
Riders who booked this ride also considered
Riding in the sahara
Tunisia, Oasis to Oasis

Trail ride travelling from oasis to oasis in the his...Read more >

from $995
Riding on the banks of the river
Iceland, River Trail

A shorter tour, ideal for those who want to try out ridin...Read more >

from $1,325
Arriving at Azaden valley
Morocco, Oasis Camping Trail

A  desert adventure in south-east Morocco ...Read more >

from $899