The ideal break for families or groups of 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.
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You'll be met by your hosts at Hurghada International Airport, and transferred to your hotel ( a short 25 minute journey). In the eveningat 8pm, you'll meet with your guide for a presentation on the week ahead.
After breakfast you'll be taken on a tour of Hurghada City. After lunch back at the hotel you'll transfer to the stables (a 5-10 minute drive) where you will be matched with your horse for the week. Once happy with your mount you'll head to the the desert for a sunset ride of 3 hours followed by a refreshing tea back at the stables. After this, you'll be transferred back to the hotel for dinner.
It's an early start today as you'll be watching the sunrise on this mornings ride. You'll be collected from the hotel at 4.30am and will be riding from 5-8am to catch the sunrise. After the ride you'll transfer back to the hotel for a well-earned rest!. The rest of the day can be spent relaxing by the pool or on the beach.
You'll be picked up from the hotel at 10am and transferred to the stables in time for a 3 hour beach ride along the tropical coastline. After a tea break back at the stables you'll return to the hotel in time for lunch. Free afternoon.
Today is a non-riding day so you'll be giving those muscles a rest and heading out on a boat instead. You'll be collected from the hotel at 8am and transferred to the local marina where you'll depart for a scenic sail to the National Park of Giftun Island. This excursion is for non-riders as well and includes snorkeling at one of the best reefs in the Red Sea and a buffet lunch at an outdoor restaurant. The Red Sea boasts comfortable water temperatures year-round, superb water clarity and visibility, more than 1,000 species of fish, countless varieties of hard and soft coral and an incredibly diverse underwater topography, making it one of the most unique underwater environments. You’ll find groups of coral heads lying on the sandy bottom with up close sighting of animals like starfish, mollusks and nudibranch. You'll return back to the marina at 4pm and be transferred back to the hotel.
Today you'll have a free morning as you won't be collected from the hotel until 3.30 in the afternoon. You'll then enjoy a 3 hour desert ride where you'll be able to watch the sunset below the sand dunes. You'll then return to the hotel at 7.30 in time for dinner.
It's another early start today for your final ride of the trip. You'll be collected from the hotel at 4.30am in time for a 3 hour sunrise ride across te desert. You'll return to the hotel by 9am where you will have the rest of the day free to relax or sightsee in the local area.
Departure day. Checkout from hotel & transfer to Hurghada International Airport.
The camel riding can be organised on any day which suits you and is arrranged directly with the stables when you arrive.
Stays of 10 or 14 nights are also possible at this destination.
- 10 Nights Program including 20 riding hours + 90 minutes camel riding. This longer stay follows the same 7 day itinerary + 1 beach ride, 1 sunset ride & 1 sunrise ride
- 14 Nights Program including 32 riding hours+ 120 minutes camel riding. This will follow the same 7 day itinerary which will be repeated for the 2nd week excluding the sea trip which will be a free day.
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.
The stable has 55 horses; most are Egyptian breed and pure Arab breed. The horses are fit and forward going but there are a few quieter horses available. Arabs are famed for their endurance capabilities and are capable of all paces for long distances. Around three 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 horses range in size from 145cm to 165cm and riders weighing up to 110 kilos can be accommodated with advance notice. Rides will take place in the Eastern Desert or on the beach alongside the Red Sea. The tack used is English style and all guides speak English, German and Arabic. Riding hats are mandatory and can be borrowed from the stables if you don't want to bring your own.
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. For outrides and beach riding you should be comfortable both sitting and standing at all paces (rising in trot).
Everything is done for you but riders are welcome to groom and tack up etc. if they would like to.
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 can ride if they have the required level.
The weight limit for this ride is 242 lb/110 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
You'll be staying in a 5 star hotel located directly on the beach with double, twin or single rooms. All rooms have air conditioning, terrace or balcony, en suite bathroom, satellite TV, and a safe. Rooms are standard garden view rooms, if you would prefer a sea view room you can upgrade for a small nightly supplement of around 5-10 euros in 2019, please check with your travel advisor. The hotel is all inclusive and has 3 restaurants, various bars, 2 heated outdoor pools, a spa, a gym, various shops, and free WiFi in the lobby and pool area. The hotel is conveniently located, only a 25 minute transfer from the airport and only 6 km to the stables.
All meals, drinks and snacks are included during your stay and are provided by the hotel's in-house restaurants. Breakfast is an extensive buffet whereas lunch and dinners are either set menus or buffet options, both of which offer a range of world flavours. Whether you’re looking for an oven baked pizza, authentic arabian mezze, a delicious pasta dish, sophisticated Chinese flavours or an exotic Mexican you'll find it at one of the in-house restaurants. You may choose to dine inside the restaurant or enjoy the perfect weather and panoramic view at the restaurant’s open terrace while having your meal.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year 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 on request.
British and most European passport holders travelling to Egypt normally require a visa. Visas can be obtained from an Egyptian Consulate outside Egypt or on arrival by payment in Sterling or USD, for stays of up to a month
On arrival at Cairo, before clearing passport control you will find some bank booths. Go to one of them (there is usually no queue) and ask for a visa stamp. They cost the equivalent of US$25 in 2019 and you can present payment in GBP/US$/€ and change will be given in Egyptian pounds. It's cheaper and easier to do it at the airport on arrival than from the Egyptian Embassy predeparture. After buying the stamps you should go to the immigration desk where they will stamp your passport. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months.
The British Embassy in Cairo can be found:
7 Ahmed Ragheb Street
Opening hours are GMT:
There is also a Consular General in Luxor:
Khaled Ibn El Walid Street
Telephone: (20) (95) 382838 (Consulate and Office) Fax: (20) (95) 380814/382837
In the UK, the Egyptian Embassy can be found:
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
26 South Street
London W1K 1DWA
Main switchboard: (020) 7499 3304/2401
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.
You are advised to consult your healthcare professional or NHS Direct (0845 46 47) for advice.
There are no mandatory vaccinations for Egypt, but you are recommended to vaccinate against against Polio, Hepatitis A and B and typhoid. Rabies is also a risk so travellers are advised to avoid contact with wild animals. Malaria is not a risk but mosquitos are present at certain times of year and bites can be annoying - take an insect repellent containing DEET for your comfort.
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.
The heat may be a problem for guests in the summer expecially 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.
Egypt uses European 220V 50Hz supply and plug sockets accept European plugs with two round pins. Adaptors are easily available in the UK and at airports.
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).
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
• 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.
This is an 8 day/7 night programme available on request all year round with any day arrival. There is also the option to stay for 10 or 14 nights. Please ask your travel advisor.
2020/21: Dates available on request year round
- 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
This is the ideal destination for families with a mix of rider and non-riders as there are a whole host of activities available. The hotel itself offers facilities for volleyball, football, darts, gym, table tennis, water polo, aerobics, Zumba as well as a kids club and childrens playground for those with young children. For an additional charge the hotel can organise: Scooter tours, bicycle hire and billiards. For those of you who want to spend your time in the sea various diving courses can be arranged (not included) for either beginner or professional divers. Parasailing, banana boat tours and fishing is also all on offer at this resort (not included) so no need to worry about non-riders being left with nothing to do.
Non-riders are welcome at this destination and can take part in many other activities available locally or just relax by the pool. Non-riders will join the riders for activities detailed in the itinerary such as the city tour and the boat trip to Mahmya.
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.