Don’t miss the experience of drifting over the Theban Necropolis in a hot-air balloon, which affords an awesome view of the temples, villages and mountains – you’ll probably spend about 40 minutes aloft, depending on the wind. Above the west bank villages, you can hear people in backyards and smell their cooking stoves amidst an eerie silence, broken only by the roar of the balloon’s gas-burners.

Booking a balloon-ride through a foreign tour operator will only push up the price. Contact the balloon companies directly to compare quotes. At the time of writing, a ride costs £E250–300 if booked through companies or budget-hotels such as the Oasis and Happy Land; local tourist agencies charge £E600. Prices may also reflect the size of the balloon-basket (the largest hold 28 passengers), and your departure “slot”. The first flights each day are timed to catch sunrise, but the second series may provide a finer view of the Necropolis in winter time, when mist often lingers over the west bank. The deal should include an early-morning transfer from your hotel to the launch site near Hatshepsut’s temple.


Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Egypt features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

19 places to get utterly lost

19 places to get utterly lost

One of the great joys of travelling is stumbling across unexpected places, wandering without a single destination in mind and embracing the journey. These place…

12 Sep 2017 • Keith Drew camera_alt Gallery
24 breaks for bookworms

24 breaks for bookworms

1. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1971, fuelled by a cornucopia of drugs, Hunter S. Thompson set off for Las Vegas on his “savage journey to the heart of …

02 Mar 2017 • Eleanor Aldridge camera_alt Gallery
7 amazing African journeys

7 amazing African journeys

Africa is a continent of wild open savannahs, terracotta sunsets, thousands of vibrant green hills and rugged coastlines. Here, you can be chugging along on …

06 Jul 2016 • Harriet Constable insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook