Incredible sights during a hot air balloon ride in Luxor.

Is A Hot Air Balloon Ride In Luxor Worth It In 2024?

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Read on for all the details about hot air balloon rides in Luxor!

A hot air balloon ride is one of the most amazing activities you can do on any vacation, and that’s definitely true when visiting Luxor in Egypt.

I was lucky enough to go on a hot air balloon ride during my trip to Luxor back in January 2024, and I absolutely loved it! It’s an exhilarating, magical, totally unforgettable experience that is also completely safe.

There are plenty of details that are worth knowing before going on a hot air balloon ride, which is why I’ve put together this blog post listing everything you need to know before this incredible trip in Luxor.

In a rush? Hot Air Balloon Rides In Luxor Recommendations:

✅ Sunrise Ballooning Ride
✅ Hot Air Balloon Ride with Full Day Tour of Luxor

🏨 My Hotel Recommendations for Luxor:

⭐ Cleopatra Hotel
⭐ El Mesala Hotel
⭐ Sofitel Winter Palace Hotel

Is A Hot Air Balloon Ride In Luxor Worth It?

The answer is a resounding yes! This was probably the highlight of my whole 2 week trip to Egypt, which says a lot when you think about visiting the pyramids of Giza and seeing all the amazing temples and tombs in Luxor.

I had never gone on a hot air balloon ride in my life, so had plenty of apprehension about it. But, there is absolutely nothing to worry about at all. The staff are all very friendly and safety is paramount during your ride.

Despite the very early hotel pick up time, the hot air balloon ride was very good value for money and I’m happy to report was worth every penny!

What To Expect On A Hot Air Balloon Ride In Luxor

It’s definitely worth knowing what exactly you can expect on your hot air balloon ride in Luxor. You may have plenty of questions about doing such an activity, such as safety concerns, which is understandable.

Let me break down for you exactly what you can expect when going on your hot air balloon ride in Luxor, starting with hotel pick up info:

What time is the hotel pick up?

All of the hot air balloon rides in Luxor takes place at sunrise, so expect an early start! I’m not a morning person and wasn’t looking forward to waking up super early, but it’s totally worth it.

When exactly you’ll get picked up from your hotel depends on if you’re located on the east or west side of the River Nile. If you’re based on the east side then you’ll have be picked up in a minivan and will have to cross the Nile to the west bank via a short cruise ride, which takes around ten minutes.

When you arrive at the west bank then you’ll be transferred to another minivan which will then take you to the location site, which is about a 10-15 minute ride.

➡️ Travel Tip: My hotel was based on the west bank and I was picked up at 4.30am. Make sure you go to bed early the night before!

What time does the hot air balloon ride start?

Once you arrive at the location site then you do have to hang around for a short period of time while the hot air balloons are inflated and heated by burners, which is quite a cool thing to see.

My hot air balloon being inflated.
My hot air balloon being inflated.

During this time you’ll be put into groups of 15 or 20. I was expecting a safety demonstration before climbing into the bread basket, but that never materialised.

After around 15 minutes of waiting, you’ll then get on board your designated hot air balloon. You have to climb up, over and into the bread basket, which takes a bit of an effort.

When everybody is onboard the bread basket safely, then the hot air balloon takes off around 5am. Seeing all the other countless hot air balloons take off into the air is amazing sight and builds a lot of excitement!

Multiple hot air balloons taking off from the ground.
Multiple hot air balloons taking off from the ground.

Where does the hot air balloon take off from?

Regardless of which tour company you book your hot air balloon ride from, all hot air balloon rides take off from the same place – from the western bank of the River Nile, fairly close to the Valley of the Kings.

Hot air balloons floating over the western bank side of the River Nile.
Hot air balloons floating over the western bank side of the River Nile.

How long does the hot air balloon ride last for?

Hot air balloon rides in Luxor are advertised as lasting anywhere between 45 minutes to 1 hour, and my hot air balloon ride was in the air for a total of 55 minutes, just shy of one hour.

During this time the hot air balloon reaches a height of approximately 1500 feet, and the views are amazing!

The hot air balloon travels in the direction of and over the Valley of the Kings and it rotates constantly at a slow speed, meaning you’ll have complete panoramic views of the stunning landscape no matter where you are positioned in the bread basket.

Hot air balloons travelling towards the Valley of the Kings.
Hot air balloons travelling towards the Valley of the Kings.

What to wear on a hot air balloon ride in Luxor?

Because the hot air balloon rides in Luxor all take place at sunrise, the temperatures will be low no matter what time of year you’re visiting.

I visited Luxor in January and temperatures were fairly cold at 5am, but not freezing. So it’s advisable to wrap up warm for the ride, obviously you’ll be travelling high up in the air where the temperatures will be lower.

A jacket and a hat would be sufficient, but definitely don’t dress in just a t-shirt or thin clothing – you’ll be freezing cold and it’ll totally ruin your experience!

Is the hot air balloon ride comfortable?

Yes, the hot air balloon ride is fairly comfortable. As you’re sharing the bread basket space with up to 28 people, the space can be quite cramped at times.

My hot air balloon ride consisted of between 20-30 people in total and at times I did feel somewhat cramped with not much space to move around.

The bread basket is divided into square sections, with a total of 4 people per section, so don’t expect a lot of room! This is a minor complaint to be honest and really isn’t much of an issue to worry about.

What’s the hot air balloon ride landing like?

To be honest, this was the part of the hot air balloon ride that I was fearing the most; the dreaded landing! We’ve all seen video clips of hot air balloons hitting the ground dangerously and the bread basket capsizing.

But, you have nothing to worry about! My landing was extremely smooth and gentle without any danger whatsoever.

The crew on the ground who pull the bread basket down to earth are very professional and ensure that the landing is a soft one.

Where does the hot air balloon land?

So my hot air balloon ride in Luxor landed in the middle of a farm, and this seemed to be the case for most of the other hot air balloons.

It seemed very random but from the farm it was a short walk back to the minivan that originally picked you up, and then drops you back off at your hotel.

A hot air balloon coming down to land in a field with the sun rising.
A hot air balloon coming down to land in a field with the sun rising.

Can anyone go on a hot air balloon ride in Luxor?

As far as I’m aware, there are no age restrictions for all of the hot air balloon rides in Luxor. I didn’t see any children during my hot air balloon ride, but apparently infant seats in the bread basket are available.


My Recommended Hot Air Balloon Rides In Luxor

Let’s take a look at a couple of the best hot air balloon rides in Luxor and what they have to offer:

Sunrise Ballooning Luxor

This is the tour company that I booked my hot air balloon ride in Luxor with, and I highly recommend them. They offer everything that I’ve detailed in this blog post for a price of just £49. Here’s what’s included in this tour:

  • Take a sunrise flight over Luxor in a hot air balloon.
  • Coffee and tea will be served.
  • Round-trip hotel transfers are included.
  • Commemorate your experience with a flight certificate.

Check out this 5 star review from Shalin:
“They put the whole experience together very nicely. Everything was perfectly timed. They flew us through the valley of the Kings and other local attractions. We were able to see the sunrise. Overall memorable experience.”

➡️ Book your ticket with Sunrise Ballooning here

Luxor Hot Air Balloon with Full One Day Tour of Luxor

You may wish to combine your hot air balloon ride with a full day tour of Luxor as well, and there are tour companies that offer exactly that, for a higher cost of around £111. Here’s what is included in this tour:

  • Hotel Pick up and drop off.
  • Bottled water during your trip.
  • Motorboat to transfer to the West Bank.
  • Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride for 35 ~ 60 minutes in the sky of Luxor.
  • Flight certificate.
  • Luxor Full Day tour East bank & West bank Visit; Luxor Temple, Karnak Temple, the Valley of the kings, Hatshepsut Temple, Colossi of Memnon.
  • Qualified Egyptologist Tour Guide.
  • First Class Air Conditioned Luxury Car.

⭐ Read this great 5 star review of the tour from Andrea:
“Perfect day tour if you have little time in Luxor. Air balloon is simply amazing ! Khaled, my tour guide, is a real Egyptologist, great knowledge!! Totally worth it.”

➡️ Book your Hot Air Balloon & Full Day Tour of Luxor here


Hotel Recommendations for Luxor

Finding the right place to stay in Luxor is far from easy as there are a lot of top quality options to choose from. Here are my 3 top hotel recommendations:

Cleopatra Hotel

This is where I stayed during my week in Luxor and I highly recommend it. The staff were exceptionally kind, friendly and helpful and my room was lovely with everything that I needed.

What’s great about the Cleopatra hotel is that it is based on the West bank of the River Nile, which is the far more quieter side with less tourists.

Cleopatra Hotel has amazing terrace views where you can see the Holy Mountain in the distance, and having a top quality breakfast there every morning was fantastic!

Amazing views from the rooftop terrace at the Cleopatra Hotel.
Amazing views from the rooftop terrace at the Cleopatra Hotel.

Don’t just take my word for it! Read this top review from Eda:
“We had a great experience in this hotel thanks to Mahmoud. He was so smiley and kind from the beginning and helped us to arrange tours and make plans and served delicious Egyptian breakfasts. Thank you”

➡️ Book a room at the Cleopatra Hotel here

El Mesala Hotel

This is a very good 3 star hotel based on the West Bank in Luxor and has very reasonable prices.

It is located right on the shore of the Nile, meaning rooms have stunning views of the river and some of the famous temples in Luxor, such as Karnak temple. The hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, a rooftop terrace, a restaurant, bar and more.

Read Ana’s fantastic 5 star review of El Mesala Hotel:
“Very beautiful, small and cosy hotel, right on the shore of Nile. My room had a view of Karnak Temple on the other bank of Nile. I loved it. At night, the view is amazing and everything is peaceful. Also, the hotel staff are all very kind,…”

➡️ Book a room at El Mesala Hotel here

Sofitel Winter Palace Hotel

If you’re looking for a luxury stay while visiting Luxor, then your best option is Sofitel Winter Palace on the East Bank of Luxor.

This is an amazing five star hotel based in an incredible Victorian era landmark building that was built in 1886 an is one of the most iconic buildings in the whole of Luxor.

It offers lavish rooms, beautiful gardens, high quality restaurants (3 in total!) and of course amazing views of the River Nile.

Check out top review from Stephen:
“The Winter Palace is an elegant refuge from the heat of trekking through tombs. The room was beautiful, the beds heavenly, and the food delicious. We loved the pool, the shady lounges, and the ability to enjoy a cup of tea on our quiet balcony.”

➡️ Book a room at the Sofitel Winter Palace Luxor here

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    Hot Air Balloon Rides In Luxor FAQs

    Still not sure about going on a hot air balloon ride in Luxor? Let’s answer some of the most commonly asked questions about this topic:

    How much is a hot air balloon ride in Luxor?

    A hot air balloon rides in Luxor typically costs in the region of £27 to £67. There are several different tour companies that provide the exact same service but at different price ranges. I paid around £49 and it was definitely good value for money.

    How long does a hot air balloon ride last for?

    As mentioned previously in this blog post, hot air balloon rides in Luxor are advertised as lasting from 45 minutes up to a total of one hour. Mine lasted approximately 55 minutes, which was more than enough time!

    Is the hot air balloon ride safe?

    Yes, it is totally safe! The staff and hot air balloon pilots are very well qualified in what they’re doing and safety is of course their number one priority.

    Going on a hot air balloon ride may sound too scary and quite a dangerous activity for some people, but I never felt worried for my safety at any point during my hot air balloon ride in Luxor.

    Accidents and crashes are very, very rare – one happened in Luxor back in 2013, but it really is just as safe as an airplane ride.

    Are there sunset hot air balloon rides in Luxor?

    Unfortunately no, there are no hot air balloon rides that take place during sunset in Luxor. All hot air balloon rides here take place at sunrise, meaning you’ll have to set your alarm extra early – but it is definitely worth it!


    Conclusion: Is A Hot Air Balloon Ride In Luxor Worth It?

    So that’s everything you need to know about hot air balloon rides in Luxor. I can say 100% that it is definitely worth it – it’s one of the most memorable, exhilarating and enjoyable experiences you’ll ever have!

    Flying over the Valley of the Kings as the sun rises over the horizon is simply an unforgettable experience, and I urge you to take a hot air balloon ride during your stay in Luxor – I promise you won’t regret it!

    You may also enjoy these blog posts about North Africa:

    ➡️ Is A Felucca Boat Ride In Luxor Worth It? A Travel Expert Review
    ➡️ Is Morocco Overrated? Everything You Should Know Before Visiting

    ➡️ Planning your trip? Here are my favourite resources:

    🏨 Accommodation: I recommend using Booking.com
    🚙 Rental Car: Use Discover Cars for the best car rental prices
    ❤️ Travel Insurance: I recommend using Visitors Coverage
    ✈️ Flights: Use Kiwi.com for the best prices on flights

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