Most of the people who have tried an early morning Luxor balloon trip say it is one of the most exciting and beautiful experiences in Egypt. Luxor is the only place in Egypt where such balloon trips are available.
Pick-up time for the ride to the balloon is generally from about 4:00 to 5:00 am depending on the time of sunrise. The flights generally last about 45 minutes or an hour, and the time partly depends on the weather conditions. Government inspectors and the flight crew make the final determination about balloon safety and if the weather permits the flight, so be prepared for last-minute flight cancellations.
Sunrise flights are the most popular. Sunset balloon flights are available too. The soft lights of sunrise and sunset make the best scenery.
Ballooning is a thrill. So is seeing the beautiful Nile River from above, the desert, and the ancient constructions and monuments. The weather in Luxor is usually clear, so most guests watch the pink and orange hues of the Egyptian sunrise light up the sky. Guests gaze at the spectacular Valley of the Kings lit up by the morning sun and the huge Queen Hatshepsut mortuary in front of a big cliff. If the winds are right, you see the Colossi of Memnon too. Where the balloon goes depends on the winds, so if the wind is not going the direction of certain popular ancient sites, the pilot will try to go other sites instead.
Which Balloon Company to Choose?
Let Global Highlights book the balloon flight for you, since we know the local companies and their pilots and know who is best for our customers. Some companies, such as Paradise Balloons (summarized below), are higher priced, but they offer more space in the balloon cabins or baskets, and the service is better. Others try to pack people together tightly.
Of course, safety and track record are big factors, and our customers also get good comfortable local transfers from the hotel or Nile cruise ship. Good snacks and breakfast items as you go to the balloon and a comfortable return to your cruise ship or hotel are important too. So, we try to arrange these according to your preferences.
Many people enjoy longer rides. As there are so many things to see, the best balloon flights are an hour or more, but a lot of balloon rides are only 30–45 minutes long. For a ride longer than an hour, contact us, and we will arrange it.
Here are our top recommendations based on reputation and length of rides: Paradise Balloons for more comfortable flights and Sinbad for less expensive flights that are more crowded.
Prices and flight times vary constantly: Flight times depend a lot on weather conditions that cannot be predicted. Prices vary too. It is said that everything can be bargained for in Egypt, so for special occasions, group flights, longer flights, we might be able to negotiate it for better prices
Read more on: How to Plan Your First Trip to Egypt — 7 Easy Steps
Paradise Balloon Rides
- Top ratings
- Souvenir flight certificate
- 30–45-minute rides
- More space in the basket, more luxurious
- Starts at 160 USD
- Top ratings
- 1-hour rides possible to go to more places
- Wheelchair accessible including for the transportation
- Starts at 80 USD for after dawn morning flights, 10 to 30 minutes after sunrise
- The premium 3:30am pickup flights to see the dawn cost 120 USD.
- Tel: 20 10000 95 500
With Global Highlights, of course, you have a private driver. So, if you would want to travel and sightsee before returning to your hotel or cruise ship, you can have a flexible itinerary.
How to Book a Balloon Flight?
Step 1, Select your flight date, your preferred flight time, and the number of passengers in your family or group, and we will check availability. The various balloon companies have several sizes of balloons, the smallest ones seat about 2 passengers, and the biggest balloons can seat about 32 guests.
There are three common launch times: 4:30am, 5:00am, and 5:30am. The most expensive flights catch the sunrise. So, check when the sun rises in Luxor when you want to go and try to catch a balloon flight that launches a half an hour before it if you want to see a beautiful sunrise.
Step 2, Submit the following information: Your full name, date of birth, passport number, nationality, body weight and height, hotel or Nile cruise liner contact information for pick-up, and your email address. The pilots need to know the weight of each passenger so that they can calculate appropriate ballast for the balloon basket. They also need to know about health conditions that might affect the trip such as heart problems.
Step 3, Pay via PayPal or wire transfer. Your booking will be secured once payment has been made in full.
Step 4, If possible, you will receive a reply within 24 hours confirming your booking.
Your van or private driver will arrive at your hotel or Nile cruise ship about an hour or two before the launch to take you to your boat. There is only one bridge across the Nile in Luxor, so many tours use boats to make the crossing. Onboard, you get a snack, coffee, tea, and juice. Then, a van or private driver will take you to the launch site.
Suggested reading: The Top 6 Interesting Things to Do in Luxor
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: When are flights available?
A: Flights are available all year around the times of dawn and sunset.
Q2: How long are the flights?
A: The flights usually last from about 45 minutes to an hour depending on the wind. The whole experience takes about 3 hours including pick-up and drop-off service, light breakfast, and safety briefing.
Q3: Can my child go ballooning?
A: For safety reasons, there are age and height restrictions. If a child is below the age of 6 or frail, they might not be allowed to fly, so please specify beforehand about the height, age and health condition of your child. A child may only fly if accompanied by a responsible adult.
Q4: Can I fly if I'm pregnant?
A: It is possible, but probably inadvisable. The operators make this determination. Please tell us the length of pregnancy and general health condition.
Q5: If the balloon flight is canceled, can I be reimbursed?
A: Yes, the chief pilot and government officials onsite decide whether it's safe to fly and if the weather is suitable. The flight might be canceled for safety reasons or bad weather. In that case, you will receive a full refund.
Q6: Can we fly at sunset?
A: Yes. There are evening flights too. In Luxor, the evening weather conditions tend to be less favorable and less reliable. The skies are less clear. A morning flight offers a more enjoyable experience. Due to higher winds and wind gusts, evening rides experience more turbulence, and they are less predictable too.
Q7: What should I wear?
A: It's advisable to wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers. Bring a jacket or coat if you are going in winter.
Q8: What should I bring with me for the flight?
A: Just carry some basic things you may need such as handbags and your phone. You might not be allowed to bring cameras.
Recommended reading: How to Travel from Cairo to Luxor: Flight, Train, Boat...
Q9: How many people will be in the basket?
A: The balloons vary in size. Some seat 32, and some seat only 2. If you want, you could book a private balloon or pay a premium price to have a private compartment in a bigger balloon.
Q10: Is it safe?
A: In the past 15 years, there have been three major accidents. However, considering the thousands of safe flights, there is an almost 0 chance of an accident. Be sure that the company you choose to fly with has a good record. We ensure that you book with verified companies.
Q11: I'm afraid of heights; is that a problem in ballooning?
A: Ballooning will probably affect people with vertigo or who are scared of heights. There is usually no motion sickness since the balloons travel with the wind and the basket is very stable.
Q12: Can we go somewhere by balloon?
A: The balloon lands where the winds allow. So we can't plan the landing spot.
Q13: Where do we land?
A: The pilots have a usual landing area in the desert, but exactly where the balloons land depends on the wind.
Q14: When will we get back to the hotel or cruise ship?
A: Passengers usually get back to their hotels by 8.30 or 9 am.
Q15: Can we take photographs during our balloon tour?
A: Because of Egyptian military restrictions, the flight crew may not permit certain cameras. But everyone can bring their phone and use that where the pilot permits.
Q16: How much are the rides?
A: You will find prices ranging from 75 to 150 USD for balloon rides. The predawn flights generally cost about 120 USD. The flights might cost 80 USD.
Q17: When is the best time to fly?
A: Try to be on a flight that catches the sunrise in the air. Most guests say the morning flights are better than the evening flights because the hot desert winds might blow up in the afternoon causing turbulence, shorter flights, and rougher landings.
Q18: What about tipping?
A: The ground crew who help launch and land the balloons expect a tip, and they will customarily ask for a tip at the end of the flight. The pilots do not expect a tip. Tipping is a common practice in Egypt.
Take a Hot Air Balloon with Global Highlights
We provide a booking service for Luxor balloon flights, Nile cruises, and tailor-made tours to Egypt. Just tell us when you would like to fly with us, and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
For anyone who is willing to explore Luxor, going inside the ancient structures and tunnels is no doubt an essential experience. With a knowledgeable guide on a tailor-made trip, you can tour around in more comfort and safety, and your guide can explain the various places and their history. You can go to the places you enjoy and journey at your own pace as everything is well taken care of.
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