Luxor is known for The Valleys of Kings and Queens as well as for the Hepshesut, Karnak, and Luxor Temples. Everybody comes to Luxor to see these sights and others, but because you don’t want to be like everybody, you’ve come here to check out hot air balloon rides in Luxor.

Who doesn’t like a birds-eye view? As a traveler, you’re probably enjoying them from a plane, and if you’re an adrenaline junkie, you’ve done paragliding or skydiving. But a hot air balloon ride? That’s something special, especially if you treat your better half to it because it’s one of the most romantic gifts you could make. I wish somebody had done that for me (future husband, if you’re reading this, you know what to do).

When the guys from Sindbad Balloons Egypt invited me for a ride, I couldn’t say no. I also convinced my friend Julie, who’s afraid of heights, to join me in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Once in a lifetime as it was my first time in my 29 years on earth, but hopefully hot air balloon rides will become more ?

At the ungodly hour of 3.30 a.m., a driver picked up Julie and me from our hotel, which was close to the dock for a Felucca boat that would take us to the other side of the Nile where we would take off.

The hot air balloons had already been prepared and so it only took a few minutes before we could hop in.

Our captain was Mohamed. He had flown hot air balloons for years and gave us a quick briefing before we took off right before the sun began to rise. Mohamed explained what we saw from above – the Valleys of Kings and Queens as well as the Nile river weaving itself through the city of Luxor and nearby fields and the desert that abruptly supersedes the lush green of the farmlands.

We heard donkeys braying and some motor vehicles cutting through the silence of this early hour.

When we were high up, Julie was fine, but it was me who was now afraid of heights.

Julie and I made friends with the two coolest guys, who also took photos of us. One of them I’ve become so close with that now whenever people ask where we met, I can tell them the cool story about us meeting each other on a hot air balloon ride in Luxor. I mean – who does that?

The sun rose and I just felt happiness. I put my phone away, let time stand still, and just enjoyed the pure love and joy that overcame me. As cheesy as this sounds, that’s how it was.

Mohamed had given us prior instructions as to how the landing would go, and thus we listened to him, crouched down, and held on to the grips. We smoothly touched down in a field, where at least a dozen of workers made sure that the balloon stayed in its place and that we got out safe.

Things to Know Before You Go

Julie and I went in mid-June and thus didn’t need a jacket. We did wear jeans that covered our knees though and short tops. Temperatures were nice and even high up, it felt warm and cozy.

Originally, we were not supposed to bring our bigger cameras, but – let’s be real – nobody would have known if we had smuggled them underneath the jackets we had around our hips. Only our bags were checked.

At around 6.30, we were back at our hotel – ready for breakfast.

These hot air balloon rides are US$ 79. You can book here.