Challenge level: 3 out of 5
|3 March - 10 March 2023||On Sale|
With a mostly flat route, expert insight into iconic sites and three nights spent on an exquisite Nile River Cruise ship, this challenge is too good to miss!
Discover the world-famous ancient wonders, stunning natural phenomena and idyllic, riverside cycling of Egypt on this once-in-a-lifetime ride following the Nile.
Kicking off in Cairo, we’ll cycle to the amazing sites in Memphis and Saqqara, the City of the Dead, including the sacred sphinxes and pyramids of Giza, before exploring the man-made and natural treasures of Fayoum Oasis, which have supported the lives of humans and wildlife in Egypt for over 8,000 years!
We then fly south to Aswan and follow the Nile further to the Philae Temple Complex on Agilika Island and our exquisite Nile River cruise ship! Resting on the cruise ship by night, by day we’ll cycle to a mind-blowing variety of monuments built across millennia and gain insight into their history from our fantastic local guide.
Together, we’ll travel through time, through the 31 dynasties of the Ancient Egyptians and on to the Greco-Roman period, as we visit the Kom Ombo, Esna, Edfu and Luxor Temples, the underground tombs at the Valley of Kings and the magnificent temple honouring the female pharaoh, Hatshepsut, whose reign was one of the most extraordinary in Ancient Egyptian history.
Our adventure ends at the largest religious monument ever to be built on our planet, the city-sized Karnak Temple! As at all the sites on this challenge, our amazing local guide gives us an eye-opening tour before we journey back to Cairo to celebrate at an amazing hill-top restaurant overlooking the city!
Our adventure starts at the airport in London, where we meet for the first time as a group and catch our flight to the iconic city of Cairo.
Touching down in Egypt in the late evening, we meet our fantastic local challenge leader and transfer to our hotel to rest for the night.
Waking to breakfast at our hotel, we prepare for the ride ahead with a challenge briefing and bike fitting. Then, we hop onto our bikes and head south.
Cycling on the scenic and fairly flat terrain we can expect throughout our challenge, we cycle first to the extraordinary ruins of Memphis, the ancient capital of Inebu-hedj. Dating back to 2686—2181 BC, Memphis was the seat of power of the Old Kingdom of Egypt for eight dynasties and home to the pharaohs who raised the pyramids that Egypt is famous for.
Immediately, we see the striking, thirty-foot statue of Ramesses II overlooking the city. As the centre of worship of Ptah, the God of Creation and Artworks, Memphis also boasts the Great Temple of Ptah, which we jump on the chance to explore, along with several smaller Temples of Ptah and the Temple of Hathor.
Our journey through time continues as we ride on to Saqqara, the City of the Dead, where our challenge leader gives us a guided tour of the world-famous Step Pyramid of Djoser. Built here on the banks of the Nile in the Third Dynasty (in the 27th Century BC), the Step Pyramid is the oldest colossal stone building on the planet.
We cycle to a local restaurant for lunch and tackle our final stretch to more pyramids and the legendary Great Sphinx of Giza! With a face resembling that of the pharaoh Khafre, who lived between 2600 and 2500 BC, this magnificent, limestone statue is said to be the oldest monumental structure in Egypt.
From here, we ride back to our hotel in Cairo, where we’re treated to a trip to see Cairo’s amazing Sound and Light Show this evening, followed by a delicious welcome dinner.
After breakfast at our hotel, we cycle along the Nile to one of Egypt’s most beautiful and biodiverse destinations, Fayoum. Having conquered an amazing approx. 110km already today, we take a break from the bikes to tour the natural and man-made treasures of Fayoum.
We start by visiting the Qasr (palace) of Qarun, whose small exterior seems unremarkable, a stark contrast to the fascinating maze of chambers, stairways and tunnels hidden inside. From here, our bus takes us to Tunis Village, which enjoys an idyllic location overlooking Lake Qarun and is home to some of Egypt’s finest potters.
After browsing its array of mud-brick craft shops, we descend to the lake and look out for the amazing range of birds that enjoy its waters, including flamingos in the winter.
We then transfer to a local restaurant for lunch, before journeying on to the famous Fayoum Waterwheels. Manmade but powered solely by the river, these wheels are a prominent symbol of the town and oasis, manifesting Fayoum’s vital role in supporting human culture in Egypt for some 8,000 years!
From here, we transfer back to our hotel to relax and close the evening with a delicious group dinner.
Leaving our hotel after breakfast, we transfer to Cairo airport and catch a short flight to Aswan to discover the wonders further South.
Also known as the ancient city of Swenett, after the Egyptian Goddess of childbirth, Aswan was seen to be the city where Ancient Egypt began, sitting just below the first cataract of the Nile.
Our support crew collects our luggage on our arrival and we cycle to Aswan High Dam, the biggest embankment dam on the planet! Stretching an incredible 3,600m across the Nile, the Dam provides electricity and irrigation water for the whole of Egypt.
Our route then takes us downstream to the fascinating Temple of Isis and the Philae Temple Complex. The pharaoh Nectanebo started the complex in the 30th-dynasty (380-362 BC) on Philae Island, but the rulers of the following Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods all added to the masterpiece. The complex we see today, however, enjoys the home of Phillae’s neighbouring Agilika Island, after a flood ruined its original home in the 20th century.
Travelling back to the mainland, we cycle to Aswan Cruise Port to board an exquisite cruise ship on the river, where our luggage awaits.
We tuck into a delicious lunch on board and then you’re free to spend the afternoon as you wish, relaxing and enjoying the views from the ship and taking advantage of the optional massages. We reunite for dinner and spend the night in the brilliant rooms on board.
Breakfast on the ship sets us up to cycle alongside the river on fairly flat terrain, becoming immersed in modern-day Egypt and admiring the lush, river-side surroundings, all the way to Kom Ombo Temple, with a picnic lunch en route.
Once again, we’re transported back in time as we tour this extraordinary Ptolemaic dynasty (180 - 47 BC) double temple. Impeccably symmetrical, the temple boasts duplicate courts, halls, sanctuaries and rooms for two sets of gods.
Several crocodile mummies have been discovered in Its southern half, dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world, along with Hathor and Khonsu. The northern part was built to worship the falcon god Haroeris, Tasenetnofret (the Good Sister) and Panebtawy (Lord of the Two Lands).
By the time our ship picks us up at the temple, we have explored the monument to our heart’s content and we spend another night dining and relaxing on board.
We wake up in Edfu to visit the enthralling Edfu Temple of Horus, said to be the most impressive of all the Nile-side temples between Luxor and Aswan.
Although the temple was dedicated to the Ancient Egyptian god Horus and matches the Egyptian style perfectly, it was built during the Greco-Roman period, two millennia after the Ancient Egyptians, so it gives us an awesome example of how the ruins of the original Egyptian monuments would have looked, before 2,000 years’ worth of erosion weathered their full splendour.
Returning to the ship, we cruise to Esna with breakfast and lunch on board. Then, we mount our bikes and cycle to the next ancient landmark, the “Southern Sanctuary” of Luxor Temple. It’s a longer day in the saddle, but with a fairly flat route along the Nile and another captivating temple complex to look forward to, we tackle it with joy.
Overlooking the Nile from its east bank, the 1400 BCE temple wasn’t dedicated to a god or a pharaoh, but to the rejuvenation of kingship and is likely to have been where many of the pharaohs were crowned.
Like many of the monuments in Egypt, the complex was built by a multitude of rulers, including Tutankhamun, Alexander the Great and Amenhotep III. What’s more, it played an important role in the Roman era as a legionary fortress and the home of the local Roman government.
We can stretch our legs as we tour its chapels, before cycling our final stretch to our ship at the Luxor Cruise Port. Here, we enjoy another delicious dinner with a view.
We bid the cruise ship farewell after breakfast and head to the spectacular Valley of Kings. Sprawling across 1,000 feet, this burial site is home to over sixty underground mausoleums, including those of Tutankhamun, Seti I and Ramses II. The rock-cut tombs were looted, but we can still see the original hieroglyphs and carvings their worshippers made all those millennia ago.
We then cycle a short way to Deir el Bahri (aka. Djeser-Djeseru, meaning "the Holy of Holies”). Here lies the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, honouring one of Ancient Egypt’s first female pharaohs, who held one of the most extraordinary reigns in history. She became queen regent after her husband died, but instead of giving up her reign when her stepson came of age, she adopted the title of pharaoh and ruled for over two decades. Her temple is one of the world’s most striking architectural masterpieces, with beautiful Egyptian statues, set against a mountain backdrop.
We hop back on our bikes for another short stetch to the twin giant statues of the Colossi of Memnon, which resemble the 14th century BCE pharaoh, Amenhotep III. The Egyptians had to transport the quartzite sandstone the statue is made from a phenomenal 675km overland from el-Gabal el-Ahmar, near modern-day Cairo.
We have a final approx. 40km to our finishing point at the incredible Karnak Temple, the biggest religious building ever constructed. The complex was built over two millennia (approx. 2055 BCE to around 100 AD) by the Ancient Egyptians, Ptolemies, Romans and early Christians and takes up the area of an entire city! It is dedicated to the gods Amun (Egyptian god of the sun and air), Mut (the mother goddess) and her son, Khonsu (Egyptian god of the Moon).
We’re greeted at the entrance by a line of sphinxes and beyond that, we have a whole city’s worth of temples, sanctuaries, pylons, and other decorations to explore – what a way to end our adventure!
It's now time to transfer to Luxor Airport for our flight back to Cairo. Touching down in the evening, we transfer to our nearby hotel, before we close the day with a fantastic celebration dinner at a hilltop restaurant overlooking the city.
Waking up to a final breakfast in Egypt, we transfer to Cairo Airport and fly back to the UK. Touching down in London later in the day, you make your own way home, no doubt buzzing to book your next Dream Challenge!
Pay the registration fee (£349) and challenge costs (£1,950) + airport taxes/fuel surcharge (approx. £300).
Pay the balance
Pay your registration fee (£349) and airport taxes/fuel surcharge (approx. £300), and fundraise £3,900 or more for your chosen charity.
Minimum sponsorship target
This cycle is not designed for Olympic athletes – it is designed for people looking for an amazing goal to train and get fit for. A number of the people who will take part in this challenge will have a low level of fitness when they sign up.
We follow a relatively flat route, but we will be cycling in humid conditions and will tackle long distances on this challenge, so we strongly recommend you train. Once you sign up, we'll send you a fantastic free training plan, which builds up over time and will set you up for success. Remember, the more you train, the more you'll enjoy the real deal!
This adventure is the perfect motivation to get fit, gain amazing insight into the history and culture of Egypt, while raising vital funds for your chosen cause.
Please don't be! The majority of people will sign up on their own and our Dream Challenges are renowned for the amazing camaraderie and lifelong friendships made as our groups take on these incredible feats together.
Once you've signed up for the challenge, we'll send you a link to a private Facebook group for everyone registered for Cycle the Nile 2023. Please feel free to use this space to swap questions, advice and updates with your fellow cyclists on your training and fundraising.
You may also want to reach out to the other participants in this group to see if there's anyone in your local area you can meet up to train and fundraise with.
Absolutely not! One of the amazing things about the challenge is that people of all ages will come together to do something very special. Everyone who is at least 18 years old by the challenge date is more than welcome to join the ride.
16 and 17-year olds may participate if given permission by Dream Challenges. Please get in touch with us to discuss this. Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to help.
There will be around 30-35 participants in our group for Cycle the Nile 2022. You'll no doubt make loads of awesome new friends!
Your non-refundable registration fee of £349 per person is used to administer the challenge and secure your seats with the airline.
Your challenge costs of £1,950 (ie. 50% of the fundraising target if you choose the sponsorship option) cover:
*Accommodation is included on a twin-sharing basis. If you would rather pay for a single supplement and have a room to yourself, we can arrange this for you for an additional cost of approx. £250.
In addition to paying your registration fee (£349) and either self funding your challenge costs (£1,950) or fundraising the minimum sponsorship target (£3,900), you will need to budget for:
A cycle helmet is essential and must be worn at all times. Everyone will need their own water bottles or a camel back-type hydration system.
Apart from that, no specialist equipment is required. We will supply you with a list of everything you will need to take before you go.
Cyclists will have the use of 18 or 21-gear bikes and we suggest you bring the saddle or gel cover you are used to riding on.
We stay in comfortable, three-star class hotels and a fantastic Nile River Cruise Ship that's renowned for its hospitality.
*Please note, accommodation is included on a twin-sharing basis. If you would rather pay for a single supplement and have a room to yourself, we can arrange this for you for an additional cost of approx. £250.
Please email us at email@example.com if you would like to do this at least fourteen weeks before the challenge starts.
Yes of course! If you would like to extend your stay in Egypt, please get in touch at least 14 weeks before the challenge by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange this for you.
You will need to take out your own personal travel insurance covering health, accident, loss and repatriation.
Dream Challenges has a policy that provides appropriate cover for this type of activity and also covers you for cancellation due to medically-diagnosed COVID-19. We will send you the details once you have registered.
You can, however, take out your own insurance, providing it covers you for a charity cycle in Egypt.
Please ask the insurer about the nature of the cover. It is your responsibility to ensure you have adequate cover for your challenge.
All participants will need to arrange their own tourist visa for Egypt (approx. £25, not included in your challenge costs). We will send you all the relevant forms and details you will need for this closer to the challenge date.
The Dream Challenges team is here to help you achieve your challenge and we will support you all the way.
We are on hand from the minute you sign up to answer any questions that you may have about your training or the challenge itself.
Once you have registered, we will send you a realistic training plan to help you get fit for the challenge. The programme builds up gradually as the event gets closer.
During the cycle, we'll have at least one UK doctor with expedition medicine training accompanying the group from the get-go and at all times throughout the challenge, along with a team of experienced, first-aid trained challenge guides and porters.
We’ll have a group of outdoor remote first-aid trained guides, plus a UK doctor with expedition medicine training, who will be with you the whole time.
Certainly. Our hotel accommodation is included in your challenge cost on a twin-sharing basis.
However if you would prefer to have a room to yourself and pay for a single supplement, we'll be happy to arrange this for you at an additional cost of £250. Please note, this is NOT included in your challenge cost).
If you would like a single supplement, please get in touch by emailing us at email@example.com or call us on 01590 646410 (Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm).
You'll be pleased to know that we cycle on relatively flat terrain throughout this challenge.
As we're not medically trained, we're afraid we can't offer you advice on this. We recommend you contact your GP or your local travel clinic, who will have the latest travel health advice.
We also recommend you visit the NHS Fit for Travel website here, to keep up to date with current travel health news and advice on staying healthy abroad.
NHS Fit for Travel website: https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/home