The 10-day, 8-stage, 1500-mile 2021 Cross Egypt Challenge starts on October 7 in Alexandria. Interrupted last year due to government health restrictions, the FIM adventure touring rally finishes up in Cairo. It’s not a race, and it attracts two-wheeled vehicles ranging from ADV bikes to scooters.
The 2021 edition takes participants to Egypt’s Western Desert for the first time since 2015. Three of Egypt’s five oases—Bahairya, Dakhla, and Kharga—are visited on the three days of riding, covering over 600 miles after the first-day Alexandrea to Cairo run and the preceding orientation day.
From Kharga Oasis, it’s a 210-mile ride to Luxor in the Nile Valley. The world’s largest open-air museum, Luxor was the capital of ancient Egypt.
After a day’s rest in Luxor, the Cross Egypt Challenge heads for the Egyptian Western Desert, a brutal rocky and mountainous landscape. The ride from Luxor to the Red Sea resort city of Hurghada adds another 230 miles on the odometer.
The ride continues along the Red Sea Riviera and finishes 320 miles later at the Giza Pyramid Complex in Cairo, home to the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Promoting Egyptian tourism is a driving force behind the event, as Cross Egypt Challenge Official Spokesperson Ahmad Elzoghby explains: “Cross Egypt Challenge was created to prove that Egypt is safe for tourism, and for the past ten years we have been sending assurance messages globally that it is safe to visit Egypt. Our efforts, combined with those of other NGOs and the Egyptian government, resulted in Egypt topping the world’s tourist destinations in recent years.”
From 2011 to 2019, riders from 50 countries have participated in the Cross Egypt Challenge. 2015 was the biggest year, with 75 riders (17 female) from 14 countries taking on the Egyptian countryside. Organizers include Cross World Challenges, the Rotary Club of Alexandria Cosmopolitan, the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism, and the Automobile and Touring Club of Egypt.
Cross Egypt Challenge 2021 Routes and Mileage
- Day 1: Alexandria to Cairo, 137 miles
- Day 2: Cairo to Bahariya Oasis, 264 miles
- Day 3: Bahariya Oasis to Dakhla Oasis, 217 miles
- Day 4: Dakhla Oasis to Kharga Oasis, 137 miles
- Day 5: Kharga Oasis to Luxor, 211 miles
- Day 6: Rest
- Day 7: Luxor to Hurghada/Elgouna, 230 miles
- Day 8: Hurghada/Elgouna to Ain Sokhna, 211 miles
- Day 9: Ain Sokhna to Cairo, 109 miles
Total mileage: 1516 miles