Egypt by Motorcycle

Hotelier Olivier Masson has a passion for motorcycles—and a thirst for new experiences.

Jul 23, 2009
Motorcycling among monuments is all in a day's fun for Olivier Masson.
Motorcycling among monuments is all in a day's fun for Olivier Masson.
Photography Olivier Masson

Olivier Masson, general manager of Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza, was only 14 when he bought his first motorcycle, a World War II–era BSA. The lure of the unknown and the sheer pleasure of navigating a challenging curve has kept Masson enamoured of motorcycles. And while driving conditions in Egypt, especially Cairo, require caution, Masson says, “I’ve ridden over every corner of Egypt. It’s still my dream. It’s my way to disconnect and be alone with my thoughts.” Olivier Masson’s biking expeditions have given him glimpses of Egypt that few others ever see.

Here are a few of his favourite road trips:

• Near Siwa, Egypt: Masson once found a deserted oasis, where he bathed alone “and felt like someone out of a Thousand and One Nights.”

• Taba and Nuweiba: Masson especially loves this coloured canyon “which has just fabulous curves and no traffic, just pure air and stunning scenery. I ride with my friends from Egypt, and we go all over, from Siwa to Luxor to Jordan.

• Gulf of Suez: There may be no better therapy in Egypt than chasing groups of bottlenose dolphins along the coast on Sokhna Road along the Gulf of Suez. “They swim so close to shore, you can almost guarantee that you’ll see them,” Masson says.

• The White Desert: Located in western Egypt, the White Desert—with its surreal natural sculptures—makes a perfect biking destination.

“Being on a bike gives you a certain proximity to nature,” says Masson. “You’re not just passing by; you’re part of the landscape. You experience it with intensity.”


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