Harpist tomb decoration Sunset over the Nile at Luxor Felluca on the Nile in Luxor Luxor Temple at night
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Taxis

taxi

Typical Luxor taxi

You won't take many steps outside your hotel before being offered a taxi. They are blue and white. Most of the taxis used to be very old Peugeot 504s but now they are nore likely to be asian saloon cars from the likes of Daewoo, Hyundai and Nissan. There are no meters. Agree the price before you get in. LE10 should be enough for most journeys within Luxor's East Bank town area but you may have to haggle a bit to get to that price. The price is per taxi,not per person and there should be no extra charge for any luggage.

Most hotels have a price list at reception but you may have to ask to see it. These lists are useful, especially if you want a taxi to take you further afield.

Typical taxi fares. Per vehicle, not per person
From the town centre

Destination

LE

Abydos & Dendera (return)

440

Airport

55

Aswan (one way)

330

Cairo (one way)

900

Dendera (wait and return)

195

Edfu (wait and return)

220

Esna (return)

195

Hilton hotel

35 (max)

Hotels within the main town or southern cluster

10

Hurghada (one way)

385

Karnak temple (one way)

10

Karnak temple (wait and return)

50

Maritim Jolie Ville hotel

20 (max)

Royal Valley Golf club (wait and return)

110

Safaga (one way)

330

Sofitel Karnak hotel

30 (max)

West Bank (half day, wait and return)

130

Self-drive

Please don't! The Luxor city area is compact enough not to need a car. Taxis are plentiful and cheap. Within and outside Luxor driving is chaotic and accidents frequent. Hiring a car with driver is so cheap that there is no need to do any driving.

Private hire - Chauffeured cars or vans

Local tour agents can provide a saloon car or minibus, with driver, for around LE350 per day, depending on the distance you want to travel. You can get to the list of tour agents in the Sights section by clicking here.

Local buses

East Bank Bus

Local bus

Blue and white mini buses are the standard form of mass transport in the town area of Luxor's East Bank. Covered pick-ups serve the same purpose out of town and on the West Bank. The cost for a journey is rarely more than LE1. The main problem is knowing where the bus is going. The buses will stop for you and if the driver doesn't speak English, someone else on the bus probably will. Travelling on the bus can be intimate. They do tend to keep taking people on, whether there is room or not.

Donkey

Donkey

Donkey on the West Bank

Not as far fetched as it may seem. Donkeys are the standard form of transport for many and are available for hire. They are not very easy to get on but they are surprisingly comfortable and are indispensable for some trips, especially in rough terrain where alternatives are not realistic.

 

Bicycles

Bike hire

Bikes for hire

Bikes are available for hire on the east and west banks. Look out for a stack of bikes probably chained to a post. You will see them in various places including along the road between town and the hotels - generally just past Club Med; in Television Street and on the west bank not far from the terminal.

It is difficult to be more precise about locations because most of the time they are taken away at night and reappear in the same or a different place the next morning.

You should get a telephone number of the chap hiring the bikes so that he can come to your rescue if there is a problem with the bike.

Prices are rarely displayed so haggle well. Start around LE15 per bike per day and see how you get on.

Luxor is very flat, so cycling is quite easy. Road manners are not a feature of Egyptian life, but motorists are quite used to people walking along the edge of the road (because of the terrible footpaths) and many local people cycle, so you will probably find they are far more tolerant of cyclists than some european drivers.

Bikes come into their own on the west bank, where there are plenty of quiet roads through local countryside that you are likely to miss using traditional transport.

Stating the obvious, if you are going in the summer months, be aware of the heat the risk that the sun will be beating on your back some of the time. Do take plenty of water in case you stay longer than expected in a rural area, where bottled water may not be so easy to find. Cycling is easier in the cooler months (November - March).

Make sure that your insurance provides cover when cycling abroad - just in case.

 

Updated October 2014

Feluccas (sailing boats)

felucca

Felucca

These are the sailing boats moored alongside the Nile in the centre of Luxor and by hotels. Their 'captains' and touts offer sailing trips, promoting in particular 2 hours trips at sunset, and sailing to 'Banana Island' and 'Crocodile Island'.

Banana island used to be a tiny plantation (not on an island at all) not far from the Jolie Ville hotel on the east bank. Nowadays you are more likely to be taken to one of three small islands off the west bank.

'Crocodile island' is the site of the Jolie Ville hotel. In practice there is no longer a crocodile, and nor is it now called 'Crocodile Island'. The crocodile used to be in the hotel's zoo when it was the Mövenpick, but the new owners, Maritim, no longer have the crocodile and have renamed the area 'King's Island'. Nevertheless, 'Crocodile Island' usually is how it is still sold.

What you are not told if you take one of these trips is that in both cases you are expected to pay a landing fee and time on the island is included in your time quota, so it reduces your time actually sailing on the Nile.

We think that if you want to take a boat on the Nile, you are better off skipping the islands and just taking a one hour or two hour round trip.

If the wind is poor, the felucca will be towed upstream by a motor boat, or sometimes the captain will row. Occasionally tourists will be invited to join in the rowing. The return journey back to the starting point depends on the flow of the Nile more than the wind so is usually not a problem. Be aware that in 'good' (i.e. strong) winds, the feluccas can tilt such that their rims become close enough to the water to make some passengers a little nervous. Very occasionally they have been know to capsize but we are not aware of any tourists being affected. A similar trip on one of the motor boats, also used as tourist ferries, is less hairy in such conditions but more expensive.

Prices for trips will be whatever the captain can persuade you to pay. Tour agents usually arrange trips for about LE40 per person per hour, including collection from the hotel. Nile-side hotels, including the Sonesta, Nile Palace and Jolie Ville, have their own feluccas, which you can take from the hotel itself at hotel-fixed prices, typically LE20 per person per hour (more if you are on your own).

Booking a trip with the captains direct should cost you much less. How low they will go depends on the season and how much business there is. LE50 for a whole group for an hour is usually the most you would pay. In the summer, when the town is quieter, LE30 for the group is usually plenty and LE20 for a boatful is not unknown - but rather unfair on the captains, who have to make a living.

Expect to pay more for a private trip on a motor boat, say LE80 per hour but this is for the whole boat, not per person.

Crossing the Nile

You can go between the East and West Banks by road, but this involves a huge 15km diversion via a bridge to the south of Luxor. A ferry is much easier, quicker and cheaper. The 'National Ferry' runs all day and night. Local people pay 25 piastres each way. Tourists LE1 each way. You pay someone at a desk near the beginning of the gangplank.

National Ferry across the Nile

National Ferry

The National Ferry will usually ask you to buy a return ticket when you pay for the outward one. Make sure you get a return 'ticket' (a scrawled scrap of paper) so that you can prove payment when you get on the ferry to come back. Alternatively, just say you are only going one way and pay for the return when you go back.

The National ferry leaves from a pier almost opposite the northern end of Luxor Temple (see the map). There are three boats and they go in rotation: one is always on at the pier and moves off when another leaves the other side. The longest you would have to wait in daytime is 15 minutes, but usually less. At night the wait may be longer.

Motor Boat

Motor boat

Alternatively, one of the motor boats that also take tourists for trips on the Nile will take you across to the other side. Agree the fare beforehand. They used to do it for LE1, but nowadays LE5 per person is normal. Coming back, they may take you direct to a Nile-side hotel rather than just across to the opposite bank of the river, but that will be at extra cost, depending on how far up the Nile they have to go. As an illustration, expect to pay about LE20 to be dropped off at a central hotel, LE40 for the Sheraton or LE60 to the Maritim, but you will have to haggle down from LE100 to get these prices.

There are now mini piers for the motor boats, close to the National ferry pier and on the West Bank. Otherwise the motor boat may moor alongside other boats so you have to go from one to another to get off. Young people will normally help you, whether you want help or not, and will expect a tip. The National Ferry is cheaper and easier to get on and off.

Caleche (horse drawn carriage)

Read about these carriages on the caleche page. Click here.


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