no alt text

Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 31 July, 2023

One of the best ways to experience the magic of the Nile – and to see a glimpse of the authentic Egypt away from the tourist trail – is to go sailing in a traditional felucca (sailing boat).

Sit back on cushions as the single sail pushes you upriver alongside farmland and villages, past grazing water buffaloes and camels – landscapes unchanged for thousands of years. Boatmen will offer drinks and may bring a drum and sing.

Price from: £8
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: 1-2 hours

Getting there & doing it

You will find feluccas near the Aswan Moon restaurant and the ferry to Elephantine village. Rent by the hour and arrange the price and duration with the boat captain. Baksheesh (tips) will be expected at the end.

If the wind blows upriver, go south of Aswan, past the ruins of Elephantine Island and the botanical garden on Kitchener’s Island and then around smaller bird-inhabited granite islands.

When the sun is out, it can be hot – take sunscreen, hat and sunglasses. Autumn and winter can be cold on the river in the morning, so take warm clothing. Take your own drinks and snacks.

When to do it

Feluccas are available for hire all year round, at all times of the day. They are usually not allowed to sail at night.

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


Upper Egypt, Egypt

The Holiest of Holies of the Great Temple at the Ramses II Temples at Abu Simbel.

Egypt’s southern-most town – unspoilt and on one of the most beautiful stretches of the Nile. Most come to see the magnificent Temple of Ramses II, one of the wonders of the ancient world, but there’s plenty more besides.