Hired bikes are something else. Bikes in Egypt are heavy single-geared Chinese things engineered to carry on whether they are properly maintained or not. Predictably, 'not' is the favoured option. It is imperative to give any bike you propose to hire a complete checkover . Not just the obvious do the tyres have air and do the brakes work, but also do the pedals rotate freely? Are the cranks bent? Is the headset shagged? What looks like it might fall off as soon as you set off down the road? Can you work the lock? (that locks are considered necessary here says something about Luxor)
Bikes should cost no more than 10 LE a day . The bikes available on the West bank seem to be generally newer than those on the east bank, but you still need to check your proposed steed thoroughly.
Once you've done all this, it's a great way to get around, especially to appreciate the surrounding rural lanscape.
Luxor has hundreds of bike shops and all hotels offer bicycles ranging in price and quality. They usually cost between 10 to 20 egyptian pounds and if you are in Luxor during the winter then this option is not only good exercise but a great way to independantely see luxor without killing your feet.
I’m definitely not good with bicycles generally; I’ve even managed to fall off an exercise bike once. In fact, I learned to ride a bicycle for the first time on holiday in Luxor, as I thought it would be a good way to see all the mortuary temples. I found it easy to hire one from the hotel, picking up a bicycle that was standing on its own, so I didn’t knock the others over, took it on the ferry and walked with it until I got near to the Colossi of Memnon (where no one was about to see if I fell off!) then I got on the bicycle and practised in the parking area, so I felt safe before going on the road. I cycled about all day from place to place, but it seemed so uncomfortable and bumpy, I couldn’t believe that so many people ride them all the time. When I got back to the hotel, the man who looked after the bicycles told me he’d been looking all day for that bicycle; it had been put separately from the others because it had a flat tyre which needed repairing!!!
Despite this I really think that a bicycle is the best way to see all the areas to the West of the Nile in Luxor. I had no problems at all using the ferry across or the quiet roads here (although I must put this down to the skills of other road users rather than any of my own) or parking the bicycle securely at each of the places I stopped to visit. As it was so hot and I felt very thirsty I was also glad to be able to keep my water bottles on the bicycle rather than carrying the heavy things around in my bag all day and I was certainly glad of the breeze you get while cycling along. Do try it. If I could do it, anyone can!
If you don't take the ferry to the westbank, you can go by motor launch. Everywhere along the banks you see these boats. You can go any time you like.
If you go around by bike, it's the best to start early in the morning because of the heat at midday.
You pay 5 to 15 egyptian pounds for a boat.
The best way to get around Luxor in winter is by bike. These can be hired from most hotels, or from one of the many hire shops.
Whenever you leave your bike you can be sure someone will be there to look after it. Please remember to give them a small tip.
Luxor itself is flat and all sites are within a short ride of the centre.
For the monuments on the West Bank take your bike across the Nile on the local ferry from opposite Luxor temple.
You can't get lost - just head directly away from the river and you'll soon be at the Colossi of Memnon.
About 400m further up the road is the ticket office where you can buy tickets for all the sites.
The Valley of the Kings is a long uphill ride, but it's fairly gentle. Coming back is fun!
There's no need to return from the Valley of the King's by the same road. It's much shorter, easier and more interesting to carry straight on past the Temple of Set I.
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