Nile River Adventures: 7 Exhilarating Activities to Experience Along the Nile

Hot air balloons floating above the Nile in Egypt.

Posted by on 05 Jun 2024

Egypt has an incomparable wealth of ancient treasures and iconic monuments from the world’s first civilisations. These archaeological sites, temples and other must-see spots are spread all across the country. Many of them are also quite close to the Nile River, known as Egypt's lifeline and the father of African rivers.

That’s why travelling through the Nile is one of the best ways to discover the magnificent history and attractions of Egypt. And because you’re out on the river, it also opens up a world of exhilarating water activities and opportunities to explore beautiful, historically significant coastal towns.

There are many ways to enjoy exploring the attractions along the Nile. You can spend a few days at one of the coastal towns or villages along the water, or you can go the more extensive route and take a Nile River cruise to hit all the iconic spots along the route.

Want to make the most of your time along one of the world’s most historically remarkable rivers? Here are seven exciting activities to add to your Nile River bucket list.

Go Felucca Sailing to Float Across the River

One of the most relaxing things to do in the Nile River is sail on a felucca—a traditional wooden boat with white triangular sails locals have used for centuries to drift through the river. What’s great about sailing the Nile on a felucca for a few hours (or for an entire day, if you please) is that you can do it from any dock near the river, not just one specific town.

From the comfort of your felucca, you can pass by ancient temples and villages by the banks, all while enjoying the cool breeze and scenic views of the river. End your felucca sail in the late afternoon to witness the gorgeous sunset take over the sky above the Nile.

Visit the Tombs of Luxor

Many Egyptian river cruises start at Luxor, a city east of the Nile. It sits on what was once ancient Thebes, where the most powerful pharaohs ruled. The area is home to many ancient tombs, temples and excavation sites, so exploring it is a must when you’re sailing through the Nile.

If you want to see Egyptian attractions beyond the pyramids, head to the Valley of the Kings, a burial ground where pharaohs and high priests were laid to rest in over 60 ornate tombs, including that of the legendary Tutankhamun. Other popular spots to visit in Luxor include the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut and Karnak Temple.

Marvel at the Iconic Pyramids Of Giza

A must-do while on holiday in Egypt is paying a visit to the Pyramids of Giza, arguably the most impressive pyramids in the country, if not the world.

One of these pyramids is the magnificent Great Pyramid, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. These pyramids can be found in Giza on the west bank of the Nile, right across the capital city of Cairo.

Ride a Hot Air Balloon in the Nile River Valley

Looking for a rush of adrenaline as you explore the Nile? You’ll definitely enjoy viewing Egypt and its many ancient landmarks and desert landscapes from a hot air balloon that takes you across the Nile River Valley. While the river is surrounded mostly by rugged terrain, riding a hot air balloon also gives you a chance to see the lush, fertile lands surrounding the Nile in all its glory.

The best place to ride hot air balloons near the Nile is Luxor. When you take off, you’ll see the majestic royal tombs and ancient temples from a bird’s eye view. It’s an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience that shows you the scale and grandeur of ancient Egyptian structures.

Engage in Thrilling Water Sports

If you want to journey through the historic river in an epic way, try a water sport!

From white water rafting to kayaking and even paddleboarding for beginners, there are plenty of aquatic activities you can enjoy in these waters.

Take in the River Views at Aswan

Known as the First Cataract of the Nile separating Egypt from Nubia, Aswan is a beautiful place to stay after your river cruise. In sharp contrast to the splendour and opulence of the ancient sites in Giza and Luxor, Aswan offers a more laid-back atmosphere, boasting natural landscapes, sandy shores and mesmerising deep blue waters to enjoy on feluccas.

The town also has its fair share of ancient sites. One of the most popular ones is the Temple of Philae built to honour Isis, the goddess of magic. In Aswan, you can also explore traditional Nubian villages to see a glimpse of how locals live their everyday lives.

See the Depictions of Cleopatra at Dendera Temple of Hathor

Dendera, which sits on the Nile’s west bank, is where the well-preserved Temple of Hathor is located. The temple was erected to honour Hathor, the goddess of beauty and love, and you can see her statue in the Hall of Offerings.

In another corner of the temple complex, you’ll see displays of ancient Egyptian art on the walls depicting Cleopatra VII with Caesarion, her son with Julius Caesar.

Other spots to see in the temple include the Sacred Lake, the Sanatorium (a Roman bathhouse) and other smaller temples and ancient Roman mamissi structures.

Make the Most Out of Your Egypt Holiday

Traversing through the Nile is a fun and unique activity that you can’t miss while in Egypt.

Whether you want to stay in the river and indulge in water sports or marvel at iconic pyramids and catacombs in Giza and Luxor, there’s always something for everyone when exploring the Nile.

Make the most out of your Egypt trip by booking one of Entire Travel Group’s Holiday Packages!

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