Luxor tours and attractions

Really the only reason people visit Luxor is for the attractions which is as good a reason as anyone can make.  Sitting on the magical River Nile – a river which breathed life into Egypt for many centuries and one which the ancient Egyptians treasured.  The  area surrounding Luxor is in essence an ancient Egyptian Theme park, which is not to denigrate this area but to applaud the Egyptians in allowing such access to these historical buildings and ruins.

As it has been said in the past and again here Luxor is truly the biggest open air museum in the world!

Luxor, East Bank

Temple of Karnak

Dedicated to the god Amun, this magnificent site, once a holy city, was steadily enlarged over a period of 1,500 years. It was connected to Luxor by an avenue lined with ram-headed sphinxes.

- Short tour (1.5 hrs): precinct of Amun; First Courtyard; hypostyle hall; sanctuaries and temples; sacred lake.

- Extended tour (3 hrs): precinct of Montu, precinct of Mut, temple of Ptah.

- Tips: visit early in the morning (6.00 a.m.) or in the afternoon. Sound and light show in the evenings.

Temple of Luxor

Approach down the sphinx-lined avenue; gigantic statues; paved courtyard enclosed by pillars. Built on the banks of the Nile by Amenophis III, it is exceptionally well preserved.

- Tour (2 hrs): sanctuary of the barque; mosque; First Pylon of Ramses II and colossal statues; processional colonnade; peristyle courtyard of Amenhotep III; central sanctuary.

- Tips: visit early in the morning. Take a horse-drawn carriage to the site. View the temple lit up in the evening.

    Luxor, West Bank

    Temple of Hatshepsut

    Backing onto and partially excavated from the cliff face of an enormous mineral amphitheatre, this temple is dedicated to the only female Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.

    - Tour (1 hour): carved columns; reliefs showing diplomatic exchanges with African tribes; monumental staircase; sanctuary of Hathor.

    - Tips: take one of the paths leading up to the cliff top for a panoramic view over the valley.

      Valley of the Queens

      More than 75 tombs of royal consorts, princes and princesses. Wall paintings show the soul journeying into the afterlife. The tomb of Nefertari is the most beautiful.

      - Short tour (15 mins): tomb of Nefertari.

      - Extended tour (30 mins): tombs of Khaemwaset, Amonherkhepshef.

      - Tips: the number of visitors each day is limited to 150 in groups of 10; each authorised visit may not last more than 10 minutes.

        Valley of the Kings

        In this arid valley, necropolis to the Pharaohs of the New Kingdom, nearly 70 tombs decorated with wall paintings were carved out of the mountainside.

        - Short tour (1.5 hrs): tomb of Ramses VI; frescoes; well room; paintings; tomb of Ramses III; tomb of Merenptah.

        - Extended tour (3 hrs): also includes the tombs of Amenophis II, Horemheb, Ramses I.

        - Tips: the hypogea are opened in annual rotation; an entry ticket covers 3 tombs; you need a special ticket for Tutankhamen’s tomb. Visit the tombs furthest away from the entrance.

          Colossi of Memnon

          These twin statues of Amenophis (Amenhotep) III are colossi nearly 17 metres tall carved from single blocks of stone; the only – albeit impressive – remains of the Pharaoh’s immense mortuary temple.