Away from the glitz and glamour of Sharm el Sheikh, the ancient city of Luxor is also a popular Egyptian destination for British holidaymakers.
It may not have the beaches that Sharm offers, but Luxor is a great option for anyone looking to experience more of the history and culture of Egypt,
and there are plenty of fascinating places to visit.
The markets are brilliant for interacting with the locals and grabbing yourself a bargain or too,
while there’s nothing better than walking out of your hotel door or looking out from your balcony and seeing the river Nile, the most famous river in the world.
If you’re visiting Luxor in the near future, here are five of the very best excursions:
Valley of the Kings
On the west bank of the Nile, the Valley of the Kings is truly spectacular.
The huge site is the burial place of numerous Egyptian pharaohs including the tomb of Tutankhamun, known as KV62 (with the KV standing for King’s Valley).
Note that this tomb often requires visitors to pay for an extra ticket in order to see it.
The site is divided into three sections or phases and it is well worth visiting each of them to see the various tombs and hieroglyphics there.
This is on the east bank of the Nile and consists of various structures, statues and sphinxes.
The entrance to Luxor Temple is guided by two huge statues of kings that stand at 7 metres tall (great for a photo opportunity!) There is also a long row of sphinxes that look pretty cool,
and simply wandering around the large temple gives you the chance to see a range of things.
Karnak Temple is just down the road from Luxor Temple and is made up of a number of temples, chapels and other buildings.
The temple is the largest ancient religious site in the world and the second most visited site in Egypt behind the Great Pyramids.
Some scenes from the Bond movie, ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ were shot here, in and around the Great Hypostyle Hall, located in the Precinct of Amun Re.
Valley of the Queens
This is the place where the wives of pharaohs were buried in ancient times, as well as many princes and princesses.
It is located nearby the Valley of the Kings on the west bank of the Nile and is said to contain over 70 tombs.
One of the most famous is that of Queen Nefertari (QV66), the wife of Ramesses II.
Colossi of Memnon
These are two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III that have stood in the Theban necropolis since 1350 BC.
The statues are another great excuse for a photo opportunity and depict the pharaoh in a seated position with two shorter figures carved into their legs – featuring his wife and mother.
Both statues have become quite damaged over the years and the facial features are almost unrecognisable, but still very impressive!
License: Creative Commons
Steve Alexander has a good knowledge of Luxor after visiting in 2009.
He always checks out the latest deals at Purple Travel before booking his next holiday.
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