Where else can you find ruins of the temple complexes within a modern city? Immediately opposite, besides the world’s most iconic river, aside which lie the monuments, temples and tombs of kings and queens. Welcome to Luxor City’s “open air museum.”
Located in Southern Egypt, 670 KM south of Cairo, 220 KM north of Aswan, Luxor was the ancient city of Thebes, the great capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom. Thebes was also known as “the city of the 100 gates.”
Luxor possesses undeniable charm among the palace halls and gardens and on facades of nineteenth-century buildings with corbelled balconies there is a glimpse of the past. As the sun sets, the Temple of Luxor, close to the large tourist souk seems to stand apart from the world of the living. Its columns, colossal statues and bays recover their serenity, oblivious to the carriages passing by.
From the Luxor Temple built by the New Kingdom Pharaoh Amenophis III to the Mummification Museum, where, one’s world opens to the process of mummification and the Luxor Museum which houses many of the relics found at the Theben temples and necropolis on the west bank or in the North of Luxor city, the spectacular Temples of Karnak built over a time period of 1500 years and was the most important place of worship in ancient Egypt.
The temple complex of Karnak is huge, measuring 1500 x 800 meters, and is a spectacular complex of sanctuaries, kiosks, pylons and obelisks, all dedicated to the Theban gods. It is thought to be the largest surviving religious complex in the world!
Across the Nile lies the necropolis of ancient Thebes which includes The Valley of the Kings, the valley of the queens and the Colossi of Memnon. Pharaoh’s were buried in the Valley of the Kings. Large tombs have yielded riches unsurpassed to the impressive haul found in King Tut’s burial ground. In the Valley of the Queens is where the queens and their children were interred. Only four tombs are open to the public. Two giant statues make up the Colossi of Memnon.
Luxor is the premier travel destination in the Nile Valley and undeniably the tourist capital of Egypt. The dynastic and religious capital of Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom Egypt, Luxor has much to offer the traveler, from vast temples, to ancient royal tombs, via spectacular desert and river scenery and a bustling modern life.
The old capital of Egypt, Thebes, was on the West bank of the Nile. That is where most of the ruins and tombs are. The modern city of Luxor is on the East bank.
Luxor has an extremely wide variety of accommodation options, from camping and hostels, right up to 5 star luxury hotels like the Old Winter Palace Hotel which is of extreme opulence and has played host to both movie stars and heads of state. In all Egypt, Luxor probably experiences the greatest seasonal variation in hotel rates.