Formerly known as Thebes, the ancient city of Luxor is one of most appealing tourist destinations in all of Egypt. During ancient times, the city was the main residence of pharaohs. This is why the place is so rich in temples, royal tombs, and other religious structures.
For a relatively small city, Luxor stretches over a very large area. The most memorable sites include the famous Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, Temple of Karnak, and the Luxor Temple. Aside from these gorgeous sites, the place is rich in other attractions. Luxor has a museum, souvenir shops, fine restaurants, and numerous hotels offering shelter for the weary traveler.
Because of the place’s popularity, there is no wonder that tours are organized each hour. Getting to the well known sites is incredibly easy. All manner of transportation is offered and include cars, trains, boats, and even horse-drawn carriages. The area is very picturesque as it stretches on both sides of the Nile River. Almost all of the attractions are on the west bank, but the eastern shore is also important. It is here that you will find the Luxor Temple and the Temple of Karnak.
Luxor Temple was erected by a chain of great pharaohs, starting with Hatshepsut and ending with Tuthmosis III. Still, most of the temple was built during the rule of Amenhotep III and Ramses II.
As mentioned earlier, any Luxor tour should start with the most popular attractions found on the West Bank. Here, the Valley of the Kings still stands in all its greatness, a rememberance of the time when pharaohs like Tutankhamun and Thutmosis III built their amazing tombs to travel to the afterlife in all their glory. Nearby, you can also visit the Valley of the Queens, where the most famous tomb is believed to belong to Queen Nefertari. As proof that the amazing constructions were built through sheer human force and determination, the area also houses the tombs of many nobles workers who spent their lives working on the monuments that now attract people from all over the world. Here, you can view the famous Temple of Hatshepsut and visit the Deir el Bahri , where many royal mummies were discovered in the second half of the 19th century.
It is a good idea to carry plenty of water when touring Luxor sites. The locations are known to be very dry and the temperature can rise well above the comfort level for any human being. Because the sun is very powerful, be sure wear appropriate clothes and do not expose yourself too much, as it is easy to be burned by the hot Egyptian sun. Be aware that most tombs are barely lit. Take a flashlight with you if you wish to explore the ancient constructions. Bring some extra money, as tipping the guards can get you to less explored areas, where you can enjoy views other tourists may not think about.
Luxor is packed with history. Be sure to take a map and guide book with you. These will assist you making your tour of Luxor one of your best vacation experiences.
Originally posted 2011-09-24 23:16:02.