Luxor Travel Guide

General Information About Luxor

Imagine a very large and natural outdoor museum, and Luxor will more than measure up to the vision. Built on the 4,000-year old site of ancient Thebes, once ruled by great pharaohs such as Ramses II, this fascinating city stands on the east bank of the Nile and quite literally, resonates with history. As well as incredible backdrops against its busy centre, the flat plains around it offer endless treasures. Yet for all these ancient relics, Luxor remains a lively modern city, pulsing with colorful life, bazaars and 4 and 5 star hotels which provide visitors with placid retreats from their action-packed itineraries.

Your first must-see here is the incredible Temple of Luxor  in the heart of the modern town. Gaze wide-eyed at the incredible Obelisks  built by Ramses II and wonder at an unimaginably long-gone world, and then finish up with a tour of the Mummified Museum . Luxor's two other highpoints lie outside the city. Head north to gaze at the Temple of Karnak , a jaw-dropping series of vast shrines and pillars. Across the Nile the legendary Valley of the Kings , with its 62 hill-carved tombs, including those of Tutankhamun and Ramses II, awaits your presence. Descend into the eerie hieroglyphic-inscribed burial chambers and you'll feel totally humbled. When you can lift your jaw off the floor - don't forget the haunting Valleys of the Nobles and Queens also on the West Bank - head back to your hotel or cruise ship to cool off in the pool or at the bar, the latter providing the nightlife of choice for most visitors here. You'll need time to recharge your batteries for the next day’s time traveling, after all.

Shopping and Leisure in Luxor

Tourism is the mainstay of the economy of Luxor.  Estimates vary, but some claim that as much as 85% of Luxor’s livelihood depends on visitors and their hard cash.  So you should be prepared to enjoy (if that’s the right word!)  being invited to step inside every shop, rent every caleche, or have offers to shine your shoes made at virtually every street corner.   For some people, that’s the essence of Egypt holidays: the cheerfully persistent sales pitches, the theatre of bargaining, hunting for real gems and a genuine taste of the Souk.  Others can feel hassled at every turn and find the relentlessly aggressive selling unpleasant.  It depends on your approach and attitude.  Keep your cool and sense of humour and you’ll discover genuine warmth in Luxor and throughout Egypt.

There are only three main streets in Luxor:  Sharia al-Mahatta, Sharia al-Karnak and the Corniche next to the Nile.  Sharia al-Mahatta runs from the Nile to the gardens of Luxor Temple.  Sharia al-Karnak runs along the Nile from the Luxor Temple to the Temple of Karnak.  It’s also known as Sharia al-Markaz where it meets Sharia al-Mahatta and to the south around the temple it becomes Sharia al-Lokanda.  It’s here you’ll find colourful restaurants and cafes as well as bazaars with a good selection of Egyptian souvenirs.  If you tire of all these ancient wonders indulge in the facilities provided by Luxor hotels that include swimming pools and health clubs.  Further afield, there’s the Royal Valley Golf Club.  This 18-hole, Par 72 championship standard course  is open to tourist groups and is situated on the East Bank of Luxor about 13 Km from the city centre.

Iberotel Luxor Luxor, Egypt

Iberotel Luxor has an excellent location overlooking the banks of the Nile and is ideal for romantic getaways or honeymoons or those fascinated by the marvels and mysteries of ancient Egypt.

Iberotel Crown Empress Luxor, Egypt

The Iberotel Crown Empress is the largest vessel in Travcotel’s fleet. It measures approximately 110 meters in length and is designed to give all guests a real taste of sailing aboard a premium Nile cruise liner.

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Iberotel Crown Emperor Luxor, Egypt

The Iberotel Crown Emperor is the second largest ship in the Travcotel fleet. This impressive Five-star Deluxe Nile cruise liner carries travellers in supreme comfort...

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Crown Jewel Luxor, Egypt

This deluxe Five-star vessel offers you a trip to remember with exquisite dining and true gourmet cuisine, beautiful surroundings and an extensive programme of onboard entertainment ...

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Jaz Jubilee Luxor, Egypt

Cruise in comfort and style onboard the Deluxe Five-star Jaz Jubilee. This ship creates the perfect environment to which you can return after optional shore excursions exploring Egypt’s marvels.

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Crown Prince Luxor, Egypt

The Crown Prince is an impressive and extravagant ship offering Five-star deluxe comfort and facilities in a modern and self contained cruise vessel that promises safety...

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Jaz Senator Luxor, Egypt

Cruise in comfort and unique style onboard the Five-star Deluxe Yacht, the Jaz Senator. This is the only vessel within the Travcotels’ fleet to feature Suite-Only accommodation.

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Imperial Luxor, Egypt

The Imperial is one of several superior Five-star ships in the Travcotels fleet but is the only vessel to feature Suite accommodation measuring a very generous 41 m² and spacious cabins of 20.5 m² .

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Jaz Regency Luxor, Egypt

Cruise in comfort and style onboard the Deluxe Five-star Jaz Regency. Relax, discover the beauty of the Nile, be entertained and enjoy the marvels of ancient Egypt.

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Regent Luxor, Egypt

Upgrade yourself and travel Five-star with the luxury Travcotels Regent. Designed and crewed to meet your every need, a river Nile cruise aboard the Regent is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable...

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Jaz Royale Luxor, Egypt

Cruise in comfort and style onboard the Deluxe Five-star Jaz Royale. This ship and her accommodation exudes comfort and style creating a truly regal experience for all on board.

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Helio Luxor, Egypt

The Helio is an elegant and stylish Five-star cruise vessel that has echoes of Agatha Christie and Art Noveau 1930’s style.

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Lady Sophia Luxor, Egypt

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Nile Empress Luxor, Egypt

The Nile Empress is an intimate and luxurious Five-star Nile cruise ship that takes you on your journey along the Nile and through the marvels and beauty of Egypt in supreme style and elegance.

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Nile Monarch Luxor, Egypt

The Nile Monarch lives up to its royal name and rating as a luxury Five-star cruise ship. Providing a very high standard of service, the Nile Monarch features a round-the-clock reception service,

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Regina Luxor, Egypt

A world of opulence and luxury awaits you onboard the Travcotels Regina. The ideal way to experience the Nile and its surroundings for couples and families...

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Steigenberger Legacy Luxor, Egypt

With a uniquely elegant style, the Deluxe Five-star Jaz Legacy offers supreme comfort and cruising pleasure. It provides a variety of services, including round-the-clock reception.

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Steigenberger Minerva Luxor, Egypt

Cruise in comfort and style onboard the Five-star luxury-rated Jaz Minerva. This ship creates the perfect atmosphere and a comfortable home base to explore the same route the Pharos would have taken in their stately processions along...

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Jaz Yakouta Luxor, Egypt

Experience a more gracious, graceful and luxurious Nile cruise with the sedate majesty of a Dahabiya. Jaz Yakouta will take you back in time to the gentler era when the elite and sophisticated travelers cruised on the Nile in style.

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Steigenberger Omar El Khayam Lake Nasser, Egypt

The Five-star Deluxe Steigenberger Omar El Khayam is one of our finest, most spacious and modern vessels in an impressive fleet. Dedicated to cruising Lake Nasser

AVG/NIGHT$620 SELECT

Luxor Attractions

The Karnak Temple

The Karnak Temple is located on the east side of the Nile, just north of the Temple of Luxor. The temple of Karnak was known as Ipet-isut (most select of places) by the ancient Egyptians. It is a city of temples built over 2000 years and dedicated to the Theben triad of Amun, Mut and Khonsu.
This derelict place is still capable of overshadowing many of the wonders of the modern world, and in its day must have been awe inspiring.For the ancient Egyptian population this could only have been the place of the gods. It is the mother of all religious buildings,

the largest ever made, and a place of pilgrimage for nearly 4,000 years. Today's pilgrims however are mainly tourists. It covers about 200 acres - 1.5km by 0.8km. The area of the sacred enclosure of Amun alone is 61 acres, and would hold ten average-sized European cathedrals.
The Hypostyle hall, at 54,000 square feet, and with its 134 columns (the tallest of the 134 columns reaches a height of 23 meters) is still the largest room of any religious building in the world. In this enormous forest of columns you get a genuine feeling of the wealth of the New Kingdom and of the importance of Amun as the State-God.Karnak is the home of the god Amun who was an insignificant local god until the 12th dynasty when Thebes became the capital of Egypt. He was represented in his original state as a goose and later as a ram, at the height of his power he was shown as a human with a head dress of feathers - all that remained of the goose.
All ancient Egyptian temples had a sacred lake; the Karnak's is the largest. It was used during festivals when images of the gods would sail across it on golden barges.
The water supply to the lake, which symbolized the primeval ocean Nun, comes directly from the Nile. Next to the lake is a small café where you can pit stop in the shade and fantasize about the temple in its golden ages.

The Mummification Museum

This small and fairly new attraction illustrates the fine art of embalming and mummification with wall pictures and archaeological artifacts.

The Temple of Luxor

The Luxor Temple has many fascinating aspects and features that continue to attract multitudes of people: Some 260 m (850 ft) long today, the temple was built by Amenophis III on the foundations of a previous religious structure, dating from the time of Queen Hatshepsut. The Colonnades One of the glories of the ancient Egyptian temple is a majestic colonnade dating to the reign of Amenophis III, with 14 columns with papyrus-shaped capitals standing at 18m (60 ft) tall, and almost 10m (33 ft) in circumference. The colonnade is enclosed on both sides by a masonry curtain wall, with reliefs depicting various phases of the Festival of Opet, completed and decorated during the reigns of Tutankhamen and Horemheb. A magnificent courtyard follows; it is lined with a double row of columns, and bordered to the south by the hypostyle hall, which itself contains 32 gigantic columns. From here, the visitor passes on to the inner section of the attraction where there is a series of four antechambers and ancillary rooms, as well as the Sanctuary of the Sacred Barque, situated in the innermost room. The chapel was rebuilt by Alexander the Great. The ceremonies that took place in the temple of Luxor were of great importance, and their religious symbolism complex. During the Festival of Opet, the feast of the royal jubilee, the divine rebirth of the pharaoh, son of Amun, was celebrated, reaffirming in this way his power. The ancient Egyptian temple of Luxor also served as a shrine for the worship of the divine and immortal portion of the pharaoh, the royal "ka", symbol of the legitimacy of the pharaoh's power, which was universal and not restricted to any individual pharaoh. In terms of purity of structural design and the elegance of its columns, the temple is one of the most remarkable architectural achievements of the New Kingdom. The Courtyard of Ramses II The courtyard of Ramses II, is surrounded by a peristyle of 74 papyrus columns arranged in a double row and adorned with 16 statues of the pharaoh, and incorporates a three-part chapel on the northern side, also dedicated to the Theban triad and dating to Hatshepsut's reign.

Valley of the Kings, West Bank in Luxor

 

The desert valley on the west bank of Thebes is best known as Valley of the Kings, Egypt. The location was the political and religious capital of the New Kingdom, and was first used as a royal necropolis by Thutmosis I, although it was his predecessor, Amenhotep I, who was considered the patron-god of the valley by the actual builders of the tombs. The last known king to have built a tomb in the Valley was Ramsis XI, the last king of the New Kingdom, although it is doubtful that he ever used that tomb. Despite its modern name, the majority of its tombs were not built for members of the royal family and entourage.

The Valley of the Kings Egypt has two main branches: the East Valley, where most of the royal tombs are situated, and the West Valley, which contains only the tombs of Amenhotep III and Ay, and some pits.
The tombs of most of the New Kingdom kings have been discovered over the years; some were already open to public during the Greek-Roman era, others have only recently been unearthed.
All of the tombs have fallen victim to one or several visits by tomb robbers, even the famous tomb of Tutankhamen that was discovered almost intact in 1922 by Howard Carter.
In an effort to save the royal mummies of these attractions from destruction, and to salvage the remaining treasures of the royal tombs, the priests of the end of the 20th and the 21st Dynasty opened the tombs, collected the mummies and buried them in two or more "caches".
The first "cache" was a rock tomb high up in the mountains of Deir el-Bahri that was probably intended as the family tomb of the 21st Dynasty king-priests. The second "cache" was the tomb of 18th Dynasty king Amenhotep II.
Not every royal mummy of the New Kingdom has been found, so there is room for the hypothesis that there may have been a third "cache" which has not yet been identified as such or which has not yet been discovered.
The only royal mummies to have been found in their own tombs were those of Amenhotep II, who was re-buried in his own tomb by the 21st Dynasty priests, and Tutankhamen, whose tomb lay undisturbed from the middle of the 20th Dynasty on.

Obelisks

The Obelisks Also dating to the reign of Rames II are two large obelisks that once stood before the first pylon (a word derived from the Greek meaning 'gateway') and which were given to France by the ruler of Egypt, Mohammad Ali, in 1819. The western obelisk, more than 21 m (70 ft) tall and weighing 210 tons, was removed by the French in 1836 and erected in Paris in the Place de la Concorde. All claims to ownership over the second obelisk, which remained in its position in Egypt, were renounced by France in 1980.

Luxor Holidays

The Best of Three – 14 Nights Cairo, Luxor, Hurghada, Aswan

15 Days / 14 Nights

Start off at Luxor and cruise down the Nile to Aswan for a preview of cultural grandness, followed by a stop at Cairo, the heart of Egypt, and then relax in Hurghada and enjoy the sun.

fromUSD SELECT

Explore Egypt in 15 Days - 14 Nights Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Marsa Alam

15 Days / 14 Nights

A beautiful journey across Egypt, starting off by Cairo & Alexandria followed by a fascinating cruise down the Nile from Luxor to Aswan; at the end of the journey, unwind by the Red Sea, under the shining sun in Masra Alam.

fromUSD SELECT

Egypt’s Treasures – 7 Nights Cairo, Aswan, Luxor

8 Days / 7 Nights

Discover Egypt's treasures in an 8 day vacation; where you will explore the highlights of Cairo, fly to Aswan and sail to Luxor on board a 5 star cruise ship.

fromUSD SELECT

A Legnedary Vacation – 7 Nights Cairo, Luxor, Aswan

8 Days / 7 Nights

Enjoy the best of Cultural Egypt by visiting Luxor, and take a relaxing cruise down to Aswan, passing by Esna, Edfu, and Kom Ombo; from Aswan fly to Cairo, the heart of modern Egypt.

fromUSD SELECT

Best of the Nile - 4 Nights Luxor, Aswan

5 Days / 4 Nights

A 4 night stay at Upper Egypt, full of history, grandeur and beauty. Let us take you on a Nile journey across Luxor, Esna, Edfu, Kom Ombo & Aswan.

fromUSD SELECT

Off the Beaten Path - 7 Nights Farafra Oasis, Cairo, Bahariya Oasis, Al Dakhla Oasis, Al Kharga Oasis, Luxor

8 Days / 7 Nights

A trip that will take you to wondrous places, starting off from Cairo, to Bahariya, the White desert and Farafra, Dakhla, Kharga, Baris & Luxor. A 7 night adventure, off the beaten path.

fromUSD SELECT

Charming Culture of Egypt – 7 Nights Cairo, Aswan, Luxor

8 Days / 7 Nights

Unfold Egypt's charming culture, as you visit the highlights of Cairo and then sail from Aswan to Luxor on a 5 star cruise ship.

fromUSD SELECT

The Best of Both Worlds – 14 Nights Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, Hurghada

15 Days / 14 Nights

Get to experience the best of what Egypt has to offer, the best of two worlds; between the historical outstanding culture and the tranquility of its beaches and nature.

fromUSD SELECT

The Great Wonders of Egypt - 9 Nights Cairo, Aswan, Luxor

10 Days / 9 Nights

A ten day tour, unfolding the great wonders of Egypt throughout Cairo, Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu & Luxor.

fromUSD SELECT

Best of the Nile - 3 Nights Aswan, Luxor

4 Days / 3 Nights

A short, sweet and grand in history stay at Upper Egypt, just for 3 nights. We will take you on a journey across Aswan, Kom Ombo, Edfu and Luxor.

fromUSD SELECT

Legends on the Nile - 11 Nights Cairo, Luxor, Abu Simbel, Aswan

12 Days / 11 Nights

Spend two nights in Cairo and then fly to Upper Egypt. There, you will be introduced to ancient wonders as you sail to legendary attractions.

fromUSD SELECT

Around Egypt in 15 Days - 14 Nights Luxor, Cairo, Alexandria, Hurghada

15 Days / 14 Nights

Let us take you on a journey across beautiful Egypt to experience the diversity it has to offer. From cruising the Nile from Luxor to Aswan, followed by a visit to Cairo and Alexandria; to unwinding by the Red Sea, under the shining sun in Hurghada.

fromUSD SELECT

Best of the Nile - 7 Nights Luxor, Aswan

8 Days / 7 Nights

Spend an entire week discovering the beauty of Upper Egypt, unfolding its treasures, as you sail through Luxor to Aswan.

fromUSD SELECT

Scuba Diving in Luxor, the Red Sea

Shopping and Leisure in Luxor

For those who love to shop, Sharm El-Sheikh provides ample opportunities to indulge in retail therapy. Sharm El Sheikh is famous for producing jewellery, leather goods and rugs. Expect to haggle when shopping in Sharm El Sheikh! It is all part of the experience and the shop owners will be shocked if you don’t try to negotiate! The majority of shops and shopping centres are based in Naama Bay but Sharm Old Market is great for hunting out bargains. If you want real value for money you should go south-west to Dahab which is less busy and less commercialised than Sharm.

There is more to Sharm El-Sheikh than beaches, sea and shopping of course. It’s a well developed area that feels “European” with refined hotels, facilities and amenities. Sharm el Sheikh has a fantastic range of restaurants, bars and cafes to visit as well as the hotels own all inclusive menus. The market area in Old Sharm is popular for its abundance of seafood restaurants and cheap prices. For those wanting a romantic evening, head to the” On Deck” restaurant in the Iberotel Lido hotel in Naama Bay where you can dine on a pontoon overlooking the water. The Il Mercato promenade, often called “Les Champs Elysee” of Sinai close to the Iberotel IL Mercato Hotel offers a varied selection of excellent cafes and restaurants.

There’s even an 18-hole Championship golf course in Jolie Ville Golf Resort, located only five kilometres from the main hotels in Sharm el Sheikh which is open to non guests. It includes a driving range and artificial lakes and is a perfect escape for those who love the game.

Luxor Nightlife

Pacha

Pacha is situated in the of Naama bay , and is the premier party place in Sharm El Sheikh that embodies the essence of the Pacha spirit with a twist of mystical Arabia added for pure indulgence.

Little Buddha

Little Buddha is located in the heart of Naama Bay , and being one of the hottest venues in Sharm El Sheikh, it provides its clientele with the finest dining experience, an eclectic atmosphere, sublime surroundings, and the latest sounds from around the globe.

Hard Rock Cafe

When in Egypt, knock the Sinai sand from your sandals and settle into the Hard Rock Cafe Sharm El Sheikh for a tall cool drink to quench your parched throat. The restaurant's huge guitar and sky dome act as an oasis beckoning every desert denizen to a good time. It provides a fascinating atmosphere and mouthwatering dishes.

Camel Bar

It is a two-storey restaurant/bar that offers both indoor and outdoor areas. The lower floor is an ideal venue for those willing to indulge in a drink along with lively music, while the top floor overlooks Naama Bay and offers a more relaxing atmosphere with number of sumptuous international dishes and shisha.