Bare Bones | Essential Luxor
In Upper Egypt, this tour in Luxor and surroundings will bring you to some of the most famous sites of the Land of the Pharaohs, accompanied by our expert guide, who will share unique insights into the fascinating world of Egyptology. Besides the world famous temples of Luxor and Karnak, this trip includes an excursion to the legendary Valley of the Kings, where well-known archaeologists have excavated since the end of the 18th century, unveiling the past of a country shrouded in mystery for centuries. Explore with us the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, built by the second known female Pharaoh to rule over this vast land and travel to Abydos, one of the holiest sites of Ancient Egypt to wander the remarkable Temple of Seti I.
- Explore Luxor temple with its famous avenue of sphinxes
- Discover the Valley of the Kings, resting place of royals and nobility for almost 500 years
- Wander around the ruins of Karnak Temple, second largest religious site worldwide after Angkor Wat
- Ancient Egyptians
- Great Cities
- Just One Hotel
After landing in Luxor, we make our way to our central hotel for a chance to settle in and unwind.
The explorations begin this morning with a gentle guided walk around the city’s East Bank, beside the River Nile. Before lunch we pay a visit to Luxor Museum to marvel at finds from the tomb of Tutankhamun and come face to face with the mummies of two pharaohs, 18th dynasty’s Ahmose I and Ramesses I, founder of the 19th dynasty. This afternoon we reunite for a walk to Luxor Temple, a breathtaking complex guarded by huge statues of Rameses II. The rest of the day is free or us to relax and explore at your leisure.
Today we cross the river to visit the West Bank of the Nile. This trip will take us first to the Colossi of Memnon. These two 18 metre high statues originally guarded the entrance to the memorial temple of Amenhotep III of which little else survived. We continue on to the impressive Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, skilfully restored to its former glory. The Punt Colonnade bears visual witness to her glorious trading expedition to the “land of the gods”. After lunch, we enter the Valley of the Kings, burial place of Pharaohs and nobles during the New Kingdom. It was here that, in 1922, Howard Carter famously discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun after a years-long search.
We journey out to Abydos in the morning to visit one of ancient Egypt’s oldest cities, its origins going as far back as the Predynastic period, resting place of the Pharaohs of the 1st dynasty, the site is most famous for its Temple of Seti I and the subterranean, megalithic Osireion. On returning to Luxor the rest of our day is free. Roam the bustling open-air market, or perhaps visit Luxor Temple after dark, when careful lighting adds an ethereal glow.
This morning we return to the West Bank of the Nile and head out to Deir el Medina, the village of the workers who constructed and decorated the tombs in the nearby Valley of the Kings. Though substantially better off than the average, this settlement provides a compelling glimpse of the ancient working class. Next we visit the Temple at Medinet Habu, dedicated to the glory of Remesses III, bearing reliefs relating to the Sea People. This afternoon we enter the Ramesseum, memorial temple of Ramesses the Great and identified by Champollion in 1829. Upon our return to Luxor in the late afternoon, there will be free time to spend as you wish.
Our last day in Egypt begins at the vast temple complex at Karnak, begun during the Middle Kingdom and extended by many rulers of Ancient Egypt over centuries. Here we will wander down the famous avenue of sphinxes and through the First Pylon to view the Hypostyle hall with its massive 134 columns, as well as other elements of the sacred site dedicated to the Thebian triad of Amun-Re, Mut and Montu. The afternoon is free for a final opportunity to explore the city at your own pace and enjoy some of the local cuisine.
After checking out from our hotel, we make our way to the airport for our return journeys home.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - Breakfast only
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
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