Even though Luxor is an uber modern and cosmopolitan city, it is these ancient monuments that are successful in drawing millions of tourists to its nest. With its sprawling temples, royal tombs, limitless desert and a scenic river, this Ancient Egyptian city of Thebles is a visual treat in itself. Tourists would love to unravel the enchanting tales behind each and every historical structure.
Kick-start the tour by heading out to the Temple Complex of Karnak - a must-see in every tourist's itinerary. Within the premises, one will find the Great Temple of Amun, the Temple of Khons and the Festival Temple of Tuthmosis III, as well as several other buildings. Be prepared to be in awe as you gaze up to these mighty and colossal columns and structures.
Be sure to visit the famous Valley of the Kings, concealed between rocky ridges. Comprising approximately 63 tombs and numerous chambers. It was the primary burial place of the major royal figures of the Egyptian New Kingdom, including several privileged nobles. The royal tombs are adorned with scenes from Egyptian mythology and offers hints about the beliefs and funerary rituals of the time.
Spend some time at the Valley of the Queens. Nearly 80 tombs are now uncovered but most of them are without any decoration and just look like cave in the rocks. Though most of the tombs are closed to the public at the moment, some of the best open tombs are the Tomb of Prince Amen-her-khopshef, a son of Ramses III, which includes well-maintained colours on its wall paintings, and the Tomb of Titi.
Regarded as one of the 'incomparable monuments of ancient Egypt', the Mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut is housed below the cliffs at Deir el Bahari on the west bank of the Nile near the Valley of the Kings. Don't forget to spend some time at the Luxor Temple, a huge Ancient Egyptian temple complex, perched on the east bank of the Nile River. The temple was built with sandstone and beautifully designed with lotus columns, which was a bonus attraction for tourists to marvel.
One of the notable attractions of Luxor is the Medinet Habu. It is one of Egypt's stunningly adorned temples. The complex includes a small older temple erected during the 18th dynasty and expanded in the Late Period, and the great Temple of Ramses III, related with a royal palace, which was fringed by a battlemented enclosure wall four-meters high. Apart from its architectural significance, the temple is well-known for its source of inscribed reliefs showcasing the advent and defeat of the Sea People during the reign of Ramess III.
Luxor is not known for only ancient monuments. It is also home to mineral springs and special sands that made is famous for therapeutic tourism. It is also popular for being a major scuba diving destination and tourists can indulge in a plethora of water sports in Safaga's stunning beaches. One can embark on a cruise ship at Safaga, on Egypt's Red Sea coast, and head out to excursions to the numerous historical attractions housed in Luxor.
When it comes to shopping, there are several souvenirs available in any of Luxor's souks and bazaars. Some of the top purchases include alabaster sculptures, jewellery, spices, copper utensils, copies of Egyptian artifacts, papyrus sheets adorned with photographs of Egyptian Pharaohs and hieroglyphs and so forth.
Don't forget to gorge on Egyptian cuisine, while holidaying in Luxor. Be sure to order the appetizing meze (an assortment of local small delicacies). Some of the other specialities include roast pigeon kebabs and humus (chickpeas).
The stay options in Luxor are abundant with the rich tourists craving to be put up at the best luxury hotels and swanky apartments. Similarly, budget travellers can opt for cheap accommodations. The city experiences hot desert climate and the best time to visit would be from October to April as the weather is more pleasant and conducive for a holiday.