After exploring a fair bit of Cairo, I was pretty ready to escape the madness and head somewhere slightly more chilled out. After mulling over my options, I decided that Luxor would be an excellent choice.
I had more of a time budget than a money budget on this particular trip, so instead of spending hours on a train, I chose to get there via a very quick domestic flight. Luckily, domestic flights are very affordable in Egypt!
In just a little over an hour after taking off from Cairo, I had landed in Luxor.
I only had a few days with which to explore Luxor, so I was quick to dump my backpack and start exploring.
The Valley of The Kings
Much to my dismay, ‘large cameras’ are not allowed inside the Valley of the Kings – and people who work there will confiscate them if they see them! As a result, I only have a few pictures of the valley that I took at the entrance.
Despite being separated from my camera for completely illogical reasons, this is still a place in Luxor that you will NOT want to miss.
For 500 years, this is where tombs for Pharaohs were dug and created in an effort to stop the grave digging and looting that famously occurred at many of the pyramids. Instead of making enormously obvious tombs, Ancient Egyptians of this era attempted to go inconspicuous. However, these attempts mostly failed, and just about every tomb discovered and excavated in the modern day has been found completely empty.
A notable exception to this is the tomb of Tutankhamun – which was found cluttered (due to it’s tiny size) but filled with many artifacts and later became infamous for the supposed curse that fell upon those who excavated the tomb.
It costs 100 EGP ($7) to enter the Valley, which includes entrance to three tombs. Tickets to visit additional tombs can be purchased for 25-50 EGP, or 100 EGP for King Tuts tomb.
Temple of Deir el-Bahri
More commonly known as the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, this enormous temple is located just a stones throw from the Valley of the Kings.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is enormous, and a visit requires at least an hour or two. The temple itself is structurally very impressive, but there are also many sculptures and ancient rock carvings that are undeniably fascinating.
Entrance will set you back 50 EGP ($3.50) and be prepared to get up early if you have any hope of beating the sun and the crowds – both are no joke here.
Colossi of Memnon
These two (fricking massive) statues of Amenhotep III date back over 3,400 years (since 1350 BC) and may not be in the most incredible condition, but they are a pretty cool thing to see (did I mention that they are fricking massive?) and an added bonus – there is no entrance cost and they can be enjoyed for free!
Located on the East Bank of the Nile, this temple dates back to approximately 1400 BC. Unlike most temples in Egypt, Luxor Temple was not devoted to a God, a set of Gods or a deified version of a King; instead, this temple was built as a dedication to the rejuvenation of kingship, and was possibly where many Kings were crowned.
Entrance costs 60 EGP ($4) and mercifully, much of this temple is shielded from the sun – so this is a great place to visit during the hottest part of the day.
Temple of Karnak
Karnak Temple is completely, utterly and ridiculously gorgeous.
This enormous complex is comprised of numerous temples, chapels, pylons and many other structures. Construction on this temple complex began sometime during the reign of Senusret I – which was between 1971 to 1926 BC.
I could babble on about the basic history of this temple complex, but I gotta admit, during my time at Karnak, I was so preoccupied with the beauty and amazingness (not a word, I know) that I missed a lot of the actual history, but hopefully once you scroll through these photos you’ll be able to understand why!
Entrance costs 80 EGP ($6) and I will say that I think Karnak is worth visiting more than once, or somewhere where you could easily dedicate half a day – just remember to take regular breaks from the sun.
Anyone now added Luxor to their bucket lists?!
If you liked this post, please feel free to share it – it sounds crazy, but those social media shares really do help this blog to keep going strong!
Lastly, as always, thanks for reading and happy solo travelling xx
Karnak Temple: Possibly more beautiful than the pyramids (yep, I said it) make sure to visit at sunset
Camera: Images captured with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 in conjunction with M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2/8 lens
Remember: I know I say this all the time, but remember the sunscreen!