A city of lavish temples and fascinating tombs
Luxor has been described as the world’s greatest open-air museum and it would be hard to deny the city this title. The well-preserved monuments gathered in and around the city are phenomenal and make Luxor an enticing destination. Located on the Nile, the city is split into three distinct areas: the city of Luxor, the town of Karnak, and Thebes situated across the river on the west bank. These districts combine to form a delightful mix of authenticity, ancient history and tourist destination, with hotels and restaurants positioned comfortably around historic sites. Visiting places such as the magnificent Karnak Temple and Valley of the Kings can be easily combined with shopping in the colourful bazaars or taking it easy by a hotel pool overlooking the Nile. For trips further afield, Luxor is the starting-point for cruises to Edfu and the Aswan Dam.
Go for the magnificent temples, fascinating tombs, the sunny climate and the culture. There are few places on earth to equal Luxor in terms of its ancient historical importance. The Egyptians are hospitable and warm people and make excellent hosts. Be sure to sample delicious sweet pastries.
When to Go?
Luxor has a year-round hot climate with next to no rain. Winter breaks in the city are the best choice when the weather is hot but comfortable, although you’ll need a jumper at night. High season is from October to March making it the most expensive time to visit, but with good reason. Summer temperatures soar to over 35C and can be unbearable. During March and April strong winds blow in from the desert and make the city unpleasant for getting around.
How to get there?
There are direct flights to Luxor (LXR) from London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Manchester and Birmingham. There are also direct flights from Bristol during high season (November to March). Many indirect flights go via Cairo. The airport is 4 miles from Luxor itself and taxis to the centre of the city take around 15 minutes. Buses are also available but these tend to be crowded. Flights are cheapest during the low season from May to October.
Visit Karnak Temple and see the magnificent pillars and statue of Ramesses II with his son between his feet. Walk to Luxor Temple with its line of Sphinxes outside. Take a boat across the Nile to Thebes and visit the Valley of the Kings. There are often queues for the most famous tombs such as Tutenkhamun’s but some of the other less popular tombs are equally, if not more, impressive. Tour the stunning Temple of Hatshepsut and take time to learn about her incredible story.