Do you love ancient history? Ancient Egypt has more than its fair share of attractions for travellers who are keen to explore its mysteries. When in Egypt, exploring the mysteries of Luxor is definitely something to tick off your bucket list.
Luxor was once the capital of ancient Egypt and is one of the most impressive open-air museums in the world. Home to a number of famous Egypt landmarks, some of the highlights is visiting Tutankhamen's tomb in the Valley of the Kings, exploring the mysteries of Karnak and cruising the Nile.
Most people visit Luxor before or after a cruise but two days of exploring Luxor's temples only offers a sample of Egypt's delights. It's worth spending a few days to explore Luxor as there's plenty to see.
EXPLORE KARNAK TEMPLE. The soaring columns and giant statues of Karnak Temple are awe-inspiring. From the statues of the Pharaohs to an avenue of sphinxes, everything in Karnak is huge. If you're keen on Ancient Egyptian history, your notebook will be filled with squiggles that are almost as unreadable as the hieroglyphics etched on the soaring walls and pylons. The ancient Egyptians were an amazing lot and it's mind-boggling to hear about their incredible feats of engineering. It's even more surreal to be wandering through temples that the ancient Egyptians constructed over 4000 years ago. The most famous temple within the sprawling Karnak complex is the Temple of Amun. This was where the ancient Egyptians believed God lived while on earth. As you gaze at the soaring pillars of this Luxor temple, you'll think that the Egyptian gods must have been giants.
LUXOR TEMPLE. Constructed by Amenhotep III and Ramses II, the Temple of Luxor is a New Kingdom temple dedicated to worshipping Amun Ra. The Avenue of the Sphinxes connects Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple and is almost as impressive as the statues of Ramses II.
VALLEY OF THE KINGS. Across the Nile River on the West Bank, another of Luxor's main attractions is the Valley of the Kings, which is where the Egyptian Pharaohs are buried. The Valley of the Kings is not at all picturesque and actually looks a bit like a mining region. Of the 63 royal tombs, the most famous is King Tutankhamen's, which was discovered in 1922 and was the only tomb found with its treasures intact.
HATCHEPSUT MORTUARY TEMPLE. Nefertiti wasn’t the only influential female in Egypt. Hatchepsut (1473 to 1458 BC) was a woman who declared herself pharaoh when she found herself in the position of becoming regent for her stepson Thutmose III. She married her half brother Thutmose II, who was the son of her father’s second wife. Actually, Hatchepsut was the only female pharaoh in ancient Egypt and many Egyptologists consider her to be one of the most successful pharaohs. Hatchepsut ruled with an iron fist. She is portrayed in many drawings as a man with a beard. I find this rather curious fact quite amusing when compared to the sight of a giggling group of Egyptian girls dressed in colourful headscarves and long skirts at the Temple of Hatchepsut in Deir al-Bahri.