Cross the Nile to visit the spectacular Valley of the Kings. The Valley of the Kings is the legendary resting place of the Egyptian Pharaohs, and the world’s most famous necropolis. Tutankhmen’s tomb is probably the most famous burial place in the world, but the vast tomb for Ramses the Great’s sons is even more spectacular.
Nearby can be found the Valley of the Queens, a necropolis for Pharoahs’ wives and queens. Among the 70 stylish, opulently decorated tombs can be found Queen Nefertiti’s tomb.
The dramatic mortuary Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, also known as Deir El Bahri, has been built out of the rock face. Later, pass the fabled, huge Colossi of Memnon, two vast statues in honour of the Pharaoh Amenophis III.
On the West Bank, there are other fascinating tombs and temples to visit. Take a tour to see the temple complex of Medinat Habu, with its great Temple of Ramses III, and the most magnificent tombs of the Nobles, which are more personally decorated, and well worth seeing.
The most celebrated temples in Egypt are Karnak Temple and Luxor Temple. Karnak Temple remains, after 2000 years, the largest religious building ever constructed, and has never been bettered. The area of the sacred enclosure of Amon alone covers 61 acres, and could easily hold ten European cathedrals. An avenue of ram headed sphinxes, symbols of the god, lead there.
There are temples within temples, such as the magnificent Hypostyle Hall, boasts 134 columns and an immense sacred lake large enough to sail flaming barges on.
Enjoy an enchanting couple of hours at one of Egypt’s finest outdoor spectacles at Karnak Temple. Here the history of the Great Pharaohs of the 18th and 19th dynasties is narrated with dramatic sound and light effects. Walking through the darkened temple to the sacred lake, the ancient history of this awe-inspiring temple complex comes vividly alive.
Luxor’s superb temple, with its papyrus headed columns and imposing colonnade is not to be missed. This is where the famous Luxor Obelisk, which now stands in the Place de la Concorde, was appropriated from. Built by Amenhotep III and Ramses II, a millennium and a half ago, Luxor Temple is still a holy site today. The Romans, and then the Christians used it as a temple, and Egypt’s oldest mosque can be found on the grounds.
The beautiful Ptolemaic temple dedicated to Hathor, the Goddess of Love, is only a short drive from Luxor. Here can be seen striking bas-reliefs of Cleopatra and her son Caesarion, the only temple in Egypt to portray this legendary queen.Denderah is the only temple in Egypt with an accessible roof, to enable you to enjoy a view of the area.
From Denderah, drive on through the lush countryside and villages to visit Abydos, the renowned Temple of Seti I. Here you will see the famed “Tablet of Abydos”, whichlists seventy-six Egyptian Kings in chronological order.
A fascinating way to experience two distinctly different styles of temple.
Experience the unforgettable joy of flying in a hot air balloon. View the magnificent tombs and temples and the surrounding countryside whilst peacefully drifting over the historical monuments. See scenes of daily Egyptian life, and feel the atmosphere of ancient times. Total flying time: 45 min.
Aswan is one of the most beautiful cities in Egypt. En route you can visit the best-preserved temple in Egypt, Edfu, dedicated to the Bird God Horus. Kom Ombo has some of the earliest relics of Egyptian civilisation, Kom Ombo Temple, dedicated to the Gods Sobek and Horus. In Aswan itself, visit the Temple of Isis, which was rescued from flooding by the Aswan Dam and reconstructed on the Island of Philae.