A modern metropolis nestled between the ruins of an ancient city, Luxor is often referred to as the world’s largest open air museum. State of the art hotels stand side by side with age-old temples and monuments, beautifully preserved and surrounded by legend and intrigue.
Step back in time to the land of the pharaohs, where kings and queens were worshipped as gods and towering temples in their honour dominated the city skyline. Wander roads lined with sphinxes and try your hand at deciphering aged hieroglyphics intricately carved into walls, before indulging in a cocktail or two in a rooftop bar as the sun goes down.
Located on the east bank of the River Nile, Luxor is a holiday destination with a twist, combining traditional Egypt with luxury modern facilities. Get ready to walk in the Valley of the Kings, haggle your way through the lively souks and experience taste explosions with the local cuisine.
Built around the site of the ancient, sacred city of Thebes, Luxor is very much a city of two halves. Divided into East and West by the winding River Nile, where the east has become a well-developed city surrounding the ancient relics of Thebes, the west remains very much as it was thousands of years ago.
Completely barren as far as the eye can see, the west bank of the river houses the famous necropolis of the age-gone kings and queens of Egypt. Also known as the Valley of the Kings, archaeologists have been excavating this site for decades and still have not discovered all of its secrets. So far 63 tombs have been uncovered, including those of ancient royalty and the legendary King Tutankhamun.
Temples to the gods were once a prominent feature all across Egypt. In Luxor, there was a total 6 grand temples. On the east bank, obscured by the modern city around it, 2 remain standing, the Luxor Temple and the Temple of Karnak. Gigantic structures comprising thick stone walls, towering pillars and impressive stone carved statues of pharaohs and mythical sphinxes, it is no wonder they have survived the test of time.
When in Luxor, a piece of the past lies around every corner and there is plenty to explore, but if you fancy a break from sightseeing, why not pay a visit to one of the lively souks? Locals peddling everything from handmade silks to brilliantly coloured spices line the streets to create an electric atmosphere not to be missed out on.
Egyptian cuisine has been heavily influenced over the centuries by its middle-eastern neighbours, however, it has managed never to lose its uniqueness. Bread and rice remain staple parts of the Egyptian diet, however, deliciously spiced meat and vegetable fillings add intense flavour to the menu.
Lamb Tagine in particular is a popular Egyptian favourite. A hybrid somewhere between a curry and a broth, it is traditionally served with rice and is widely available in Egyptian restaurants as well as from street food vendors in the souks.
As well as a wide variety of Egyptian restaurants, you can also find culinary gems from around the world including Italian, Thai, and even a taste of the best of British if it takes your fancy!
Wine making has long been a tradition in Egypt. In the region known as the ‘Nile Delta’ where the climate is more suited to grape growing, lush reds, refreshing whites and even some rosé wines are produced by the gallon each year. When in Luxor, you will probably find that Egyptian wine is the only wine on offer although there is a wider variety of beers and lagers.