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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Luxor

Luxor Holidays

Located on the eastern bank of the famous River Nile, Luxor is a fascinating example of Egypt's rich ancient history. Get ready for a serious blast from the past as the Karnak Temple rises high above the landscape, and the famous Valley of the Kings is close by too.

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A haven for historians

Egypt is famous for its ancient history, and on Luxor holidays this heritage is unavoidable. Among the many relics are the monumental Karnak Temple, which is made up of row after tow of temples and statues, crafted by the hands of millennia past. They include the tall figures of Pinedjem I and two huge statues of Ramesses II.

In terms of popularity with tourists, Karnak is second to the great Giza Pyramids, which is recognised as Egypt's most-visited ancient site. In terms of its size, Cambodia's Angkor Wat is the only other place which is regarded by experts as a larger ancient religious site.

Across the Nile you'll find the Valley of the Kings, a vast necropolis where Pharaohs like Tutankhamun started a journey that would give them a million years of life, health and strength. This area has been a popular spot for tourists for millennia, especially in Roman times.

You won't just find ancient Egyptian relics in Luxor, you'll also find a huge amount of colonial history for visitors to discover, including the New Corniche in the centre. Plus, a series of magnificent mosques sit scattered around the centre of Luxor, making for incredible photo opportunities as you soak in the culture.

Quick Tips

  • Islam
  • Egyptian Pound
  • Arabic
  • Approx 423,000
  • GMT +2

Some Egyptian retail therapy

Roughly 100,000 residents occupy Luxor, and with tourists on package holidays to Egypt descending every year, you'll find there's always a vibrant atmosphere in the town, especially when it comes to high season.

The bazaars in Luxor are a must-see, forming a patchwork of long streets and market stalls selling fine fabrics and fragrant spices. Try your hand at bargaining with the locals and secure your very own authentic Egyptian handicrafts.

Caravanserai is also a top-notch shopping realm, found within a real Egyptian palace. Terracotta pots and beautiful glassware line shelf after shelf in this cavern of fragile crafts. Meanwhile, the Fair Trade Centre in Luxor offers a genuine Fairtrade shopping centre where locals can sell their produce. This will satisfy your urge to shop until you drop as well as your conscience.

A life of luxury

Many travellers choose to book their Egypt holidays All Inclusive, and in Luxor you can enjoy the sweeter side of life at the Old Winter Palace. This colonial 5* hotel comes with just under 100 luxurious rooms.

This is just the beginning of the high-roller culture in Luxor though, as you can always follow this up with a sunset trip on the felucca boat or a hot-air balloon ride high above the ancient Egyptian temples and Valley of the Kings.

Alternatively, take to the world's longest river on an exclusive cruise from Luxor to Dendera, where you'll pass traditional settlements and ancient monuments, all visible from your luxury cruise ship. Tickets start at just £53, while children pay only £27 for the privilege.

A camel safari

Take a ride atop your very own trusty steed. No, not a horse – a camel, as Luxor has its own camel riding safari, so visitors can explore the bank of the Nile in style. It'll also give you a new angle on the everyday lives of the locals, all for a small fee of £12 for adults and £6 for kids.

Evenings in Luxor

Luxor is not a nightlife hotspot, as most people flock to the town for its history and incredible culture. However, if fancy a night out there are a handful of options.

Bowling alleys are a big one, and culture shows in the hotels are popular, with St Joseph and The Nile Hotel both offering weekly entertainment for tourists to drop in on. This is a great way to meet people and swap holiday stories with fellow travellers, while the locals are just as likely to welcome your tales and offer their own.

Be sure to get involved in Luxor's cosy community, and you'll find that the warmth of this place isn't only down to its grand desert sun.