Forget dragging the kids around boring, stuffy museums. In Luxor, the wonders of ancient Egypt come to life as you are surrounded by the past. It’s one giant open-air museum. Treasured temples, statues and tombs give you a glimpse into the land of the pharaohs. Doctor Who isn’t the only one who can use a time machine. But there is more to Luxor than just a history lesson. It’s the perfect departure point for a week-long river cruise down the Nile. Think lying on a sun-lounger armed with a cocktail, while the Egyptian countryside gradually rolls past. Luxor ideal is for those simply looking to relax too. You can work on that tan at any time of year under the welcome rays of Luxor sunshine.
Those looking to enjoy a more active stay in Luxor can take a tour of the city with a difference. Why not hop aboard the back of a camel or a horse to take in the sights? You might be a little sore by the end of the day, but it’s an experience you definitely won’t forget! Souvenir hunters won’t have any trouble finding the perfect gift. There are bazaars dotted around Luxor selling jewellery, spices and perfumes. Haggle your way to the best price with the salesmen. After the sun sets, there are plenty of places to show off your glad rags. Chic bars, traditional restaurants and that holiday favourite of the Irish pub, can all be found in Luxor. Braver holidaymakers can even try a spot of belly-dancing at one of the Egyptian-themed nights.
If you fancy letting your hair down for a couple of days, then travel to the party city of Hurghada. Found on the banks of the Red Sea, Hurghada has built a reputation as one of the world’s best clubbing destinations. Many of Europe’s top DJs play sets here. Hurghada is also a top spot for snorkelling and scuba diving.
One of the newest Red Sea resorts in Egypt, Marsa Alam is only a short drive from Luxor. You’ll get a taste of paradise if you make the journey here. The beach is a beautiful spot, with clear blue waters and mountains in the background. You might even get dolphins swimming next to you when you take a dip.
Holidaymakers to Luxor can get a taste of Egypt’s more recent history by travelling south to the city of Aswan. The remains of the old Aswan dam can be seen here. Aswan is a pleasant spot for a stroll. You can watch the sailboats on the Nile or relax in a restaurant over a plate of freshly-grilled fish.
Valley of the Kings
It’s unlikely that you’ll see any marauding mummies, but the Valley of the Kings is the place to go to see the tombs of Egypt’s pharaohs. The valley is a collection of 63 tombs of some of the most important historical figures in Egyptian history, including the famous Tutankhamun. A hike through the valley is a fascinating insight into ancient Luxor. You’ll spot archeologists at work as they continue to dig for more buried treasures.
On the opposite bank of the Nile to the Valley of the Kings, is the most famous historical site in Luxor. The temple of Karnak is dedicated to three Egyptian gods. The site is HUGE as it stretches over some 100 acres. But you can avoid aching legs by booking a fun tour of Karnak. Book a place on a camel tour and pretend you’re Lawrence of Arabia.
It’s not necessary to spend a week aboard a Nile cruise to get a flavour of life on this mighty river. Day and afternoon trips run from Luxor. After hopping aboard, you can sit back and take in the countryside and ancient temples on the river banks. When the sun sets, dance under the stars as you enjoy the evening’s entertainment. Just don’t fall in!
There’s so much history in the city that it can often feel as if there’s a temple or tomb around every corner. If you don’t fancy walking around yet another temple complex, then there are plenty of air-conditioned museums to get a break from the sun. The Luxor Museum contains many fine exhibits.
River cruise on the Nile
Many holidaymakers to Luxor choose to embark upon a trip down the Nile. These cruises generally last between four and seven days. The Egyptian nights are particularly good fun, as the passengers dress like the locals. You’ll get some photos to treasure… or forget.
The smell of grilled lamb kebabs or meatballs is never far away in Egypt. It’s one of the country’s staple dishes and is usually served with crisp flatbreads, salads and dips. But Egyptian cuisine also uses a lot of vegetables. Vegetarians will have no problem ordering delicious food. Freshly-made Falafel - deep fried broad beans or chickpeas - is a particularly favourite here. Those with a sweet tooth should try baklava; a filo pastry cake layered with honey and nuts. It’s sticky, gooey and delicious.
As the sun begins to set, the west bank of the Nile is the best place in Luxor to go to find restaurants and cafes. They cater for every taste and budget; ranging from familiar fast food chains to upmarket international cuisine. If you’re looking to try the local grub, then some of the restaurants may not even have a menu. Take a chance, order several mezzes (small dishes) and see what you like.
After a hard day of sight-seeing, there’s nothing better than relaxing in a chill-out bar with an ice-cool glass of Egyptian beer. Luxor has a nightlife scene that caters to all tastes. There’s English and Irish-themed pubs, up-market restaurants and plenty of hotels and bars providing traditional Egyptian entertainment.
If you’re looking for more than just sun, sea and sand from your trip to Egypt, then Luxor is the perfect spot to pick. Holidaymakers keen to learn more about Egypt’s fascinating past will be in heaven. Luxor is also a great base if you’re looking to relax or preparing to head on a river cruise down the Nile. The best way to get to this fascinating destination is to book your trip to Luxor with easyJet holidays. Even better, you can save money on your holiday by booking the flight and hotel together with easyJet holidays. If you’re still considering other Egyptian resorts, then have a read of our other destination guides for further inspiration.