Enjoy a full day tour to discover the Ancient capital of Egypt : Luxor, formerly called Thebes. All the temples and ancient monuments scattered on both banks of the Nile river make this city a real open-air museum. Temple of Hatcheptsut, Valley of the Kings, Colossi of Memnon, Karnak temple… these are so many wonders that will not fail to impress you.
Luxor (hotel/Nile cruise/airport)
In the morning, your egyptologist guide will pick you up (from your hotel or directly from Luxor International Airport) in order to reach the West bank of Luxor : the first step of your day.
Discover first the valley of the Kings, a symbol of pharaohs’ glory. This valley was chosen by the pharaohs to be their royal necropolis after the Pyramids of the lower Egypt were stripped of their treasure. The site contains 63 tombs excavated in the rock of the mountain, the most famous one is that of the young king Tutankhamun.
Adventure yourself inside a royal tomb and examine the colored scenes on the walls, these give you insights on the beliefs and funerary rites of Ancient Egyptian. Here you understand that to get prepared for death is the first goal of a pharaoh, therefore, the tomb was for each king the great achievement of his life. The royal tombs are until now a great witness of the prestige and greatness of the pharaohs.
Continue your excursion with the Memorial Temple of Hatchepsut. Arriving to the site, the impressive cliff will not miss to captivate your eyes. But it’s at the foot of this masterpiece of nature that remains the real wonder : Hatshepsut temple. The external architecture match perfectly with the refined cliff, the building seems to have been sculpted into the rock. Once inside the temple, you are able to examine on the walls, scenes that tell the story of the female pharaohs that has made Egypt strong and wealthy under her reign. You can notice that many figures have their face damaged, these are representations of Hatshepsut that Tutmosis III wanted to get rid of. Indeed after her death Tutmosis III became king and finally took revenge on his stepmother that had stolen the power from him. Actually, he did everything to erase the name of Hatshepsut from history : he ruined the face of some of her statues, destroyed her cartouches or removed them.
Last site in the West bank : the colossi of Memnon. Massive, proudly standing, and the gaze fixed toward the Nile, the two colossi of Memnon were the guardians of Amenhotep’s memorial temple. This complex was the vastest and the most sumptuous in Egypt, here Amenhotep was venerated as a god. After an earthquake of 27 BC, the remaining part of one of the colossi was believed to sing at the time of sunrise. But this sound disappeared after the renovations. The several earthquakes and floods took away this prodigious temple. Today the area is a vast archaeological research site, still guarded by the two great colossi.
Have lunch in a nice local restaurant.
Continue your day with the visit of the two glorious temples of the East bank of the ancient Thebes. Get into Karnak temple : the vastest Ancient temple dedicated to the Theban triad Amun, Mut and their son Khonsu. Karnak temple was connected to Luxor temple by an alley of sphinx which was used during the Opet Festival : the statues of the Theban triad were carried in procession from Karnak Temple to Luxor Temple so that Amun-Ra (the solar shape of god Amun) meets Amun-Min (the shape of Amun in Luxor Temple). The ancient complex is composed of three precincts, only the one of Amun-Ra is accessible to the public. Make your way through the papyrus field of the hypostyle hall. The 134 columns shaped like papyrus will not miss to impress you. The walls will captivate you with their colored engravings and hieroglyphs. At the back of Amun-Ra precinct : a charming sacred lake of natural spring water that was used by the priests to purify themselves before entering the temple. The whole complex was built and developed during more than 2000 years. Hence, about thirty Pharaohs have contributed to the construction of the building, making it unique by its size, its degree of elaboration and the diversity of styles.
End your day with Luxor temple : this is the perfect time to enjoy the splendor of the Ancient architecture highlighted by the shimmering rays of the setting sun. Enter the site facing the immense pylon of Ramses II, his monumental colossi and of course the unique obelisk since the other was given to France by the viceroy Mehmet Ali. Once a year, during the flood season of the Nile, the temple used to welcome the statues of the Theban triads for the Beautiful Feast of Opet. During 12 days, several rituals and celebrations used to take place in the temple. Here, Mut renewed every year her marriage with Amun and gave birth again to Khonsu. This rebirth ceremony radiated on the Pharaoh, who could thus renew his power above whole Egypt. The site also hosts a roman chapel and a mosque that you can still admire on the top of the ancient columns of the temple.
Here ends your amazing tour, your guide will transfer you back to your hotel or to the airport.