The question I am most asked by guests planning a visit to Egypt is “How many days do I need in Luxor?” The answer is that it all depends on your level of interest in the temples, tombs, museums, daily life, culture etc.
You Need Minimum 3 Days to see Luxor’s Main Sites
- Day 1 – arrive in Luxor evening or night time
- Day 2 – Abydos/Dendera or West Bank
- Day 3 – West Bank or Abydos/Dendera
- Day 4 – Karnak & Luxor Temples, you might want to leave Luxor in the afternoon or night time if pressed for time.
An Alternative Itinerary for your days in Luxor would be:
- Day 1 – arrive before mid-day and see Karnak & Luxor Temples
- Day 2 – Abydos/Dendera or West Bank
- Day 3 – West Bank or Abydos/Dendera – leave on flight 6pm or later or the night train
Most travelers to Egypt are coming from far away countries, many are in transit by plane for 24 hours. So if you are traveling such a long distance you should see the best Egypt has to offer. This means at least 5 sites on Luxor’s West Bank of the Nile.
The 5 sites you should visit on Luxor’s West Bank are:
- Valley of the Kings
- Hatshepsut’s Temple
- Nobles Tombs (set of two or set of 3 tombs)
- Deir El Medina (the Workers’ Village – 2 pristine tombs)
- Medinet Habu Temple.
SPECIAL TOMBS on West Bank:
Currently there are 3 special tombs open on the West Bank and perhaps for a limited time. These are definitely worth seeing if you are very interested in seeing the best tombs and ok with paying the extra ticket costs. They are
- Tut-Ankh-Amun (300 le) in the Valley of the Kings
- Sety I (1000 le) in the Valley of the Kings
- Queen Nefertari (1580 le) in the Valley of the Queens
I think it is better to spend one relaxed, quality day on the West Bank, stopping for lunch if wanted, rather than dividing the West Bank into 2 half days on the advice of a travel agent or tour guide, who wants to incorporate shopping trips to Papyrus or Alabaster shops into your tours. Shopping is better (and cheaper) done in the cool of the evening by yourself.
The Temples at Abydos and Dendera require 1 Full Day
These two temples are the absolute best in Egypt. They are the most intact, most colourful, most mysterious, most exciting and best Temples in Egypt. I am very passionate about these two temples and advise that if you see no other temple in Egypt SEE THESE TWO! They involve a day trip from Luxor and you get 1 – 2 hours in Abydos and 2 hours in Dendera.
At Mara House we give you information on arrival of everything you can do in Luxor and we never push tours on guests – with the exception of Abydos and Dendera 🙂 I really do try to get all my guests to go to these exciting and remote Temples with Mara House Tours for a few reasons.
- There are quite a few things in these ancient sites that the usual guides will not tell you about or bring to your attention simply because they don’t have explanations for them – such as the helicopter etc. at Abydos.
- Going by cheap taxi, to save money, without a guide who really knows and loves these two Egyptian monuments is cheating yourself. You will be hassled by the guardians etc. there to let them show you around – and your experience will be marred by it. You will not know from any guide book what out-of-the-ordinary things you should be searching for in either of these two temples.
95% of tourists coming to Luxor miss out on visiting these two amazing places
Karnak and Luxor Temples – half a day.
Karnak Temple will take you about 2 hours and Luxor Temple 1 hour so it is ideal to slot these into your arrival or departure days if you are arriving or departing around mid-day. Karnak Temple ticket office closes at 4 or 4.30pm, depending on time of the year. The Temple must be empty at 5pm – but Luxor Temple is open late every night and is beautifully illuminated after dark.