the world's smartest travel social network
Safaga . Its unspoiled beaches and stiff breezes made it the ideal venue for the 1993 World Windsurfing Championships. Day trips to Tobia Island or Mons Claudianus in the Red Sea Mountains can be arranged with local guides.
This area is really dominated by the Luxor/Karnak/Thebes open-air museum, filled with awe inspiring monuments of ancient civilization as well as some of the best preserved As Weset it was the capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom; as Thebes it was described by Homer as "the hundred-gated city." Its later name, al-Uqsur, means "City of the Palaces." Testaments to a desire for immortality, built for eternity in sandstone and granite, the temples, tombs and palaces still stand, surrounded by souks and luxury hotels. On the east bank of the Nile, in the City of the Living, Luxor and Karnak Temples greet the sunrise. The sunset on the west bank throws shadows through the City of the Dead: the Tombs of the Nobles, the Valley of the Kings, Queen Hatshepsut's temple.
Today enjoy Day trip to Luxor from Safaga Port, you can walk through history; past statues with the heads of gods and animals, beneath carved lotus buds and papyrus. Ride in a horse-drawn caleche, sail in a felucca, take a sunset cruise or see the city from a hot-air balloon.
Please be aware that more than 80 percent of Egyptian artifacts are in the Thebes area and plan your visit accordingly. Many tours devote only four days to the area, with one of those days being a side trip to Abydos and Dendera.
Elsewhere in this region, we find not only some of the oldest remains in Egypt, but also the history of trade and agriculture, of vast camel caravans and the cities that grew from that
The west bank necropolis can be divided into a number of zones and sub-zones, of which the Valley of the Kings is only one zone. The northern sector of the west bank closest to the Nile River is often referred to as the Tombs of the Nobles, but it can be divided into about five different sub-zones. Farthermost north is an area known as el-Tarif, where large, row tombs were dug during the late Second Intermediate Period and early Middle Kingdom.
Just south of el-Tarif is Dra Abu el-Naga, which is a hillside with about 80 numbered tombs most belonging to priests and officials of the 17th through 20th dynasty, including some rulers of the 17th dynasty. Just southwest of Dra Abu el-Naga is an area called El-Assasif, where there are 40 tombs, mostly from the New Kingdom and later. Just south of El-Assasif is El-Khokha, a hill with five Old Kingdom tombs and 53 numbered tombs from the 18th and 19th dynasty.
Directly west of El-Khokha is Sheikh Abd el-Qurna. This hill was named for a mythical Muslim sheikh, and has 146 numbered tombs, most of which are from the 18th Dynasty. Here one finds some of the most beautiful private tombs on the West Bank.
Just north of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna is Deir el-Bahari, well known for the northernmost temples in the Valley, including that of Hatshepsut and Mentuhotep.
Finally, south of Sheikh Abd el-Qurna and near the Temple of Merenptah is Qurnet Murai, a hill with 17 numbered tombs mostly dating to the Ramesside period. Where there are probably thousands of tombs in these areas, Egyptologists have only explored and numbered a total of about 800 of them.
Further west is the highest of the peaks in the Theban range of hills. This is Qurn, which can be translated in Arabic to mean "horn", or "forehead". At this mountains northern base, fairly well separate from the other burials in the West Bank, is the Valley of the Kings. Along with a number of unfinished tombs, 62 numbered tombs are known to Egyptologists. This was the final resting place of many of the New Kingdom rulers.
South of the Valley of the Kings, and closer to the Nile lies the Valley of the Queens. This area is inappropriately named, because it houses family members of the kings, including both males and females, and even some high officials. There are about 80 numbered tombs in this area, probably the most famous of which is that of Queen Nefertari.
Just southeast of the Valley of the Queens is Deir el-Medina, the ruins of a village that housed the craftsmen and workers who dug and decorated the tombs and other Theban monuments. It is a very important area to Egyptology, because it has revealed many of the facets of ordinary life in Egypt, and there are some wonderful tombs in its necropolis. All along the border between the fertile section of the Valley and the hills we find Temples and one palace. The southern most temple is that of Ramesses III located at Medinet Habu. The palace, one of the southernmost monuments in the Valley, is at Malkata, just south of Deir el-Medina, and belonged to Amenhotep III, but was probably also inhabited by a few of his successors. At one time, it was a huge complex. The northernmost temple is that of Seti I, which at one time also probably served as an administrative center on the West Bank