Luxor Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Luxor

Planning a short break to Luxor? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Luxor. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Luxor. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Sharia al-Karnak

(or Maabad al-Karnak, which means Karnak Temple Street) runs along the Nile from Luxor Temple to Karnak Temple. However, Sharia al-Karnak is known as Sharia al-Markaz where it meets Sharia al-Mahatta street. And to the south around the temple it is known as Sharia al-Lokanda.

Along this street you will find the colourful signs of restaurants and cafes, as well as bazaars, where the usual variety of Egyptian souvenirs can be found.

Of interest is the alabaster, which is plentiful along the west bank and miled not far from there. Also look for the clay pots used by the locals for cooking, which are very unusual.

For more information visit - www.luxorguide.com/Luxortown.htm

El-Mekashkesh Mosque

The oldest mosque in Luxor is down the Sharia al-Karnak (street), near the police station. It contains the remains of a 10th century Islamic saint, who rumour has it was a monk prior to converting to Islam. The mosque is a popular pilgrimage destination. Remember to dress appropriately if you are planning on visiting this mosque and to remove your shoes when entering.

The Open Air Museum

It has a collection of monuments that was discovered during an excavation inside the third pylon. You can see blocks from the beautiful Red Chapelo of Hatshepsut, which have only recently been reconstructed into an actual structure. That Chapel served as a shrine for the baroque of Amun and whose site is today occupied by the chapel of Philip Arhidaeus. Here you can also observe the remains of the splendid White Chapel of Senwosret I. The scenes carved on the stones show the kings' offering to his mighty god Amun-Re and Amun in his ithyphallic form. The ancient administrative areas of Egypt are listed in the form of columns on the parapet. The entire region of Egypt is represented on the chapel of the Pharaoh who is the guarantor of the order established by Amun. Located across from the Great Court, opposite to the entrance of Ramesses III Temple at Karnak.

For more information visit www.luxorguide.com/Luxormuseums.htm

The Mummification Museum

The museum's features displays of both human and animal mummies. There are also displays of tools used in the mummification process, as well as artifacts of items buried along with the mummies for use in the afterlife. Almost anything one ever wanted to know about mummification can be learned here, including the mummification process itself. There is a statue of Anubis, the jackal-god who presided over the dead, at the entrance to the museum. Located near the Mina Palace Hotel. Museum hours are from 9am to 1pm year round, with winter evening hours of 4pm until 9pm and summer evening hours of 5pm until 10pm. Admission: £E20, students £E10; camera permit £E10, camcorder £E100.

Website: www.luxorguide.com/Luxormuseums.htm

Mercure Coralia

A stylish, modern hotel with a wide range of leisure facilities. The rooms are large with air-conditioning and private balconies overlooking the Nile or gardens. There is a wide variety of restaurants and bars on site, including Gorna main restaurant (buffet service), Le Flamboyant (A la carte), Le Bistro lobby snack bar, Le Champollion coffee shop and Tamam pool bar. Entertainment offers Sabil disco with belly dancer and live music every night and a pianist in Le Flamboyant. You can while away your time with leisure activities organized by the animation team, including table tennis, volleyball, tennis, petanque, darts, and cycling. For the children there is the Dolfi Corner with play equipment.

The Mercure Coralia is very centrally located on the Corniche, opposite the Nile and just a half-kilometer walk from Luxor Temple and the town centre.

Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens and t

The funerary complexes are the final resting places of ancient Egyptian royalty. Nearing the valleys you will see the presence of two enormous seated statues, known as the Colossi of Memnon, they are the only remains of a temple to Amenhotep III. The tombs are spread out over quite a large area. Though the treasures that once filled them are long gone, the tombs themselves are very impressive works of art, and each is different. The sculpted bas-relief figures are still intact, and, in many tombs, the colours on the walls have barely faded. The sooner you see these ancient sites, the better: The damming of Lake Nasser and the constant flow of tourists through the tombs have accelerated the fading of colour pigmentation inside the ancient tombs. Ours may be the last generation to see the brilliant colours.

For info: www.luxorguide.com/luxorpharaonicmonuments.htm

The Colonnades

One of the attractions in the temple of Luxor is a majestic colonnade dating to the reign of Amenophis III, with 14 columns with papyrus-shaped capitals standing 18 m tall and almost 10 m in circumference. The colonnade is enclosed on both sides by a masonry curtain wall, with relieves depicting various phases of the Festival of Opet, completed and decorated during the reigns of Tutankhamun and Horemheb.

A magnificent courtyard followed, lined with a double row of columns, and bordered to the south by the hypostyle hall, which contains 32 gigantic columns.

The ceremonies that took place in the temple of Luxor were of great importance and their religious symbolism was complex. During the Festival of Opet, the feast of the royal jubilee, the divine rebirth of the pharaoh, son of Amun, was celebrated, reaffirming in this way his power. The temple of Luxor also served as a shrine for the worship of the divine and immortal portion of the pharaoh, the royal ka, symbol of legitimacy of the pharaoh’s power, which was universal and not restricted to any individual pharaoh.

Go to www.luxorguide.com

Anubis

The spacious terrace overlooking the Nile is a winner with food that is tasty and good value. The menu features jacket potatoes and Cajun chicken, seafood, and Egyptian dishes (£E25–35), with a counter of sweet pastries for dessert. Alternatively, you could just enjoy a beer or a non-alcoholic cocktail from the fancy juice bar, and shoot some pool in the corner. The service is friendly and the spot is open till midnight or later. Located beside the Mummification Museum.

Sailing

On the river in a felucca is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon, while a sunset cruise is the perfect way to end the day. Expect to pay at least £E30 an hour for a boat carrying two people, £E40 upwards for a craft seating six or seven. The favoured destination is Banana Island (Gezira el-Mozh), a lush peninsula 4km upriver, whose owner charges visitors £E5 each to land.

It's enjoyable to wander through the cool, shady groves of mature banana trees, with their vaulting fronds and pendant flowers; the trail ends at a souvenir shop where you can get a drink. The round trip takes between two and three hours depending on the wind, or about half-an-hour each way by motorboat (zobak).

You should be able to rent one for £E40 an hour by negotiating directly with boatmen. The best felucca and zobak captains are allocated berths below Luxor Temple and the Winter Palace; less skilled ones tie up nearer the Mercure Coralia and Novotel.

The streets around Luxor Temple

nfested with tourist bazaars whose salesmen use every trick in the book to lure you into their shops. Fixed-price shops are rare, but can provide a rough benchmark for bargaining at other places. Gold and silver are usually sold by weight and so prices should be roughly fixed (El Safa Bazar on Sharia Labaib Habachi is friendly and honest).

Crafts include humble hand-made clay pots used for cooking and sold for as little as £E5 outside the police station. Bowls are hand-carved from lemon, orange or tamarisk wood in the village of Hegaza and on sale in the Movenpick. Gorgeous handmade silks, linens and cottons averaging £E40–80 a metre, can be found in the Winter Akhmeem Gallery (in front of the Winter Palace).

As a rule, it should be cheaper to buy alabaster or papyrus on the west bank. The Nefertari Papyrus Institute is one of the few fixed-price shops on that side of the Nile.

User Suggestions

Miriam

Sofra restaurant & Cafe in Luxor. Is certainly classy, set in an old Egyptian house from 1930 in the heart of Luxor. It serves a good variety of traditional Egyptian food plus a lot of mezzes. With inside & outside settings. The terrace on the top and the patio are also pleasent. Real authenic food in an oriental atmosphere in the heart of Luxor, Egypt Engoy it.

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