Sometime around 4,000 years ago, Luxor, Egypt was a city of incomparable greatness. At that time, the city was known as Thebes and had the grandeur of which Athens and Rome normally claim. The pharaohs built innumerable temples, monuments, and tombs within this city and the surrounding area, and even today the glory of these relics is well preserved.
Approximately 435 miles south of Cairo, this, like many cities in Egypt, is located on the Nile. The Nile is the world’s longest river. Snaking through the desert, small patches of greenery line its banks. These waters are the reason civilizations were able to flourish here.
The city of Luxor provides quite the contrasting view, as the city is alive with green, and its small suburban areas are dotted by farmlands. Travelling a few minutes outside the city limits, however, no one would fault you for assuming the great sand mountains of the Sahara go on forever.
The majority of travelers decide to arrive in Luxor via their international airport; however, if you want your vacation to be slightly more authentic, arrival by cruise ship along the Nile is a great way to begin your stay. These cruise lines make stops along the Nile at Aswan, Luxor, and even Cairo.
When you arrive, you’ll feel as though you have stepped back in time as you take in the ancient Egyptian surroundings. Seeing the region via a movie or documentary doesn’t do justice to the sheer grandeur of these ruins. You’d be hard-pressed to find any other destination in the world that rivals your first sight of Egypt.
In the center of Luxor lies the Luxor Temple. The large columns of sandstone are imposing at a distance, and even more impressive as you take in the detail of the ancient hieroglyphs. A visit to this monument in the evening is incredible, as the ruins are illuminated and the Avenue of the Sphinxes is empty of the crowds that are there during the day.
Although Egypt offers much more than you can fit into one vacation, Luxor is one destination that you won’t want to miss.