Egypt’s Valley of the Kings

Photo by: Shelby Root
Photo by: Shelby Root

When Egypt is politically stable, it offers many wonderful things to see and do, and enables visitors to walk in the footsteps of Africa‘s ancient and well respected civilisation.

The Valley of the Kings, near to Luxur, is a fantastic place to see the final resting places of many of Egypt’s former greats. Pharaohs and noble men were laid to rest in grand tombs, along with many things that they may need or want in the afterlife. The tombs were brightly coloured, ornate, and decorated with fascinating hieroglyphics and pictures.

There are some common questions asked about a trip to the Valley of the Kings:

How Many Tombs Can I Visit?

There are hundreds of tombs spread between two main valleys. An entrance ticket allows you to visit three separate tombs, although only certain tombs are open for members of the public on particular days. This is so as to preserve and protect the important sites. A guide will tell visitors about the tomb’s owner and all points of interested relating the area on a whole and each particular tomb that is visited. You can pay extra to visit more tombs, and the famous tomb of Tutankhamun is not included in the regular ticket, so you would need to pay more to see that tomb in any case, if you wanted to go inside and see where the child King was laid to rest. Don’t get spooked by the tales of curses though!

What About the Females?

Important Egyptian females were buried in the nearby Valley of the Queens. A similar set up is in operation, where you can go inside certain tombs on certain days.

Does Anyone Live in the Area?

There are a few Nubian settlements on the West Banks of the River Nile. Local residents are easy to spot; they are almost always wearing the traditional Nubian clothes. They can be seen sitting in small clusters smoking pipes, and also offering cool drinks and souvenirs to tourists.

How Can I Visit the Valley of the Kings?

Whilst an independent visit is possible, with your own or arranged transport, it is just as easy to go as part of an organised day trip from Luxur. Many Nile cruises include a visit as part of their itinerary.

What is Inside the Tombs?

From the outside, most of the tombs seem to be no more than small, unimpressive doorways into the side of the rocks and mountains. It is dusty. Entering through the doors though, you will see wonderful carvings and intricate wall pictures. It is difficult to keep moving and not stop to admire these for a long time! The atmosphere is quite stuffy inside, and the air is dry. Visitors should be respectfully quiet. To stop a build up, people are told to keep moving forward, rather than blocking the narrow corridors. Steep stairs lead down to the main sarcophagus room. The sarcophagi are huge stone coffins, with almost fearsome features. You will certainly feel like you have stepped back in time to ancient Egypt!

The Valley of the Kings, along with the Valley of the Queens, is an important legacy from the times of the Pharaohs, and makes for a terrific trip today.

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