This comparison table has holidays from the following holiday companies:
Kuoni, The Adventure Company and Thomson Holidays.
Prices range from £495 to £1729, and departure dates months are November 2012, December 2012, September 2014, October 2014, December 2014, May 2015. Prices are updated frequently from data supplied by the tour operators and are subject to change and availability - confirm with the tour operator before you book. Last updated: 04:12 29/Aug/2014.
In a nutshell
When to visit
Good for ...
Not great for ...
Compare dates and prices
Luxor In a Nutshell
Luxor is the premier Nile Valley resort in the Upper (southern) area of Egypt, divided by the River Nile into the East and West Bank areas.
Not that large by population standards, the city sees hundreds of thousands of tourists from all over the world descend on Luxor to visit the many ancient ruins, temples and artefacts, earning the city it’s reputation as the largest open air museum in the world.
The local currency is the Egyptian Pound (EGP or LE) and Luxor is two hours ahead of the UK.
A vibrant city which has lived off tourism for centuries, once you get into the rhythm of life in Luxor, you will appreciate the ancient culture and history, as well as all the luxuries a modern tourist destination affords, from great shopping to world class hotels with deluxe facilities.
Getting To Luxor
Luxor International Aiport (IATA code LXR) is seven kilometres east of the city. From the UK there are both charter and scheduled services arriving into the airport, with a flight time of around six hours.
Most travellers to Luxor arrive with organised trips or on package holidays, so many will be looked after from the moment they land. Independent travellers will find there are buses and taxis from the airport to the centre of town, a journey which takes around 20 minutes.
The airport also offer internal flights to popular destinations such as Cairo, which take around one hour.
UK nationals will need a visa to visit Luxor, but this is now a formality and can be bought at the airport just inside the terminal builidng. The official price (at the time of writing) is 15USD or around £15, but if your tour guide or rep organises this or you buy elsewhere, expect to pay more.
Once in resort, if you are not on an escorted tour, there are plenty of ways to get around. If you’re brave moped and bicycle hire is available on both the East and West Banks.
If it’s to hot to walk, you can take a horse drawn carriage which offers a different way to get about. Official taxis are accessibly priced (look out for the official rate card in the taxi windscreen, if there isn’t one it’s not a proper taxi).
Boats are readily available for crossing the Nile river between the East and West Bank areas. The official ferries are blue and very cheap at around one EGP. Local touts will be more than willing to take you across, but be aware of the price and be ready to bargain.
Your Holiday To Luxor
Luxor certainly has a plethora of sightseeing, which is the main attraction.
The East Bank, which is home to Luxor modern town, boasts such not to be missed sights as the Luxor Temple, Temple of Karnak and the Luxor Museum.
On the quieter West Bank, visit the Valley of the Kings, the Valley of the Queens, the Tombs of the Nobles the Medinet Habu and the old capital Thebes.
If you’re not on a guided tour, sightseeing can be frustrating in Luxor, as you may be hassled all the time by people wanting to act as your guide. A simple ‘No hassle’ or saying ‘Laa Shukran’, which means ‘No thank you’ in Arabic will help. It has to be said though, that Luxor is the home of touts and scams, so have your wits about you.
Aside from the museums and ancient sites, you can see the views from the Nile itself by taking a boat trip on a traditional felucca boat.
Luxor: Staying There
Luxor offers a huge range of accommodation from camping and hostels, right up to five star luxury hotels such as the famous Old Winter Palace Hotel, which is a tourist attraction in itself.
Most package holiday and tour group accommodation is on the East Bank, as this is where the airport, train station, shops and restaurants are.
Recently, the West Bank has started to see a rise in hotels and restaurants being built and this is a good option for a more relaxed stay away from the hustle the bustle.
Shopping is an art form in Luxor. You will soon come to realise that every price is negotiable, from the entry visa right down to the price of a T-shirt. It may be daunting at first as westerners are so unused to haggling.
There are two main markets in Luxor. One is held in an air conditioned hall and is mainly for tourists, so expect to be invited in to drink sweet mint tea before being shown every Egyptian kaftan on the stall at overinflated prices.
Don’t be afraid to haggle – the opening gambit was probably five or ten time higher than it should be.
Expect to see rows and rows of stalls selling silver and gold jewellery, hand blown glass, articles with hieroglyphics, stone carvings and T-shirts.
The old market, or oriental market, takes place in a myriad of tiny streets behind the Luxor Temple. Stretching for several kilometres, this market is mostly household, food and spices and very much like a traditional souk.
Luxor Food & Eating Mini-Guide
If you eat at the likes of the Sheraton or the Hilton, you’ll be sure to eat good standard International food.
More traditional meals usually start off with pita bread and mezze, with main courses based on beef and poultry. Local to Luxor are pigeon and rabbit-based dishes. Main meals are often accompanied by yoghurt and gibna bayda cheese which is a sort of creamier feta. Traditional Egyptian desserts are very sweet and even the tea is a highly sweetened mint tea.
Don’t forget Egypt is an Islamic country and in principal, it’s forbidden for Muslims to buy, sell or consume alcohol. However, it is readily available in non-Muslim owned hotels and restaurants. You may even come across locally brewed beer and red wine.
When To Visit Luxor
Luxor is very hot during the main summer months, reaching temperatures well into the 40s during the day, which drop no lower than 20 degrees at night, hence why the main tourist season is in the winter.
Temperatures between January and May are a lot more comfortable, ranging from low to mid 20s and dropping a into the teens at night.
Most international hotels offer air conditioning and caution must be taken when visiting open air sites in the midday sun – it can be very hot.
Luxor Is Good For ...
- Culture vultures who want to see ancient sites and learn about the ancient civilisations
- Small group escorted tour holidays
- A luxurious short break
Luxor Isn't Great For ...
- Independent travellers if you’re not feeling brave
- A lazing on the beach sunshine holiday – it’s hustle and bustle from the Adhan (the Muslim call to prayer) at dawn
Luxor has a plethora of ‘must see’ sights and musuems that will fascinate both young and old. A visit to this vibrant part of Egypt will require enthusiasm and stamina with so much to see and a local culture so different from the British way of live, but