Luxor Port is a visitor's gateway to the history of ancient Egypt. The Luxor cruise port is a few miles outside the city of Safaga, and Luxor is a 3-hour drive from Safaga. It can be worth your while to find out if the trip to Luxor is handled as an overnight stop. Taxis are easiest to use if booked in advance. If traveling by bus as part of an excursion to the site of Luxor, armed security personnel will be on-board. Taxis can take passengers to Luxor if part of a convoy. English is broadly spoken.
Some of the most popular items are papyrus sheets with hieroglyphics and replicas of popular archaeological artifacts. Coptic textiles, jewelry, copper dinnerware, and spices are also extremely popular. Some street vendors can be pushy, and are best refused. The Euro and U.S. dollar are both often accepted at stores.
Nearby Hurghada has a bazaar where vendors specialize in discounted designer goods. As in other Middle Eastern markets, haggling will usually get you the best deals. Luxor itself has some good stores. The King Mina Bazaar offers gift-quality souvenirs. If you'd like a personalized papyrus, visit the Papyrus Institute. The Egyptian Art Gallery has some impressive painting and sculpture work.
Things to See
The ancient site of Luxor is located on the Nile River. It took over 1000 years to construct all the buildings and structures found here. Karnak and Hatshepsut's temples are complexes made up of numerous buildings. The Valley of the Kings is home to the tomb of King Tut. Elaborate murals grace the walls of the tombs. The Valley of the Queens houses Queen Nefertari's tomb.
In addition to the ancient historical site of Luxor, this area is home to numerous resorts and is known as the Red Sea Riviera. The beaches are known for their unspoiled beauty and black sand. The water is very mineral-rich. Surfers will be glad to know that the weather conditions are often ideal for their sport. Hurghada is one of the most popular seaside resorts. Visitors are drawn here for the stunning coral reefs. Snorkeling is best for those inexperienced in scuba diving.
If you do decide to go scuba diving, there are several impressive reefs worth your time. Middle Reef has some of the top-rated gardens in the country. Abu Kafan has sheer walls, and Panorama has one of the largest reefs. Several dive operators offer nighttime dives.
Restaurants and Bars
Egyptian dishes feature a wide variety of fresh ingredients. Many include hummus and beans. Kebabs and barbecue are in high demand. Tea is typically the beverage of choice. The two tea variations include chi and karkaday, which is derived from hibiscus.
There are some good eating and drinking options in Luxor. The Lantern Restaurant is British-owned and offers English as well as Egyptian food. La Mamma's is an Italian restaurant in a beautiful outdoor setting with a swan pond. Tutankhanmun Restaurant features gourmet Egyptian and European food prepared by a master chef. Fella's Tent offers a traditional Egyptian buffet with drinks and a live show. King's Head is a traditional British pub that serves meals, too.