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Ooaj Travel Guide, tourism, hotel reservation, residence, plane, cheap pension for you holidays in luxor
Free Travel guide Ooaj.com A free travel guide for holidays. Hotels in luxor, Bed and Breakfast!
Luxor is the premier travel destination in Upper (southern) Egypt and the Nile Valley. The dynastic and religious capital of Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom Egypt, Luxor has much to offer the traveller, from vast temples, to ancient royal tombs, via spectacular desert and river scenery and a bustling modern life.
Although a relatively small town by Egyptian population standards, Luxor is quite expansive and is best divided up into several 'districts' or areas that group the main attractions on their respective sides of the river Nile:
These areas may then be divided into small sub-districts....
Luxor International Airport is a destination for flights on several European and Middle Eastern routes, as well as the main southern hub for domestic flights within Egypt.
Internal flights (duration approx. 1 hr) from Cairo to Luxor are maintained by Egyptair and cost about $230 for a return trip ticket.
Direct charters from Europe (London Gatwick, for example) are common in the winter high season. From the airport in Luxor, you will probably take a shuttle provided by your hotel. Note that the Airport in Luxor is very small, and getting luggage off the belt is a challenge.
EgyptAir also arranges day trips from Cairo which is an easy way for those who can stand long days to cover the main attractions of Luxor. Taxis are in abundance everywhere for local transportation.
For those unwilling to purchase an expensive plane ticket, who have more time in which to travel and / or who wish to see more of the country, train travel to Luxor is a great and amazingly inexpensive option.
Tickets can be arranged through most travel agents in your city of departure for minimal commission. Otherwise, tickets can be purchased directly at Ramesses Station by proceeding through the chaos to Platform 11, where signs will point out the ticket booth. Tickets are best bought a couple of days in advance of travel, although the same day is often enough. The big exception to this rule is Egyptian holidays, when it is best to reserve a ticket at least a week in advance. Weekend travel (Thursday and Friday in Egypt) is the busiest time. Train tickets have assigned seating to a particular carriage and seat, written in both English and Arabic. Train travel is possible without a prior reservation, but it will add a whopping (!) LE 3 to the price of your eventual ticket... More seriously, you will not be guaranteed a seat on what is a very long journey or you may be forced to change seats throughout the journey. That said, on quieter travel days, you seem to be able to change seats and even upgrade yourself with impunity....!
Luxor is brimming with rental shops for bikes and a great many hotels also hire out bicycles. Rental rates vary from roughly £8 - £20, depending on your bargaining skills, the relative demand on bikes that day and the quality of the bike in question.... It is quite normal for people to be asked to leave behind their passport or student ID card as a guarantee of return. Bikes can be rented on both the East and West Banks of Luxor (the latter near the local ferry landing), though the choice and quality of bikes is usually better in the East, and prices can be a little over-inflated on the more isolated West. Note that bikes can be taken on board the local ferry (be considerate though.....!), so feel free to hire on the East, then transport your bike over yourself.
An essential way of getting between the East and West banks of Luxor is to use a boat. As you walk by the river, dozens of felucca owners will offer you their services to haul you over the river, and normally a taxi driver will be on standby on the other side. This of course is all at a very inflated price, 20-30LE minimum and that is if they don't give you an extra excursion (not necessarily what you asked for). It is much easier to take the blue local ferry, a very basic boat that you can use for around 1LE, sometimes 0.50LE. Taxis are available at the ferry terminal on both sides, and the trip takes just a few minutes.
The various Luxor district article pages contain detailed information and suggestions for things to see. Definite highlights, not-to-be-missed, include:
Luxor has an extremely wide variety of accommodation options, from camping and hostels, right up to 5 star luxury hotels of extreme opulence. In all Egypt, Luxor probably experiences the greatest seasonal variation in hotel rates - some hotels can be up to 50% cheaper (or more) in the low season (summer), others have no change.
Whilst the vast majority of accommodation options are to be found on the East Bank, an increasing number are to be found (and are being developed), however, on the more laid-back and isolated West Bank, close to the tombs and the Valley of the Kings. A lengthy stay in the area might benefit from staying on both sides of the river for some time.....
If you are arriving in Luxor by train or bus, beware the over-friendly and sometimes pushy hotel touts, especially at the station (these guys are a symptom of the sometimes fierce competition between rival hotels, especially at quiet times). Remember you don't owe them anything, but that they get 25-40% commission for convincing you to stay at their "cousin's" or "brother's" hotel, which is then added to your final bill. It's usually best to pre-book accommodation..... Also, use a map or a taxi to find your hotel - discourage attempts to guide you to your hotel, as you may end up somewhere else altogether, in the expectation that you will give in and stay where your "guide" has led you after all.....
NB: Women travelling without company should exercise extreme caution whilst seeking budget accommodation in Luxor. Several reports have been made of sexual assault after women were given spiked drinks by hotel touts and staff.
See the various Luxor district pages for details of telephone, internet and postal services - being a major tourist town, Luxor is extremely well-served with communication facilities.
Most of the best outlets are to be found where the bulk of the local population lives, in the East Bank of Luxor.
NB: As of August 2004, Luxor has had its telephone exchange upgraded and an additional "2" must now be added to old 6-digit telephone numbers..... The format for overseas callers, for example, should now be +20 95 2xxx xxx. Mobile phone numbers are unaffected by this change. As of June 2005, numbers on the west bank that began with 2426 now begin with 2060. So the format for these numbers is now +20 95 2060xxx rather than +20 95 2426xxx.
Luxor Passport Office is located south of Luxor town centre, virtually opposite the Isis Hotel, open Saturday - Thursday, 8am-8pm. Rumour has it that visa extensions are far easier to acquire at this office than its equivalent in Cairo.
Women travelling without company should exercise extreme caution whilst seeking budget accommodation in Luxor. Several reports have been made of sexual assault after women were given spiked drinks by hotel touts and staff.
Luxor is a good base for day trips to Dendera, the site of a fantastically well-preserved Ptolemaic temple of Hathor, amongst other destinations. A number of hotels organise such day-trips - you don't need to be staying with them to use these services. The city is also a good staging post for onward travel through Upper Egypt and on to Aswan.