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There so are many incredible places around Luxor and you can easily leave the city and explore them even just for a day. Continue reading and find out what are the most interesting places you can visit on day trips from Luxor.

Are you spending a couple of days in Luxor? Follow this guide for the perfect 2-day itinerary in Luxor that covers 7 major attractions in Luxor that should be on your Luxor bucket list. If you are looking for more ideas for things to do in Luxor, then take a look at 18 Things to Do in Luxor. It is a complete Luxor bucket list that will make you wish you had more time reserved for Luxor.

I am just wondering, where are you going after visiting Luxor? One of the must-see sights when visiting Egypt is the Abu Simbel Temple Complex. It can be easily done as a day trip from either Aswan or Luxor. It is an absolutely amazing place that should not be missed:  How to Visit Abu Sumbel on a Day Trip from Aswan or Luxor

I am sure that the Pyramids of Giza are on your list. However, visiting this vast complex can be overwhelming. Make sure to review Tips for Visiting the Pyramids of Giza before going. And, it is good to know what to see once you get there: 10 Things to See at the Pyramids of Giza.

Now, before we get started with the 5 best day trips from Luxor, you need to know how to get to these fabulous places around Luxor. So, here are your options and my recommendation:

  • With a Private Guide and a Driver

Honestly, having a driver and a tour guide is the best option for visiting all the sights in Luxor. This option gives you total flexibility. You can decide how much time you need to see everything at each place. Plus, having a knowledgeable guide by your side is absolutely priceless! Needless to say, this is an expensive option, but it is all worth it.

  • On a Tour

Going on a group tour that takes you to all the places around Luxor is another possibility. It is probably one of the least expensive options. But, it does not give you much flexibility.

  • By Taxi

Another option is to just book a taxi and head to all the major attractions. You will always be able to hire a guide right at the entrance to each place.

All in all, my recommendation is to hire a guide and a driver. Hands down, you will get to these places in the most efficient way, and having a guide with you is invaluable.

5 Best Day Trips from Luxor

NUMBER 1

Day Trip from Luxor to Temple of Khnum at Esna

The city of Esna is located 55 kilometers south of Luxor. It takes about 1 hour to reach Esna. All in all, the Temple of Khnum at Esna is one of the easy day trips from Luxor that can be accomplished in a few hours.

 
Image Source: Map data ©2020 ORION-ME

The temple was erected in the Ptolemaic Period and decorated mainly in Roman times. It was built in honor of god Khnum, as well as his consorts Menhit and Nebtu, their son, Heka, and also the goddess Neith.

The temple sits below the present ground level. So far, only the Hypostyle Hall has been excavated and it is well preserved. Other parts of the temple are still buried beneath the surrounding buildings of the city of Esna.

Temple of Khnum at Esna

The Temple of Khnum sits below the present ground level. You will have to take a flight of stairs down to reach the entrance to the Hypostyle Hall. 

Day Trips from Luxor

Once you reach the temple, make sure to take a good look at the front wall of the Hypostyle Hall. It has 6 columns joined by screening walls with beautiful reliefs.

Next, continue and step inside the Hypostyle Hall. You will be amazed by how stunning it is.

The Hypostyle Hall consists of 24 impressive columns arranged in six rows. The lotus leaf capitals of the columns are elaborate and exquisitely decorated. In addition, if you look closely, you will notice that they all have different decorations.

Temple of Khnum at Esna

The lotus leaf capitals of the columns are elaborate and exquisitely decorated. In addition, if you look closely, you will notice that they all have different decorations. 

Day Trips from Luxor

Temple of Khnum at Esna

The sidewalls of the Hypostyle Hall are finely decorated as well. You can see the reliefs showing Roman emperors wearing traditional Egyptian clothing and performing religious ceremonies.

Day Trips from Luxor

The sidewalls of the Hypostyle Hall are finely decorated as well. You can see the reliefs showing Roman emperors wearing traditional Egyptian clothing and performing religious ceremonies.

The back wall of the Hypostyle Hall has reliefs depicting the god Khnum.

Khnum was one of the earliest-known Egyptian deities, originally the god of the source of the Nile.

Since the annual flooding of the Nile brought with it silt and clay, and its water brought life to its surroundings, he was thought to be the creator of the bodies of human children, which he made at a potter’s wheel, from clay, and placed in their mothers’ wombs.

Khnum later was described as having molded the other deities, and he had the titles “Divine Potter” and “Lord of created things from himself”. Source: Wikipedia

Temple of Khnum at Esna

The Hypostyle Hall at the Temple of Khnum at Esna. 

Temple of Khnum of Edfu

The amazing decorations of the columns and capitals at the Temple of Khnum at Esna. 

Another interesting fact about the Temple of Khnum at Esna is that it was called Latopolis in honor of a fish – the Nile perch which was held sacred by the ancient Egyptians and represented the goddess Neith.

NUMBER 2

Day Trip from Luxor to the Horus Temple of Edfu

The Temple of Horus at Edfu is located 109 km south of Luxor. It roughly takes 2 hours and 15 minutes to reach the city of Edfu.

Just want to give you a heads up, that when I went to Edfu, once I reached the city limits, I had to take a horse-drawn carriage to get to the temple. I was told that the streets leading to the temple are so narrow, that cars or buses are not permitted on these streets. It was not an inconvenience, instead, it made it one of the more interesting day trips from Luxor.


Image Source: Map data ©2020 ORION-ME

As my guide told me, the Temple of Horus at Edfu was built during the Ptolemaic Period. Specifically, it was started in 237 BC by Ptolemy III Euergetes and finished some 180 years later, around 57 BC by Ptolemy XII Auletes. The temple was dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus.

Once you get to the temple, take your time and notice the entrance to the temple. It is composed of an impressive Pylon.

The front of the Pylon is decorated with reliefs of Pharaoh Ptolemy XII defeating his enemies.

Next, cross the Pylon and turn around. The back of the Pylon has some amazing reliefs depicting the Happy Reunion feast, in which Horus of Edfu is united with Hathor of Dendera.

Day Trips from Luxor

The stunning Courtyard at the Temple of Horus at Edfu.

Day Trips from Luxor

And, then, take your time and enjoy the magnificent Courtyard surrounded by columns with open papyrus capitals.

Next, continue to the majestic Outer Hypostyle Hall made up of twelve columns in two rows.

Furthermore, beyond the Outer Hypostyle Hall lies the second, smaller, yet even more impressive, the Inner Hypostyle Hall. It has twelve columns which are lined up in three rows.

Day Trips from Luxor

The Inner Hypostyle Hall at the Temple of Horus at Edfu.

Day Trips from Luxor

Eventually, you will reach the Naos. It is the oldest part of the Temple of Horus at Edfu. It was built by Nectanebo II.

Today, you can still see a black monolithic block engraved with the cartouche of Nectanebo II. As my guide told me, the shrine contained the sacred barks of Horus and Hathor which were used in processions. As well as, the statue of Horus.

Day Trips from Luxor

The Naos at the Temple of Horus at Edfu.

Day Trips from Luxor

I have to say that the day trip from Luxor to the Temple of Horus at Edfu is one of my favorite day trips from Luxor. You should definitely add it to your Luxor itinerary.

Intrepid Scout’s Tip:

READ: Why You Should Visit Horus Temple of Edfu

NUMBER 3

Day Trip from Luxor to the Temple of Kom Ombo

The Temple of Kom Ombo is a stunning temple located 166 km south of Luxor. It takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes to reach the temple grounds.

It is one of the longer day trips from Luxor, but it is so worth the extra time required to get there.


Image Source: Map data ©2020 Mapa GISrael, ORION-ME

I visited the Temple of Kom Ombo right before sunrise, and I have to say, that it was absolutely stunning!

Day Trips from Luxor

The Temple of Kom Ombo right before sunrise.

Day Trips from Luxor

Interestingly, the Temple of Kom Ombo is a double temple dedicated to two triads of deities.

The eastern half of the temple is devoted to the triad consisting of the crocodile god Sobek – god of the Nile and creator of the world, his wife Hathor, and their son Khonsu.

The western side of the temple is assigned to a second group consisting of the falcon god Haroeris (Horus the Elder) – god of the sky and protector of the king, his wife Tasenetnofret, and their child Panebtawy

The temple was constructed during the Ptolemaic Period – 108 to 47 BC. However, the recent excavation revealed information that the temple dates back to the New Kingdom.

For me, the most impressive sections of the Temple of Kom Ombo were the Courtyard and the Hypostyle Hall.

Temple of Kom Ombo

The Temple of Kom Ombo right before sunrise.

Day Trips from Luxor

Next, make sure not to miss the reliefs of the ancient Egyptian calendar. The reliefs are located on the inner section of the outer enclosure wall.

The calendar represents a yearly schedule of events specifically related to the Temple of Kom Ombo. It acted as an agenda for priests and priestesses at the temple. It helped to schedule and organize the services and rituals.

My guide showed me how to decipher the hieroglyphs of the calendar. Needless to say, I was absolutely thrilled to be able to understand how the calendar worked. By the way, check out my post and learn to read the hieroglyphs as well.

Another fascinating relief that you should not miss at the Temple of Kom Ombo is the one depicting the medical and surgical instruments used in ancient Egypt. You will be able to clearly see forceps, medicine bottles, prescriptions, curettes, weighing scales, cupping glasses, and many others. So make sure to read my post and find out more details.

What to See at the Temple of Kom Ombo

The Temple of Kom Ombo right before sunrise.

Day Trips from Luxor

I have to honestly say, that the Temple at Kom Ombo should not be missed. Hands down, it is breathtaking! Also, there is so much that you can learn about ancient Egyptian civilization by visiting the temple!

Finally, right next to the Temple of Kom Ombo is a Crocodile Mummy Museum that you should not miss. The museum is fascinating!

I was very impressed by how well the Crocodile Mummy Museum was organized and signed.

Crocodile Mummy Museum in Kom Ombo

The mummified crocodiles at the Crocodile Mummy Museum in Kom Ombo.

Day Trips from Luxor

NUMBER 4

Day Trip from Luxor to the Temple of Hathor at Dendera

The Temple of Hathor at Dendera is located 78 km north of Luxor. It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach the temple traveling from Luxor.

Hands down! It is one of the best day trips from Luxor that you should not miss.


Image Credit: Map data ©2020 Mapa GISrael, ORION-ME

The Temple of Hathor was founded by Ptolemy XII in 54 BC. However, the majority of the construction happened during the reign of Queen Cleopatra VII.

Day Trips from Luxor

The majority of the construction of Temple of Hathor happened during the reign of Queen Cleopatra VII.

Day Trips from Luxor

Best Day Trips from Luxor

The majority of the construction of Temple of Hathor happened during the reign of Queen Cleopatra VII.

Day Trips from Luxor

The Hypostyle Hall is probably one of the most impressive structures I have seen in Egypt. It consists of 18 massive columns that are supporting the ceiling. Each column has a four-sided capital which depicts the cow-eared goddess Hathor. Unfortunately, every one of the images of the goddess was vandalized.

The Temple of Hathor at Dendera

Each column has a four-sided capital which depicts the cow-eared goddess Hathor. Unfortunately, every one of the images of the goddess was vandalized.

Day Trips from Luxor

The ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall is absolutely amazing. First of all, it is well preserved and the colors are still extremely vibrant.

The ceiling is divided into 7 sections with incredible engravings of astronomical figures.

Day Trips from Luxor

The ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall is absolutely amazing. First of all, it is well preserved and the colors are still extremely vibrant.

Day Trips from Luxor

Day Trips from Luxor

The ceiling of the Hypostyle Hall is absolutely amazing. First of all, it is well preserved and the colors are still extremely vibrant.

Day Trips from Luxor

The one relief that really captured my attention depicted the image of the sky goddess Nut who swallows the sun disk every evening in order to give birth to it at dawn.

The Temple of Hathor at Dendera

Sky goddess Nut who swallows the sun disk every evening in order to give birth to it at dawn.

Day Trips from Luxor

Finally, make sure to stop by the Chapel of Osiris and take a look at the ceiling of the chapel. It has a relief of a famous disk called Zodiac of Dendera.

Day Trips from Luxor

The famous Zodiac of Dendera.

Day Trips from Luxor

NUMBER 5

Day Trip from Luxor to Temple of Abydos

The Temples of Abydos are situated 174 miles north of Luxor. It takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to reach the temple complex.

Image credit: Map data ©2020 ORION-ME

Abydos was the center of worship of Osiris, the god of the dead. In addition, it was a necropolis and a place of pilgrimage. Once, at least ten temples were part of the complex. Today, only three of these temples remain. They include the Temple of Seti I, the Great Osiris Temple, and the Temple of Ramses II.

Temple of Abydos

Temples of Abydos.

Day Trips from Luxor

The Temple of Seti I was built by both Seti I and his son Ramses II. The construction began in about 1300 BC.

Today, you enter the temple through the Courtyard which leads to the First and then the Second Hypostyle Hall.

The Temples of Abydos

The Hypostyle Hall at the Temples of Abydos.

Day Trips from Luxor

The Second Hypostyle Hall has some of the most amazing reliefs. They rank among the finest achievements of Egyptian sculpture.

The Temples of Abydos

The reliefs at the Temple of Seti, which is a part of the Temples of Abydos complex. 

Day Trips from Luxor

Day Trips from Luxor

The reliefs at the Temple of Seti,  which is a part of the Temples of Abydos complex, rank as ones of the finest achievements in Egyptian sculpture.

Day Trips from Luxor

The Second Hypostyle Hall boasts the famous Abydos Pharaoh List. It is located in the south section of the Hypostyle Hall.

The list contains the names of 76 pharaohs. It begins with the first pharaoh of Egypt, Menes, and continues to Seti I.

The name of my favorite Pharaoh Hatshepsut was omitted. As well as, the name of the Pharaoh Akhenaten.

Day Trips from Luxor

The famous Abydos Pharaoh List at the Second Hypostyle Hall.

Day Trips from Luxor

Another interesting feature inside the Temple of Seti I is the mysterious hieroglyphs. To me, they do resemble modern-day machines like a yacht, submarine, fighter plane, and helicopter.

Take a look. What do you think?

Day Trips from Luxor

Mysterious hieroglyphs resembling the modern day machines like a yacht, submarine, fighter plane and helicopter.

Day Trips from Luxor

Once you are done exploring the Temple of Set I, head to the Great Osiris Temple.

Much of the temple is in ruins. However, it is still worth a look.

Day Trips from Luxor

Much of the Great Osiris Temple is in ruins. However, it is still worth a look.

Day Trips from Luxor

Finally, make your way to the Temple of Ramses II. Unfortunately, today not much is left of the temple. However, you can still see the remains of the columns and a door frame made of pink and black granite.

Intrepid Scout's Tips for Best Trips from Luxor

That’s quite a list, right? Now, if you only have time for one day trip from Luxor, where should you go?

If you only have time for one day trip from Luxor, then I would recommend combining a visit to the Temples of Abydos with a visit to the Temple of Dendera.

  • First of all, start your day super early. I am talking about 5 or 6 am.
  • Next, head directly to the Temples of Adybos. It will take you about 2.5 hours to reach the temple complex. And, about 2-3 hours to explore the temple grounds.
  • Once you are done exploring the Temples of Adybos, head directly to the Temple of Dendera. It will take you about 1.5 hours to get to the Temple of Dendera from the Temples of Abydos. Again, plan on spending about 2 hours at the Temple of Dendera.
  • Once you are done, head back to Luxor, which should take you about 1.5 hours.

In addition, I want to recommend a couple more trips from Luxor that would require either overnight accommodations or taking a flight instead of driving. The first one is Gebel el-Silsila and another one, which is an absolute must-see place is Abu Simbel.

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Best Day Trips from Luxor
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