The Valley of the Kings and Queens in Egypt.
Wandering around The Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens in Egypt on your own - including photos.
It is simple (and a lot cheaper) to visit the Valley of the Kings on your own rather than go by an organised coach trip and of course you can then stay at various
locations for as long as you want and go where you want to go - rather than be shuffled around on an itinerary. We decided we would go to the Ticket Office by taxi - visit several of the tombs and then walk back across the hills above Hatshepsut and drop back down to walk
over to Seti before taking a walk back to the ferry on the Nile. The really nice thing about walking back was you get a much better idea of the
amazingly fertile countryside, get the chance to talk to some of the local people and of course see all sorts of wildlife too.
We found the Egyptians to be really friendly - on our
way down through one village in the hills we were invited into a small house and sat and had a cup of tea and quite a lengthy chat about all sorts of things. At Seti we had already met and talked to several of the secret police who guard the Temple so we also had the opportunity to see
them again to say hello (for about an hour...). The weather was reasonably warm - around 90 degrees - but in the Valley of the Kings area it did seem a lot hotter
than that. Also up on the hills you do need to have water with you plus a hat etc. - we also wore our walking boots - a real bonus because the surfaces are scree in places and sometimes quite
slippery and/or rocky underfoot.
There is not a lot to see externally around the site - just a variety of concrete entrance areas to the various tombs plus several areas where you can hide from the hot sun for a while. Not all the tombs are open - they are
rotated presumably for maintenance reasons etc. - the tombs do generally have notice boards with plans of the tombs and a little information about the previous owner.
The tombs we visited were: KV34 Tomb of Thutmes III - there is quite a climb up steps to this tomb - once up you go steeply down into the tomb - the sarcophagus is still there and the wall paintings are excellent - well worth visiting.
KV2 Tomb of Ramses IV - the sarcophagus is there -
this tomb is quite elongated and again is well worth
visiting for it's ceilings and wall paintings.
KVKV11 Tomb of Ramses III
by far the best for it's amazing wall paintings.
This is a quite long tomb but just about everywhere was decorated.
Having finished looking round the tombs we now headed up into the hills - we took a stoney path which started on the right hand side of KV11 - this heads steeply up for a few metres and then
meets a cross path. Go right and follow this narrow path as it winds up hill - the path is way-marked in places. The views back into the Valley of the Kings are excellent from up here as are the views of the surrounding hills. The path soon widens - ignore a wide path coming in from the left -
just continue on up to the top of the saddle. (We diverted here by taking a path on the left which climbed even higher - the views were even better).
At the saddle go over the top and then follow the path on the left which winds round the hill and heads towards a red brick building and broken fencing. Once passed the red
brick the path goes round to the right of the hill ahead and then Hatshepsut comes into view below on the right. Continue on the path over
the next hill - then cross a rough and rocky open area where the path is somewhat indistinct. On the far side take the path on the left which goes round the hill - shortly a village comes into view.
Continue walking on round the hill and arrive just above houses. There are numerous paths down some better than others so carefully make your way down into and then through the village to the tarmac road. Cross the road and continue ahead over an open area to
reach another tarmac road - there are several alabaster shops a little way to the right. Cross the road and continue on a track opposite which goes
towards trees passing a small shop and houses on the right. Follow the track as it bends left in front of the trees and shortly comes out by the rear of Seti Temple.
Turn left following the outer wall of the Temple which is now on your right and carry on round the site to reach a tarmac road. Go right and now follow this road through the village to reach main crossroads. Now turn right and follow this road with fields on
the right and a canal on the left - there are lots of things to see in the fields and around the canal and also good views back towards the
Valley of the Kings and Queens. Eventually the road comes to a cross roads at the next village, turn left and follow the road back to the Ferry by the River Nile.
Egypt's Valley of the Queens Touring Guide and photos.
This topic is about a day trip to look round the Valley of the Queens and the Valley of the Workers etc. including many photographs - some of which were of the drawings found inside the various tombs
(not with a flash camera by the way - this is forbidden
of course). Instead of taking organised sightseeing coach trips we decided we would do our own thing and
tour Luxor's various tombs and temples locations using our own itinerary. This proved to be most successful and without doubt a far cheaper option than paying the
often highly priced "holiday company" excursion fees plus the whole day out was far more relaxing since we obviously were not being moved from one place to the next to keep to a schedule or itinerary.
We also visited the Tombs of the Workers - these are really good and should not be missed. Instead of taking a ride back to the ferry we decided to walk back - quite straightforward and most enjoyable.
It is straightforward to cross the River Nile on a ferry - we used the Worker's Ferry, then agreed a price with a taxi driver on the West Bank (around 20 to 25LE gets you to the Ticket Office) and
then the taxi will take you on the short distance to the Valley of the Queens entrance gate.
Note you can also take the local bus - arabaya - if you wish, this costs just about nothing and is quite an interesting way to travel.
Two other sets of Luxor Tomb Guides i.e. day 2 and 3 which cover walking and visiting other West
Bank sites can be found via our Egypt Home Page
. Note it does get quite hot out in these dusty valleys so it's well worth wearing a hat and taking some cold water - also
lightweight walking boots or decent trainers are a very good option as some of the paths around the tombs were quite mucky and the paths out on the hills were steep, narrow and sometimes slippery.
Tickets need to be purchased at the Ticket Office - you will find a board listing the available open tombs etc. We wanted to visit the Valley of the Queens,
Madinat Habu and the Valley of the Workers - each of these sites cost us 20LE each. From the Ticket Office we walked on up the road (signposted) to the Valley of the Queens entrance. The tomb
we wanted to visit was the tomb of Nefertari but this was closed and had been for some time. There is not much to see externally - just various concreted entrances to the few tombs available for visitors to view. In fact when we visited there were only 2 tombs available to the public - QV44 The Tomb of Khaemwaset and QV55 Tomb of Amenherkhepfhef.
Although the area is called the Valley of the Queens many of the tombs were for children - the aforementioned tombs were for the sons of Rameses III. Inside the tombs the paintings etc are excellent and we would love to have taken a few "non-flash" photos but photography was not permitted in these tombs.
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