Luxor day trip from Hurghada has been number one on my list long before our trip. Just the idea of seeing famous Karnak Temple, Valley of Queens and other historical sights made me so excited, I could hardly wait to go and left all other tours, such as snorkeling tour and desert safari, for later. Upon the arrival we immediately booked the tour with a local agency and were all set to go on this amazing adventure.
Having zero previous knowledge about the history of ancient Egypt, I must admit our guides did a fantastic job explaining everything we saw along the way in very clear language. We were never bored, so special thanks to them for that!
Where to buy Hurghada to Luxor day trip
Hurghada has tons of agencies selling pretty much the same trips. It all comes down to your ability to haggle the price down. We went on this trip for 40$ per person, but on the same bus we had people who paid 30$. I would recommend booking with local agencies (there may be one near your hotel or down the street). Don’t book from strangers approaching you on the beach though, be careful not to get scammed.
Things to bring to the trip: Breakfast box from the hotel (ask at the reception the night before), plenty of water, sunscreen, hat, photo camera, good shoes, sun glasses.
Hurghada to Luxor day trip schedule
The trip starts very early in the morning. Our pick up time was at 04:25 and we were the first ones in the bus. The reason for that was our hotel location in the center of Hurghada. All other hotels were located to the south, direction Makadi Bay. Makadi hotel guests were the last ones to be picked up.
We spent the next hour and half collecting other tourists from their hotels and around 6 AM finally started in the direction of Luxor. Trip time from the last hotel to Karnak temple was around 3,5 hours. We made a coffee/toilet break half way through.
Return journey was in the opposite direction, so essentially we were the last ones to get off and arrived at our hotel (as claimed) around 22:30. Thank God for MacDonalds accross the street, as the dinner time was over by then.
Visiting the temples
The first temple we were lucky to visit was Karnak Temple complex. In Luxor, another (local) guide joined our bus and continued enlighting us about the history of ancient world. The entrance tickets were included in the tour price and we quickly passed security gates and entered the complex.
To be honest, following the guide and taking photos/observing the beauty at the same time was an impossible task. Finally I opted for good pictures, as I can always read the story of the temple later at home. The most impressive part was, of course, the Colonnade hall as well as Avenue of Sphinxes, Great temple of Amun and others. Here is a great guide for Karnak temple if you need more details.
Temple of Hatshepsut
Next, we boarded a small boat and transferred to the other side of Nile for a nice buffet style lunch. Our bus picked us up and drove to the next sight – Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. The temple is impressive and well worth a visit. You get to ride a small train all the way to the foot of the temple, then take the steps up. Even though there is not much to see inside, the view from the top is amazing.
Valley of Queens
Our last stop for the day was valley of queens, where wives of Pharaohs were buried in ancient times. With the admission tickets we got to visit 3 tombs with very well preserved wall painings describing the afterlife scenes. On the way back to Hurghada we made a 5 minute photo stop next to Memnon Colossi – two huge and very impressive columns.
Banana island – optional fun
As an optional tour, you will be offered a boat trip to Banana Island, which is no more than a nice refreshment trip rather than an actual attraction. It’s not mandatory, but I highly recommend it as a refreshment before long ride back to Hurghada. The island itself has almost nothing to offer – few banana palms, some poor animals in small cages and fresh fruit table.
As I mentioned, this is not mandatory, but the guide will do his best to sell it to you, explaining that you will be sorry to spend this time in a hot bus, crossing the Nile over the bridge and sitting in traffic jam. From what we have seen, he may be right, it’s better to sail the Nile and observe the banks, local life and other boats.
Compulsory shops on the way
As with any other tour in Egypt, Hurghada to Luxor day trip includes at least one factory shop stop. Our tour stopped at stone/marble factory store with quite nice souvenirs made of real stone (have to take their word for it). If you are not into buying anything, it’s fine too. You can visit the store just to strech your legs, cool down from the heat and drink some free tea.
One thing to bring back from Luxor is Egyptian Hibiscus (Karkade) and Helba (yellow) tea. The guide will explain in detail all the benefits of those teas. As they are grown near Luxor, it’s best to buy them here as well, rather than in Hurhada or other resorts. Our guide offered to order those teas from local village men and brought the orders right to the bus – very convenient. The price for 0,5 kg Karkade and 1 kg of Helba + a can of black honey was 10$.
About the bus ride
For a person who gets easily sea sick in buses I recommend taking the sea sickness pills before going on this tour. The road between Luxor and Hughada is rather smooth, but in the cities it’s very bumpy due to high and wide road bumps every few meters. For me it was a real pain getting over those 5 hours on the road.
Other than that the trip is quite amazing and definitely worth it, if you are into Egyptian history and simply would like to see some of the local life. Unlike Cairo trip, which is much worse in terms of comfort (also it takes much longer to get there), Luxor is totally doable and offers a nice break from the beach holiday.
PIN for later.