Favorite thing: Over the centuries, several small local villages with pastel coloured houses developed all over the Necropolis of Thebes. Many of these village were built on top of tombs and may have used building materials from ancient structures. Some believe that, prior to the discovery of the tombs by archeologists in the last 200 years, these villagers possessed knowledge of the secret locations of these tombs and passed it down from one generation to the other. The colourful villages offer a scenic backdrop to the Necropolis, though there are efforts to relocate them in order to excavate the tombs on top of which these houses have been built.
Favorite thing: While I did not try it, a hot air balloon ride above the Necropolis of Thebes seems like a fun idea. It is popular among visitors and probably gives excellent perspective over the varied layout of the land. Perhaps on my next visit!
Admission 70 LE ($13).
This ticket allowers to visit three tombs at your choice.
To visit Tutankhamun Tomb you should buy the separate ticket. It costs 100 LE ($19).
Open hours: from 7.30 till 17.30 (in April).
You may watch my 4 min 36 sec VIDEO-Clip on my personal YouTube channel: Egypt Luxor Valley of Kings 2007
The new Tourist centre was constructed on the old cafeteria and opened in early 2007. We were among its first visitors I think. It displays and exhibits fact and figures showing the chronology and iconography of the New Kingdom necropolis.
I was interested in a glass 3D model of the valley (pic #1 and #2). It helps understanding of this huge and complicated complex. You may see a film about Howard Carter discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamun (pic #3 and #4).
The Valley of the Kings is hidden behind the Theban Hills on the West Bank of the Nile. It was chosen as the burial place for most of Egypt's New Kingdom rulers for several reasons.
The Valley is very close to the cultivated banks of the river and ancient Thebes. It is surrounded by steep cliffs. That is why it was easily guarded. The local limestone, cut millions of years ago by torrential rains to form the Valley, is good for making tombs.
There are 62 numbered royal and private tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Some of them have a simple pit, like KV 54. Some of tombs are huge like KV 5 with over 121 chambers and corridors. Most were found already plundered. A few, like the tomb of Tutankhamen (KV 62) contained thousands of precious artefacts.
The Necropolis of Thebes is a highlight of Luxor.
The large mountain cliff separates the Valley of the Kings from the Nile Valley. On top of this mountain there is a natural pyramidal peak where it was said the scorpion goddess Meretseger lived and protected the area.
The Theban Hills are dominated by the peak of al-Qurn, known to the Ancient Egyptians as ta dehent, or 'The Peak'. It has a pyramid shaped appearance. It is considered to have been the reason why the kings of Egypt started to be buried beneath it.
They took as example the pyramids of the Old Kingdom which were built more than a thousand years prior to the first royal burials carved out in the Valley of the Kings.