The Valley of the Kings, Egypt: What To Know

A visit to the Valley of the Kings in Egypt is an extraordinary opportunity to witness the splendor of ancient Egyptian civilization. The Valley of the Kings is a royal burial ground that was the final resting place for many of Egypt’s pharaohs, queens, high priests, and other members of the nobility. It lies on the western bank of the majestic Nile River near the ancient city of Thebes, modern-day Luxor, surrounded by a breathtaking desert landscape.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an avid traveler, or simply curious about the monuments of the ancient world, a visit to the Valley of the Kings is a truly unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe of Egypt’s rich cultural heritage. Let’s explore how to make the most of your excursion to the iconic Valley of the Kings.

History of the Valley of the Kings

valley of the kings luxor

As you explore the luxuriously decorated tombs carved deep into the rocky cliffs, you’ll be captivated by intricate hieroglyphics, vibrant paintings, and elaborate burial artifacts. Each tomb tells a unique story of ancient Egyptian royalty and their journey to the afterlife. These provide a fascinating glimpse into their beliefs and rituals. The history of Egypt’s Valley of the Kings is a tapestry of ancient traditions and awe-inspiring achievements. Construction began around 1550 BCE during ancient Egypt’s New Kingdom period. The pharaohs selected the valley for its natural protective barriers and majestic surroundings. 

The Valley of the Kings houses an impressive collection of tombs, with 64 mapped burial sites. The tombs are adorned with intricate wall carvings and paintings that depict religious scenes, mythological tales, and Egyptian daily life. Among the notable pharaohs buried here are Tutankhamun, Ramses II, Seti I, and Thutmose III. Several queens also rest here, including Hatshepsut, who reigned as a pharaoh during the 18th Dynasty. 

Quick Facts About Valley of the Kings

Valley of the Kings Tomb Map
Tomb Map in the Valley of the Kings By Llnkk (2016), Public Domain, (x)
  • Only 11 of the tombs are completely recorded
  • Members of Napoleon’s 1799 expedition created an extensive Valley of the Kings map
  • British archaeologist Howard Carter unearthed the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922. This extraordinary discovery brought global attention to the valley, revealing a tomb filled with stunning treasures and priceless artifacts
  • Valley of the Kings became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979

Best Valley of the Kings Tours

Tomb of Pharoahs Rameses Valley Kings

Booking a tour in advance is undoubtedly the best way to experience the Valley of the Kings. With its vast array of tombs and rich historical significance, a guided tour like this Cairo and Highlights of Egypt 4 Day Tour ensures you make the most of your visit while avoiding potential logistical challenges. By booking in advance, you’ll secure your spot in a well-organized tour that handles transportation and tickets and has knowledgeable guides who can unravel the valley’s mysteries.

Guided tours provide valuable insights into the history, symbolism, and stories behind each tomb, enriching your journey with fascinating details you might otherwise miss. With a pre-arranged tour, you can relax and focus on immersing yourself in the magnificence of this ancient site. Furthermore, multi-day tours like the Luxor and Cairo 2 Day Tour include visits to other points of interest, like the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza, allowing you to take full advantage of your time in the country.

By booking a tour in advance, you’ll optimize your itinerary, ensure a smooth and hassle-free visit, and gain a deeper understanding of the Valley of the Kings. So, grab your camera and embark on an unforgettable journey through history.

See all Valley of the Kings Tours

Getting There: Where is Valley of the Kings? 

The Valley of the Kings in Egypt lies on the opposite bank of the Nile River from the modern-day city of Luxor. To reach this ancient necropolis, you can fly into Luxor International Airport or arrive via car, bus, train, or river cruise. Additionally, Luxor tours are often a highlight stop on all-inclusive trips like this Best of Egypt, Jordan, & Israel 14 Day Tour Package

If you’re already in Luxor, take a short drive or join a Luxor Day Tour that includes transportation to the Valley of the Kings. Once you arrive at the site, you’ll explore the tombs on foot, surrounded by awe-inspiring desert landscapes.

Where to Stay at the Valley of the Kings

The nearest place to stay to access the Valley of the Kings is Luxor, which has a wide range of hotels. Rest assured that this vibrant city offers a range of accommodation options that cater to various preferences and budgets. Alternatively, book to see this iconic site without having to worry about accommodation, this 7 Day Cairo, Aswan and Luxor Package, which includes accommodations, a Nile River cruise, and Egypt’s sleeper train.

The Nile’s east bank offers a selection of upscale hotels. Many offer breathtaking river views and easy access to popular attractions like Karnak and Luxor Temples. The west bank is a peaceful retreat amidst ancient wonders. Charming guesthouses and boutique hotels provide an intimate and authentic experience. 

Valley of the Kings Travel Tips 

Valley of kings The tombs of the pharaohs Tutankhamun Luxor Egypt

To ensure a smooth and rewarding experience at the Valley of the Kings, make note of our valuable travel tips:

  • Book a guided tour in advance to navigate the site and learn the historical significance of each tomb
  • Visit between October and April when temperatures are cooler but still pleasantly warm
  • Wear sturdy, comfortable footwear and dress appropriately in modest, breathable clothing. You’ll be doing a fair amount of walking, and the climate can be hot, especially in summer. Additionally, bring a hat, sunscreen, and a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated
  • Follow all regulations, including restrictions on photography and touching ancient artifacts
  • Respecting the site helps preserve its integrity for future visitors
  • Be prepared for additional fees to enter certain tombs and have cash on hand in Egyptian pounds
  • Take plenty of time to appreciate the tombs’ intricate artwork and hieroglyphics. Engage with your guide or do some research beforehand to understand their stories and symbolism

An Experience Fit for Royalty

A journey to Egypt’s Valley of the Kings will transport you to the heart of ancient Egyptian civilization. Nestled on the western bank of the Nile River, this historic burial ground holds the secrets of pharaohs and queens. By booking a guided tour in advance, you’ll ensure a seamless and enriching experience, unlocking the site’s mysteries with the guidance of experts.

From the grandeur of the tomb paintings to the intricate details of the hieroglyphics, each step through the valley unveils the remarkable achievements and beliefs of ancient Egyptians. Get ready to embark on a journey to the Valley of the Kings, immerse yourself in its ancient wonders, and create memories that will last a lifetime by booking one of our Ancient Egypt tours.

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