Valley of the Kings is without question one of the most historically significant archaeological sites in the world. For roughly 200 years, archaeologists have been exploring the site, and during this time they have discovered 65 ancient tombs, with the latest discovery being made in 2008. The valley is essentially a royal necropolis that was used by the rulers of Egypt for a period of 500 years.
Being a “royal necropolis” the area was reserved for the burial of Egypt’s New Kingdom pharaohs and a few lesser nobles. However, not all the tombs were actually used for burial purposes. Instead, several of them simply remained vacant.
The Valley of the Kings is one of Egypt’s biggest tourist attractions, with an average of around 5,000 people visiting the site each day. On days when Nile River cruise ships dock in Luxor, the number of tourists can climb to as many as 9,000. It is without doubt one of the most fascinating places in all of Egypt.
Luxor Temple is one of six ancient temples found in the vicinity of Luxor. It was built by Amenophis III for worshipping the gods Amun, Chons and Mut.
The Temple of Luxor is placed firmly on the tourist trail in Egypt, attracting many thousands of visitors each year. It is one of six ancient temples in and around the city of Luxor in Upper Egypt, in the area that was once home to the ancient city of Thebes. The temple was initially built for religious rites to the gods Amun, Chons and Mut.
One of the most awe-inspiring features at Luxor Temple is it imposing colonnade comprising a total of 14 columns that are topped with papyrus shaped capitals. Each column is roughly 23 meters high, with a circumference of around 10 meters. Both sides on the colonnade are enclosed with masonry walls that are covered with reliefs showing scenes relating to the festival of Opet. The colonnade, along with the decorated walls was completed during the reign of King Tutankhamun and King Horemheb.
Karnak Temple is actually a vast temple city, with many of its structures dating back 4,000 years. It is today the largest remaining religious site of the ancient world, and it is visited by thousands of tourists every year. Because of its immense popularity, it is featured in many Egypt vacation packages, including many Nile cruise holidays.
The temple complex is conveniently located near to the modern-day town of El-Karnak, just 2.5 km from Luxor. The site is massive, to the point where some people feel it’s necessary to spend at least one full day exploring the area. It’s also a good idea to have a guide with you when you visit.
As with so many things at Karnak Temple complex, the hypostyle hall is massive, covering an area of 54,000 square feet, and home to no less than 134 huge columns measuring 23 meters in height. It is only when you actually stand inside the hall amongst its forest of columns that you truly get to appreciate just how wealth the New Kingdom had and to what extend Amun was revered.
Queen Hatshepsut Temple is a mortuary temple located near the Valley of the Kings, and it is today considered to be one of the great wonders of Ancient Egypt.
Hatshepsut Temple is without question one of the most striking ancient attractions in all of Egypt. In fact, it is one of only a handful of Egyptian attractions that are considered to be “incomparable monuments of Egypt” and many historians also refer to it as being one of the Wonders of Ancient Egypt.
Visitors to Luxor in upper Egypt will find this magnificent temple located below the rocky cliffs at Deir El Bahari, just a short distance away from the infamous Valley of the Kings, on the Luxor West Bank of the Nile River. From the moment the temple comes into view, it becomes very obvious that Queen Hatshepsut, an 18th dynasty pharaoh, wanted a temple that was well and truly fit for a queen.
The Valley of the Queens, like the nearby Valley of Kings, is also an ancient royal necropolis where the wives of the great pharaohs were laid to rest from 1550 to 1070 BCE. During the time of the New Kingdom pharaohs, the area was called Ta-Set-Neferu which means “The Place of the Children of the Pharaoh”.
Although the name Valley of the Queens tends to suggest that only queens were laid to rest here, the area was also used for the burials of princes; princesses and other family members of the nobility. The necropolis is located on the West Bank of the Nile, more or less directly opposite the ancient capital city of Thebes, which today is the modern city of Luxor.
The Valley of the Queens is home to around 70 tombs, many of which are exquisitely decorated. A prime example would be the tomb of Queen Nefetari from the 19th dynasty. Her tomb is adorned with splendid polochrome reliefs which have remained intact through the ages and can still be appreciated to this day.
Tourists that are intending visiting the site should keep in mind that only a limited number of tombs are open to visitors. The beautiful tomb of Queen Nefetari is not open, but special permission can be obtained from the Commercial and Event Office in Luxor for a fee. The tomb belonging to the wife of King Ramesses II is strictly off-limits altogether. This is considered to be the most beautiful tomb discovered, but because of its fragile condition, officials feel that heavy tourist traffic could cause irreparable damage.
Landious Travel is a tour operator based in Egypt. The tourist company “Landious Travel” presents you with a long list of Services & Tours in Egypt. You can book transfers, Nile cruises, tours, and excursions in Egypt in this online shop. Such services are available in all the Egyptian cities e.g. Hurghada, Safaga, Sharm El-Sheikh, El-Quseir, Marsa Alam, Luxor and Cairo. Mainly, we make bookings on several touristic services e.g. excursions, trips, Egypt tours, Nile Cruises and transportation.
Philae is dedicated to Isis - the Goddess of motherhood, magic and fertility. As a symbolic mother of the king, she appears as a woman with a throne-shaped crown or sometimes depicted with the sign of motherhood and fertility: the two horns and the solar disc between them. Her cult spread over Europe since the Greco-Roman period.
The cult of Isis at Philae goes back to the 7th century BC, but the earliest remains date from the 4th century BC.
And Isis was being worshipped at Philae until the 6th century AD!
By Roman times Isis had become the greatest of all the Egyptian gods, worshipped right across the Roman Empire even as far as Britain.
Walk along an imposing stone causeway that leads from the banks of the lake to the first pylon of the temple, pass a colonnaded court and into the eight columned hypostyle hall. Note the hieroglyphs and the reliefs of Greek pharaohs paying homage to Ancient Egyptian deities. Look for Mandulis, the god clad in the vulture feathered cloak. Built during the late Ptolemaic period and completed during the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus, the Temple of Kalabsha was dedicated to the Nubian god called Mandulis.
Built as a tomb for the pharaoh Djoser (or Zoser), the Djoser Pyramid was constructed between 2630 BC and 2611 BC in Saqqara, Egypt. Although it is considered the world’s oldest intact large-scale stone monument, the ancient structure is often overshadowed by Egypt’s most famous pyramids.
The Djoser Pyramid stands 197 feet high and was built using 11.6 million cubic feet of stone and clay. Imhotep—a doctor, priest, and sculptor, among other titles and talents—is widely attributed as the pyramid’s architect. Initially, the structure was designed as a traditional, flat-roofed tomb called a mastaba, but Djoser wanted something bigger, something grander.
The pyramid was part of a larger 40-acre complex containing a courtyard, temples, and chapels, all enclosed inside a 30-foot wall. The entrance to the complex, as well as 13 fake doors, is built into the wall. The complex also includes a number of building facades, all of which served ritual purposes.
The pharaoh’s burial chambers are located deep within the pyramid, along with those of his 11 daughters. The burial chamber is part of the pyramid’s winding, maze-like series of tunnels, which researchers think may have been designed to prevent theft (although the pyramid was eventually looted).
There are three major pyramids in the pyramids necropolis in Giza. If you do not fear small spaces, take the opportunity to step inside the small cavity of the Great Pyramid (for a negotiable tip or fee) to experience the pyramid’s rather daunting descending staircase as well as the king’s and queen’s respective burial chambers.
The Great Pyramid of Khufu is believed to have been built over a twenty-year period and completed around the year 2560 B.C. For centuries, the Pyramid held the record as the tallest
man-made structure in the world. Besides the many theories and symbolism that it embodies, the Pyramid is one of the most breathtaking monuments of Ancient Egypt; take a trip to gaze at its peak and see for yourself.
Although not as magnificently large as the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafra has a more complex interior and a large number of statues dedicated to Khafra, son of Khufu,
including the Sphinx.
The smallest of the three, the Pyramid of Menkara rarely gets the same attention as its two larger neighbours; as it lacks the size of Khufu and the Sphinx of Khafra. Menkara’s one advantage may be its material: the two predecessors used limestone, whereas Menkara used the more valuable and pricier granite in his burial chambers.
As familiar and known a sight as that of the Giza Pyramids, the medieval Citadel sits conspicuously over the haze of Cairo’s minarets, with the Mohammed Ali mosque glimmering like a beacon to all travellers, visitors and Cairenes alike. The gentle breeze from the hilltop location brings to mind a legend about Saladin, the builder of this medieval fortress in the 12th century. In the search to build a proper fortress against the Crusaders, he hung pieces of meat throughout Cairo and swore that wherever the meat stayed fresh the longest would become the location of his fortress. All the meat he placed was ruined in a day except for the meat hung on a hilltop near Cairo, where the fresh breeze kept the meat fresh for days. Who knows? Maybe he built the Citadel on a hill because in his native mountainous Syria most fortresses were built in strategic high locations, or maybe fresh meat was a big deal to Saladin.
The Citadel is a popular destination for tour groups and local school field trips. While most tourists are taken to the Hagia Sophia inspired Mohammed Ali mosque, they might miss the great sites that lie nearby, marking massacres, harem palaces, spiral wells, royal court drama, crime, and ancient Egyptian ruins.
Yad Vashem, Israel’s largest Holocaust memorial is set on the slopes of the Mount of Remembrance on the edge of Jerusalem. The new Yad Vashem Museum opened in 2005 and its nine chilling galleries of interactive historical displays present the Holocaust using a range of multimedia including photographs, films, documents, letters, works of art, and personal items found in the camps and ghettos. Yad Vashem is a place which is not fun to visit, but is definitely somewhere that we recommend all visitors to Israel experience.
The museum leads into the Hall of Names, an eerie space containing over three million names of Holocaust victims that were submitted by their families and relatives. Names can still be submitted by visitors to the memorial and added to the computerized archive, whilst visitors are able to search through the records.
In addition to the Holocaust History Museum, the Yad Vashem campus has a number of other chilling memorials which you can visit. These include the Hall of Remembrance, where the ashes of the dead are buried and an eternal flame burns in commemoration; Yad Layeled, the children’s memorial, which commemorates the one and a half million Jewish children who perished in the Holocaust; and The Memorial to the Deportees, a railroad car hanging over the cliff on the road winding down from the mountain commerorating those who were deported.
The Tower of David Museum of the History of Jerusalem is located in the restored ancient Citadel of the Old City near the Jaffa Gate, the historic main entrance to the city. The museum tells the long and fascinating history of Jerusalem starting from the second millennium BCE and ending with the modern city you see today.
The museum’s facade, The Citadel is itself, a fascinating archaeological site, and provides some of the best 360-degree views across the Old City and Modern City available, and comes to life at night with the Tower of David Night Spectacular. As well as its fascinating permanent displays, the museum regularly hosts changing exhibitions as well as lectures, special cultural events and educational programs.
The Tower of David Night Spectacular is an incredible sound and light show, the only one of its kind in the world, in which the walls of The Citadel and Old City are brought to life using amazing audio-visual technologies to provide the story of Jerusalem in a unique experience.
The Western Wall, or “Wailing Wall”, is the most religious site in the world for the Jewish people. Located in the Old City of Jerusalem, it is the western support wall of the Temple Mount. Thousands of people journey to the wall every year to visit and recite prayers. These prayers are either spoken or written down and placed in the cracks of the wall. The wall is divided into two sections, one area for males and the other for females. It is one of the major highlights in any tour of the Old City.
The site is open to all people and is the location of various ceremonies, such as military inductions and bar mitzvahs. The Western Wall is free and is open all day, year-round. Women and men should be dressed modestly in the Western Wall Plaza. To pray at the wall, women should have their legs and shoulders covered. Men should cover their head.
The Atlit Detainee Camp Museum is located in Atlit, a small town located on the northern coast about 20 kilometers south of Haifa. In the 1930s and 40s, this site served as a detention center for illegal Jewish immigrants seeking refuge in Palestine (which is now the State of Israel). The land was under British Mandate and officials let very few Jewish people into the country legally. Tens of thousands of Jewish people were interned here during this time period. Although first-time visitors may not be familiar with this museum, it is very significant site in the history of Israel.
Illegal immigrants are known as “ma’apilim”. Before and during World War II, thousands of Jewish people were fleeing their homes trying to escape persecution and concentration camps. Many coming from Europe and northern Africa chose to seek refuge in Palestine, which was under British Mandate. More than 122,000 people came to Israel despite the blockade.
Haifa’s German Colony is probably the culture and tourism centre of this beautiful city. Located just beneath the Bahai Gardens, Haifa’s largest tourist attraction, the German Colony has been beautifully restored in recent years and is now lined with trendy cafes, restaurants, and boutiques. A visit to Haifa is not complete without exploring the German Colony, and those who do visit take away great memories. A visit is definitely one of THE things to do in Haifa.
The German Colony of Haifa is a small area located at the foot of the Baha’i Gardens and reaching the Port of Haifa. It was founded in the late 1860s by German Templars (not to be confused with the Templar Knights of the Crusaders who also settled in Northern Israel) and throughout the two world wars in the early 21st century was inhabited on-and-off by the German Protestants who built the area up.
Today, Ben Gurion Avenue, the main road in the German Colony, is lined with distinct red-roofed cafés, restaurants and boutiques. Tourists flock to the German Colony for relaxation, culinary experiences and even the nightlife. In the German Colony, close to the port, is Haifa’s City Museum as well as the old City Center, a small mall. For those wishing to stay in the German Colony, the Colony Hotel Haifa can be found on Ben Gurion Avenue just minutes away from the Baha’i Gardens.
The archaeological remains of Kourion - which was one of the island’s most important city-kingdoms in antiquity - are of the most impressive on the island, and excavations have unearthed many significant finds, which can be viewed at the site.
The Limassol Castle is situated in the centre of old Limassol, is a remnant from the presence of Crusaders on the island. It was built in the 13th century on the site of an earlier Byzantine castle and has been converted today into the Cyprus Medieval Museum.
Limassol's historical centre is located around its medieval Limassol Castle and the Old Port. Today the city spreads along the Mediterranean coast and has extended much farther than the castle and port, with its suburbs stretching along the coast to Amathus.
Standing grandly at the west end of the town’s harbour, Pafos (Paphos) Castle (Medieval Fort) was originally a Byzantine fort built to protect the harbour, and was rebuilt by the Lusignans in the 13th century, but then dismantled by the Venetians. The Ottomans rebuilt it in the 16th century when they conquered the island. What survives today is the 1592 Ottoman restoration of the western Frankish tower with its Venetian additions. An inscription above the only entrance of the castle bears witness to this restoration.
The main part of the castle is a big square tower that has an enclosed courtyard in the middle. The ground floor consists of a central hall with small rooms on each of its two long sides, which were used as prison cells during Ottoman Rule. There are 12 battlements on the roof, which received a corresponding number of cannons. The Ottomans removed the cannons in 1878, when they handed over the administration of the island to the British, who used the castle as a salt store until 1935, when it was declared an Ancient Monument under the Antiquities Law.
The Archaeological Park of Kato Pafos (Paphos) is one of the most important archaeological sites of Cyprus and has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list since 1980.
Nicocles, the last King of Palaipafos moved the city from the previous location to its present location near the harbour at the end of the 4th century BC. Between the 2nd century BC and 4th century AD, Pafos was the capital city of Cyprus.
The Park includes sites and monuments from the 4th century BC to the Middle Ages, while most remains date to the Roman period. The intricate mosaic floors of four Roman villas (the houses of Dionysos, Theseus, Aion and Orpheus) form the impressive epicentre of the finds, and depict various scenes from Greek Mythology. The complex also includes other important monuments, such as the Asklepieion, the Odeon, the Agora, the Saranta Kolones (Forty Columns) Castle, the Limeniotissa ruins of an Early Christian Basilica, and the Tombs of the Kings.
The famous ‘Tombs of the Kings’ form part of the Archaeological Park of Kato Pafos (Paphos) - one of the most important archaeological sites of Cyprus that has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list since 1980. The monumental underground tombs are carved out of solid rock and date back to the Hellenistic and Roman periods.
Rather than kings, it is actually high ranking officials and aristocracy that were buried here, but the size and splendour of the tombs – some decorated with Doric pillars - gave the locality its grand name.
Some of the tombs imitate the houses of the living, with the burial chambers opening onto a peristyle atrium. They are similar to tombs found in Alexandria, demonstrating the close relations between the two cities during the Hellenistic period.
This historic mosque is located 3km west of Larnaka on the road to Kiti, on the main Salt Lake. After the Arab armies successfully landed in Larnaka in 648AD, the Holy Helper and aunt of Mohamed - Umm Haram - died at the site when she fell off her mule.
The Kyrenia Gate in the North Cyprus is one of the three gates on the walls surrounding the old city of Nicosia. This gate was one of the most important entry-exit points of the city. It is also known as the "Del Providetore Gate" after the architecture Proveditore Francesco Barbaro.
Bellapais Abbey is located in the hillside, 6 miles South East of Kyrenia. The Abbey is the best example of Gothic architecture in Cyprus, as well as being ones of the finest in the Middle East. Built by the Lusignans, the first settlers in Bellapais Abbey were the Agustinas Monks, who escaped from Jerusalem in late Twelth century.
Kyrenia Castle is located near the harbour, which is horse shoe shaped. It was originally built by the Romans in the Third century to defend the city, which was located up on the hillside. In the Tenth century, the Byzantines then further enhanced the shape of the castle in order to protect the people of the city from Arab pirates.
One of the symbols of Alanya – the Alanya castle over the rocky peninsula in the middle of the city. The fortress that you can see today is a remain of 13th century Seljuk fortress built after the conquest of Alanya in 1220 by Alaeddin Keykubat I.
However, the very first fortifications have most probably been built by pirates occupying the peninsula in 3rd century BC and later replaced and improved into Byzantine and Roman fortifications over the centuries. The latest Seljuk Alanya castle is app. 250m over the sea level and its walls have great 6,5km in length. There used to be 140 towers along the walls and around 400 cisterns in the castle.
The fortifications formed three separated divisions – one for the sultan and his family, one for the army and one for the ordinary people. During the Ottoman era, the Alanya castle was used only for defensive purposes and there were many private villas built within the fortress in the 19th century.
The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is housed in the medieval building which served as the Hospital of the Knights of St. John. The structure was begun in 1440 by Grand Master de Lastic with money bequeathed by his predecessor, Fluvian, and was completed in 1489 by Grand Master d’Aubusson.
The "Casa Romana", or the Roman Manor is one of the most interesting sites on the island of Kos. In 1933 the great earthquake nearly destroyed the whole island. The Italians, who at the time of the earthquake were occupying the island, perceived the destruction as an opportunity to reconstruct the city's building plan, conducting numerous excavations, with the knowledge that beneath the leveled structures ancient monuments lay.
The ancient city of Sagalassos is located in the region known as Pisidia in antiquity. Situated at the edge of a mountainous area, the first settlement traces date back to 12,000 years ago. The ancient city of Sagalassos is extremely well preserved with its monumental structures where almost all of the original building stones can be found.
One place of Bodrum that no visitor to this great city should miss is the famous Bodrum Castle, which overlooks the harbour and the international marina. This castle was constructed by the Knights of Rhodes in the 15th century during the crusades of the middle ages, and it was given the name The Castle of St. Petrus, or Petronium.
Occupying over 30.000 square feet at its base, construction of this castle took years to complete. The castle was built partly from the left remains of the mausoleum of Mausolus which had collapsed as the result of an earthquake. The huge exterior walls were designed in the early 15th century by the German architect Heinrich Schlegelholt and were strengthened by five towers known usually as the English tower, the Italian tower, the German tower, the French tower and the Snake tower. The French tower of the castle is thought to be the earliest one with the others being added during the following century. After the French Tower, The Italian tower was built in 1436 by Italian architect Angelo Mascettola. The final parts of the castle were erected in the time of Pierre d’Abusson between 1476 and 1593, with the English tower being added at around 1480. Towers of the St. Peters Castle, BodrumThe walls of the Bodrum castle contain the nearly 250 coats of arms and armorial bearings of many of the knights that served there. Captured in 1522 by the Ottomans during the reign of Kanuni Sultan Suleyman, the church on the castle was converted into a mosque.
The most prominent archaeological site in Santorini is Akrotiri and the findings of the excavations that began in 1967. Akrotiri (Promontory) is located at the southwestern tip of the island, 15 km from Fira. It is a real promontory, with sheer cliff shores stretching three miles west of the southernmost part of Santorini.
First signs of habitation in Akrotiri date back to the Late Neolithic Period (at least from the 4th millennium BC). By the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC), there was a settlement in Akrotiri that was expanded in the Middle and Late Bronze Age (20th-17th centuries BC) becoming one of the main urban centres of the Aegean.
Covering about 50 acres, the settlement had a very well-planed infrastructure and an elaborate sewage system. Imported products found inside the buildings prove that Akrotiri was well developed, held strong ties with Minoan Crete and conducted business with the Greek mainland, the Dodecanese, Cyprus, Syria, and Egypt. The growth of the town ended abruptly at the end of the 17th century BC, when its inhabitants left due to powerful seismic foreshocks. Then, the volcano erupted, and volcanic material covered the town and the rest of the island, preserving the buildings and their contents to this day.
This unique site gives visitors the opportunity to admire and walk through the sheltered settlement!
Ancient Thera stands on Mesa Vouno, at an altitude of 396 m. It is an ancient city named after mythical ruler of the island. It was founded in the 9th century BC by Dorian settlers, led by Theras; habitation continued until the early Byzantine era. The position is naturally fortified because the steep slopes of the mountain made the city inaccessible from land or sea and also a great observatory to the SE Aegean Sea. Public and private buildings are built along the main axis of the city in direction from the NE to the SE corner of the rock. Smaller cobbled streets adapted to the terrain, intersected the main road.
Building remnants belong to the Hellenistic era, which is the last period of the city's prosperity. The residential development is amphitheatrical due to the inclination of the terrain and to the building in such way so there was a view of the sea.
Few private houses have been excavated organized in neighborhoods, mainly in the eastern part of town. The habitation sites were built around a closed courtyard and beneath it was a tank collecting rainwater. Homes had more or less spaces, or were developed vertically with a second floor depending on the social and financial status of the residents.
Sultan Han Caravanserai is located in the Sultan Hani District of Bünyan District, located on the 46th km of Kayseri-Sivas road. The neighbourhood got its name from this work. It was built between 1232-1236 during the reign of Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat I. It is one of the best examples of the Seljuk architect style. Very smooth cut stone was used on the body walls. The joints are very uniform and show a structure called "not to flow". The arch built with the alternating use of beige and brownstone attracts attention at the crown gate of the courtyard. Depending on the stone material, decorations with relief and carving techniques can be seen in the crown doors, two corner towers and Köşk Mescit.
Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in Denizli Province in southwestern Turkey. The city contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water.
According to Greek mythology, the goddess Hera was born in Samos. There are still remaining ruins of her temple – only one pillar is standing, about half of its original height – close to the south coast of the island. Heraion had been established since the Geometrical period as a sacred place and remained such until the Roman era. It is a dipteral Ionic temple with 115 colossal columns.