There is a bustling souk behind the mosque, where you can buy herbs, spices, silver, scarfs, brass and copper artefacts. It’s a fun market and less touristy than the one in Cairo. And when you’re tired of shopping, set sail on a felucca (a traditional wooden sailboat) to relax for a couple of hours at dusk. In our view, the experience is even better in Aswan, but if you are not able to visit, this is obligatory.
Most people come to Luxor to explore the West Bank but there are several draws on this side of the Nile, too. The highlights are the temples of Luxor and Karnak, which were once joined by a 2km-long avenue of sphinxes, some of which still adorn the entrance today. Dominated by the sculptures of Ramses II, Luxor Temple has survived floods, foreign invasion and exposure to the elements. The sound-and-light show (Son et Lumière) here is one of the country’s best. What’s more, we can arrange a private dinner for a small group here, where you will be serenaded by a harpist – a magical and memorable experience. The ruins of Karnak Temple, the largest religious building ever constructed, are some of the oldest here, dating back more than 3000 years.