Dendera & Abydos
This is a superb full-day guided excursion to the important, and frequently ignored, temples of Abydos and Dendera. Abydos is located approximately 145 km from Luxor, a journey time of 3 hours. In antiquity, the site was believed to be the burial place of Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead, and was an important cult centre and place of pilgrimage. Because of its associations with the afterlife, many of the pharaohs constructed cenotaphs at Abydos, including New Kingdom pharaoh Seti I (c1294 – 1279) whose temple remains are one of the most important religious structures in Egypt. On arrival at Abydos you will visit Seti’s temple. Of particular interest here amongst the chapels, hypostyle halls, and fine quality bas-reliefs, is one of the few surviving ancient Egyptian king lists; starting with Menes, the traditional founder of Egypt, and ending with Seti I.
Next, drive south to Dendera, a journey time of approximately 2 hours. The existing temple of the cow-goddess Hathor at Dendera dates to the Graeco-Roman period and is one of the best-preserved temples in Egypt. A hallmark of the temple is its column capitals each one of which has been carved with the bovine face of Hathor. At the rear of the temple are scenes depicting Cleopatra VII and Caesarion – her son by Julius Caesar. The temple is also noted as the site of the celebrated ’Dendera zodiac’ depicting astrological figures and symbols in a fusion of Egyptian and foreign ideas. On completion of your visit return to Luxor, a journey time of approximately 1 hour.