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“No cultural tour of Egypt is complete without Abydos”
Review of Abydos

Abydos
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$76.07*
and up
Private Tour: Dendara and Abydos
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Owner description: Once the cult center of Osiris, god of the dead, this was considered the holiest of Egyptian towns in Pharaonic times. Today this area contains the Cenotaph Temple of Seti I, one of the most intact temples remaining in Egypt that was built between 1294-1279 BC.
Reviewed January 23, 2014

Abydos offers quite an outstanding experience. The temple of Seti I is a magical place with the most beautiful bas reliefs I have seen anywhere in Egypt. There are many more monuments. like the enigmatic Oseirion, or the temple of Ramesses II, also with beautiful bas reliefs. Then there are the massive and extremely ancient brick walls of Shunet el Zebib, rising like a dark monolith from the desert sands. These brick walls were already ancient in the time of Ramesses II.
We walked through the desert sands nearby and every where around us there were fragments of pottery and bone. This is the massive necropolis of Abydos, THE place where the ancient Egyptians wanted to buried, because Abydos was the centre of the cult of Osiris.
What made me write this review today was the news in the Guardian newspaper in the UK that archaeologists of the University of Pensylvania have this month (Jan 2014) unearthed the remains of a forgotten pharaoh, called Senebkay. It appears that a whole dynasty of pharaohs is buried in the desert sands of Abydos, a sort of Valley of the Kings. This carries the promise of more exciting finds in the future.
Walking in the desert of Abydos and spending a whole day in quiet reflection in the temple of Seti I was a very special experience.
Unfortunately most people only spend a few hours in Abydos, while on a day trip from Luxor. This is far too short. Abydos warrants much more time.
In the past it was difficult, because there was no hotel in Abydos. But the need for accomodaton in Abydos has now been addressed. My wife and I stayed in Hotel House of Life, literally a stone's throw from the Temple of Seti. It is the first hotel/guest house in Abydos and offers excellent and affordable accommodation. It is jointly run by a local Egyptian man Horus and his Dutch associate Yvon/Aset. They have a special interest in ancient Egyptian healing. Worth while looking into, if you are interested.
Abydos is a quiet agricultural village with friendly and hospitable people. After the day tourists were gone we had the whole temple of Seti to ourselves.
We used Abydos also as a base to go and visit the fascinating temple of Hathor, which is amongst the most well preserved in Egypt.
My advice is: stay a night or several days in Abydos. After the hustle and bustle of Cairo and Luxor this is a beautiful, quiet place. And in Egyptology this is where things are happening at the moment. The discovery of the forgotten pharaoh Senebkay is very exciting. More pharaoh's and royal tombs will surely be appearing from the desert sands!

8  Thank BenAlofs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 21, 2013

But still amazing
Although we technically wanted to just 'pass through' on our way to the nearby (very - It's about 300m to the right) Temple of Ramses II, we had to take our time and look again at the various internal features.

1  Thank eLaReF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013

The carvings in Abydos are some of the most intricate and well-wrought in Egypt. Seti I's art style is distinct and different than that of Ramses II, and you are able to see the differences in the site's carvings to determine under which pharaoh which portion was done. The most amazing of the work is, unfortunately, in one of the most defaced chambers - the Copts did a very thorough number on the shrine to Osiris. The pigment and colouration that remains is brilliant (mostly reds, yellows and blues - the malachite green is all but gone, and the lapis blue in favour of the turquoise blue).

Definitely have a guide for this portion of the tour, particularly in order to get the most out of the site and to see some of the nuances which are generally left out of the Egyptian legend books (like Isis in her bird-form catching up with Osiris for some post-resurrection TLC).

1  Thank Maitreyi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2013

If you do not visit Abydos you will miss the greatest collection of perfect reliefs I have seen anywhere in my three trips to Egypt. The best are in the 2nd hypostyle hall in the Temple of Seti. What taste that man had to find the artists who created this marvel. The reliefs glow with a gentleness and warmth not usually associated with Egyptian reliefs. Many are deeply moving representations of the relationship between pharaoh and the gods. This is fitting since this temple is the most important of all the shrines to Osiris. The temple is roofed over and dark, but the many reliefs are beautifully side lit. A short walk away are some other sites worth a visit.
Abydos is about two hours from Luxor by car. Midway between the two is Dendara, also not to be missed. It is almost totally and perfectly preserved, even to the heavy stones that roof it and make it the most mysteriously evocative of the Egyptian temples.
The combination of Abydos and Dendara is essential if you want to feel the power of Egyptian religious structures.
We did the trip to both Abydos and Dendara in one day, leaving Luxor about 8am, spending a few hours at Abydos before heading south again with an hour at Dendara and arriving back in Aswan by late afternoon. We determined the schedule. A tea break at a roadside shop at Abydos was our lunch. I don’t know if there are other places to eat there. In 2013 we arranged a car and driver for 400 Egyptian pounds, at that time about $70. I’ll be happy to send the name of the man who arranged this for us. Most hotels charge quite a bit more for such a trip. The best road is on the west bank through the desert and some small towns, a part of Egypt most travelers don’t get to see. There are great photo ops.

6  Thank bobinathens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 21, 2013

As we stayed in Luxor we hired a taxi to drive us up to Abydos. The driver was kind enough to take the West bank to Abydos and come back via the East bank. This made the trip less long and very interesting. Especially the East bank as here you pass through many villages and get an idea of daily local life. We only visited the Temple of Seti 1 and found it very beautiful. As we were on our own we depended on the 'local' guide to tell us a bit more. Now these people are no Egyptologists and their English is rather poor but he tried his best and showed us some nice areas. And depending on your tip ... even more doors can open ;-) After a while however the guard also joined us and I think our visit took to long because he almost ushered us out :-( Not that we felt threatened but more like pushed and not welcome. But we already had some fine hours spent so we did not really mind.

1  Thank _NF_70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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