See more when you are in Luxor with this daytrip to Dendera and Abydos: Two temples that are often skipped.
During this trip of a full day you will visit both temples: The Dendera complex with its temple of Hathor, the sacred Lake and the Christian basilica; And the Temple of Seti I in Abydos, home of the cult of Osiris and well-preserved wall reliefs.
About the trip
Depending on the number of participants, you will either make this trip by airconditioned taxi, minibus or a “Coaster” (20 person bus), but always with your personal driver and tour guide:
You will leave Luxor early in the morning, after which you will travel to Dendera and Abydos.
You will be back at the hotel around 18.00h
The price of this trip depends on the number of participants and local costs in Egypt at time of booking.
For a personal quotation, please fill out and send our request form.
Included in this trip:
- Transport in an airconditioned taxi, minibus or coaster by your personal driver,
- Entry fees (because these change on a regular basis)
- Beverages during the excursions,
- Tips for driver(s) and Tour Guide(s),
- Personal expenses, such as souvenirs etc.
- An English- French- or German speaking tour guide,
- A Lunch Box.
Some information about Dendera and Abydos
At a rather isolated place at the edge of the desert, about 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) south-west of the modern town, lies what Dendera is famous for, a mostly Greco-Roman temple complex known in ancient Egyptian as Iunet or Tantere.
The modern Arab town is built on the ancient site of Ta-ynt-netert, which means ‘She of the Divine Pillar.’ In the Greek era, the town was known as Tentyra. It was once the -modest- capital of the 6th Nome (Pharaonic province) of Upper Egypt, and was also called Nikentori or Nitentori which means ‘willow wood’ or ‘willow earth’.
Some scholars believe the name derives from the sky and fertility goddess Hathor, also associated with the Greek Aphrodite, who was especially worshiped there. The official deity of the city was a crocodile. Crocodiles were also venerated as deities in other Egyptian cities, which gave rise to many quarrels, notably with Ombos.
The Dendera Temple complex, which contains the Temple of Hathor, is one of the best-preserved temples, if not the best-preserved one, in all of Upper Egypt. The whole complex covers some 40,000 square meters and is surrounded by a hefty mud brick wall.
The present building dates back to the times of the Ptolemaic dynasty and was completed by the Roman emperor Tiberius, but it rests on the foundations of earlier buildings dating back at least as far as Khufu (known as the Great Pyramid builder Cheops, the second Pharaoh of the 4th dynasty [c. 2613–c. 2494 BC]) but it was the pharao Pepi I Meryre who built the temple.
It was once home to the celebrated Dendera zodiac, which is now displayed in the Louvre Museum in Paris. There are also Roman and pharaonic Mammisi (birth houses), ruins of a Coptic church and a small chapel dedicated to Isis, dating to the Roman or the Ptolemaic epoch. The area around the temple has been extensively landscaped and now has a modern visitor centre, bazaar and small cafeteria.
Abydos (Arabic: أبيدوس; /əˈbaɪdɒs/ Sahidic Coptic: ⲈⲃⲱⲧEbōt) is one of the oldest cities of ancient Egypt, and also of the eighth nome in Upper Egypt. It is located about 11 kilometres (6.8 miles) west of the Nile at latitude 26° 10′ N, near the modern Egyptian towns of el-‘Araba el Madfuna and al-Balyana. In the ancient Egyptian language, the city was called Abdju (ꜣbḏw or AbDw). The English name Abydos comes from the Greek Ἄβυδος, a name borrowed by Greek geographers from the unrelated city of Abydos on the Hellespont.
Considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt, the sacred city of Abydos was the site of many ancient temples, including Umm el-Qa’ab, a royal necropolis where early pharaohs were entombed. These tombs began to be seen as extremely significant burials and in later times it became desirable to be buried in the area, leading to the growth of the town’s importance as a cult site.
Today, Abydos is notable for the memorial temple of Seti I, which contains an inscription from the nineteenth dynasty known to the modern world as the Abydos King List. It is a chronological list showing cartouches of most dynastic pharaohs of Egypt from Menes until Seti I’s father, Ramesses I.
The Great Temple and most of the ancient town are buried under the modern buildings to the north of the Seti temple. Many of the original structures and the artifacts within them are considered irretrievable and lost; many may have been destroyed by the new construction.