Best Tombs to see in the Valley of the Kings???

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#1
UK
1,290 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
I have read that you can visit 3 of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and was wondering which are the 'must see' tombs.

I would love to hear which were your favourites, and why.
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#2
Greenville, SC, USA
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Joined Apr 2000
It has been several years since we were there, so memories are vague. I do remember that our tour guide gave us several recommendations.
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#3
Melbourne, Australia
5,213 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Its not like all of them are open when you visit. There isn't that much of a choice. Three are three that you can pick and another two you pay extra to go and visit.

As of December 8 2011, the following tombs were open: KV1, KV2, KV6, KV9, KV62, KV11, KV15, KV16, and KV47. Source; http://wikitravel.org/en/Luxor/Valley_of_the_Kings

KV62 - Tomb of Tutankhamun - that is extra

KV9 - Tomb of Ramesses VI - that is extra

http://www.ancient-egypt.org/index.html <-- has a detailed list of the tombs.

I visited in December 2011 and your ticket of 80 LE gets you into three tombs.
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#4
Malvern, Worcestershire, England
618 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
Originally posted by Martin and Lindsey
I have read that you can visit 3 of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, and was wondering which are the 'must see' tombs.

I would love to hear which were your favourites, and why.
I've posted this before, and it takes no account of what will be open, but you might find it useful. We have been to the Valley six times now, and into about 15 of the tombs. Tutankamun's is an extra cost option, if open, but it is small and untypical, and not intrinsically one of the best.

The Valley burials cover three dynasties, with changes in style, so trying to see one from each gives a wider idea of how the tombs developed. So, I would suggest the following:
18th Dynasty:

Tuthmosis III – tomb 34. This is probably my favourite, but it is a long walk right to the end of the Valley, followed by a climb up a lot of steps and then a deep, winding descent – the early tombs wound down into the hillside.
Amenhotep II – tomb 35. Tuthmosis III’s son, but more accessible.
Horemheb – tomb 57. I’ve never seen this open, but it has been recommended.

19th Dynasty:
Seti I – tomb 17. The biggest tomb and a definite must if it is open.
Merenptah – tomb 8. Again, one I’ve been recommended but not visited.
Tausert & Sethnakhte – tomb 14. Slightly odd, as it was shared between the two rulers (Tausert was a queen), so a modified version.

20th Dynasty:
Ramesses III – tomb 11. Probably the biggest and best of the late tombs.
Ramesses VI – tomb 9. Smaller than his great-grandfather’s, but nicely decorated.
Ramesses IX – tomb 6. Another good Ramesside tomb, and close to the centre of the Valley.
#6
UK
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Joined Jan 2006
all of you for your helpful answers.
We are going in four weeks time!!!
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#8
UK
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Joined Jan 2006
River cruise from Luxor to Aswan and back again. Then we're staying in Cairo for a few days.
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#9
19,660 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Keep in mind that not all the tombs are open on a given day; they tend to rotate them. So having a list like Sekhmet provided is very useful -- you may have to decide on the spot. I'd try to pick tombs from a couple of different eras if you can.

I'd also suggest getting the ticket for 3 tombs plus paying the extra for the entrance to Tutankhamun's tomb as well. True, it isn't the most interesting of the tombs, but now his mummy is there as well and I enjoyed seeing it -- given how many books I've read on the discovery of the tomb itself.
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#10
Ottawa area, Canada
201 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by Martin and Lindsey
River cruise from Luxor to Aswan and back again. Then we're staying in Cairo for a few days.
Last June, our tour guide recommended we visit three tombs: Ramses I (KV16), Ramses III (KV3) and Ramses IV (KV2) for several reasons, not the least of which was that they are close together and it was 120 degrees that day, but also because they gave us a good understanding of how tombs were built.
  • KV16 is unfinished and contains a lot of really old graffitti at its entrance.
  • KV3 is huge but it was originally created for another King, Setnakht. When digging it, workers accidentally broke through into another tomb (KV10) and you can see that tunnel. The tomb's art, with many illustrations of the Amduat and the Book of Gates, is subdued and dark in tones.
  • KV2 is a beautiful tomb, with funerary art that is bright yellow and azure blue. This tomb contains the first illustrations from the Book of Caverns. The sarcophagus is magnificent and massive, carved from red granite and above it, spanning the vaulted ceiling, is a beautiful depiction of the Goddess Nut (or Mut). My memory of this tomb is the most vivid, as it is so bright and airy. A must see, I think.
Three tombs that are suppose to be spectacular are Ramses VI (KV9), Horemheb (KV57) and Seti I (KV17). When in Cairo, if you get to Sakkara, be sure to visit Horemheb's tomb there. He had it built when he was the Commander of Egypt's army, before he became Pharaoh. It only opened last June for the public and, apparently, I was only the 12th tourist to visit it after it had opened. It is well worth the visit, especially if you get to see his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

One of the most beautiful tombs in the Luxor area is the tomb of Queen Nefertari, in the Valley of the Queens, not far from the King's Valley. It was not open when I was there. Check online to see if it will be open when you go because it is reputed to be the most beautiful of all tombs.

Make sure you bring a good bottle of water with you. It can be unbearably hot, even in the tombs!

While in the area, try to get to see the Temple of Medinat Habu. It is not often on the list of most visitors, so it is rarely crowded, especially now. If you go, you will see the best preserved temple in the Luxor area, with beautiful and colourful art still visible on its walls and ceilings. See my post here:http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1336900

Good luck and have fun!
#11
Bournemouth, UK
221 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
I was there a few weeks ago and we were told that Queen Nefertari's tomb is unfortunately unlikely to ever re-open to the public.
We paid extra to see Tutankhamun's and Ramses VI tombs which we were thought well worth it. The three we saw for our main ticket were Seti 1, Ramses III and Ramses IV. All amazing.
#12
19,300 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by goldencup
I was there a few weeks ago and we were told that Queen Nefertari's tomb is unfortunately unlikely to ever re-open to the public.
We paid extra to see Tutankhamun's and Ramses VI tombs which we were thought well worth it. The three we saw for our main ticket were Seti 1, Ramses III and Ramses IV. All amazing.

Is the Seti I tomb now open to the public? I was told it was closed but could be opened for $1,000.00 (maximum group of 20).
#13
Exactly where I want to be
6,114 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Be sure to take a fan with you!!! Yes, the cheap foldable Chinese/Japanese type fan. It gets stifling hot inside those tombs. There are sometimes men standing at the entrances to "give" you a paper fan, but will expect it back and given a gratuity when you exit.
I was there in the Valley of the Kings when it was about 109 degrees. I learned the value of wearing long sleeves and long pants for their evaporative cooling properties Now, not just any pants and shirts, but those made explicitly for adventure travel that are quick drying... If you wear shorts and short sleeve shirts, you don't get the evaporative cooling and just stay hot.
#14
Northeast US
955 Posts
Joined Jan 2011
Our 3 were Ramses III, IV and IX, and we also went to Tut's. All were amazing.
Yeah....your own fan is a good idea. Those cardboard ones they rent you can be pretty grimy from many sweaty, oily hands. O.o
#15
19,300 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by Sekhmet
I've posted this before, and it takes no account of what will be open, but you might find it useful. We have been to the Valley six times now, and into about 15 of the tombs. Tutankamun's is an extra cost option, if open, but it is small and untypical, and not intrinsically one of the best.

The Valley burials cover three dynasties, with changes in style, so trying to see one from each gives a wider idea of how the tombs developed. So, I would suggest the following:
18th Dynasty:

Tuthmosis III – tomb 34. This is probably my favourite, but it is a long walk right to the end of the Valley, followed by a climb up a lot of steps and then a deep, winding descent – the early tombs wound down into the hillside.
Amenhotep II – tomb 35. Tuthmosis III’s son, but more accessible.
Horemheb – tomb 57. I’ve never seen this open, but it has been recommended.

19th Dynasty:
Seti I – tomb 17. The biggest tomb and a definite must if it is open.
Merenptah – tomb 8. Again, one I’ve been recommended but not visited.
Tausert & Sethnakhte – tomb 14. Slightly odd, as it was shared between the two rulers (Tausert was a queen), so a modified version.

20th Dynasty:
Ramesses III – tomb 11. Probably the biggest and best of the late tombs.
Ramesses VI – tomb 9. Smaller than his great-grandfather’s, but nicely decorated.
Ramesses IX – tomb 6. Another good Ramesside tomb, and close to the centre of the Valley.
I just received an email from Egypt and Ramses VI is an additional $17.00 per person to visit.
#17
191 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
As stated before, open tombs change often so researching to visit three tombs may not be too useful. You can always tip the guards at the entrance to see extra tombs. The ones inside will want to show you something for tips. Souvenir sellers are very aggresive and will follow you even after the entrance to act as your guide.