Hiking from the Valley of the Kings over the Theban Hills to Hatshepsut’s temple affords a stunning view of the Necropolis receding towards the Nile. The fifty-minute hike is easiest in the winter months (over summer, you must start early in the day), and requires a head for heights. Wear a hat and carry plenty of water; walking shoes and sun-cream are also essential. The trail starts by the tomb of Seti I (#17), rising steeply for several hundred metres before levelling out and ascending gradually. Donkey-guides and souvenir-vendors will offer assistance, but the route is fairly clear. Where it forks, follow the left-hand track along a flat ridge, before crossing it to behold the Nile Valley. Directly beneath the sheer cliff lies Hatshepsut’s temple; to see it, walk right for a bit before peering carefully over the edge. To descend, follow the path alongside a wire fence till you reach a crag where the trail divides. Ignore anyone who tries to lure you down the steepest trail to render “help” for baksheesh – the left-hand path is the one to take, curving around the hillside as it descends to the ticket office for Deir el-Bahri.
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