The Valley of the Nobles (Tombs of the Nobles) may lack the star power of the Valley of the Kings or other Luxor hot spots, but this lesser-visited gem is well worth the trip. A cemetery on a rare scale, the site features hundreds of tombs embedded in rock, often richly decorated with frescoes depicting the working lives of their inhabitants. The site is most often visited on day tours of Luxor's West Bank.
Only a fraction of the sites can be accessed, and the most highly recommended is Sheikh Abd El-Gurna. Highlights include the tomb of Sennofer, the mayor of Thebes (modern-day Luxor), with its charming painted grapevines, and the harvest scenes accompanying Nakht the astronomer on his eternal journey.
One of the grandest tombs belongs to the nobleman Ramose, affording visitors a rare glimpse of life under Akhenaten, possibly the earliest of all rulers to espouse a monotheistic faith.
The Valley of the Nobles sits in the low hills above the Ramesseum. Each area charges its own admission fee.