About QenaPerched on the eastern banks of the Nile, Qena is a bustling market town just a stone's throw away from the ancient Dendera temple complex. You can admire Islamic architecture, visit the mosque and shop for luxury Egyptian textiles.
Things to do
One of Qena's biggest draws is its proximity to Dendara, a sprawling Egyptian temple complex. It's home to the Temple of Hathor, which wows with its towering stone columns, carvings and hieroglyphics. The highlight is the cavernous ceiling engraved with the 12 signs of the zodiac.
Qena is anchored by Sheikh El-Qenawi Mosque, a magnificent place of worship built to commemorate Abdel-Rahim El-Qenawi. The 12th-century religious scholar founded a Sufi order in the city, with the mosque later raised on his tomb in 1195. Today its soaring white minarets overlook Qena's lively main square.
Head south and you'll hit Luxor, home to a treasure trove of tombs, temples and monuments that date back to ancient Thebes. You can gaze up at the Amun Temple Enclosure, get lost in the Valley of the Kings and visit the infamous Tomb of Tutankhamun.
The Nile Valley is world-renowned for its luxurious textiles. Qena's markets, bazaars and specialty stores are a fantastic place to pick up Egyptian cotton and hand-spun linen. Located in the heart of town, the Ferka Textiles Workshop sells specialty shawls, Bedouin dresses and embroidery.
Taxis are the fastest and easiest way to get around Qena and nearby sites, such as the Dendera temple complex. The city is also serviced by a network of local buses. Qena lies around 150 kilometres from Hurghada, where you'll find Hurghada International Airport.