Amarna (el-Amarna) is a significant archaeological location in Middle Egypt, in the modern Egyptian province of el-Minya. Amarna sits between the east bank of the river Nile and the high plateau of the Eastern Desert, some 58 km (36 mi) south of Minya, 402 km (250 mi) north of Luxor and 312 km (194 mi) south of the Egyptian capital Cairo.
The diverse and scattered archaeological sites at Amarna represent the remains of the short-lived capital of Akhenaten, the "heretic" Pharaoh of the late 18th Dynasty.
Road and rail links with Amarma are accessible only on the opposite (west) bank of the Nile, making a river crossing necessary (an eastern access by a feeder road from the Cairo-Asyut desert highway is reportedly planned).
For the northern and central parts of Amarna (including the North Tombs), the tourist ferry to 1 el-Till should be used. This can be reached by tourist car/taxi from Mallawi (which has a railway station) or from Minya. Vehicles are available for hire at el-Till. This is the usual means of tourist access.
For the South Tombs the ferry to el-Hagg Qandil is an alternative, if perhaps somewhat risky. This is accessible by vehicle from Deir Mawas, along the road which passes the village of Beni Amran. From Deir Mawas to the ferry the distance is about 1.75 km (just over one mile). Deir Mawas also has a local railway station. Transport is far less likely to be available for hire from el-Hagg Qandil.
Because of security issues, foreign visitors are escorted around the site by representatives of the Tourist Police who are based at the el-Till ferry. For this reason, use of the el-Hagg Qandil ferry by foreigners is discouraged. If you take this route, you may be escorted to el-Till or be taken back to the train stations at Mallawi or Minya.
El-Till ferry to the North Tombs: 3.2 km (2 mi); el-Till ferry to the North Palace: 2 km (1 1/4 mi); el-Till ferry to the Central City: 2 km (1 1/4 mi); North to South Tombs: 5.6 km (3 1/2 mi); el-Till ferry to the Royal Tomb: 11 km (7 mi).
- 1 Northern Palace.
- 2 the Great Aten Temple.
- 3 the Small Aten Temple.
- 4 the Northern Tombs.
- 5 the Southern Tombs.
- 6 Royal Tomb of Akhenaten.
- 7 Workmen's Village. It housed the workers who constructed and decorated the tombs of the city's elite, making it comparable to the better studied Theban workers village of Deir el-Medina.
Usual tourist itineraries: from el-Till to the Northern tombs, nos. 3-6 (1 and 2 require an extra excursion), returning to el-Till via a detour to the Northern Palace. The Central City can be added as a further detour. This can be accomplished in half a day or less. The Royal Tomb can be reached by an extension to the asphalt road, in a 30-min drive from the Northern Tombs. A much longer excursion can be taken to the Southern Tombs, along the road beside the cultivation, which passes through much of the ancient city. The greater part of a day should be allowed for this extended trip.
Eat and Drink
There is a small, privately-run tourist kiosk with toilets at the foot of the slope beneath the North Tombs. A second has been built below the South Tombs but is reportedly not yet in operation. Prudence would suggest that you bring food and water with you (and maybe some toilet tissue as well!)