Eclipse 2027Future eclipses

Eclipse of the century: why to plan ahead for 2027’s total solar eclipse

Your ultimate guide to the total solar eclipse on August 2, 2027

Mark your diaries. Book a hotel a couple of years in advance. Do whatever you need to … this is the big one. If you were born with itchy feet and a desire to see the best our planet has to offer, clear your travel planner for August 2, 2027.

Once word gets out about this unique event, many thousands will try to get to the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Eqypt, to stare skyward at 12:02 p.m. local time.

At that precise moment, an astonishing 6 minutes and 20 seconds of precious totality will begin—the moment the Moon blocks out the Sun and throws a moonshadow over the Earth.

When Is the next eclipse 2026-2034 book cover

Why is it the Eclipse of the century?

This one’s been on bucket lists for centuries. If you’re tempted to ask an eclipse-chaser about which is the “best” eclipse to go to, don’t bother. Just bone up on Saros 136, a pattern of super-long duration total solar eclipses that repeat every 18 years, 11 days. 

Saros 136 is epic in our lifetimes; the next one is on August 2, 2027. Its path of totality rips across Spain, North Africa and the Horn of Africa, but its ‘greatest point of duration’ just so happens to be a few miles from Luxor in Egypt. 

What’s more, the spectacle will happen almost directly overhead. Located beneath the cliffs on the west bank of the Nile near the Valley of the Kings, Hatshepsut’s Temple is sure to be the epicenter of the world for a few minutes. Although the inhabitants of Mecca might have something to say about their own 5 minutes-plus of totality … here’s a map.

Those in the “path of totality” on August 2, 2027, will experience this century’s longest remaining total solar eclipse. Although there was a longer eclipse in 2009, that was over the ocean and mostly blocked by clouds, 2027’s total solar eclipse will be the longest totality on land since 1991 and until 2114.

Where is the 2027 total solar eclipse?

On August 2, 2027, the path of totality will stretch from the Atlantic through Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Somalia. Here’s a map.

So you do have some travel options, though there are three reasons to head to Luxor, Egypt:

  • Clear skies are almost certain in North Africa (as are midday temperatures of 41°C/106°F).
  • Maximum duration is 6 minutes 23 seconds just southeast of Luxor, Egypt—but only four seconds shorter in the Valley of the Kings.
  • The area is a tourist hotspot (in normal times) so it has lots of hotels—if you book early.

Best viewing sites for the 2027 total solar eclipse in Egypt

Luxor, the site of ancient Thebes, is sure to reign supreme as Eclipse HQ on August 2, 2027.

The best, though busiest, place to be will almost certainly be the Valley of the Kings—an area of rock-cut tombs excavated for the pharaohs between the 16th and 11th century BC—over the Nile from Luxor.

Its symmetric architecture and beautiful location against a cliff face will likely make the Temple of Hatshepsut the epicenter for eclipse observing (unless the area is closed). Still, there are plenty of other places to watch from elsewhere in the valley.

There’s a walk called “Deir el Bahri” that takes you across the mountain pass between the temple and the Valley of the Kings, while the Colossi of Memnon—situated in the Theban Necropolis—are also sure to be a favorite for eclipse photographers.

Other popular locations will include the Valley of the Queens, the solar-aligned Karnak complex of temple ruins, and Luxor Temple.

However, to avoid the crowds in Luxor, it might be wise to consider Sohag, a satellite town about a four-hour drive north of Luxor, on the west bank of the Nile. It enjoys identical totality time to Luxor—6 minutes 20 seconds—and it’s close to the intriguing Red Monastery and White

Best viewing sites for 2027 total solar eclipse away from Egypt

The area around Luxor is going to be mega-busy, and many will be prepared to sacrifice a slice of totality time to witness the eclipse alone. Hire a driver and you can get into the desert very easily from … anywhere in North Africa. Here are a few other places to consider:

  • A sunrise totality from a cruise ship in the Atlantic.
  • Cadiz, Spain: 2 minutes 51 seconds.
  • Baelo Claudia, an ancient Roman town, Bolonia, Spain: 4 minutes 30 seconds.
  • Tangiers, Morocco: 4 minutes 50 seconds.
  • Sidi Bouhl, near Tozeur, Tunisia (featured in the original Star Wars): 3 minutes 8 seconds.
  • Kerkennah Islands, Tunisia: 5 minutes 40 seconds.
  • Mecca, Suadi Arabia: 5 minutes 8 seconds.
  • A sunrise totality from a cruise ship in the Indian Ocean.

Image credit: Squirrel_photos from Pixabay