Top Tours & Activities in Aswan
Located along the banks of the Nile, a visit to Aswan will take you back thousands of years. Famous for its quarries of granite for the creation of obelisks and statues, it was also a hub of trade and commerce even in these remote fringes of southern Egypt.
Had it not been for a crack to appear during construction, this granite monument would have stood 120 feet high. The site also shows the ancient use of stone carving techniques.
The museum showcases a panorama of local history, with exhibits that include 6,000-year-old pottery and horse armoury found in tombs from the 5th and 7th centuries.
The ancient town of Abu, located at the southern end of the island, was once a trading and economic center. The island's name also reflects its former role in ivory trade.
Many travelers, who arrived here in ancient times, left inscriptions in stones to record historical events. The Famine Stela tells of a seven-year drought and famine.
Two temples - the Great Temple and the Small Temple - comprise the complex on the banks of the Nile. Construction took 20 years to complete during the reign of Ramesses II.
Though the original site lays under Lake Nasser, the ancient temple on a small island reflects the popularity of the Cult of Isis that was favored throughout the Roman Empire.
Built during the Ptolemaic Dynasty, this 'double temple' has duplicated rooms, such as halls and courts, for two different gods: the crocodile god Sobek and the falcon god Horus.
You can spend four days visiting the attractions of Aswan, but add another day if you plan to travel to the Abu Simbel Temples.
For the adventurous type, there are minibuses and vans to travel through the city. If you ever take a taxi, always set the price before getting in. You can take a felucca, a typical boat on the Nile, to reach Elephantine Island and other sites on the western bank of the river. The Temple of Kom Ombo is 28 miles from Aswan, and you can reach it by taxi or on an organized tour.
When traveling independently, it's best to arrange transportation by coach to the site, which is about 3.5 hours south of Aswan. Keep in mind that the journey begins very early in the morning. Alternatively, you can fly on EgyptAir. Some people decide to stay the night in order to see the sound and light show.
Many visitors stay on Nile cruise boats that arrive in Aswan. However, you'll find large hotels along the river, with a couple on the little islands. There are smaller accommodations in and around the city center, also known as the Corniche.
- LanguageModern Standard Arabic
- CurrencyEgyptian Pound EGP (£)
- Time ZoneUTC (+01:00)
- Country Code+20
- Best time to visitFrom October to May, the temperatures will dip down to manageable heat, unlike the summer months that can be unforgivingly hot. The closer to Christmas and New Year's, the higher the prices and greater the crowds, so plan accordingly.
Things to Do in Aswan
Other Sightseeing Options in Aswan
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