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A First-Timer’s Guide to Aswan

A First-Timer’s Guide to Aswan

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This will be the simplest 1st timer’s guide to Assouan. it’s settled within the south of Egypt concerning eighty one miles from Luxor, Aswan has long been recognized as a necessary entryway city on Egypt’s trade route. because the capital of the Aswan Governate, the town boasts a lovely, serene setting on the river River, and is worlds far from the active streets of Cairo lying over five hundred miles to the north. whereas Aswan may be a abundant smaller than the town of one thousand Minarets, the mood is additionally terribly totally different from Cairo’s. associate degree African feel is palpable since Aswan is placed simply two hundred miles from Sudan’s border.

raise anyone who’s visited Assouan, and that they will vouch – although the town may be a bit off the traveller trail, it’s one amongst Egypt’s treasures and shouldn’t be missed. This slice of the country guarantees ancient ruins, museums, lovely gardens, and an opportunity to flee the crowds. If you’re designing the final word Egypt vacation in 2020, dedicate some days to exploring Aswan and therefore the close area. Here’s our guide to assist you create the foremost of it slow in Aswan.




Philae Temple


one amongst Aswan’s high attractions, Philae Temple, erst referred to as Pilak, may be a masterpiece dedicated to Isis, Marvelous, and Horus. The temple consists of varied pylons (monumental gateways), shrines, and monuments, and was the last to be inbuilt the Classical Egyptian style. UNESCO motor-assisted with relocating the first complicated on Philae Island to its current scene on Agilkia Island once lake flooded. To access the temple, take a water taxi; the ride solely enhances the experience. whereas observant the carvings and particularization of this work of art up shut is that the highlight, the distant views of the temple from the Nile also are spectacular.


The levee


Completed in partnership with the country in 1971, the Assouan High Dam is an engineering marvel. Spanning the Nile River, the dam was designed to catch floodwater throughout Egypt’s season then unharness the water during times of drought. The dam also produces an outsized quantity of electricity for the country: ten billion kilowatt-hours every year. A guide will assist you study the dam’s wealthy history and the way its construction affected Egypt’s future.


The Unfinished Obelisk


Still connected to bedrock, the Unfinished Obelisk sits in its original location in Aswan. At concerning 137 feet, the obelisk would’ve been a minimum of one third larger than all others in Egypt had it been completed. the development wasn’t finished due to a crack within the granite that purportedly happened throughout excavation. though some historians might scrutinize this structure as a failure, the Unfinished Obelisk shows the ability level of the traditional Egyptians. At completion, it would’ve weighed nearly 1,100 tons. 


The ethnic group depository


to be told a lot of about this ancient civilization of Nubian folks and Nubian monuments from its origin to present day, visit The ethnic group depository, perked on a incline across from the Basma Hotel. the tiny depository pays tribute to geographical regionn culture and heritage through 3 levels of exhibitions similarly as superbly improved gardens and public spaces. Housing 3,000 items of Egyptian antiquities from Pharaonic, Coptic, and Muslim periods, the establishment is organized chronologically. Like several sites in Egypt, the Nubian Museum is best explored as a part of an Egypt non-public tour package if your budget permits.


Abu Simbel


settled inside the Egyptian section of Nubia (part of Nubia lies within Sudan), Abu Simbel may be a village on the brink of the Sudanese border. The city is most famed for the grand try of temples designed by King Rameses II for his wife, Queen Nefertari, putting in their existence and scale. several Egypt custom luxury tours ought to embody a visit to Abu Simbel, a four-hour drive every method from Aswan, thus raise your non-public archaeologist guide. Despite the long travel time, guests rave concerning the temples, stating that Abu Simbel was one amongst their most favorite days spent in Egypt and well definitely worth the trek.


Kitchener’s Island


typically referred to as El Nabatat or Island of Plants, Kitchener’s Island may be a tiny islet within the Nile and therefore the web site of the Assouan botanic Garden. a colourful plot swarming with semitropical and exotic trees and plantings from round the globe, this lush parcel is simply over one [*fr1] a mile long and one third a mile wide. The island was a present to Lord Horatio Kitchener in the late 1800s for his work on the Sudan campaigns. because the best guide to Aswan, this an oasis in Aswan, Kitchener’s Island is a excellent place to relax and recharge. 


Giant Island


the biggest of Aswan’s islands, Elephantine Island was once a big mercantilism post, notably for ivory, {which may|which will} be the explanation for the name (elephantine suggests that elephant in Greek). one amongst its most spectacular attractions is that the Nilometer––one of simply 3 on the celebrated river––a stairs accustomed gage the Nile’s water level up till the nineteenth century. different must-see attractions embody the ruins of Abu, the Temple of Khnum, and therefore the Temple of Satet, similarly as a group of artifacts, pretty gardens, and colourful ethnic group villages. There’s a public ferry to achieve the island, otherwise you can hop a sailing vessel (wooden sailboat) and finish it slow on the water with a stop at giant Island. Hotels and guest homes also are offered if you’d prefer to extend your time there.


cloister of St. Simeon


a ship trip on the river and an uphill even-toed ungulate ride cause the cloister of St. Simeon, also referred to as the Anba Hatra Monastery. assault the geographical region of the stream opposite giant Island, this Coptic monastery provides a glimpse of the first days of Christianity in Egypt and monks’ lives as way back because the seventh century. in contrast to another Egyptian ruins, this attraction does not draw crowds, creating for a way more pleasant experience. If a even-toed ungulate ride isn’t on your bucket list, you’ll be able to hike through the sand and stone (a more fearless thanks to reach the ruins), whereas less daring travelers can take a taxi instead.


Gully al-Subua


Translating to vale of the Lions, gully al-Subua got its name due to the lion-headed sphinxes resulting in the temple. The structure was designed once King Rameses II was in power. because the second-largest ethnic group temple once Abu Simbel, gully al-Subua is understood for its one preserved pylon similarly as its stone exterior and inner vestibule and sanctuary, that were sculptured into the bedrock.


The Temple of Kalabsha


made within the last century BC, the Temple of Kalabsha was designed to honor Merwel or Mandulis, the ethnic group star god. the popular travel web log Against the Compass recommends visiting, voice communication it’s “the most off-the-beaten-track nice temple in Egypt.” placed on an island in Lake Nasser, the Temple of Kalabsha is on the brink of the Assouan High Dam, and concerning eleven miles from Aswan. the first temple was located close to thirty miles away at Talmis (now underwater), however was moved to its current web site once the dam was built. inside the temple, you’ll discover a pylon, open court, hallway, vestibules, and {also the} sanctuary. There’s also a nilometer (the Egyptians used this to live water levels) and several other chapels on the site.


Islamic law as-Souk


No trip to Assouan is complete while not a stop at Islamic law as-Souk or Aswan Market, a treasure of Egyptian and African things akin to clothing, souvenirs, textiles, spices, and other foodstuffs. whereas items aren’t inexpensive, you’ll be able to haggle and take a look at to shop for for lower prices. The open-air market will attract tourists, however many consumers are Egyptian, creating for a more native experience.




Sofitel Legend recent Cataract Aswan


Sleep in a very 19th-century Victorian palace once you book a space at Sofitel Legend recent Cataract Aswan. Dripping with luxury, this 5-star historical building options French and Arabian details together with Moorish domes, ruby-colored chandeliers, mashribaya windows, and Persian area rugs. The deluxe spa is a perfect retreat once every day of excursions within the desert heat. Spacious rooms and suites provide all the comforts of home similarly as garden or Nile views.


Movenpick Resort Aswan


In our best guide to Assouan, we have a tendency to can’t miss the superb building, it’s placed on giant Island, Movenpick Resort Aswan lies inside a walk of the isle’s sights and attractions. This beautiful hotel provides over four hundred rooms, suites, and villas, all superbly appointed and with pool or stream views. Housing many eating places and bars, this Movenpick property provides guests sensible reason to stay within the resort once an extended day looking at in Aswan.




Al Dokka 


This authentic restaurant serves a range of soups, mezze things like cake ghanoush, mixed grill, seafood, kebab, kofta, and different geographic area specialties. Al Dokka provides free ferry service from the corniche in Aswan, thus obtaining there couldn’t be easier. The trip takes concerning 5 minutes.




within the Sofitel Legend recent Cataract, the signature eating place 1902 plates French and European-inspired culinary art aboard a powerful international wine list. The grand interiors include a soaring ceiling and Arabian dome, Oriental detailing, and its painting Qualaun crypt, solely enhancing the feeding experience.


Panorama eating place


For Egyptian cuisine paired with sweeping vistas, attempt Panorama eating place in Movenpick Resort Aswan. This casual eatery offers 360-degree Nile views aboard international dishes sort of a tuna Nicoise salad, wild mushroom risotto, and herb-crusted lamb.


Mezze eating place


conjointly in Movenpick, Mezze eating place options a smorgasbord of delights akin to “Ads” or Yellow Lentil with crisp deep-fried Bread and “Tashkila Men Thimar Al Bahr” or Grilled Mixed Seafood. on the far side gushing spirits and non-alcoholic beverages, Mezze eating place also includes a choice of red, white, rosé and sparkling Egyptian wines on the menu.


El Masry


Terrific for sharing, El Masry may be a place wherever you won’t go hungry. close to the souq, this restaurant cooks up barbecue chicken, pigeon, lamb, and starter favorites like spread and paste served with Baladi bread. Are your style buds feeling adventurous? attempt the Molokhieh, a soup made up of a dark foliaceous inexperienced that’s a cross between spinach and mint.


different eating places in Assouan


further restaurants in our guide to Aswan embody The Terrace in Sofitel Legend recent Cataract, Orangerie in Movenpick Resort, ethnic group Dream Restaurant restaurant on giant Island, the casual however well-reviewed Makani, and cook Khalil, a staple for recent fish.


a way to get to Aswan


In our 1st timer’s guide to Aswan, there are many ways that to reach Assouan, counting on the time you’ve got and your budget.


Fly to Aswan


you’ll be able to book a flight from Cairo to Aswan. coming back in below $200 spherical trip, river Air could also be your least high-ticket option, however the airline offers restricted departures (once daily depending on the season). EgyptAir provides many nonstop flights daily from early within the morning through the evening. The approximate fare at the time of penning this article is $310 round trip. Tickets may be abundant lower depending on once you book, however. Flight time from Cairo to Aswan is quick, solely about ninety minutes or so.


Take the long Sleeper Train to Assouan


time period by train is kind of long, around twelve or thirteen hours, and therefore the train (even first-class) is much from luxurious. Still, for people who relish the journey of a train trip, the sleeper train from Cairo to Aswan is an alternative. price is $120 for one cabin, $80 every for a double, and $70 for a baby (4 to nine years old). Dinner the night of departure and breakfast the subsequent morning are included. head to the web site for a lot of info.


rent a Private Driver to Travel from Luxor to Assouan


Those traveling on luxury Egypt tours ought to inquire concerning booking a non-public automobile from Luxor to Aswan. Obviously, a flight or train trip from Cairo to Luxor is required too, thus stopping in Luxor can price a lot of due to the flight cost and car trip combined. 


Cruise to Aswan


Board the Jaz Royale, a luxury ship, and cruise from Cairo to Aswan. You won’t miss staying in a very building as a result of you’ll reap the rewards of the extravagant interiors, spacious cabins, a swimming pool, sun deck, and a gym. All meals are enclosed for a worth of $2,375 per person, however you’ll conjointly got to book your hotels in Cairo and Assouan. The Oberoi Philae is another 5-star cruise option, sailing from Luxor to Aswan. explore our post on a way to select the simplest river cruise in Egypt as a reference for 1st timer’s guide to Aswan here.

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