5 Awesome Things To Do in Aswan and Abu Simbel

On my seventh trip to Egypt I finally made it all the way down to Aswan and Abu Simbel. This trip had been years in the making as each prior visit I had always gone elsewhere in Egypt saying next time. This time was next time and I couldn’t have had a better experience. There are so many awesome things to do in Aswan and Abu Simbel that you could spend a week but I think I did pretty good in 48 hours!
Abu Simbel, Egypt, Africa
I booked my trip with Abu Tours and the lovely Michele, who I highly recommend. She is an Aussie expat based in Aswan and organizes tours and guides around Egypt, especially Aswan and Abu Simbel. Obviously everyone’s trips and experiences will be different but here are my 5 awesome things to do in Aswan and Abu Simbel.

The Tombs of the Nobles
Tombs of the Nobles, Aswan, Egypt
The Tombs of the Nobles is a really cool place to go and explore some tombs, do a great hike and even visit a Nubian village. You get there via local ferry from the Corniche in Aswan. It will cost you about 5 Egyptian Pounds (EGP) each way.
Tombs of the Nobles, Aswan, Egypt
The hike is very sandy and the temperature gets extremely hot in Aswan so be prepared to get sand in your shoes, bring water and try to go early if you can. Hang on to your ticket too because locals will continuously ask you for it hoping for any slip up to get more money out of you. The tickets cost 40 EGP each.
Tombs of the Nobles, Aswan, Egypt
The views from atop the tombs are spectacular. You can see the entire Aswan Nile River Valley and really get a birds eye view of how beautiful it is. Don’t forget to stop and take some photos of the tombs themselves. Just be aware that there may be locals sleeping in the tombs and waiting to try to get money from you somehow. For the few hassles to deal with the hike is well worth it. The views are priceless and conversely, the views of it from Aswan are fantastic as well-especially at night.

Sunset Felucca Tour
Sunset felucca tour, Aswan, Egypt, Nile River
Feluccas are to the Nile what Riverboats are to the Mississippi…just something you have to do. Feluccas are wonderfully relaxing and a great way to see Aswan from on the Nile.
Sunset felucca tour, Aswan, Egypt, Nile River
Your felucca will come with a team of two generally; one to steer and the other to cook and serve food. It sounds so simple and it is but feluccas are very Egyptian and something anyone visiting from Aswan up to Luxor should definitely do.
Sunset felucca tour, Aswan, Egypt, Nile River
Just lay down and watch Aswan pass by at a snails pace along the water. It is perfect and something I highly recommend. The photo opportunities are limitless-just make sure you don’t fall asleep and miss them!

Philae Temple
Philae Temple, Aswan, Egypt
Philae Temple is on an island in the Nile River and was moved to its current location decades ago, as many temples were to accommodate Lake Nasser and the High Dam in Aswan.
Philae Temple, Aswan, Egypt, Columns
Its current location is spectacular and the temple will not disappoint. The hieroglyphics are mesmerizing to look at and the architecture of the temple and surround area is nothing to sneeze at either.
Philae Temple, Aswan, Egypt
Once inside the temple, it has some similarities to Karnak Temple in Luxor but is certainly unique in its own way. For me the ‘on the water’ location makes it especially awesome and contributes to its allure. It’s definitely a can’t miss in Aswan and in Egypt as a whole.

The Nile River and Lake Nasser
Nile River view, Aswan, Egypt
The Nile River is certainly the most famous rover in the world and one of the most beautiful at certain parts. Cairo tries really hard to make the Nile look ugly, and does a good job, but the Nile lives to fight another day in Aswan. It is the most beautiful part of the Nile and the water is clean enough to drink. Just watch out for all the empty Nile River cruise boats which have sadly been grounded because of the collapse of the Egyptian tourism industry.
Nile River Boats, Aswan
As I mentioned, you can take felucca tours on the Nile, ferries across it or just stare at it from the Corniche of Aswan or from your hotel. My hotel, the Movenpick, is actually on an island surrounded on all sides by the Nile. It is so gorgeous in Aswan.
Lake Nasser, High Dam, Aswan, Egypt
Lake Nasser was created out of the Nile many decades ago and goes from Aswan all the way down into the Sudan. The artificial lake helps irrigate and supply water for much of the Nile River area for hundreds of miles including the area around Abu Simbel. From High Dam in Aswan, you can see forever out over Lake Nasser. It looks like a mirage but I assure you it’s very real!

The Temples at Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel, Egypt, Africa, lee Abbamonte
Abu Simbel is simply put, one of the coolest places to visit in the world. I recently did a post called the 30 best man made sites in the world. That was before I had been to Abu Simbel as it certainly would’ve cracked the top 5. Abu Simbel is phenomenal.
Lee Abbamonte, Abu Simbel, Egypt, Africa
From the parking lot, you walk a half-mile or so and look out onto Lake Nasser, which surrounds it, and as you turn the corner, you see it in all its glory.
Abu Simbel, Egypt, Africa
The first view of the temples of Abu Simbel are unforgettable and give you that feeling that happens far too seldom. That feeling of utter awe and disbelief of what you’re seeing. You feel miniscule in that moment and nothing could be a cooler feeling.
Abu Simbel, Egypt, Africa
What’s so cool about the temples are not just the amazing appearance from the outside but that they are equally spectacular inside. I also want to note that you are not supposed to take photos inside the temples. That said, there was nobody there except my friends and I so we took photos and I am so glad we did because they came out great and I have out several up here.
Inside Abu Simbel temple, Egypt, Africa
Abu Simbel was also moved from its original location between 1960-1980 to accommodate Lake Nasser and to make sure it didn’t get damaged or flooded out. There is a really cool exhibit to document the move. It is really fascinating how the Egyptians in cooperation with UNESCO made it work and look the way it does today.
Abu Simbel, Egypt, Africa, Statues
Abu Simbel, Egypt, Africa
Abu Simbel, Egypt, Africa, Hieroglyphics
Abu Simbel, Egypt, Africa
Abu Simbel, Egypt, Africa, temple 2
Abu Simbel, Egypt, Africa
If you follow these 5 awesome things to do in Aswan and Abu Simbel you can’t go wrong. You will be moving around a lot but you can easily do this in 2 days. The only hiccup is you need to use a police convoy to get from Aswan to Abu Simbel and I again recommend using Michele at Abu Tours as she did a masterful job of setting ours up for the 3ish hour drive each way through the stunning Sahara Desert.

Comments

  1. Truly awe inspiring post! Thanks, Lee.

  2. Lee, great post as always and these photos are some of your best yet. I’ve been following on Facebook and Instagram and this was my favorite trip you’ve done since I’ve been following you now which has to be 3 years or so.

  3. Unreal photos, Lee. I want to visit Egypt now more than ever thanks to your photos. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love following your journeys and this is my favorite one ever. Thanks for bringing us along and helping me get out of my cubicle for a few minutes each day!

  5. Dude these are amazing pictures! Great shots, must’ve been amazing.

  6. Jeff Siegrist says:

    Nice Whalers shirt! I’ll be in Aswan in one week, thank you for the article, I am hoping to take some interior shots at Abu Simbel now.

  7. Hi mate,
    Can you please share Michele’s email address? I’m trying to organise a tour now and would appreciate working with someone I know is reliable. Cheers,

    Scott

  8. What time of the year & day were you there that you had the whole place to yourself?

  9. Fantastic post! We\\\’ve shared it on Egyptian Sidekick.

  10. This didn’t really tell what people do it Abu Simbel

  11. Thanks Lee, great post !!
    We’re all looking forward to seeing you and your friends back in Egypt. Next time make it longer : ))
    Cheers, Michele
    Abu Tours
    http://abutours.weebly.com/
    [email protected]

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