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Aswan Destination Guide

Today, Aswan is characterized by its abundance of palm trees and tropical gardens standing beside one of the wildest parts of the Nile River. As such, it has many islands dotted off its shores.

Aswan enjoys a distinctive African atmosphere. Nubian Dancers perform live in several hotels, and are surely a sight not to be missed as you will get a real taste of this ancient culture. Nubian villages must be visited, as they have an enchanting taste of Egypt in addition to the warm hospitality and fascinating culture, and The Nubian Cultural center  is also a good option.

Hugely attractive, Aswan is the busy market center of the region. In fact, its ancient name of Sewent means “trade”. Aswan is still keeping its bustling spirit, as it’s lively with its colorful shops and bazaars.

Cruising the Nile in Aswan is definitely a memorable experience as you will be enjoying an enthralling blend of nature’s exquisiteness and the grace of the Pharaohs. Being a serene destination with magnificent scenery, Aswan also makes for an ideal gateway for honeymooners.

Located roughly where the Western Desert and the Eastern Desert meet, and just north of the great expanse of water created by the Aswan High Dam  known as Lake Nasser , Aswan has a gorgeous winter climate and is a popular sun resort from November through to March with Egyptians as well as International vacationers.

Aswan Activities

Kitchener’s Island

Kitchener's Island, also known as Geziret el-Nabatat, is a small island located in the Nile River in Aswan, Egypt. The island is named after Lord Horatio Kitchener, a British general and colonial administrator who owned the island during the early 20th century. 

Kitchener's Island is renowned for its lush botanical gardens, which were established by Lord Kitchener himself. The gardens showcase a diverse collection of exotic plants and trees from various regions around the world, including India, Africa, and the Americas. Visitors can explore the beautifully landscaped gardens, stroll along shaded pathways, and admire the vibrant colors and fragrances of the flora.

The island provides a tranquil escape from the bustling city of Aswan, offering a serene and peaceful atmosphere. It is a popular destination for nature lovers, botany enthusiasts, and those seeking a relaxing retreat. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk, have a picnic, or simply sit back and enjoy the scenic views of the Nile River.

In addition to its natural beauty, Kitchener's Island also offers a small museum that provides information about the island's history and the plants found within the gardens. The museum showcases artifacts and photographs related to Lord Kitchener and his time on the island.

Overall, Kitchener's Island is a delightful destination in Aswan, Egypt, where visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of nature and enjoy a peaceful respite surrounded by stunning botanical gardens.

Elephantine Island

Elephantine Island is a picturesque island located in the Nile River in Aswan, Egypt. It is one of the largest islands in the region and holds significant historical and archaeological importance. 

The island has a rich history that dates back to ancient times, with evidence of human settlement dating as far back as the pre-dynastic period. It was an important trading center and strategic location due to its position on the Nile River.

Elephantine Island is home to several archaeological sites and ruins that offer a glimpse into its past. One of the most notable sites is the Temple of Khnum, dedicated to the ram-headed god of creation. The temple's ruins showcase impressive architectural features and hieroglyphic inscriptions.

Visitors to Elephantine Island can explore the island's narrow streets, lined with traditional Nubian houses painted in vibrant colors. The island also offers stunning views of the Nile River and the surrounding landscapes.

In addition to its historical and archaeological significance, Elephantine Island is a popular tourist destination for its tranquil and serene atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks along the riverbanks, relax in waterfront cafes, or take a boat ride to explore the island's natural beauty.

Cultural Centre

One of Aswan's attractions is its Cultural Centre. Every night Nubian dancers and musicians give performances just off the cornice, and folklore troupes recreate from village life and perform the famous Nubian mock stick-fight dances.

The High Dam

The world-famous High Dam was an engineering miracle when it was built in the 1960s. Today it provides irrigation and electricity for the whole of Egypt and, together with the old Aswan Dam, 6 km downriver; it is a wonderful view for visitors.

Lake Nasser

Lake Nasser is a vast reservoir located in southern Egypt and northern Sudan. It was created as a result of the construction of the Aswan High Dam, completed in 1970. With a surface area of approximately 5,250 square kilometers (2,030 square miles), it is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world.

The creation of Lake Nasser had a significant impact on the region, both in terms of its environmental and cultural aspects. The lake serves as a crucial water source for irrigation and hydroelectric power generation, contributing to agricultural development and electricity production in Egypt and Sudan.

Lake Nasser is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, with its crystal-clear waters surrounded by vast desert landscapes and rocky shores. The lake is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including various species of fish, birds, and reptiles. It has become a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts, offering opportunities to catch species such as Nile perch and tigerfish.

The lake is also dotted with several archaeological sites and ancient temples that were relocated and preserved during the construction of the dam. The most famous of these is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Abu Simbel, featuring the iconic temples of Ramses II and Nefertari.

Visitors to Lake Nasser can embark on boat cruises or felucca rides to explore its vast expanse, taking in the breathtaking scenery and enjoying the tranquility of the surroundings. It offers a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience for those seeking to discover the natural wonders and historical treasures of Egypt's southern region.

The Temples of Abu Simbel

Situated near Egypt’s southern borders with Sudan, 280 km south of Aswan, the Temples of Abu Simbel are amongst the most interesting of all Pharaonic temples. There are two temples cut into the rock dating back to king Ramses II - one is for Ramses and the other for Nefertari.

The Great Temple

Ramses II built this for himself to be adored beside the gods Amun-Re, Re-Horakhty, and Ptah. It is 33m high and 38m wide and 56m deep. King Ramses II built this temple for himself not only as a king but also as a god as the facade of the temple shows how king Ramses was worshiping himself as a god. It also showed him as a warrior and after that as a peace maker when he signed the first peace treaty in history and married the daughter of the Hittites.

Temple of Nefertari

The Temple of Queen Nefertari is located 120m from the Temple of Ramses II and was also built by Ramses II, dedicated to the Goddess Hathor and to his wife Queen Nefertari. Queen Nefertari was the principal, and the most beloved, wife of King Ramses II. It is also a rock-cut Temple with a façade of about 28m long and 12m high, which contains 6 standing colossi, each one being about 11m in height. Four of them represent Ramses II and the other two represent Queen Nefertari, each accompanied by two smaller figures of their children.

The entrance leads to a square hall, which is supported by 6 Hathor-headed pillars decorated with scenes depicting the King and the Queen making offerings to different deities. At the end of the hall there is a doorway leading to a transverse vestibule decorated with scenes of King Ramses II making offerings to Re-Horakhty, while the Queen is presenting flowers to Khenum, Sat-tet and Anket.The Transverse Hall leads to the Sanctuary, which contains a niche in the rear wall with a statue of Goddess Hathor, as a cow, protecting Ramses II.

The view from this place is incredible. Imagine yourself in the middle of the desert, and at the shores of Lake Nasser. The temples got world fame when an international UNESCO operation was needed to save them from the rising water of Lake Nasser. The bright colors in the carvings are essentially intact.

The Temple Of Edfu

This city played a major role in the history of Aswan, and is located 60 km south of it. Edfu was a flourishing city in ancient times and the center of the cult of triad of Gods, including the infamous Horus and Hathor. The temple of Edfu dates back to the Ptolemaic period, and the temple and its inscriptions were completed over a period of 180 years. This glorious temple includes a Nilometer and a chapel dedicated to the Goddess Nut. Various walls depict scenes of wars, the ritual foundation of the temple, and the divine marriage of Hathor and Horus of Behdet.

The Temple of Philae

This magnificent temple is located on a small rocky island in the middle of the Nile, south of Aswan, and was built by the Ancient Egyptians for the Goddess Isis. It was submerged by Nile floods when the first dam was built in Aswan in 1906. In the 1970s, with the completion of the High Dam of Aswan, attempts began to save the temple. A new island, Egilika, was chosen and reshaped to resemble the island on which the temple resides. Over a period of nine years, the temple was dismantled, transferred, and assembled again on Egilika.