A trip to Upper Egypt is never complete without a visit to Aswan. Easily accessible by train from Luxor, enjoy a direct ride to this historical city and start discovering its most iconic places.
After an epic 3-hour ride, you will reach the railway station of Aswan. Get ready to choose wisely your taxi driver for the day. It will be the easiest way to optimize your visit and ensure someone will be waiting for you all the way (some sites are located in remote areas and without transportation services nearby).
The Unfinished Obelisk
Start your day with a stop to the Unfinished Obelisk – another incredible beauty from the past – carved directly on the side of the mountain. This massive rock of marble unveils the construction of this impressive monument, never finalized due to a massive crack on its center.
Let’s cross the Nile and discover the antique treasures of Philae! Accessible only by boat, you will enjoy a smooth ride to the island.
Did you know that Philae Temple has been entirely moved to a new island because of the flooding in the past? This is such an incredible performance when you realize how massive is the temple and its amount of details!
As soon as you step in the island, you get immersed in the Ancient Egypt! Walk along the giant pillars which lead to an impressive entrance: the huge wall is depicting the king defeating his enemies, surrounded by protective gods.
Impressive and majestuous – the Philae Temple remains very peaceful, as very few tourists were there at the time of the visit (maybe lucky us!), unveiling unbelievable historic treasures engraved on every single wall.
The Nubian Village
Discovering Aswan, it is also going to meet the Nubian culture on the other side of the Nile – where people will welcome you to their colourful houses with a big smile on their face!
We got the chance to be greeted by one of the villagers who offered us a tea on his rooftop – it was a memorable local experience! (We even said Hi to his crocodile in the living room) We got to see the real-life in Aswan and discover his vision of life – focusing on meditation and covering the basic needs, the life seemed calm and peaceful as the Nile, far away from the consumerism of our societies.
Local villagers present their handmade collection in small huts along the Nile. From silk weaving workshop, paintings, music instruments, to home decorations, you will definitely find a unique souvenir to bring back home!
As curious and surprising as it may seem, you will find crocodiles in every house of the Nubian Village! The bigger, the better!!! Indeed, the dead ones are proudly exhibited on the top of the main entrance doors! And the living ones are in cage on the corner of the living room!
You can complete your local experience by staying at one of these houses. The Nubian Village offers plenty of affordable accomodations. If you think its colorful decors make the place so special, wait to meet its most welcoming hosts – they will light up your evening with cheerful live music entertainment.
Magical sunset awaits at the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract
For those looking for a luxurious experience with an authentic egyptian flair, the Sofitel Legend Old Cataract is a gem located in the heart of Aswan.
The hotel is offering an incredible view over the Nile and its serene atmosphere, especially at sunset time.
This list sums up my short visit to Aswan but the city has so much more to offer. It deserves definitely more days to discover all its neighboring temples. If you have some extra time, you should definitely continue your journey further until the famous city of Abu Simbel. Located 3 hours away from Aswan by car, you can book a tour if you want to go and come back on the same day. I have personally tried the services of Get Your Guide and would highly recommend them if you are looking for an organized tour.
Wishing you a happy adventure in Upper Egypt! Don’t forget to download the Best Travel Apps of 2023 to organize your next trip!
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