Ramesses II Temple worships three gods: Ra (god of the sun), Ptah (god of rebirth), protector Amun and Pharaoh Ramesses II. The front of the temple is 35 meters wide with four statues of the proud and majestic Pharaoh face, each statue is up to 20 meters high. At the foot of the statue are smaller statues identified as queen Nefertari, two sons and six daughters. Inside the temple is a pavilion for Pharaoh Ramesses II along with stone carvings depicting his exploits and ritual sacrifices.
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Not far away is the temple dedicated to the goddess Hathor – goddess of love and beauty and the queen Nefertari. The facade of the temple is divided into two alternating sculptures of Pharaoh Ramesses II and Queen Nefertari, in the middle is the entrance to the temple. Each statue is about 10m high. This is the only temple in Egypt where the statues of the queen and Pharaoh are sculpted in the same size.
A 3-hour drive from Aswan, this is a must-visit place in Aswan. It’s best to take a guided tour for around 175 LE. Usually these tours depart at 4am and you will return to Aswan at noon, then spend the afternoon on other trips.
During your visit, you’ll see the two famous giant statues inside the shrine and the four statues outside that are also waiting to be explored.
Cruise on the Nile River
The Nile is a legendary river that has been worshiped by the Egyptians for generations. It can be said that without the Nile there would be no Egyptian civilization. Therefore, sailing along the Nile will be a memorable experience for you to admire the life of the Egyptian people and immerse yourself in this sacred river. You can choose to sail the Felucca around the islands in the river and then return to the Aswan east bank in two hours.
The most beautiful time is at sunset, the white sails gliding with the wind will take you to drop your soul on the deep blue river. On both sides of the river are golden sandy beaches, lush green trees or colorful villages. You can also take the five-star cruise from Aswan to Luxor, Cairo or vice versa. The ship has full facilities, clean and cozy rooms. There will be a private kitchen serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, a bar and a swimming pool on the roof so you can enjoy the most comfortable stay.
There are many tours and cruise options, so depending on the room and boat selection, as well as the long and short itinerary, the price will vary. The most popular Nile cruise from Aswan to Luxor will last 3 days 2 nights or 4 days 3 nights. With a tour longer than 4 days and 3 nights, usually the last night of the cruise also stops in Luxor, not sailing anywhere, the last day will also schedule a hot air balloon flight and visit the east bank of Luxor, Kanark temple… so if you want to save money you can spend the last day to rent a hostel and visit Luxor on your own like us.
In the middle of the golden sand desert, along the quiet bank of the Nile, suddenly emerged a colorful village. It was the village of the Nubians. Nubia was once a country that existed in the history of Africa and has perished. Currently Nubian is a long-lived ethnic group in the south of Egypt and Sudan, they still keep their long-standing customs and culture. The houses in Nubian village are decorated very impressively and interestingly, the main colors here are red, yellow, orange, blue…
The Nubians have harmoniously combined colors, decorative drawings, patterns, textures, and trees to create unique architectural works. This place is the check-in paradise of tourists. Every wall, every little corner, even the playground for babies makes people say how cute they are. Come here, go to a cafe, order a cup of tea, sip hot tea with dried dates, and see how Nubians decorate their homes and daily lives. Then, visit souvenir shops or stroll around the village and sit on the riverbank watching the romantic sunset scattering gold across the Nile.
If you are visiting a Nubian village and want to learn more about their history and culture, go to the Nubian museum. The museum was built in 1997, has 3 separate floors with thousands of antiques dating back to the centuries to feel the special culture of Nubia. Here you can also see how archaeologists saved and moved the temples of Philae and Abu Simbel.
Aswan was once a busy trading hub, bringing famous Egyptian goods to the world such as gold, ivory, camels. Entering the market, the most prominent items are spices, herbs, vegetables, and handicrafts with vibrant colors, reflecting the living habits of desert residents and Muslims. Crafts here such as Nubian lucky charms, Sudanese swords, masks and statues, shawls… are beautiful and sophisticated, and more affordable than other regions.
Aswan’s downtown area, Sharia el-Souk is a souvenir-lover’s dream, an exciting tourist spot. The stalls are filled with spices and perfumes galore, traditional Galabeya (Egyptian Belly Dance Costume) and brightly colored scarves and silverware. It’s a fun place to explore the hustle and bustle of a traditional Upper Egyptian souq.
Here you can buy Nubian jewelry and needlework, which shows the distinct culture of the people of Upper Egypt. And if you can try drinking karkadai (hibiscus tea), it will be a wonderful experience from dark red hibiscus flowers that you can buy to make a drink at home.
What and where to eat?
The ingredients to make this dish include pigeons stuffed with rice or wheat and fried until golden brown. The outside is crispy and fragrant, the inside is rice and the meat is very tender. You can enjoy this dish at local restaurants around Aswan market.
Kofta is made from minced lamb and beef mixed with onions, parsley and seasoned with a variety of spices. Kofta is usually rolled into balls or wrapped around skewers and then grilled or ketchup.
This delicious bread is handcrafted using natural yeast and Aswan wheat. Shamsi is also known as Sun bread not only because of its sun-like shape but also because it is baked with heat in outdoor ovens.
Nubian camel liver dish
Raw camel liver is cut into small pieces, finely chopped onions are added and seasoned with vinegar. Then, the above ingredients are mixed with chili sauce, cumin, coriander. This dish is eaten raw.
Also, a perfect Aswan experience that you should try is to stop by Panorama restaurant hotel Movenpick Resort Aswan when the sun goes down over the Nile, you can witness a beautiful scene while enjoying foods Traditional Egyptian delicacies.
What and where to buy in Aswan?
Aswan has always been an important junction on the freight route from Nubia and Sudan. So when you step into the markets of Aswan you will see Nubian cultures, Ethiopian and Sudanese styles.
Aswan Souk or Sharia as-Souq is a colorful local market, selling a lot of goods, souvenirs, spices… of Egypt and Africa. This is the cheapest place to buy souvenirs in Aswan. You can buy wood sculptures, Nubian silver, dried dates, fresh dates, sand paintings, spices like saffron powder, karkaide (dried hibiscus flowers), pepper, cloves and nutmeg.
Alternatively you can buy Nubian artifacts such as traditional swords or kaftan silk at Hanafi Bazaar, Papyrus, perfumes and jewelry on El Sadat street, books on Nubian culture and heritage at the Nubia Tourist Book Centre.
Where to stay?
Most hotels in Aswan are located near the Nile and they have boats available to take you around Aswan no matter where you are. If you want to find a guesthouse, a hostel cheaper than you can choose to stay in the center of Aswan, near the markets. Average price starts from 20 USD.
If you want to experience the feeling of being served as aristocrats in a colorful Egyptian space, sleep a night at Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan (Agoda, Booking), where detective writer Agatha Christie once stay. Or stay at Movenpick Resort Aswan (Agoda, Booking), a premier resort with stunning gardens, swimming pools, spas, restaurants and stunning Nile views. You can refer to prices, locations and photos of hotels and hostels on reliable booking sites such as Booking, Agoda…
Below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- Citymax Hotel Aswan (Agoda, Booking)
- Pyramisa Island Hotel Aswan (Agoda, Booking)
- Benben by Dhara Hotels (Agoda, Booking)
- Hapi Hotel (Agoda, Booking)
- Kato Dool Wellness Resort (Agoda, Booking)
- Philae Hotel Aswan (Agoda, Booking)
- Basma Hotel Aswan (Agoda, Booking)
Suggested Aswan to Luxor itinerary 3 days 2 nights
From Aswan we booked a 3 day 2 night cruise tour for $290/person. This tour has almost covered the outstanding places to visit along the Nile River from Aswan to Luxor, plus 3 meals a day, high tea. So book this tour and go down the Nile with peace of mind.
Also, if you have extra time in Aswan, take the time to visit the Nubian village and Elephantine Island with felluca boats. The price ranges from 25-50$ depending on the option.
- Morning: Abu Simbel
- Noon: Check in on the train
- Evening: Visit Kom Obo temple
Kom Ombo Temple is the place to worship god Sobek (god with the head of a crocodile) and god Horus (god with the head of a falcon), so it is also known as “the temple of two gods”.
The temple has the appearance of Roman architecture with two rows of columns symmetrically through the main axis dividing the temple into two parts, one side dedicated to the god Sobek and the other to the god Haroeris. Although the appearance is Roman in appearance, the entire relief is very typical Egyptian style.
Free time on board
Edfu Temple sightseeing stop: The Edfu Temple dedicated to the god Horus is the best preserved temple in Egypt. The temple is a combination of traditional Egyptian elements with ancient Greek architectural touches.
Free time on board
Check out and Transfer to Luxor hotel.
The days on the cruise ship were extremely enjoyable, carefully served, watching the two sides of the rich Nile River, blue sky and white clouds, cool wind and clear moon. extremely chill.
Every afternoon, my sisters and I went to the upper deck of the ship to sit and chat in the afternoon, cakes and tea were served for free for about 2 hours. Sitting beside a cup of coffee, watching the last rays of the sunset about to disappear on the horizon, reflected on the small undulating ripples of the Nile, forgetting all the troubles of life, extremely comfortable and relaxed.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Cairo, Luxor and Aswan you can refer to
- 5-Star Luxury Nile Maxim Dinner Cruise in Cairo
- Historical Alexandria Tour from Cairo
- Private Cairo Airport (CAI) Transfers
- Cairo, Giza Pyramids and Museum Tour from Hurghada
- National Museum of Egyptian Civilization Tour
- Luxury Nile Maxim Dinner Cruise in Cairo
- Luxor City, East and West Bank Tour
- East and West Banks Tour from Luxor
- 2D1N Edfu, Aswan, and Abu Simbel Private Tour from Luxor
- Valley of Kings, Hatshepsut and Karnak Tour from Hurghada
- Private Luxor Airport (LXR) Transfers
Read more Egypt guide here.