Aswan in Egypt
Aswan is a charming city in the south of Egypt characterized by stunning Nile scenery, archeological temples and the brightly colored houses of the Nubian people.
Nile river cruise
Hot air balloon
Everything you need to know about Aswan
Aswan is a charming and friendly city in one of the most breathtaking settings in Egypt. The city is nestled along the banks of the Nile River and is characterized by lush greenery, granite cliffs, archeological temples, museums and the brightly colored houses of the indigenous Nubian people. While the monuments in Aswan may appear minor when compared to the likes of Cairo and Luxor, the peaceful city is home to some significant archeological sites, unique cultural experiences, and the stunning Nile scenery. The gentle flowing river and stunning views and attractions around Aswan also make it the ideal starting point for a cruise on a felucca (traditional Egyptian sailboat) down the Nile. It is no wonder they call Aswan the ‘pearl of the Nile’.
Where is Aswan located?
Aswan is Egypt’s southernmost city nestled along the eastern riverbanks of the Nile. The relaxed and friendly town lies some 680km (425 miles) south of Cairo, just below the Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser.
When to visit Aswan
The best time to visit Egypt is between October and April when temperatures are cooler. However, it is important to note that between the winter months of December and February – prime tourist season in Aswan – the crowds can be rather unpleasant to manage. Swarms of tourists visit in the winter which means you’ll be battling with long lines at the main attractions and finding availability at hotels might be more difficult.
We recommend visiting during late fall (October – November) and the spring (March – April). During these shorter shoulder seasons, temperatures are still comfortable and crowds are either yet to arrive, or are waning after the mad winter rush.
Top experiences to enjoy in Aswan
Temple of Isis
The Temple of Isis, or Temple of Philae, is built on the island of Philae in the Nile River near Aswan. Dedicated to the goddess of love, the temple is among the last monuments dedicated to the cult of Isis – the goddess worshiped for bringing her husband back from the dead and giving birth to Horus, one of the most important ancient Egyptian deities to ever exist. The walls of the temple are covered in ornate ancient hieroglyphs and, after being rescued from floods in the 1960s, is one of Egypt’s most beautifully preserved ancient sanctuaries.
Located around 3 miles south of Aswan lie the beautifully vivid Nubian Villages flanked by the scenic Nile River. The villages are home to the warm and friendly Nubian people – a dazzling civilization indigenous to the region between Aswan and Khartoum in Sudan. The residents of Nubia have their own unique customs, traditions, and language (never taught to outsiders) and are renowned for being peaceful and welcoming. Nubia is a truly wonderful place to visit, with quaint and colorful restaurants and cafes, as well as markets with unique souvenirs and authentic Nubian spices.
Abu Simbel Temples
The Abu Simbel Temples, located along the shore of Lake Nasser, were built by the great pharaoh Rameses II. Considered to be the most famous monument in Egypt after the great Giza Pyramids, the temples were a lost form of civilization, hidden beneath the sand for centuries before being rediscovered in 1813. The two immense carved rock temples are dedicated to King Rameses II and his first wife, Queen Nefertari, to commemorate his victorious win at the Battle of Kadesh. The four colossal statues of a seated pharaoh Rameses II that guard the doorway to the larger of the temples are each about 69 feet (21 meters) tall.
Felucca cruise on the Nile
The charm and beauty of Aswan are best explored and enjoyed on a scenic felucca river cruise down the Nile. These traditional wooden sailing vessels, sometimes referred to as ‘dhows of the Nile’, have been a fixture on the watery highway for centuries. Relax and discover stunning riverbank landscapes, fascinating ancient sites and colorful villages from the comfort of the boat and understand why Aswan is such a unique and charming part of Egypt’s makeup. A sunset cruise is particularly great for budding photographers when, amongst hundreds of lanteen-sailed feluccas, the Nile river shimmers in the light of the setting sun.