Aswan is located on the end of the First Cataract of the River Nile and is ancient Egypt's most southern city. It is located approx 80 miles from Luxor and has a distinctive African atmosphere. In ancient times, Aswan was a garrison town for the military campaigns against Nubia and its quarries provided the granite used for many of the sculptures and obelisks that can be found around the world.
There are lots of things to see in Aswan. The river Nile is wide and beautiful, flowing gently down from Lake Nasser around dramatic black-granite boulders and palm-studded islands overflowing with tropical plants. Colourful Nubian villages run down to the water and stand out against the stark backdrop of the west bank's desert landscape.
Days can be spent strolling up and down the broad Corniche watching the sailboats passing or sitting in floating restaurants listening to Nubian music and eating fresh caught fish.
Why not explore the souk, which is full of the smells and colours of spices, perfumes, scarves and baskets. Sit and watch the spectacular sunsets whilst having tea on the terrace of the Old Cataract Hotel.
Every night in Aswan, Nubian dancers and musicians perform in the Cultural Centre. Folklore troupes also re-create scenes from village life and perform the famous Nubian mock stick-fight dances.
There are many temples and monuments that you can visit in and around Aswan. Whilst you are here, you should also:
- Explore the ancient temple of Philae, where Egyptian god Horus is revered
- Discover the multiple ruins and temples on Elephantine Island in the middle of the Nile
- Learn about Nubian history at one of Egypt's best museums
- Visit one of the greatest ancient man-made monuments: The Temple of Abu Simbel
- See the more modern side of the city by making a trip to the Aswan High Dam
A visit to a Nubian village gives you an insight into the daily life and traditions of the Nubian people. Nubians are known to be warm and hospitable, often inviting guests into their homes for a traditional cup of “Karkade”, hibiscus flower drink. Traditional crafts are often displayed, and as the unique “Shamsi” bread with a homegrown baking technique.
Discover the beauty of Aswan during our 14 day tour around Egypt