Take a short boat ride before disembarking into a colonnaded courtyard, which will lead you into Philae Temple itself, flanked by wonderfully carved pylons.
Abu Simbel tour, Egypt
Abu Simbel tour, Egypt, Egypt
An early start is required for the convoy drive between Aswan and Abu Simbel, as the journey takes around three hours. Once you arrive at Abu Simbel a local guide will accompany you through the temples, telling you the fascinating history of the complex. This will probably take around an hour to an hour and a half, when you will have some time to explore and photograph the temples at your leisure.
The great Sun Temple of Abu Simbel epitomises the monumentalism of the New Kingdom during its imperial heyday, when Ramses II (1304-1237) waged colonial wars from the Beka'a Valley in Lebanon to the Fourth Cataract. To impress his power and majesty on the Nubians, Ramses had four gigantic statues of himself hewn from the mountainside and his unblinking stare confronted travellers as they entered Egypt from Africa.
It was the prospect of losing Abu Simbel to Lake Nasser that impelled UNESCO to organise the salvage of Nubian monuments in the 1960s. Abu Simbel was thus reassembled 210 m (688 ft) behind (and 61 m or 200 ft above) its original site, with a false mountain being constructed to match the original setting.
You'll then return to Aswan, which will again take around three hours.
The duration of this excursion is approximately 10 hours. On certain dates it is also available as an afternoon tour.
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Photos of Abu Simbel tour, Egypt
Other experiences in Aswan
These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the local ways of life.
The highlight of this excursion is crossing the Nile in a boat and being greeted by sights of the floodlit Philae Temple silhouetted against the rocks and surrounding water.