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Abu Simbel

Abu Simbel tour, Egypt

Abu Simbel

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 epitomizes 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 travelers as they entered Egypt from Africa.

It was the prospect of losing Abu Simbel to Lake Nasser that impelled UNESCO to organize 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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who's been there
Audley Travel Country Specialist Kerry-Ann

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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 that will introduce you to the local ways of life.

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    Philae Temple

    Philae Temple Excursion

    Philae Temple Excursion

    Take a short boat ride before disembarking into a colonnaded courtyard, which will lead you into Philae Temple itself, flanked by wonderfully carved pylons.

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  • Sound and light at Philae Temple
    Temple of Philae, Aswan, Egypt

    Sound and light at Philae Temple

    Sound and light at Philae Temple

    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.

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Experience it for yourself

You can enjoy this activity as part of the suggested tours below, or we can weave it into a trip shaped entirely around you.