Aswan is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Egypt. It’s located in the south of the country, and it’s famous for its magical historical sites, and amazing Nile Valley view. Every year tourists around the world come to Aswan to enjoy its splendid views and attractions. Aswan is also known for its warm weather all through the year. It has the hottest climate compared with other Egyptian cities, which makes it magical and splendid in all seasons. What are you waiting for? Take a break from work, and start packing for the most amazing trip of the year. Here are the most beautiful attractions in Aswan that you can’t miss.
1. Elephantine Island
Elephantine Island is one of Aswan’s main tourist attractions. Its southern end includes the site of ancient Abu and the Aswan Museum. The island was a trading and economic center in ancient Egypt. It lies opposite central Aswan, just north of the First Cataract. It’s full of palm tree plantations and sloping villages of colorful mud-brick houses.
On the eastern embankment close to the ruins of Abu is Aswan’s Nilometer, which Egyptians used to measure the Nile’s rise and fall, allowing them to estimate the height of the yearly flood and predict the success of their harvest. After exploring the ruins, you can head north into the island to discover the backstreets of the villages of Koti and Siou, where the houses are painted with beautiful colored designs. You can also take a rowboat to Kitchener’s Island (officially known as Aswan Botanical Gardens) from the boat landing on the western side of the island in Siou.
2. Nubian Museum
Nubian Museum is Egypt’s top and a must-see attraction for anyone who comes to Aswan. You can find a huge collection of beautiful artifacts from the Kingdom of Kush (Ancient Nubia). You will see a statue of Ramses II, a statue of Amenras, the head of the Shpatka, and the black granite head of Tahraqa, with a full explanation of the history of Nubia and its people, in addition, the ethnographic section displays amazing Nubian handicrafts and folk art. Don’t forget to visit the slumping mud-brick mausoleums of Aswan’s Fatimid cemetery, which are located right behind the Nubian Museum. The cemetery caretakers are always so pleased to take visitors on a tour and can refer to the most delightful mausoleums for you.
3. Abu Simbel
Take a one-day trip to Abu Simbel, which is built by Ramses II. Visit the two massive Abu Simbel temples, which are located on the western bank of Lake Nasser. The 66-foot figures of Ramses are set against the recessed face of the cliff, two on either side of the entrance to the main temple. Carved around their feet are small figures of Ramses’ children, his queen, Nefertari, and his mother, Muttuy. Abu Simbel is not only a victory of ancient architecture but also of modern engineering.
4. Philae Temple
Philae Temple is one of Upper Egypt’s most amusing monuments which is known for the wonderful artistry of its reliefs and for the amazing symmetry of its architecture, which makes it one of the best attractions in Aswan. It’s also known as the Temple of Isis. The temple was rescued like Abu Simbel by the rising waters of Lake Nasser by UNESCO’s rescue project and moved from its original place on Philae Island to nearby Agilika Island.
5. Unfinished Obelisk
If you are in Aswan, you must visit the famous Unfinished Obelisk which is a 41-meter-long and four-meter-wide chunk of stone that was abandoned because of a crack in the rock. Had it not been for a crack, the obelisk would have been 120 feet high and would have been the largest ever hewn. It displays the ancient use of stone carving techniques.
6. Old Cataract Hotel
Old Cataract Hotel is one of the most beautiful attractions in Aswan that is impossible to miss, especially if you are taking a sailing trip around Aswan. This hotel got very famous when Agatha Christie wrote part of her novel “Death on the Nile” while staying there, in addition, the hotel also featured in the movie based on the novel. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have money to stay in the hotel because you can always go to its terrace and drink tea in the stunning views across the Nile.
7. Aswan High Dam
Aswan’s High Dam is considered the greatest achievement in modern Egypt which brought wonderful profits to the country such as providing electricity across the country and increasing the amount of arable land in Egypt. In addition, it put an end to the yearly Nile flood, which fertilized fields with its rich silt deposits.
8. Temple of Kom Ombo
Temple of Kom Ombo is a unique double temple in Aswan. It’s known for its double design. The courts, halls, and rooms inside the temple are duplicated for two gods. The southern half of the temple was dedicated to the crocodile god Sobek, god of fertility. While the northern part of the temple was dedicated to the falcon god Horus. The temple is irregular because everything is flawlessly symmetrical along the main axis.
Don’t miss any of these amazing attractions in Aswan, in order to have the best Aswan trip in your life. Whether you are visiting one or all of these beautiful sights, we guarantee that you will have the best experience in Aswan. Enjoy the amazing ancient monuments and the great Egyptian architecture when you come to this magical city.
Sherif Khalil is Owner of Dunes & Beyond. Dunes & Beyond offers luxury tours, Nile cruises and desert safaris in Egypt.