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Our activities are the perfect way to organise your holiday. It takes a bit of planning to make the most of a trip to Aswan, particularly when you long to include trips to museums and outdoor activities. And it's evident that you're someone who likes to get out and about遥ou are excited to get out and see what life is like for locals. You're excited to sign up for the most essential activities around, and an afternoon walking through charming neighbourhoods is a perfect way to spend an afternoon. Book guided tours on Expedia, and leave your map behind.
At the northern end of the First Cataract, where Egypt’s ancient southern frontier once stood, Aswan has been of great strategic importance in the past but today it represents a laid-back place to relax and recuperate after the rigours of your exploration along the Nile. Watch the river as it flows languorously into the embrace of Lake Nasser, surrounded by evocative black-granite boulders and palm-fringed islands that hide colourful Nubian villages. There are still plenty of ancient sites to take in, such as the fantastically atmospheric Temple of Isis at Philae, the remarkable Unfinished Obelisk and the man-made splendour of the dams. Yet the real joy of Aswan is watching the sunset, taking in the Nubian culture and strolling through its exotic souq.
The Town – The distinct African ambience of Aswan gives it a very much different feel to other parts of Egypt. The souq here is renowned as the best in Egypt outside Cairo and spices, ebony, crafts, fresh produce and souvenir shops can all be found. The view over the twisting Corniche of Elephantine Island and of the feluccas on the water is stunning. Pop into the Nubia Museum to learn more about Egypt’s southern neighbour’s past
Elephantine Island – The name of this island comes from the resemblance of the rocks at its southern end resembling a herd of pachyderms bathing in the water. Visit the Nubian villages nestled amongst the palms here. Explore the Aswan Museum and take in the refreshingly crowd-free ruins of Yebu.
The Island of Plants – Sheltered behind Elephantine is this lush island complete with a botanical gardens and colourful birdlife.
The West Bank – A trip to the Fatimid-style tomb of the Aga Khan can be combined with a visit to the Monastery of St Simeon. Rent a camel to approach this 10th century monastery in all its glory.
Take a trip to Philae Island, where the lovely Temple of Isis can be appreciated in its setting between the Aswan Dams, visit the Unfinished Obelisk, which shows you how the Egyptians carved and quarried the granite structures they are famed for, and wonder about the ecological disaster (or man-made miracle) that are the Aswan Dams. Further afield a trip to the great Sun Temple of Abu Simbel will bring the monumentalism of the New Kingdom firmly into view – and you cannot help but be impressed. No less impressive is the fact that this whole structure was salvaged from the rising waters of Lake Nasser and relocated to its present site.
Awan certainly feels like it rocks to a different beat than other Egyptian cities, and the reason for this is the presence of Nubian culture. Visit the Nubian museum and take a cultural trip to a Nubian village to learn more about the history culture and values of the Nubians. The souq in Aswan is only surpassed by that of the capital city, so take a trip for a sensory overload of fragrant spices, delightful woodwork, the bustle of produce traders and the chance to bag a bargain. Most nights there is a sound and light show at Philae that brings the temple to life and every day is your chance to lay back on a felucca and lazily watch the river life float by.