The Feel-Good Guide to Sports, Travel, Shopping & Entertainment

Main Sports Events Holidays & Observances Pop Culture Shopping Travel

MAIN Arrow to TravelTravel Arrow to Mideast Mideast Arrow to ParisEgypt

Aswan Travel Guide

At sunset, a felucca lazes down the
Nile along the shores of Aswan ...


With lazily floating feluccas, a bustling souk and a magnificent view of the Nile, Aswan offers visitors a break from the overwhelming and over-touristed landmarks of Cairo and Luxor.

Located in southern Egypt, near the first cataract of the Nile River, Aswan is distinctly more African in culture and character, owing to its Nubian heritage.

Many tour groups stop in Aswan en route to the magnificent ruins of Abu Simbel, located approximately 300 kilometers south, but those who choose to stay longer are rewarded with a host of worthwhile diversions.

Sail along the Nile on a felucca
Egyptians have utilized these traditional wooden sailboats since the time of the Pharoahs, and they are still a major form of transportation in Aswan. Hire a felucca captain from the waterfront Corniche al-Nile to sail you across the Nile for around 25 L.E. ($5) an hour.

Relax on Kitchener's Island
A tropical botanic garden, teeming with exotic plants and shady palms, has earned this small landmass off the coast of Aswan the nickname "Plantation Island." Kitcheners island can be reached by motorboat, felucca or ferry, and admission is 30 L.E. ($6).

Ride a camel to the St. Simeon Monastery
The ruins of this seventh-century Coptic settlement rise like a mirage from the surrounding desert. Hop a boat to the west bank and then hire a camel from Nubian villagers for the bumpy 30-minute ride to the St. Simeon Monastery, also known as Anba Hatre. Entrance is 15 L.E. ($3), and the camel ride will set you back between 50 and 70 L.E. ($10-14).

A view to the Nile from lush
Kitchener's Island, a quiet oasis.


Sample traditional Nubian food
Panorama (Corniche al-Nile, 231-6169) offers authentic Egyptian and Nubian specialties, like fish stewed in a traditional clay pot and barbequed pigeon, at bargain prices. The soft-spoken owner won't hesitate to give his honest opinion on your order.

The Nubian Restaurant, located on a private island in the Nile (boat dock located on the Corniche al-Nile, 230-2465), has high prices and a generic menu, but offers an entertaining cultural dance show in the evenings.

Sip tea on the rooftop of the Cataract
The rooftop terrace at the historic Sofitel Old Cataract Aswan was a favorite hangout of luminaries like Winston Churchill and Agatha Christie, who is said to have written her famous "Death on the Nile" over the café's signature mint tea.

About the Author... Jessica Arriola Marati

More about Aswan around the Web:

Aswan - Wikipedia

12 Top Tourist Attractions in Aswan & Easy Day Trips

Privacy  |  Mission Statement  |  Contact us |  Sitemap

All contents copyright © 1999 - 2022