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Abu Simbel Temple Aswan

The temples of Abu Simbel are a symbol of Egypt. Although less iconic than the pyramids of Giza, Abu Simbel is a must-see when visiting the region of Ancient Egypt to discover its treasures.

I traveled to Abu Simbel to visit these temples, and in this article, I return to what you need to know to get there, on your own or an excursion. Due to its isolation, Abu Simbel is indeed a relatively difficult site to access, and it is important to prepare well for your visit.

The temples of Abu Simbel

First of all, some information about these temples, to fully understand what we are talking about. I would like to point out right away that we are talking about the temples of Abu Simbel, in the plural, because there are two of them:

the Great Temple is the most emblematic and the one that most illustrates this site. It is dedicated to several gods including Amon, but also the Ramses dynasty. This temple was completed under Ramses II, still called Ramses the Great.
The Small Temple is a hundred meters from the Grand Temple. This is dedicated to the main wife of Pharaoh Ramses II: Nefertari, as well as to the goddess Hathor (goddess of love and beauty).
These temples are located on the mountainside and date from the 13th BC. Their construction took about twenty years.

Legs of one of the statues of the temple of Abu Simbel
Legs of one of the statues of the Great Temple of Abu Simbel
They aimed to impress Egypt's southern neighbors to strengthen the status of the Egyptian religion in the region. Hence the installation of the enormous statues in front of the "Great Temple", some twenty meters high, is particularly well preserved.

Another peculiarity of this temple of Abu Simbel, and invisible if we do not know it, is that it has been moved. Indeed, in the 1960s, during the construction of the Aswan Dam on the Nile, this temple as well as that of Philae, were moved so as not to be buried by the rising waters. It was thus dismantled piece by piece to be rebuilt identically on the shores of Lake Nasser, and in the same alignment with the stars. These temples have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, and are part of the Nubian Monuments.

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How do I get to Abu Simbel?

Abu Simbel

There are several alternatives for getting to Abu Simbel, the most common being by road. The other two are by plane (there is a small airport a few kilometers from the site), or by boat (as part of a Lake Nasser cruise). I mention these alternatives to get to Abu Simbel.


Abu Simbel is about a 3-hour drive from Aswan. This site is 300 km, in the direction of southern Egypt, on the border with Sudan.

For a long time, this road could not be taken as you wanted, let alone in his car. The journeys were in fact under military escort, with two departures per day from Aswan, at a fixed time (4 am or 11 am). Having made my trip to Egypt in 2009, I experienced this rather restrictive convoy system.

Since the end of 2016, the authorities have still carried out the necessary checks but are more tolerant. You have to go through the checkpoint at the exit of Aswan, on the road to Abu Simbel, to obtain the necessary permission. So there is no longer any notion of a convoy, and even less a departure at a fixed time!

Accompanied by a driver

Visiting the Little Temple of Abu Simbel
Small Temple of Abu Simbel
Nevertheless, the system of buses, minibusses, or at least a car with a private driver, is still very widespread. To find a means of transport of this type, two alternatives:

  • go on a day trip. The driver picks you up directly from your hotel or cruise ship. This excursion allows you to benefit from the presence of an Egyptologist and French-speaking guide. This type of service includes the entrance ticket for the tour and is done on board an air-conditioned bus, which is essential in this region. go on a day trip, via a service similar to the one I just mentioned, but with a private driver this time (like this one). No bus, therefore, but an air-conditioned car with a driver's guide. check with your hotel in Aswan which will redirect you to a local transporter (private or minibus). For this alternative, be careful to set the price well beforehand. For my part, I went to Abu Simbel as part of a cruise on the Nile between Luxor and Aswan. The visit to the temples of Abu Simbel was thus part of the overall service, and we got there by air-conditioned bus, accompanied by our guide.
  • 2 days in Abu Simbel : You have an option it is indeed possible to go to Abu Simbel for over two days. There are many advantages. We take more time to visit the temples, and more generally on-site in Abu Simbel. we don't have that impression of a long round trip during the day (almost 6 hours of driving in all), and above all, we enjoy the sound and light show at night, dedicated to Ancient Egypt.

By plane

The situation of the temples of Abu Simbel in Egypt
On the tourist side, there is an airport which is located not far from the Abu Simbel site. This is served in particular by the company EgyptAir, from Aswan. The flight lasts 45 minutes, and it is, therefore, possible to make the round trip during the day.

To get to the Abu Simbel temple site, you just need to take a taxi.

Visiting the temples of Abu Simbel

Once there, if you have not gone through a tour operator, you must obtain a ticket to access the temples.

The ticket allows access to the 2 temples, but be careful, photos are prohibited inside. And whether with or without flash!

Also, you can attend a sound and light show in Abu Simbel. We are far enough from the historic site of the site, but it allows those who spend a night nearby to enjoy this moment.

If you are planning to visit Abu Simbel during your Egypt tour, I wish you a good visit. This site is really beautiful!

Egypt Travel FAQs

Learn about our latest news, promotions, and professional tips. Know before you book your next Egypt tours

Egypt has many historical sites that you can visit and enjoy. Each tour is different and unique. If you go on a Nile cruise, you can visit Abu Simbel, Aswan, and Luxor in the South and enjoy the temples, tombs, and the treasures of the Nile. In the North, enjoy the Pyramids of Giza, The Egyptian Museum, Sakkara. Mosques, churches in Cairo, and many landmarks located in the city of Alexandria. On the East, Enjoy a beach tour for diving, snorkeling, and swimming in the Red sea. Every city has its charm, history, and flavor where you can do many tours and activities.

Your Egypt Tours is one of the leading and pioneer travel agencies in the Egyptian tourism industry. We offer very special care and personal touch to our clients making them feel at home with their family. Great and high-quality service to ensure that your trip with us is one of a lifetime. In addition, the commonly known reasons such as our customers’ feedback and testimonials, competitive prices - excellent customer service, punctuality and. Most important of all, our customers safety and enjoying every minute in your trip are our priorities. With us, you are in a safe hand.

It usually varies according to the type of tourist trip in Egypt, but the average cost for spending one week in Egypt is 1600 USD including visiting alot of tombs and temples and sailing on a 4 or 5 stars Nile cruise.

Don't drink the tap water - it is highly chlorinated. However, with enough time in Egypt, you could potentially grow accustomed to the water. This doesn't mean that the tap water is polluted, it simply means that you are not used to it, and you might get stomach problems. This happened to most people when they visit a country for the first time. They were simply not used to water there. It's a similar situation here. It is advisable to drink Bottled water during your entire holiday. That is why it is strongly advisable that you don't drink the tap water, and use it only for washing and brushing your teeth.

Enjoy Egypt Tours From September until March. It is the perfect time when the weather is good and mild. From September until mid-November, when it is very nice and the temperatures are pleasant for all activities - around 25 C to 15 C. mid-Nov until the end of February is wintertime when temperatures during the day are around 12 or 15 C, and at night can drop to about 7 or 8 C. In March and April, the weather is still so nice and travelers can enjoy the Easter vacation. From May to September is the summer season. Spending summertime in a desert climate does not appeal to most travelers. Average daytime temperatures hover in the high 80s and low to mid-90s, although they can jump up into three digits in the South as in Luxor and Aswan. Summer is really hot here, prices go down and it is a good chance for travelers with a tight budget.

It is usually hot and sunny. winter falls between November and January, and the peak of the summer months is between June and August. Winters are generally mild, although temperatures can fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) at night. In the Western Desert. Cairo and areas of the Nile Delta may experience a few rainy days during winter. Summers can be unbearably hot, especially in the desert and other areas of the country's interior. In Cairo, average summer temperatures regularly exceed 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius), while the record high for Luxor and Aswan, popular tourist destinations on the banks of the River Nile, is 110 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius).

Safety and security are our first and foremost concerns! Egypt is a very safe country with a low crime rate. Now with the coronavirus outbreak, accommodations and sightseeing nationwide have finalized sterilization and disinfection in light of the Egyptian government's efforts to implement precautionary measures against the COVID-19. In addition, our company has followed the same procedures to make all our staff, guides, and drivers are well-trained with the current events to prevent and stop the spread of this outbreak. Traveling the world is a joyful experience and we want to do our part to keep the anticipation stress-free.

There are many things to do in Egypt during your visit depending on your interests and character. Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, and Aswan Nile cruise must be your first priority if you are a history and culture lover. You must visit the pyramids of Giza, enjoy a Nile cruise between Luxor and Aswan and enjoy visiting the most important tourist attractions in Luxor and Aswan. You can visit the city of Hurghada, Marsa Alam, or Sharm el-Sheikh Red Sea for relaxation and enjoy many activities there such as diving, snorkeling, sunbathing, or swimming. You may like to go on a safari trip in the western desert if you are an adventurer. Many other activities are available in every single Egyptian city

The high season for tourism is all year with winter and spring being peak season for cultural travels with lots of sightseeing. Weather in Egypt is perfect for many kinds of tourism, and if coming in June, July, and August, head for the seaside resorts. Those months are very warm with temperatures that can reach around 45C. and the humidity is about 70 to 80%, but it is bearable with the sea and large swimming pools nearby. So the period of the high summer season is also a bit busy as hotels fill up with tourists from all over the world looking for a bargain, lots of sunshine, diving, snorkeling, etc. It is also a primary vacation time in Europe. If you come in the deep summer season you can still enjoy it because you can always sightsee early in the morning and go again at night when the sunsets. You will definitely need good sunscreen and a lot of liquids to drink with a nice hat on your head. Summer is a good time for people looking for good rates in accommodation and other services.

Egypt is a Muslim country and the dress code is towards the conservative side, especially for women. That being said, we are used to seeing travelers from all over the world. My suggestion would be to wear light clothes and not to wear short shorts, short skirts and alike to avoid the occasional unwanted stare. But it's really up to you. When you visit religious places (synagogues, churches, and mosques) you do need to cover your shoulders and wear over the knee dresses, if you are planning to wear one of course. If you plan to attend the Nile dinner cruise, there is no need for formal wear unless you want to make that night a special night! Also, you will be sharing this experience with other travelers so you can dress however you feel most comfortable.

You can get your visa when you arrive at Cairo Airport. It is an easy process for USA, UK, Canadian, Australian and European citizens. The visa is simply a stamp (like a mail or postage stamp) that you buy from the visa office, at the port of entry just before the immigration booth. The visa will cost you $25 US Dollars and after buying it; you just stick it on any empty page on your passport. Once you have bought your visa you then stand in line to get your passport stamped by the immigration officer. You can also apply for E-Visa via the official electronic visa portal:

Your Egypt Tours travel agency recommends two weeks so that you can enjoy the temples and tombs of Luxor and Aswan, explore the sights of Cairo, and relax in the Red Sea islands and nature reserves.

There are many Nile cruises. Not to name one but your choice depends on many things to put in mind such as the number of nights you want to spend on the cruiser, your budget, and the standard of the Nile cruise. We recommend you choose a 5-star luxury Nile cruise, and if you are looking for a private Nile River cruise you can choose Dahabiya cruises, it is only for the small-group tour, about 15 people. Most cruises have. There is another way of cruising the Nile, which is the Felucca boat. It is traditional and charming but it is cheap as long as it will be ok to sleep on the deck exposed to mosquitos and most of these boats do not have a toilet

The best time to visit Egypt is generally from October to April where it is suitable for outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Egypt travel usually have guided tours to archaeological sites, museums, and historical landmarks. Also have optional activities may include hot air balloon rides over Luxor, snorkeling in the Red Sea, or desert safaris.

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