Day Trips from Aswan

By Viator, October 2013

4.5 18 Reviews | Add your review

Located just below the Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser at the strategically vital narrows of the Nile River’s first cataracts, Aswan is the smallest of the three major tourist cities on the Nile, and by far the most laid-back. Being the furthest south, Aswan was the ancient Egyptians' gateway to Africa and serves as the perfect base from which to explore Upper Egypt. Located within a short drive of many of the country’s finest attractions, there are plenty of Aswan day trips to choose from.

Abu Simbel and around Aswan

Day trips to the area often include Aswan Dam, Lake Nasser and the Temple of Philae on Isis Island, the cult center of Isis worship and one of the last places in Egypt to practice the ancient religion. The real highlight of the region, however, is the Temple of Abu Simbel.

Overlooking Lake Nasser, Abu Simbel was built to impress, with the immense statues in front of the Great Temple intended to frighten potential enemies coming down the Nile from Africa. Originally built into a mountainside by Ramses II (the sun lights the sun temple’s sanctuary on his birthday), the original Abu Simbel was carefully sawed into numbered stone cubes in the 1960s and reassembled uphill to escape the rising waters of Lake Nasser, which rose to inundate the previous site following the construction of the Aswan Dam.


Home to many of the biggest and most famous monuments of ancient Egypt, Luxor is widely considered the country’s capital of cultural tourism. Built around the 4000-year-old site of Thebes, ancient capital of the New Kingdom, the concentration of monuments in Luxor is truly astounding. Known as the world's largest open-air museum, there are so many temples and monuments worth visiting you may even risk being ‘templed out’. Highlights include The Valley of the Kings, where the ancient pharaohs were buried along with their riches (it was here that Tutankhamun's tomb was discovered in the 1920s); The Valley of the Queens, where the queens and their children were interred; Luxor Temple, built by the New Kingdom Pharaoh Amenophis III; the enormous Temple Complex of Karnak, the most important place of worship in ancient Egypt; the giant Colossi of Memnon; and the Mummification Museum.

Dendara and Abydos temples

Located south of Aswan, Dendara is one of the best-preserved temple complexes in Egypt. The whole complex covers some 40,000 square meters and is surrounded by a thick mud-brick wall. The earliest extant building in the complex today is the Mammisi, built by Nectanebo II (360–343 BC), though the site itself allegedly dates back to 2250 BC. Besides the temple of Hathor, famous for its astronomical ceiling depicting heavenly bodies and signs of the zodiac,  you’ll find within the complex the Temple of the Birth of Isis, the Sanatorium, the Christian Basilica, a Bark shine and the Gateways of Domitian and Trajan.

Along the Nile north of Dendara lies Abydos, the center of the cult of Osiris and one of the world’s most ancient pilgrimage sites. Here you’ll find a collection of monuments, ancient cemeteries and temples, including the Temple of Seti, a magnificent work built during the New Kingdom. Within, the raised reliefs are considered some of the finest in the country.

Kom Ombo and Edfu

The Temple of Kom Ombo was built in honor of the crocodile-headed Sobek, god of fertility and creator of the world, and Haroeris, more familiar as the ancient falcon-headed Horus. The temple, unusual because of its double entrance, dates to the reign of Ptolemy VI. Earlier Pharaonic remains have been detected at the site, but little now remains of these.

A short drive away from Kom Ombo is Edfu, a majestic temple dedicated to the falcon-headed god Horus. The temple is built on the site where Horus is said to have revenged the murder of his father Osiris by killing Seth. Edfu is considered by most to be the best-preserved cult temple in Egypt.

Tours & Tickets

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Private Tour: Abu Simbel by Minibus from Aswan

4.5 star rating: Recommended 48 Reviews

See the magnificent temples of Abu Simbel on a minibus tour from Aswan. With a qualified Egyptologist as your guide, you'll enjoy a personalized visit to Abu ...  Read more

Location: Aswan, Egypt
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $92.70
$103.00 Save $10.30

Private Tour: Abu Simbel Flight and Tour from Aswan

4.5 star rating: Recommended 22 Reviews

Fast track your journey and take the quick route to see the magnificent temples of Abu Simbel on an air tour from Aswan. With a qualified Egyptologist as your ...  Read more

Location: Aswan, Egypt
Duration: 4 - 5 hours

From USD $304.20
$338.00 Save $33.80

Private Tour: St Simeon's Monastery

4 star rating: Recommended 5 Reviews

Join a camel ride to the southern tip of Elephantine Island where you will find St Simeon's Monastery, an ancient, abandoned fortress monastery mostly built ...  Read more

Location: Aswan, Egypt
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $34.20
$38.00 Save $3.80

Philae Temple Sound and Light Show with Private Transport

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 8 Reviews

A visit to Philae Temple at night to attend the Sound and Light Show is a magical experience. The floodlit buildings are silhouetted against the volcanic ...  Read more

Location: Aswan, Egypt
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $34.20
$38.00 Save $3.80

Private Tour: Philae Temple, Aswan High Dam and Unfinished Obelisk

4 star rating: Recommended 11 Reviews

Take a private tour to explore three of Aswan most popular and well known sites. Walk on the High Dam which separates Lake Nasser from the Nile, be astounded ...  Read more

Location: Aswan, Egypt
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $45.00
$50.00 Save $5.00

Private Felucca Tour: Elephantine Island

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better 1 Reviews

With artifacts which date back to the predynastic periods, Elephantine Island is one of the most ancient sites in Egypt. Spend a few hours exploring the ...  Read more

Location: Aswan, Egypt
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $22.50
$25.00 Save $2.50

Private Tour: Kalabsha Temple on Lake Nasser

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Reviews

On the banks of Lake Nasser lies Kalabsha Temple, an often overlooked jewel of Aswan. Your Egyptologist guide is waiting to take you on a private tour to the ...  Read more

Location: Aswan, Egypt
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $27.90
$31.00 Save $3.10

Private Felucca Tour: Aswan Botanic Gardens

4 star rating: Recommended 2 Reviews

Sail on a felucca to the Botanic Gardens on Kitchener Island with the company of a qualified Egyptologist guide. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the island ...  Read more

Location: Aswan, Egypt
Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

From USD $17.10
$19.00 Save $1.90

Private Boat Tour: Soheil Island

4.5 star rating: Recommended 4 Reviews

To learn about the Nubians you must spend time with them. This private tour to Soheil Island lets you meet and spend time with Nubian people in their village.

Location: Aswan, Egypt
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $22.50
$25.00 Save $2.50

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