This is a must see. The only drawback is you spend the extra money to shorten the day by flying instead of travelling by road but spend some 3 hrs at both airports.
I had an exceptional experience with my tour through Viator, especially being a woman traveling alone to Egypt. A representative (Hedra) picked me up from my ship in Aswan, got my boarding pass for me at the airport, and sent me off. There were 2 more representatives who helped me during my tour at Abu Simbel which was awesome. There were barely any other tourists there so I felt I had the place to myself (good for me, not good for Egypt). Hedra was waiting for me back at the airport in Aswan and took me to my hotel (and waited while all my accommodations were arranged). Everyone was extremely kind and made the trip easy and enjoyable for me.
Viator was fabulous! Very professional. Picked us up at airport, dressed in suits with ties, transported in very nice, clean car to Abu Simbel. After our tour with local guide, our Viator guide was there waiting for us to take us back to the airport. Helped check us in at airport. He spoke excellent English and was genuinely concerned about our happiness. Highly recommend Viator.
Great trip to Abu Simbel. The facilitator in Aswan was a great help!
Leilani S USA
Book without the tour guide if you want to save money. You'll be fine on your own, esp. if you read your guidebook before going.
David Z USA
The flight was a bit over-priced considering we paid for the tour guide as well. Perhaps the bus is more feasible if you have a little more time. The temple itself is a must-see on any Egyptian tour.
Outstanding, everyone who goes to Egypt should see Abu Simbel! With the short amount of time with the guide I was impressed how much info he gave us and he made sure to tell us what to look for. Look out for the groups that descend in mass though! Being in a small group our guide was able to get us into the temples at a different time to the big groups so we had alot of time inside almost completely alone.
Flying to Abu Simbel saved us so much time and also gives you a feeling for the enormity of the desert which makes up so much of Egypt. The bus would simply be too long if you did it in both directions.
Another tour in Egypt I would give 5 stars to if I could. The temples are amazing and our guide knew all the tricks to be able to see them with a minimal amount of other people around. Standing at the base of the great statues is one of the most humbling experiences of my life.
Expensive but worth the trip. Personal pick-up and assistance the entire way made the trip very easy.
My only critic: Once the flight is e-booked and confirmation received, no information is given re exact flight times and e-communication with Viator is slow. Otherwise, no-nonsense, helpful and attentive local staff in Aswan and Abu Simbel, good logistics and timing.
The site is so awesome and spectacular that any rating is colored positively. Unfortunately our two and one quarter hours were cut to one and half hours at the site. This was because the flight information Viator sent us was totally wrong. We left almost two hours earlier than what we booked on a regularly scheduled Egypt Air flight. It was a little late,, but the real cause of the delay was unforeseen military exercises at the Aswan airport which delayed us a further 45 minutes (beyond anyone's control). The guide was not great, but not bad either--he bravely tried to compress everything he had to say into a shorter time. We were fortunately I think that other than our group there were no other people there. That allowed us some elbow room. Still Abu Simbel was the highlight of our trip to Egypt.
The whole tour worked liked clockwork! We were picked up from the hotel, checked in at the airport, met the other end, had a good guide and almost enough time (another half hour would have been better, but the time was determined by Egypt Air timetable). You need to be aware that Viator may not be able to confirm your booking until a few weeks before the flight. Viator handled this delay as best as they could. I think that is because Egyptair only schedule the flights when they know the demand. There are cheaper ways of visiting Abu Simbel but these involve 6 hour coach trips in convoys and you then go round the temples with thousands of others. We just had one plane load.
Benjamin K Germany
I really liked the tour even though it was very expensive, but it is worth it! The only thing that I didn't really like was that we only had about an hour at Abu Simbel. We had to rush a little bit but we were able to see everything.
Kurt Braun K USA
We had trouble booking this flight directly on Egypt Air's website for the day we wanted to go, but Viator had the flights. That said, the plane was only part full, there are free bus transfers to the temples, and a guide is included for each group or even a single person with your entrance ticket 80 Egyptian pounds per person.
Abu Simbel is amazing. But don't pay for the private tour. We were with the "group" the entire time and the private guide didn't give us anything that the Lonely planet travel guide didn't offer. But definitely a must see on your trip.
The organisation could not have been better but we were disappointed in Abu Simbel itself. It had lost its majesty and seemed to be part of a film set. Think of moving the Treasury at Petra to the top of the cliff and I think you'll see what we mean.
Suzanne H Netherlands
Abu Simbel was worth seeing. The trip by private air tour was very well organised although expensive. I expected to be sitting in the first class for this price. Furthermore it would be wise to ask your guests about their specific interest it might be slightly different than the egyptologist expects.
Julie A USA
This tour was way overpriced almost double compared to the prices we saw local tour operators selling it for. While the transfers to and from the airport and site were very smooth and the staff friendly and helpful, we found our "Egyptologist guide" to be totally inadequate, lacking enthusiasm, and not as knowledgeable as the guides we had in other parts of Egypt. The visit to Abu Simbel is recommended for any trip to Egypt, and the flight is fast and convenient, but book it elsewhere.