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Egypt

                                   Official Flag of Egypt bearing the national emblem of the shield of Saladin

          The Land of the Pharaohs

Best Places to Visit in  Egypt II

Edfu is an interesting temple that should not be missed

Nile River Cruising

Nile River cruises are a fantastic way to enjoy Luxor and Aswan, as well as to travel the Nile and visit the temples along the its banks between these two towns. Click Nile River Cruising to learn what you need to know about selecting a cruise and what to expect while on the river. Some travelers board their boat in Luxor, tour Luxor and the depart for Aswan.  Others start their tour at Aswan. In either case,  you will enjoy some slow time cruising the Nile, and experience visits to temples along the waterway.

Edfu Temple, south of Aswan, is named for the town that surrounds.   It is a large, interesting Greco-Roman temple on the western bank of the Nile dedicated to the ancient Egyptian god Horus. Travel from the dock to this important temple is by caleche, a small horse-drawn cart, which is a great way to get a look at the town of Edfu.

The temple is in excellent condition and has an impressive Grand Pylon. The walls of this temple are covered with incredible reliefs documenting the battle between the gods Seth and Horus, as detailed in the  tales of Egyptian mythology. The Hypostyle Hall with its towering columns are dramatic, as are the images covering the columns and doorways.  Click our Luxor to Aswan page  for more details on Edfu Temple as well as a photo gallery of what you will see during your visit.

Kom Obo is a modestly sized temple that is unusual as it contains two, side-by-side  temples sharing one structure. The northern temple is dedicated to  the god Horus the Elder (Haroeris), while the southern temple is dedicated to Sobek, the crocodile god.  In addition, you will find a very interesting Crocodile Museum a short distance from the temple filled with crocodile-related antiquities from this area.  Click on Kom Obo for more details on visiting, as well to see our photo gallery on this interesting temple.

Aswan

Aswan has a number of attractions including the High Dam, the exquisite Philae Temple on Agilkia Island, the collection of temples associated with Kalabsha Temple, the Nubian Museum, Elephantine Island and the Tomb of the Aga Khan.  The shopping here might be the best in Egypt and it is a pleasant place to visit. Click for our Aswan Guide that features detailed descriptions of the town's attractions, as well  photo galleries.

    The interior of Philae Temple is covered with extraordinary reliefs and hieroglyphics

The Kalabsha temple complex contains four temples that were moved to an island just south of the High Dam in order to avoid their flooding by  Lake Nasser. Philae Temple, the more interesting of the two temples, had already been submerged by the British Low Dam fifty years earlier but was relocated as part of the process related to saving temples impacted by the water levels of the High Dam.  Both temples are mainly Greco-Roman, but each has its own treasures that you should be seen if you visit Aswan.

For some Aswan will mark the end of their travels in Egypt, but others will choose to explore Lake Nasser and its many temple, including the incomparable Abu Simbel.

Lake Nasser

Lake Nasser is the reservoir associated with the High Dam whose construction began in 1960.  The water body that was created by damming the Nile required the deconstruction and subsequent relocation of a number of historically important temples.  The effort was difficult and expensive, although the results were spectacular. 

Many visitors choose to fly south to Abu Simbel and then take a Lake Nasser cruise back north, stopping at a number of temples that now exist on its banks. With the exception of Abu Simbel, visiting the temples along Lake Nasser requires boarding a tender that will take you from your boat to the site of the temple.

Abu Simbel

    Abu Simbel duiring the nightime sound and light show is quite magnificent

Located in the far south of Egypt near the border with Sudan, Abu Simbel is one of the most stunning and famous of the monuments of the pharaohs.  It is noteworthy not only from an architectural point of view, but also due to the incredible detail of the work that was required to move the monument to a location safe from flooding.   Dating from the 13th century BC,  Abu Simbel is famous for its four impressive colossi of a sitting Ramesses II, an image known around the world.  There are two temples to explore here.  The Grand Temple was named for Ramesses II, which he dedicated to himself and the god Ra-Horakhty. A smaller temple was named  for his favorite wife Nefertari and dedicated to the goddess Hathor.  Both temples are modest, compact and interesting. There is an incredible Sound and Light show at night that is well-worth seeing. Click for our guide to Abu Simbel, and several interesting photo galleries

Amada and Derr

Approximately 65 miles north from Abu Simbel are the two modest but interesting temples Amada and Derr (both are Pharaonic in origin).

Amada dates from 1450 BC and was built by the Pharaoh Thutmosis with later additions by a cast of famous pharaohs, including Ramesses II. The temple has a small pillared hall and its columns contain many detailed reliefs along a short path that lead to a modest sanctuary. Although compact, the variety of reliefs is staggering and  Amada Temple is well-worth seeing.

Derr, which is only a few feet away, is another of the temples of Ramesses II that are dedicated to Ra-Horakhty.  It contains two, pillared halls and the interior walls contain some remarkable reliefs.  Some of the images were defaced by early Christians and Muslims who regarded the symbology as blasphemous.

Our detailed section on Amada and Derr provides photo collections for each temple.

Wadi el Seboua

Further north, Wadi el Seboua, also known as the Valley of the Lions, sits in close proximity to two other temples named Dakka and Maharraqa that are of lesser quality.  The compact Wadi el Seboua is another of the temples that have been impacted by Ramesses II and it was dedicated to the sun god Ra-Horakhty.  The approach to the temple is through an aisle lined with sphinx of varying but modest size, including some with the face of Ramesses II.  The entrance is marked by a small pylon sitting behind an interesting statue of Ramesses II that was once accompanied by three additional statues.  The interior of Wadi el Seboua is richly decorated and is an easy place to while away a great deal of time.  For more details and a photo gallery, click Wadi el Seboua.

As noted earlier, it is possible to see the temples as Kalabsha (Kalabsha, Gerf Hussein, Beit el Wali and the Kiosk of Kertasi) while visiting Aswan, but it is often the last stop on a cruise of Lake Nasser.  We cover these interesting temples in our Guide to Aswan.

Lake Nasser Cruising

Although the focus of our section on Lake Nasser has been its temples, cruising its waters is quite a treat,  The sunrise and sunsets are glorious and the landscapes are quite interesting. See our photo collection on Lake Nasser for examples of the sights you might see.

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If you have enjoyed our overview of the best places to visit n Egypt, we suggest that you read our detailed pages and examine the photo collections we provide of these attractions.  Choose any location from the menu at the top right of this page to continue your travels.

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Best Places To Visit in Egypt

Overview
Cairo
Giza
Luxor
Nile - Luxor to Aswan
Aswan Area
Abu Simbel
Lake Nasser Temples

Other Topics

Nile River Cruising
Travel Tips
Things to know about Egypt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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