Aswan Visits

Day 1

Philae Temple

The Myth of Isis and Osiris, and the Story of Philae Island
In Ancient Egyptian mythology, the goddess Isis embarked on a journey to collect the pieces of her husband Osiris’s body, which had been dismembered by his nefarious brother. On Philae Island, where she discovered Osiris’s heart, the Egyptians constructed a sacred temple devoted to Isis, goddess of purity, sexuality, nature and protection. Sadly, during the construction of the High Dam, Philae Island was submerged by water, and the temple complex was transported by UNESCO to nearby Agilika Island, where it currently resides.

The construction of the High Dam resulted in the formation of Lake Nasser, a massive body of water that reaches up to 10km wide and 500km long, and is the world’s largest man-made lake, spanning across the border between Egypt and Sudan. Despite its impressive size, the raising of water levels caused significant damage to numerous Nubian monuments. In an effort to safeguard these important cultural landmarks, the Egyptian Government, with the help of UNESCO and other countries, worked tirelessly to preserve them for future generations.

The relocation of the Philae Temple complex was a monumental task, requiring careful disassembly and reassembly of the structures, all while maintaining their original integrity and design. The process took over a decade to complete, and the temple was finally reopened to the public in 1980. Today, visitors can explore the grand halls and sanctuaries of the temple, adorned with intricate carvings and hieroglyphics that tell the story of Isis and Osiris and the ancient Egyptian religion. The temple is not only a testament to the skill and dedication of the ancient builders but also a symbol of the ongoing efforts to preserve and protect the world’s cultural heritage.

Day 2

*Optional Tour: The Abu Simbel Temple Experience

Discovering the Majestic Abu Simbel Temples
Located in Abu Simbel, a village in Nubia, southern Egypt near the Sudanese border, are two colossal rock temples that are known as the Abu Simbel temples. These historic structures are situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser and are approximately 230 km southwest of Aswan (about 300 km by road). Constructed during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II in the 13th century BCE, these temples are noted for their impressive architecture and historical significance. The larger of the two temples is dedicated to Ramses II himself, while the smaller one is dedicated to his wife, Queen Nefertari.

The Abu Simbel temples were originally carved out of a sandstone cliff, and they were later relocated to their current position in the 1960s. The temples were facing danger due to the rising water levels of Lake Nasser, which was created by the Aswan High Dam. The temples were dismantled, moved piece by piece, and then reconstructed on higher ground. The relocation of these temples was a monumental effort that involved the collaboration of several countries and UNESCO. Today, visitors can admire the intricate carvings and hieroglyphics that adorn the walls of the temples. The Abu Simbel temples are a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of the ancient Egyptians, and they continue to inspire awe and wonder in all those who visit them.

After this optional tour, we’ll regroup for lunch aboard the boat.

Kom Ombo Temple

What sets the Temple of Kom Ombo apart from other ancient structures is its awe-inspiring duality. This captivating monument is not just one temple but two harmoniously aligned side by side. Each side of the temple is dedicated to a different set of deities – Sobek, the crocodile-headed god of fertility, and Horus, the falcon-headed god of the sky and protector of pharaohs. Explore the intricate carvings and hieroglyphics adorning the walls, which narrate ancient tales of myth and legend.

The Unique Duality of the Temple of Kom Ombo
The Temple of Kom Ombo is a fascinating piece of ancient architecture that stands out from other structures. What makes it so special is its striking duality. This captivating monument is not just one temple, but two perfectly aligned temples side-by-side. Each temple is dedicated to a different set of deities: Sobek, the crocodile-headed god of fertility, and Horus, the falcon-headed god of the sky and protector of pharaohs. The walls are adorned with intricate carvings and hieroglyphics that tell stories of ancient myth and legend. It’s definitely a must-see for anyone interested in ancient history.

Additionally, what makes the Temple of Kom Ombo unique is its location right on the banks of the Nile River. The temple’s position was not only strategic but also served as an important religious site for ancient Egyptians. The Nile River was believed to be a source of life, and the temple’s proximity to it was seen as a way to connect with the gods and ensure prosperity and fertility for the land. Visitors to the temple can also explore the remains of the once bustling ancient city of Nubt, which was once a significant trading hub in the area. The Temple of Kom Ombo is a true marvel of ancient Egyptian architecture and a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of its builders.

Temple of Horus at Edfu, Egypt: The Complete Guide

We will then spend the evening relaxing, while enjoying our journey to Edfu

Cruise Visits

Day 3

Visit Edfu

Discover the Temple of Edfu, an ancient Egyptian marvel situated on the west bank of the Nile in the city of Edfu. Immerse yourself in its rich history and architectural grandeur.

Explore the Temple of Edfu – an incredible ancient Egyptian wonder located on the west bank of the Nile in the city of Edfu. Immerse yourself in its rich history and grand architectural design.

Built between 237 BCE and 57 BCE, the Temple of Edfu is the second largest temple in Egypt and is dedicated to the falcon god Horus. As you enter the temple, you’ll be greeted by two massive statues of Horus guarding the entrance. Inside, you’ll marvel at the intricate hieroglyphics on the walls and columns, and the stunning courtyards and halls that make up the temple complex.

One of the most impressive features of the Temple of Edfu is the hypostyle hall, which contains 12 massive pillars that soar up to 30 feet high. The walls of the hall are adorned with scenes depicting the legend of Horus and his battle with his uncle Seth.

Visiting the Temple of Edfu is a truly unforgettable experience that will transport you back in time to ancient Egypt. Whether you’re a history buff or simply appreciate stunning architecture, this temple is a must-see destination.

A visit to the Esna Lock

As you approach the lock, you will see the gates slowly open and close, allowing boats to either enter or exit. The water level will then rise or fall, depending on the direction of travel, until it matches the level of the next section of the Nile. It’s truly a mesmerizing sight to see the lock in action, and you will feel a sense of appreciation for the ingenuity and skill required to construct such a marvel. Don’t miss the chance to experience the wonder of the Esna Lock on your journey through Egypt.

The Esna Lock is one of the most impressive engineering feats in Egypt. It was built during the Ptolemaic period, and it’s still functioning today, allowing boats to navigate the Nile with ease. The lock is a vital part of the country’s transportation system and is an essential part of the economy. It’s an absolute must-see for any traveler visiting Egypt. The area around the lock is bustling, with vendors selling souvenirs, and locals going about their daily business. You can also take a felucca ride on the Nile and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The Esna Lock is a testament to human ingenuity and the determination to overcome the obstacles of nature. Visiting it will be an unforgettable experience that you will cherish for a lifetime.

Temple of Luxor

Immerse yourself in the grandeur of the Temple of Luxor, a divine sanctuary dedicated to Amun. Built by Amenhotep III in 1380 BC, this historic site has been expanded by successive pharaohs and played host to vibrant celebrations, including the momentous Festival of Opet.

The Temple of Luxor is a marvel of ancient Egyptian architecture, with its towering columns, intricate carvings, and expansive courtyards. As you wander through its halls, you’ll be transported back in time to a period of great cultural and spiritual significance.

One of the most striking features of the temple is its massive pylon, which serves as the entrance to the complex. This imposing structure is adorned with intricate reliefs depicting scenes of warfare and triumph, providing a glimpse into the militaristic culture of the ancient Egyptians.

Inside the temple, you’ll find a series of chambers and halls, each dedicated to a different deity or aspect of Egyptian mythology. Among the most impressive of these is the Hypostyle Hall, which boasts an incredible 134 massive columns arranged in a grid pattern.

Throughout the temple, you’ll also find a wealth of artwork and hieroglyphics, each telling a unique story of the pharaohs who built and expanded the complex. And if you’re lucky enough to visit during a festival like the Festival of Opet, you’ll witness firsthand the vibrant celebrations and rituals that have been a part of this sacred site for thousands of years.

Experience the Magnificence of the Temple of Luxor
Dedicated to Amun, the Temple of Luxor is a divine sanctuary that will take your breath away. First constructed by Amenhotep III in 1380 BC, the temple was expanded by successive pharaohs and has hosted numerous vibrant celebrations, including the famous Festival of Opet.

Luxor Visits

Day 4

Morning visit to the Valley of the Kings

Explore the Valley of the Kings, a vast City of the Dead where magnificent tombs were carved into The desert rocks, decorated richly, and filled with treasures for the afterlife.

Discover the Valley of the Kings, an enormous necropolis where grand tombs were intricately carved into the desert cliffs, adorned lavishly, and packed with treasures intended for the afterlife.

The Valley of the Kings is located in Luxor, Egypt, and was used as a burial site for pharaohs and powerful nobles during the New Kingdom period. The tombs were constructed with great care, and each one was designed to ensure that the deceased would have everything they needed for the afterlife. These tombs were filled with treasures such as jewelry, food, and even furniture. The most famous tomb is that of Tutankhamun, which was discovered in 1922 by archaeologist Howard Carter. Despite being looted in ancient times, the tomb contained many artifacts that provided valuable insights into the life of the young pharaoh. The Valley of the Kings is a must-see destination for anyone interested in ancient Egyptian history and culture.Valley of the Kings | Luxor, Egypt | Attractions - Lonely Planet

Hatshepsut Temple

Rising out of the desert plain in a series of terraces, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut (Ancient Egypt’s only female Pharaoh) merges with the sheer limestone cliffs that surround it, as if nature herself had built this extraordinary monument.

The Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, the sole female Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, emerges from the desert plains in terraces and blends in with the surrounding limestone cliffs. It appears as though the monument was crafted by nature.

The temple, located in the west bank of Luxor, was built in the 15th century BC and is one of the most well-preserved ancient temples in Egypt. The structure was designed by Senemut, an architect and advisor to Queen Hatshepsut. The temple’s unique design features ramps instead of stairs, allowing for easier access for those who could not climb stairs.

The temple was dedicated to the god Amun, and also served as a funerary temple for Queen Hatshepsut herself. The walls of the temple are adorned with intricate carvings depicting the queen’s achievements and accomplishments, including her expeditions to the Land of Punt and her role as a successful ruler of Egypt.

Despite being a powerful and successful ruler, Queen Hatshepsut’s legacy was largely erased by her successors, likely due to her gender. It wasn’t until the 19th century that her temple was rediscovered and her story was brought back into the spotlight. Today, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut remains a testament to her strength and accomplishments in the face of adversity.

Karnak Temple

Explore the Temple of Karnak, constructed by generations of Pharaohs across more than a millennium. Marvel at the great Hypostyle Hall, an extraordinary forest of colossal pillars that spans an area larger than the entirety of Notre Dame Cathedral.

As you walk through the temple’s many courtyards and halls, take note of the intricate carvings and hieroglyphics that adorn the walls, telling stories of ancient Egyptian gods, battles, and daily life. Don’t miss the Sacred Lake, believed to have been used in purification rituals by the priests who once inhabited the temple complex.

Be sure to visit the smaller temples within the complex, dedicated to gods such as Amun, Mut, and Khonsu. Each temple has its own unique features and history, providing a glimpse into the complex religious beliefs and practices of the ancient Egyptians.

Whether you’re a history buff or simply a curious traveler, the Temple of Karnak is a must-see destination that will leave you in awe of the incredible architectural and artistic achievements of this ancient civilization.

DEPARTURE TIME Be ready for pickup from your hotel at 7:00 AM.
RETURN TIME Approximately 5:00 PM
WEAR Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking boots, hat, jacket and sunscreen.
Tour Highlights
Passionate, local guide Lunch in Dahab
Off-Road Adventure Shopping

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