To sample a little of Egypt's attractions, history, scenery, climate and
contemporary culture. Aswan could be the one stop answer. A perfect microcosm of
the country, it is also a revitalizing interlude on a comprehensive tour.
Dramatically positioned on the first cataract of the Nile, the attractive and
atmospheric town looks over several tiny islands scattered in the river's flow.
Some, like Elephantine Island, are the idyllic settings for classic hotels.
Others now house beautiful relics such as the rebuilt Temple of Philae, while
famous Kitchener Island boasts botanical gardens and Mausoleum of the Aga Khan.
All are gently reached by taking to the white-sailed feluccas that litter
the waterway. Land-linked highlights of Aswan include the impressive High Dam,
the huge Unfinished Obelisk, shops and alleyways, but find time too to visit the
lesser known temples on the shores of Lake Nasser.
The construction of the
High dam nearly saw many of the temples on this region disappearing forever
under the shores of the newly created lake, but in a major feat of engineering
the temples were moved to higher ground so they can be enjoyed for many more
On such temple is the incomparable Abu Simbel on the southern shores
of the lake an inarguable highlight of any holiday to Egypt.