Known as Nubia during the times of the pharaohs, the Aswan province is the most African-like province in all of Egypt. The Nubian culture and traditions are still preserved and they offer a more exotic feel to the city, more powerful and more lively that anywhere else in the country.
The center of the city is situated on the east shore of the Nile. Here you will find places to stay, restaurants and a couple of mosques. This is the place to go when you want to rest and relax. The other shore of the Nile is where the adventure begins. You my wish to start by visiting the traditional Bazaar, where you can shop for souvenirs. Continue your journey with a visit to the Nubian Museum and end it with an exploration of the thousand-year-old cemetery.
You can visit this bank by foot or even better, rent a bicycle and take a ride through the nearby Nubian villages and farms.
You will feel like an explorer when you visit the ancient tombs at the Kubbet el Hawa. These tombs date from the time of the Old Kingdom to the time of the Roman Empire. The tombs are well preserved. Some of them belong to members of the same family and their walls are filled with hieroglyphs telling the stories of the dead. The wall paintings show the occupations and everyday life of the people who lived and died here, hundreds of years ago.
The monastery of St. Simeon is another great place to see. Built as a fortress by the Christian Crusaders, the monastery was eventually conquered by the famous Islamic leader Saladin. Now the monastery houses over 300 monks and can host more than one hundred pilgrims. The remaining 10 meter high defensive walls are still visible along with other defensive structures that have survived over time.
What better way to spend a hot day than by visiting a great luxurious garden? The Kitchner’s Island is a paradise of hundreds of exotic plant species. Shaded alleys and beautiful botanical exhibits tempt visitors to stay a little longer and marvel at the wonders of nature. This paradise island was a gift to Lord Kitchner for his achievements during the Mahdist Colonial War. He imported exotic plant species and built up the entire garden. Be aware that the Kitchner’s Island can only be visited by boat.
A trip to Aswan cannot be complete without a visit to the Elephantine Island. This is the largest island in the Aswan, and it hosts some of the most interesting ancient relics ever discovered in Egypt. The artifacts discovered here date from the pre-dynastic era. This island was a great defensive point, and most of the time the whole southern town was used as a fortress. The Elephantine Island hosts some of the most well-known ancient Egyptian attractions like the famous Nilometer and the Temple of Khnum.
Travelers to Aswan must be warned about the weather. This is among the driest places in the world, where rain may not fall for more than five years in a row. The air is quite dry and the surface temperature during the hot summer days can become unbearable. Make sure to visit the city during the spring, fall or winter time. If you choose to visit during the summer, make sure to carry plenty of water and protect your skin from the burning sun.
Places to Visit when Traveling to Aswan is a travel guide from Tripopedia, a travel encyclopedia. Learn about things to do, places to see and places to eat in Aswan.