See two of Egypt’s greatest ancient spectacles on this private Abu Simbel day trip by minibus from Aswan. With a private Egyptologist guide, drive to western Lake Nasser, and behold the colossal, rock statues of Ramses II of the two iconic lakeside temples. Learn their history, and go inside to see their towering statues, pillars and murals. If time allows before your return to Aswan, check out the visitor center that charts how both the temples were relocated here, piece by piece, in 1968 to save them from flooding.
Choose your preferred departure time on booking, and depart your Aswan hotel or Aswan port by air-conditioned minibus.
As you travel, listen as your private guide shares interesting facts about Abu Simbel’s two temples: the Grand Temple of Ramses II and the smaller Temple of Hathor, both built in the 13th century BC, and now set on the banks of Lake Nasser. Hear about the UNESCO project that saw them both relocated here in 1968, a move prompted by the building of the Aswan High Dam.
After roughly three hours, arrive at the lakeside and take in the jaw-dropping temples, both fronted by vast rock relief figures of Ramses II and his wife Nefertari. Take snaps and then enjoy free time to explore the interiors. Due to the high number of visitors, guides are not permitted to accompany you. However, your guide will talk you through the interiors before you enter, so you can fully understand the treasures inside.
Step inside the Great Temple, and ogle the painted battle scenes and gigantic sculptures of Ramses that line the halls. Then, go inside the Temple of Hathor to see the murals and pillars engraved with images of the goddess Hathor and Nefertari, Ramses II’s favored wife.
Afterward, and if time permits, call at the nearby visitor center that documents the temples’ relocation. Learn how these giant structures were dismantled and then reassembled piece by piece: an incredible feat of engineering that has protected them from flooding.
Finally, drive back to Aswan where your trip ends.