Prepare to be blown away by the magnificence of these temples. They are undisputedly one of the world’s most breathtaking monuments, and Egypt’s second most visited touristic site, the Pyramids of Giza being on the top of the list.
The relocation of the temples was a historic event in the 1960’s. At that time, the temples were threatened by submersion in Lake Nasser when the High Dam was constructed. The Egyptian government with the support of UNESCO launched a world wide appeal to save these colossal landmarks. They were successfully dismantled and relocated to a spot 60 meters above the cliff where they had been initially built. The more famous of the two temples is dedicated to Ramses II and the smaller one to his favourite wife Nefertari. They were both built by Ramses II in the 13th century BC.
The gigantic façade of Ramses II temple represents four colossal seated figures of Ramses. The façade is 119 feet wide, 100 feet high, and the statues are each 67 feet high. The façade door leads to the interior of the temple is a 185 feet long man-made rock cave that leads to a series of halls and rooms.We can of course add a visit to Abu Simbel to any tour.
The best way to travel there is by air from Aswan airport if you are not doing a Lake Nassar cruise. It is about a 40 minute flight to Abu Simbel airport which is near the lake side grounds. Once there you take a shuttle for the 5 minute trip to the grounds. A local Guide is allocated (only local Guides are permitted in Abu Simbel) and you explore the area and learn about the magnificent statues.
At the conclusion you again take the shuttle for the airport and the short flight back to Aswan.
The tour is best accomplished in the morning and one can be back in Aswan early afternoon to perhaps join a cruise or take a connecting flight to Cairo.
Another Egyptian city with a long history is Alexandria. Set on a Mediterranean bay, definitely closer to Europe, the influences of the Greeks and Romans is ever more apparent.
It is a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive from Cairo and so if you decide to do it in a day trip from Cairo, then an early start is vital as to see the main sights will fill a busy day. Some can spend that time in the new Biblioteca alone, which is a library and cultural center today on the site of the ancient library. If you wish to spend a night or two in Alexandria there are several good hotels that we offer and this will enable a more leisurely opportunity to see the many things in greater detail. In addition their are several interesting Museums to visit too.
The city is set on a large bay and the buildings fronting the water must have been quite a sight when they they were in their full glory. Now unfortunately, many are quite tough on the eyes. Neverthless, a meal overlooking the bay at one of the nice restaurants, with The Citadel at one end is still quite an occasion to remember!
Also on the north coast and 1 to 2 hrs west of Alexandria is the El Alamein Cemetery and the nearby Museum. This location saw a pivotal battle in World War 2 and there is an opportunity to learn about this costly encounter. If you do this then an overnight is needed.
As you battle the traffic in the city center watch out for the old trams. The system was first built n 1860 and much seems to be of that era!
Dendara And Abydos Excursion
Both Abydos and Dendara are located north of Luxor and can be visited together in a days excursion together or separately, if desired. The better accommodations are located in Luxor so we do this from there and arrange an extra day to visit these towns, which are much less visited than most other sights in the region.
Perhaps the most notable sight today at Abydos is the memorial temple of Seti 1. Abydos is considered to be one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt the ancient city of Abydos was the site of many temples and became a large center and a royal necropolis where early Pharoahs were entombed.
Dendara is primarily known for its Greco Roman temple complex, it is especially notable as it is perhaps the best preserved temple in the whole of Egypt. The complex covers some 40,000 square metres too.
Hurgarda or Sharm
After sightseeing perhaps you would like to relax on the beach?
Hurghada and Sharm are 2 excellent resort areas with world class hotels and some of the best snorkeling and diving in the world. We would be happy to add a few extra days to your trip.
Take the opportunity to add a few extra days to Egypt and visit the The Sinai. The Peninsula is accessible by road from Cairo; you drive under the Suez Canal, then head south before turning inland to St Catherines or keep straight on to Sharm el Sheikh – around a 5-7 hour drive. Or you can take one of the daily flights from Cairo to Sharm.
The hinterland of the Sinai offers stark, barren and hostile scenery. Yet it is appealingly dramatic, with periodic oasis, wind carved rocks and mountains that buffer Africa and Asia and over the years, have made the area difficult for ancient peoples to cross and modern armies to control.
The reward of making the effort is a visit to St Catherines Monastery situatuated at the base of Mt Sinai itself. The Monastery is a small complex rich in ancient treasures and you can see the Burning Bush, now carefully looked after.
For the more energetic a climb up Mt Sinai for sunrise is a must. Of course its the location where Moses received the Ten Commandments and an experience we guarantee you will remember for ever. Our Guides will ensure that nearly all in reasonable health will enjoy the walk, fortified by the various Tea Shacks and of course many stories, as you progress. Its a nighttime climb and takes 3-4 hrs up and a bit less down hill!
Sharm el Sheikh.is a modern and very lively resort town and popular with sun seeking Europeans and a place to relax.
The Red Sea area has some of the best diving in the world and we are happy to make arrangements to do this too. Sharm and Dahab are some of the most popular bases. We can also arrange camping and hiking in the Sinai.