Situated downriver from the First Nile Cataract, Aswan is Egypts southernmost city. From Old Kingdom times, this strategically important garrison town guarded Egypt's southern frontier and was a base for military incursions into Nubia and Sudan. Located at the crossroads of an even older trade route, this town was also a prosperous marketplace where exotic goods were traded.
From embroidered galabiyas and coloured caps to aromatic spice, the chaotic Souq is tightly packed with a network of narrow alleyways making this Souq a fascinating place to wander around completing an exotic and colourful atmosphere.
Consider an afternoon sail across to the temple of Philae, and visit Agha Khan’s Mausoleum or an excursion to St. Simeon Monastery.
There are many attractions here in Aswan, so don’t be in a hurry, take your time.
Be energised by Elephantine Island, known as Yebu, meaning elephant during the Old Kingdom. It is not known whether the island was named after the huge granite boulders at the southern end resembling bathing elephants or because it was a major ivory trading post.
Discover the Nilometer, stepping down into the river. The walls were calibrated to record the height of the annual flood, and so indicated the likely crops yield The Nilometer was put back into use after it was discovered in 1822.
Aswan stands on the most beautiful part of the river, where the aridness of the desert slopes down to the water's edge, and the river is dotted with lush islands. Colourful Nubian villages stand out against the backdrop of the west bank's desert escarpment.