Abu Simbel is an ancient temple complex in southern Egypt's Nubian Desert. It was built by Pharaoh Ramses II in the 13th century BC and is renowned for its grandeur and intricate architecture. The site has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 and attracts thousands of yearly visitors.
If you're looking for a 8 Day Egypt Tour, have a look at our tours above - we might have the right one for you.
The history of Abu Simbel dates back to the 13th century BC when Pharaoh Ramses II built it as a monument to himself and his queen, Nefertari. The temple complex consists of two main temples, one dedicated to Ramses II and one to Nefertari.
The construction of Abu Simbel began around 1264 BCE and took twenty years to complete. It was built under the supervision of Pharaoh Ramses II's chief architect, Ineni. The site was chosen for its strategic location on the banks of Lake Nasser, which allowed it to be easily defended against potential invaders from the south. In addition, its location also allowed it to be used as a waypoint for travelers along the Nile River who were headed south towards Sudan or north towards Cairo.
The temples at Abu Simbel were buried under sand for centuries until their rediscovery in 1813 by Burckhardt. After their rediscovery, they quickly became a popular tourist destination for Europeans fascinated by their grandeur and scale. Unfortunately, this popularity also threatened their preservation due to increased foot traffic which caused damage to many of the carvings over time.
In the 1960s, plans were made to relocate Abu Simbel due to its proximity to Lake Nasser, created when Egypt completed construction on Aswan High Dam in the 1970s. This would have flooded much of lower Egypt, including Abu Simbel, if not for an international effort spearheaded by UNESCO which raised enough funds to move both temples further inland where they could be preserved without being flooded or damaged by tourists or other elements such as sand storms or erosion caused by wind or rain over time.
Today, Abu Simbel remains one of Egypt's most important archaeological sites. It continues to draw visitors worldwide who marvel at its grandeur and learn more about ancient Egyptian history and culture.
The site is located on the western bank of Lake Nasser, a man-made lake created by the construction of the Aswan High Dam in 1970. The lake was created to provide agricultural land irrigation and generate hydroelectric power. The lake also serves as a significant tourist attraction, with visitors able to take boat trips around its shores for sightseeing or fishing.
It is approximately 280 miles south of Cairo and can be reached by car or bus from Aswan or Abu Simbel airport.
Visiting Abu Simbel is an awe-inspiring experience that will stay with you forever. The temples' sheer size and grandeur will take your breath away. They provide an insight into Ancient Egyptian culture and history and offer a unique glimpse into how mighty Pharaohs were during this time.
In addition to its historical significance, Abu Simbel offers visitors plenty of activities to enjoy. Visitors can explore the surrounding area on boat trips along Lake Nasser (which was created when the Aswan High Dam was built).
They can also visit nearby sites such as Kalabsha Temple or Qasr Ibrim fortress, relax on one of Abu Simbel's many beaches, or dip in its crystal-clear waters.
The most impressive attraction at Abu Simbel is undoubtedly the Great Temple, dedicated to Ramses II himself. This Temple comprises four giant statues of Ramses II that stand guard at the entrance. Visitors can explore a series of chambers containing hieroglyphic inscriptions and reliefs depicting scenes from ancient Egyptian life. The Great Temple also includes two large seated statues of Ramses II, some of the most iconic images associated with ancient Egypt.
The second Temple at Abu Simbel is known as the Small Temple and was dedicated to Queen Nefertari, the beloved wife of Ramses II. This Temple is smaller than its counterpart but still contains some stunning artwork, including reliefs depicting Nefertari with various gods and goddesses. Visitors can also explore an inner chamber that houses four statues of Nefertari flanked by two seated statues of Ramses II.
In addition to these two temples, Abu Simbel offers visitors plenty of other activities and attractions to enjoy. One popular activity is exploring the nearby tombs, which members of Pharaoh's court used during his reign. Visitors can also take a boat ride on Lake Nasser, which offers stunning views from its banks and bird-watching and fishing opportunities. Plenty of hiking trails offer spectacular views over Abu Simbel and its temples from various vantage points for those looking for something more active.
For those interested in learning more about ancient Egypt's history and culture, several museums near Abu Simbel offer educational exhibits about this fascinating civilization. Visitors can also take guided tours around both temples or join one of several organized excursions into nearby desert oases where they can learn about traditional Bedouin culture.
The best time to visit Abu Simbel depends on your desire. Spring and autumn are ideal if you're looking for a more relaxed atmosphere. The temperatures during these seasons are milder than during summer, making exploring easier without getting too hot or cold. In addition, there are fewer crowds during these months, so you can enjoy your visit without battling with other tourists for space.
On the other hand, if you're looking for a more vibrant atmosphere, then summer is your best bet. During this season, temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), but tourists still flock to Abu Simbel in droves. The temple complex comes alive with music, dance performances, and traditional markets selling souvenirs and other items.
Depending on where you're coming from and what type of tour you'd like to take, several options are available for visiting Abu Simbel.
If you're coming from Cairo or Luxor, you can take a day trip for around $50 USD per person. This includes round-trip transportation from your hotel or hostel in Cairo or Luxor, entrance fees for both temples at Abu Simbel (which usually are around $20 USD per person), lunch at a local restaurant near the site, and an experienced guide who will provide commentary about the history of the site throughout your visit.
If you're looking for something more luxurious, private tours can range from $100 - $200 USD per person, depending on how many people are in your group. These tours usually include round-trip transportation from your hotel or hostel in Cairo or Luxor (or wherever else you may be staying), entrance fees for both temples at Abu Simbel (which are usually around $20 USD per person), lunch at a local restaurant near the site (which generally costs around $5 - $10 USD per person), and an experienced guide who will provide commentary about the history of the site throughout your visit.
For those looking for something even more unique, overnight tours can range anywhere from $200 - $400 USD per person, depending on how many people are in your group. These tours usually include round-trip transportation from your hotel or hostel in Cairo or Luxor (or wherever else you may be staying), entrance fees for both temples at Abu Simbel (which are usually around $20 USD per person), lunch at a local restaurant near the site (which generally costs around $5 - $10 USD per person), dinner at a local restaurant near the site (which usually costs around $15 - 20 USD per person), accommodation near the site (which generally costs around $50 - 100 USD per night depending on what type of accommodation you choose), and an experienced guide who will provide commentary about the history of the site throughout your visit.
Abu Simbel opens at 6 am daily (except Fridays) until 6 pm (or 1 pm on Fridays). You should wear comfortable clothing such as light trousers or skirts with long sleeves (to protect against sunburn) and sensible shoes suitable for walking over rocky terrain. A hat is also recommended during hot days!
First, let's look at the security situation in Egypt. The country has seen a lot of turmoil since 2011, when the Arab Spring began. There have been numerous demonstrations, clashes between protesters and police, and terrorist attacks over the past decade. However, there has been relative stability in most parts of Egypt in recent years. The government has also increased security around tourist sites such as Abu Simbel.
The Egyptian government has also implemented measures to ensure that visitors to Abu Simbel are safe. Tourists are required to register with the police before entering the site and must present valid identification documents. Security personnel are always present, and tourists must pass through metal detectors before entering the temple complex. Tourists are also encouraged to travel with a guide who can provide information about local customs and help them navigate any potential security issues they may encounter while visiting Abu Simbel.
Despite these measures, visitors must take precautions when visiting any unfamiliar place. Stay in well-lit areas at night and avoid large crowds or demonstrations if possible. Tourists should also be aware of their surroundings and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity or people trying to take advantage of them or their belongings.
In addition, tourists should be mindful of cultural norms when visiting Abu Simbel or other sites in Egypt. It is essential to dress modestly out of respect for local customs and traditions; women should cover their arms and legs outside their hotel rooms or other private spaces such as temples or mosques. Tourists should also avoid taking pictures without asking permission from those who appear in them; this could be seen as disrespectful or intrusive by locals who may not appreciate having their photo taken without consent.
The answer is yes; there is a dress code for Abu Simbel. The Egyptian government has established specific guidelines that visitors must follow when visiting this historic site. Generally speaking, visitors should wear clothing that covers their arms and legs and avoid wearing anything too revealing or inappropriate. It's also important to note that visitors should avoid wearing any dress with religious or political symbols, as this could be seen as offensive or disrespectful.
Regarding footwear, visitors should wear comfortable shoes for walking around the site. Sandals or flip-flops are not recommended as they don't provide enough protection from the hot sand and can make it difficult to walk around safely. It's also important to note that visitors should not wear open-toed shoes as this could be seen as disrespectful in some regions of the temple complex.
In addition to clothing guidelines, there are also other restrictions that visitors must follow when visiting Abu Simbel. For example, photography is strictly prohibited inside temples and other restricted site areas. Visitors are also not allowed to bring food or drinks into these areas, so it's essential to plan if you want to enjoy a snack while exploring this unique archaeological site.
The recommended level of fitness required to visit Abu Simbel depends on what activities you plan on doing while there; if you plan on taking part in more strenuous activities such as climbing up steep steps, then a good level of fitness would be beneficial but not essential if you plan on taking part in less strenuous activities such as boat trips across Lake Nasser or camel rides around the area then no particular fitness level would be required!
Transportation to and from Abu Simbel is an integral part of any visit to the ancient Egyptian site. Located in the far south of Egypt near the border with Sudan, it is not easy to get there without some form of transportation. Fortunately, a few options are available for travelers looking to visit this impressive archaeological site.
The most popular way to get to Abu Simbel is by air. Several flights from Cairo International Airport will take you directly to Abu Simbel Airport. This is the fastest way to get there, with flights taking just over an hour. Once you arrive at the airport, you can take a taxi or bus into town and then explore the area on foot or by camel.
Another option for getting to Abu Simbel is by road. The most common route is from Cairo via Aswan, which takes around 10 hours by car or bus. You can also take a train from Cairo, although it takes much longer (around 17 hours). This route passes through some stunning desert scenery and stops at several interesting sites, making it an excellent option for those who want to see more of Egypt than Abu Simbel.
The answer to this question is unknown, but several theories about who might have been interred within its walls exist. One popular theory suggests that it was Nefertari, Ramses II's beloved wife and queen consort. Nefertari was highly revered during her lifetime and was even referred to as "the most beautiful woman in Egypt" by her husband. She may have been buried at Abu Simbel to honor her memory after her death in 1255 BCE.
The answer to this question depends on your interests and preferences. If you want to take a quick look at the site, you can avoid spending an hour or two there. However, if you're going to explore and appreciate all that Abu Simbel has to offer, then it's best to plan for an entire day trip.
When planning your visit, you must consider what type of experience you want. For instance, if you're interested in learning more about the history and culture of ancient Egypt, then you should spend some extra time exploring the temples and reading up on their history. Additionally, if photography is your thing, bring your camera to capture fantastic shots of this magnificent site.
The answer to this question depends on how you define "old". If you ask how long ago Abu Simbel was built, it was constructed around 1250 BC, making it roughly 3,250 years old. However, if you ask how long it has been a tourist attraction, it has drawn visitors since at least the 19th century AD. Abu Simbel has been a popular tourist site for over 2,000 years!
Yes, Abu Simbel is on the Nile River - located on its western bank! The river provides a stunning backdrop for this incredible ancient site, which continues to fascinate visitors worldwide today. Its location along one of the world's longest rivers has helped preserve it for thousands of years - a testament to its importance in Egyptian history!
This special Egypt tour features the amazing Sun Festival at the Abu Simbel temple to Ramses II on the 22nd Feb and 22nd Oct each year. We combine this with time in Cairo, Aswan and Luxor, discovering more of ancient Egypt.
This fun family adventure tour of Egypt includes the famous Pyramids & Sphinx in Cairo, the spectacular temples & tombs in Luxor, a short camel ride, beach time by the Red Sea, and a traditional felucca cruise along the Nile.
Need some travel inspiration or looking for some handy travel tips? Our blog provides excellent insight into our travel destinations - from tour updates to country guides, packing lists to little known things to do, you'll find it all in our travel blog.
Karnak Temple is located on the east bank of the Nile River in Luxor. This travel guide will provide you with everything you need about this ancient Egyptian temple complex.
Swimming in the Dead Sea is a unique experience. Find out everything you need to know such as tips for swimming or rather how to float in the Dead Sea in Jordan or Israel.
Kerak Castle is one of the largest Crusader Castles in Jordan. This guide will tell you everything you need to know about this once famous Crusader stronghold.
The Jerash Ruins in Jordan near Amman is one of the best preserved Roman ruins on the planet. If you're planning on heading to this ancient city to see the ruins of Jerash, this guide is for you.
Discover the ancient wonders of the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Egypt's most iconic attractions. Explore its tombs, temples and monuments, and discover the history and culture that makes it so unique.
Discover the secrets of the Great Sphinx of Giza, a mystery of ancient Egypt. Uncover its relation to the Pharaoh Khafre and explore its timeless beauty, which reaches up to 66 feet.