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Dave_ Aug 30th, 2004 02:32 AM

Abu Simbel from Aswan - air or road?
I travel to Egypt on Friday and definitely want to do the add-on trip from Aswan to Abu Simbel.

I am unsure which way to go - to get there by road or by plane. I have been quoted $120 by plane and $35 by road.

I am guessing that the road travel is about 3 hours each way so am wondering if the $75 difference has any other (dis)advantages.

Does anyone have their own preference about this?

sandi Aug 30th, 2004 04:58 AM

I gather this trip to Abu Simbel will be at the conclusion of your Nile Cruise that ends in Aswan; when you can board a flight or travel by road to Abu Simbel. Not knowing how much you're paying for your entire trip, the calibre of hotels and Nile Cruise boat (if costs were budget or moderate versus moderate to hi-end expensive) - I'd rather fly to/fr which takes less than an hour. While the trip thru the desert might appeal to some and better meet your budget, I couldn't see myself out there in all that heat should there be a breakdown - nothing out there but sand. And with the road trip, no doubt, the entire day will be much longer.

When finally returning to Aswan where is your next stop? Cairo? For homebound flight? Will you have sufficient time to make that connection?

Another poster mentioned that he did the road trip, while most all others do the airtrip. You'll have to decide whether time or money are the deciding factors. Either way, Abu Simbel should not be missed.

Dave_ Aug 30th, 2004 05:39 AM

Thanks for your detailed reply Sandi.

I travel from Cairo to Aswan and then pick up a two-night cruise boat to Luxor and then onto Cairo for a few days. So the Abu Simbel trip is before my Nile cruise. I have picked mid-range accommodation/prices for the rest of the trip.

However, for the trip to Abu Simbel, the price differential is not a big issue in making the decision. I was just wondering if I would miss anything by not travelling by road or whether it meant the time spent at Abu Simbel would be different and therefore subject to different crowds etc.

sandi Aug 30th, 2004 06:01 AM

If you're boarding boat in Aswan, suggest you fly onto Abu Simbel where a bus will take you to site, to find an English speaking guide. Tour is about 2-hrs or so. Be sure to see what's doing under the mountain where they moved the temples so they wouldn't be lost when the New Dam built and Lake Nassar flooded the area - fascinating. You'll then bus transfer back to airport for flight to Aswan to board your boat - about 1pm.

That afternoon there will be an actvity, you'll overnight in port; next morning you'll visit the old/new dams and then trip to Philae Island. Returning in time for lunch, your boat then will commence the cruise. But a two-day cruise is real short. Are you sure it's only two-days? You'll be speeding past some interesting temples along the route.

Once you arrive in Luxor you'll have a next morning visit very early to Valley of Kings&Queens, tours of Luxor and Karnak temples later in afternoon when temps cool down. You might want to take in the Light & Sound Show at Karnak Temple that evening, performed in various languages, so be sure to book English - interesting.

But Abu Simbel should not be missed. And since there's not much out in the desert but sand and more sand, air is the way to go. Enjoy your trip - Egypt is a fascinating country.

Dave_ Aug 30th, 2004 06:24 AM


Thanks again for your help. Air sounds like the way to do that part of the trip. I have read a lot of your other posts helping people with Egypt - I've learned a lot from your advice, thanks!

The cruise is two nights which I'm told is the shortest and is quicker because we're going the same direction as the river. We do stop at Kom Ombo and Edfu if that's what you were referring to about the main sights along the way. This is a copy of the relevant itinerary days before and after the cruise they tour operator sent:

Day 3(5Sep): Arrive in Aswan where you will be met and transferred to your selected Hotel. Your afternoon tour starts with High Dam and its huge lake then take a short ferry ride to Philae Temple this Romantic and Majestic Temple. Tonight you may want to explore the many bazaars and small streets or enjoy dinner on one of the many floating restaurants along the Nile while watching the feluccas glide by. Overnight at your Hotel.

Day 4(6Sep): (Optional tour to Abu Simbel see optional price list for details) Morning excursion on a traditional felucca to visit Elephantine Island and Kitchner Island after which you will check in on the Cruise boat. Overnight on the cruise boat while sailing towards Luxor.

Day 5(7Sep): After enjoying your breakfast while cruising down the Nile. Visit the Greco Roman Temple of Kom Ombo dedicated to the two gods Sobek the crocodile God and Harveris the Sun God. Continue sailing to visit Edfu Temple ? the best-preserved and second largest Temple in Egypt. Overnight on the cruise boat while sailing towards Luxor.

Day 6(8Sep): After disembarkation transfer to your selected hotel in Luxor. You will then visit the East Bank of Luxor ?Entry down the avenue of Ram Headed Sphinx to reach the Monumental Temple of Karnak and then continue onto Luxor Temple, followed by a free afternoon and evening to enjoy this vibrant and fascinating city. Overnight at the Hotel.

rkkwan Aug 30th, 2004 11:39 AM

I think I am one of the few that went by road. But that was back in 1995, when air wasn't an option (at least not to me and my companion).

The road trip turned out to be quite a disaster. First, we were pursuaded to go in a private car rather than a coach. The car was a large Peugeot, but I later foudn out that it only had a small Toyota 4-cylinder engine. So, the top speed was only about 60mph, barely enough to follow the coaches. Second, the A/C was not cold enough for the return trip.

Anyways, both my companion and I were pretty dehydrated (partially our own fault) and fell ill that night after boarding the cruise. We missed the temples the next day on the Nile; fortunately we recovered by the time we got to Luxor.

Anyways, just want to state my experience. If I were to go again, I would definitely fly.

But for the record, the road trip was somewhat interesting, seeing the vast Sahara, and saw the sunrise over the desert. But not enough to pick that over flying.

NoFlyZone Aug 30th, 2004 01:09 PM

We also went by road about 12 years ago but had a wonderful experience because halfway along, at the crack of dawn, there was a large caravan camped beside the road. We stopped and visited with the traders, saw some of the goods they were bringing to Cairo, and had one of those serendipitous experiences.

sandi Aug 30th, 2004 02:15 PM

Dave - when you stay at hotel in Aswan and Luxor, we actually spent that time on the boat - so in the end we both see the same sites. The only site many do not visit is Esna Temple right before you reach the locks that each boat has to pass thru on way to Luxor.

While in Aswan do try to visit the Nubian Museum which opens late afternoon when heat of the day should be less (it's an open air museum) - very interesting.

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