Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Africa & the Middle East
Reload this Page >

I cant wrap my brain around the Abu Simbal trip. Help

I cant wrap my brain around the Abu Simbal trip. Help

Aug 31st, 2005, 01:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 173
I cant wrap my brain around the Abu Simbal trip. Help

Hi, Im trying to plan a first trip to Egypt but Im having a hard time with an itinerary. We would prefer to go independently.

My question is how do you fit in the Abu Simbal trip? We will be doing the usual type of holiday there, Giza, Nile Cruise, Luxor, Red Sea for diving and back to Cairo. Do you just go to Abu Simbal for a day and can you fly there from where the cruise finishes in Aswan? Also would it be easy to fly from Abu Simbal to say Sharm on the Red Sea?

I apologize if I have confused everybody as much as I have confused myself but ANY help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks, Anne
AnnieP is offline  
Aug 31st, 2005, 02:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,341
Tours usually fit it in at beginning or end of Nile Cruise, depending on which way on Nile cruise goes. I see no reason why the same would not work for independent travel.

For example, we landed in Aswan night before cruise was to start. Did early AM side trip to Abu Simbel and boarded Nile cruise boat in afternoon. I have no idea what others on tour did - probably see things around Aswan - since just like at hotels, "check-in" time for cruise was in afternoon.

Could do similar side trip at end of cruise, I imagine.

When we flew to Abu Simbel, it seemed that the only flights were to/from Aswan and perhaps Luxor - but I certainly did not do a study of departure gates. I would go to EgyptAir website and check out schedules.

Others here have done land trip to Abu Simbel. If the serach feature feels like working at this time, you could probably read their info.
gail is offline  
Aug 31st, 2005, 03:09 PM
Posts: n/a
We did Abu Simbel before boarding our boat in Aswan. Flew from Cairo to Aswan then Abu Simbel (but didn't stop at Aswan as everyone onboard was going to Abu Simbel - so non-stop direct to AS).

We took a 7am flight from Cairo and probably reached AS a little after 9am, then bus (they're waiting at the terminal) to the site. Here we hooked up with a guide who took a dozen or so English speaking visitors through the site. Then by about 11am, the bus returned us to the terminal for flight to Aswan where we were met and drove to our Nile cruise boat.

We were on an independent trip, but everything had been booked through a tour operator... in fact most of the visitors were independent travelers. The group people, had a separate bus and guide for themselves.

But even if you want to be independent it's a good idea to pre-book the trip, have someone get you to the airport and check you in. These guides (who speak the language and know the check-in personnel and gate agents) get preferrential treatment versus individual tourists who weren't given the time of day. They were the last to be attended to.

So if you've booked the balance of your trip through a tour operator, have them arrange the extension to Abu Simbel for you. You can do this before boarding the ship or after, but the tour operator will know best depending on from where your cruise starts or ends - Luxor to Aswan or Aswan to Luxor.

Aug 31st, 2005, 06:10 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 173
thanks for the help. Now its starting to make sense, I just couldnt imagine flying somewhere, stopping for a couple of hours, and flying off again. If you wouldnt mind my asking, what booking company did you use? Or did you just do it in Egypt? Thanks again?
AnnieP is offline  
Aug 31st, 2005, 09:01 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 487
Hi Annie,
We did the Egyption Splendor trip about 1.5 years ago (http://www.globusjourneys.com/Defaul...mmary&trip=5QE).
Abu Simbel was optional and we are so glad we decided to go. We flew to Abu Simbel from Aswan. I think it was the best part of our trip so I am so glad that you are going.
Our tour guide was totally agressive and that's the only way we got out of Abu Simbel. The flights were overbooked and the airport was a fish market. Our tour guide really had to fight for us to get on the first flight out of Abu Simbel because we had to get on our cruise ship for the Nile cruise.
Even though we went with Globus, we travelled with Misr (means Egypt in egyption) tours. They are government sponsored so we had loads of security near Aswan. Apparently it was quite unsafe to be in the Aswan area without security so you should check into that as you plan your trip to that area. We had armed guards with us at all times, plus a jeep full of police traveling behind our bus.
Abu Simbel is stunning, fly in and out of Aswan. You can check out the Philae temple while you are in Aswan.

Have a great time.

africatravel is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 01:59 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 65
You probably got most of the answers, let me summarize things:
Abu Simbel Access:
It could be reached by plane (mainly from Aswan ... and sometimes Cairo); bus (a very long trip across the desert from Aswan... rather dull); or by ferry/boat on the Lake Nasser... if you have the time. Obviously flying is more efficient. There are a couple of hotels there.. while most people go in and out of Abu Simbel spending around 3 hours (between landing and takeoff)... a few elect to stay at one of the hotels, and go back to Aswan the following day. Aswan is relatively small, so the Airport is a few minutes by car from where the cruises stop.

There are direct flights to Sharm El Sheikh from Luxor, but you will have more flights to Sinai and Red Sea destinations from Cairo.

Wirth regards to security and guards... Aswan is not a dangerous place or for that matter any other city in particular, the government is being extra cautious to protect tourists.... since the risk is there (as it is in the London underground or bus system)
Sherif is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 04:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,341
Again a vote for relative safety of Egypt. The safety measures above poster indicated were similar to that in place in 2001 (April - before 9/11) when we were there. It is Egypt's attempt to assure tourists of their sfaety - but what it really does is scare people half to death. You will also see many young "Antiquities Police" around historic sites - with really big guns - who look primarily bored.
gail is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 07:10 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 173
Thank you everybody! I am not concerned about the security really, and I understand what the gov. is trying to provide these armed guards as a deterrent and to make people feel safe. Although I dont believe anybody will be able to protect us if our number is up! I walk through Grand Central Station NYC every day and its either got machined gunned toting National Guard or Special Forces (which is REALLY unnerving the first time you see them) on high alert days.

Anyway, Sherif, I have a question for you or anybody who might be able to help. What do you think of doing the trip the other way around. Would it be better logistically?

Starting 2 days Giza.
Straight over from Cairo to Sharm for diving.
Sharm to Luxor? or Aswan?

I am playing with the idea of doing the two cruises, Luxor to Aswan and then the Nassar Lake to Abu Sim?

Then Abu back to Cairo for a couple of nights? How do you think the flights would work out on that schedule?
AnnieP is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 08:19 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 65
You never mentioned how many days you want to spend in Egypt.

Regardless, I believe (my own preference at least) one should finish the mainland first and then get to the beach (sun, sea & sand) at the end. I do not think it is fun to spend a few days in a place like Sharm El Sheikh and then go to Luxor & Aswan. Kind of taking your break before classes

Hence, I would suggest the following (assuming you will reach Cairo directly from the US or somewhere in Europe at night, as most flights do):

3 nights in Cairo
(Giza is a sister city of Cairo, but we refer to both of them as Cairo)

fly to Aswan (or go by overnight sleeping train)

2 nights Aswan (from which you would make your short visit to Abu Simbel)

Nile Cruise from Aswan to Luxor (I guess it is 3 days)

2 days in Luxor

Fly to Sharm El Sheikh (for as long as you would like to stay)

fly to Cairo, and spend the last night there.

If after all of the above, you still have a few days on hand, you may want to do - from Cairo - a one day visit to Alexandria on the Mediterranean.

Some notes:
If you do not have the time for the Cruise (between Aswan and Luxor), then you could do the trip between both towns by train.

Unless you really want it, I would not do both boat trips (Nasser Lake and the Nile between Aswan & Luxor). Obviously the Nile trip by boat is more interesting and scenic.

Get you flight, hotel and boat reservations confirmed early on. You may elect to do it via a local (in Egypt) travel agency or a US one.
Sherif is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 219
We are flying from Sharm to Luxor and also taking the Lake Nasser cruise. Here are the logistics. We are entering Sharm from Jordan, staying in Sharm, flying from Sharm to Luxor, staying in Luxor, driving to Aswan, taking the Lake Nasser cruise, flying from Abu Simbal to Aswan, staying in Aswan, and then flying to Cairo.

There are only 2 flights a week on Egypt Air from Sharm to Luxor, Tuesday and Thursday. There are 6 boats that sail on Lake Nasser from Aswan to Abu Simbal, leaving on various days. You will have to plan your itinerary fitting in these specific days and also plan a Nile cruise which will end when the Lake Nasser begins. We decided to stay at a hotel in Luxor and drive, stopping at the 2 sights that the Nile cruise takes in. The drive in a convoy takes some 6 hours.

twofortheroad is offline  
Sep 1st, 2005, 08:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 173
Oh excellent guys thanks! I have to find a good travel agency now to deal with the flights transfers etc. THanks a mil. Oh, we have about 15 or 16 days. Thanks
AnnieP is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Africa & the Middle East
Mar 3rd, 2010 09:27 PM
Africa & the Middle East
Jan 16th, 2007 01:58 PM
Africa & the Middle East
Jan 18th, 2005 03:55 AM
Africa & the Middle East
Aug 30th, 2004 02:15 PM
Africa & the Middle East
Aug 24th, 2004 12:56 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:50 PM.