Aswan is the gateway to southern Egypt, a bustling market city on the eastern bank of the River Nile. Nubian villages and historic monuments are to be explored in this enchanting part of the country, where Arabia melds with Africa.
Nile cruises are a great way to experience timeless Aswan. Cruises on traditional feluccas and luxury vessels start in Aswan and make their way downstream to Luxor. Life on the riverbank continues as it has for time immemorial - ibis paddle in the shallows and egrets skim the surface of the water as they fish. Donkeys turn waterwheels and farmers tend their crops.
Between Aswan and Luxor are the temples of Edfu and Kom Ombo, both well worth visiting. Meanwhile, travelling south - upstream - from Aswan takes travellers to the Aswan High Dam. This major construction project created Lake Nasser, one of the world's largest man-made lakes. Overlooking the lake near the border with Sudan is another breathtaking Egyptian temple complex, Abu Simbel, built three millennia ago for the pharaoh, Rameses II and his queen, Nefertari.