The southern frontier city of Aswan lies on ancient caravan routes and is steeped in Nubian culture. It's one of Egypt's most romantic cities, with a beautiful riverside setting on the palm-lined Nile, a sunny climate and a gentle pace of life. The Nile at Aswan is truly beautiful, with feluccas gliding down from the Aswan High Dam and Lake Nasser.
The city lies on the east bank of the Nile and is easily navigable on foot, although it's wise to wander during cooler times of the day. The Nubia Museum, which features a colossal statue of Rameses at its entrance, is a good way to spend an hour or two.
In the middle of the Nile is Elephantine Island, opposite the Corniche. It can be reached by ferry or felucca and is believed to take its name from the grey rocks at its southern end that resemble bathing elephants. It has some interesting ruins and two Nubian villages, as well as the Aswan Museum, with exhibits of pottery, jewellery, mummies and other artefacts from ancient Egypt and Roman times.