The Abu Simbel excursion is a staple in nearly all of our agency’s programs, thanks to the beauty of the monuments to be visited. Located in the ancient Nubian territory, on the shores of Lake Nasser, at the southernmost point of the country, its remoteness doesn’t deter thousands of travelers from around the world from flocking here every day. But, what does it involve exactly? In this post, we’ll share some details regarding its approximate duration, means of transportation, and other points of interest.
Bus or Plane: A Matter Not Just of Cost
The temples of Abu Simbel lie about 290 km by road from Aswan, translating to a bit over 3 and a half hours by road. Between these two destinations lies sheer desert, virtually devoid of settlements. Thus, to get to Abu Simbel, there are two primary choices: by bus/private vehicle or by plane.
Abu Simbel Excursion by Bus
This is the most common and straightforward option for those who have a tour that covers Upper Egypt, with or without a Nile cruise. In this scenario, Aswan serves as both the departure and return point, all in the same day.
In this context, an early start is crucial: this will likely be the day when the alarm rings the earliest, probably around 4 in the morning. For two reasons: first, to get to the temples as early as possible and make the most of the day; and second, to sidestep the peak heat hours during the temple visits, an essential consideration in the area’s warm season.
Another key point on these road trips is that breakfast is had on the go, as eating before departure would be too early. To this end, breakfast is provided as a “Breakfast Box,” that is, a packed meal complete with drink.
Spending several hours visiting the temples and their surroundings means that the return trip starts late in the morning, with an afternoon arrival back in Aswan.
ABU SIMBEL EXCURSION BY PLANE
Though Abu Simbel is a very small village, it boasts its own airport due to the touristic appeal of these monuments. Hence, making the trip by plane is viable, but the conditions vary, mainly due to the flight schedules, which are dependent on the airline offerings at any given time (primarily EgyptAir).
It’s common for there to be two flights per day: one early in the morning and another late in the morning or early afternoon. This allows for a quick morning visit, but carries the risk of unforeseen flight-related issues disrupting an already tight itinerary.
And if flight offerings are limited to one departure per day, travelers are required to spend the night at one of Abu Simbel’s tourist accommodations. This can be appealing for those wishing to savor the temples at a more leisurely pace or even experience one of the occasional nighttime shows projected onto their facades.
In any case, we recommend reaching out to our agency to find the best solution. While international flights aren’t included in our packages, we can manage domestic flights within Egypt. Thus, we can inquire about and book flights from Aswan to Abu Simbel, or even from other origins.