8 reasons why you should visit Luxor, Aswan in winter



Thu, 15 Feb 2018 - 03:14 GMT


Thu, 15 Feb 2018 - 03:14 GMT

Rabab Fathy at Karnak Temple in Luxor, December 2017 – Egypt Today

Rabab Fathy at Karnak Temple in Luxor, December 2017 – Egypt Today

CAIRO – 15 February 2018: As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

With these words Greek poet Constantine Peter Cavafy (1863-1933) encouraged his readers to venture on new experiences and go on journeys to see the wonders of the world, such as the “knowledge” once housed in Egyptian cities. Although this poem was written long ago, its message still rings true, especially for cities like Luxor and Aswan.

Rabab Fathy at Karnak Temple in Luxor, December 2017 – Egypt Today

Luxor and Aswan are two cities in Upper Egypt known to be home of intact ancient Egyptian temples that date back almost 4,000 years ago. Luxor alone has one third of the world’s ancient monuments, and many Egyptians like to call Aswan the “Egyptian Paradise.”

Bes, an Ancient Egyptian deity worshiped to protect households, women in labor and also music and dance, depicted on a column at Philae Temple in Nubia in December 2017 – Rabab Fathy

I’ll repeat Cavafy’s words and encourage all of you to go visit Luxor and Aswan this winter for these 5 reasons:

The Weather

What really makes these two cities special is their weather during winter. You can escape the cold, whether it’s in Cairo or another metropolis around the world, to enjoy the warm Egyptian winter sun. If you like, you can take a cruise from Luxor to Aswan where you can enjoy the calm and peaceful atmosphere while sailing through the Nile. On both sides of the river’s banks, you can feast your eyes on a combination of sand and green lands and enjoy mesmerizing golden sunsets and sunrises.

Riding camels with a friend in West Suhail Island, Nubia, December 2017 – Egypt Today

Go before it’s too crowded

A recent article in the Independent listed Egypt amongst the fastest-growing holiday destinations of 2017, citing numbers from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO). The article said tourism numbers increased 51 percent in Egypt last year. This means that Egypt is most likely to witness an increase in the influx of tourists, especially after the signing of a protocol with Russia that ensures resumption of flights from Moscow to Cairo.

Rabab Fathy at Hatshepsut Temple in Luxor, December 2017 – Egypt Today

World Wonders/History

Whether you are a history lover or not, you will find yourself in complete awe standing in front ancient temples whose secrets are still unknown. You will find yourself listening to the whispers of kings and queens narrating untold stories through the intact drawings that have survived thousands of years.

A wall at Kom Ombo Temple in Aswan, December 2017 – Rabab Fathy

The Luxor and Karnak temples in Luxor are a must-see attractions, and Aswan also has many temples, such as Kom Ombo, Philae and Abu Simbel, which is almost 300 kilometers away from the city, but there are regular trips to it from Aswan.

Rabab Fathy at Philae Temple in Nubia, December 2017 – Egypt Today

Flying Ballons

Don’t worry, if you are not that much into history, you can enjoy a morning ride in a flying balloon. Not only will you watch a sunrise, but you will watch it over the biggest open museum in the world.

A hot air balloon flying near Ramesseum temple on the west bank of Luxor - Reuters

Aswan’s Nubian nature

Egypt is a country of diversity, and even though it is widely considered a Middle Eastern country, it still has an African element to it, which you can trace in Aswan’s Nubia. Not only will you enjoy the beautiful nature of the place, but you’ll meet a unique group of people, who were able to maintain their traditions and culture, having their own traditional dress and even their own language.

Rabab Fathy at a port in Aswan, December 2017 – Egypt Today

When there, you can visit Barbara beach, which has the clearest water you can find in the Nile, and you can even take a swim in it.

The bank of the River Nile in Nubia, December 2017 – Rabab Fathy

Charter direct flights

A number of countries signed agreements with Egypt to fly direct charter flights to Luxor and Aswan. In 2015, direct flights between Aswan and three Chinese cities started, and in July 2018, there will be weekly charter flights between Madrid and the two cities.

Rabab Fathy at Hatshepsut Temple in Luxor, December 2017 – Egypt Today

Family Friendly

Not a lot of destinations are suitable for old people or family unions, but Luxor and Aswan don’t require physical activity. The helpful, friendly people in Aswan are easy to deal with and provide a perfectly safe city for everyone, as well as convenient access to all corners of the place.

Rabab Fathy with friends at Memnon Colossi in Luxor, December 2017 – Egypt Today


One of the most important elements when deciding to go on a trip is how affordable it is. What is really good about Luxor and Aswan is that they are affordable and you can enjoy them even if you are traveling on a budget. If you like cruises, a lot of companies organize these trips from Luxor and Aswan. Cruises start from LE 1700 to LE 3500 ($95 to $198) for Egyptians, depending on the cruise ship you choose, but all of them provide the same tour program.

Riding a camel in West Suhail Island, Nubia, December 2017 – Egypt Today

I would recommend the cruise ship, as it’s really calming to sail through the Nile and wake up to it. My trip was not during the high season and it cost LE 3000 per person, including a LE 600 sleeper train ticket, all inclusive except for tips, which usually fluctuate from LE 10-20.

As for foreigners, the trip costs around $400.



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