Aswan, Egypt’s sunniest southern city and ancient frontier town, has a distinctively African atmosphere. Small enough to walk around and graced with the most beautiful setting on the Nile, the pace of life is slow and relaxing. Days can be spent strolling up and down the broad Corniche watching the sailboats etch the sky with their tall masts or sitting in floating restaurants listening to Nubian music and eating freshly caught fish.

Here the Nile is at its most beautiful, flowing through amber desert and granite racks, round emerald islands covered in palm groves and tropical plants. Explore the souk (market), full of the scent and color of spices, perfumes, scarves and baskets; view the spectacular sunsets while having tea on the terrace of the Old Cataract Hotel. Aswan has been a favorite winter resort since the beginning of the nineteenth century and it’s still a perfect place to get away from it all.

Philae temple


In the midst of fascinating scenery of rocks and water stands Philae, the island sacred to the goddess Isis, defined by Pierre Loti as the “pearl of Egypt”. When the high dam was built, the buildings were all dismantled and rebuilt on another island, higher than water of the lake. The sanctuary was situated on the site where the annual miracle of the flooding of the Nile, the rebirth of life thanks to Isis who, with the power of love. Had resuscitated her husband Osiris, was thought to take place.




Defined as the “Karnak of Nubia”, the temple of Kalabsha was dedicated to the god Mandulis, characterized by a complicated diadem. When the Nubian temples were saved, this temple too was taken apart into blocks and rebuilt on a promontory which overlooks the vastness of Lake Nasser.


Lake Nasser


Lake Nasser, 500 kilometers long (150 of which are in Sudan territory) was created when the high dam of Aswan was built. It has a capacity of 157 billion cubic meters of water, second in the world. The creation of this artificial basin meant not only a radical modification in the landscape and environment, but also the dismantling and subsequent re-erection of the 14 endangered Nubian temples, which were all faithfully reconstructed in a site that was higher than the waters of the lake

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