For several years now Egypt has been hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons and the plethora of bad news makes it is easy to forget that the country also is a veritable treasure chest of fabulous sights. Abu Simbel, pictured here, is one of them. The fact that Egypt’s tourism industry is on its knees means that the adventurous traveller gets a chance to see uncrowded world-famous sites.
Abu Simbel is around 3 hours’ drive from Aswan. There is also an airport there. It is difficult to provide detailed travel advice, as the arrangements seem to change all the time. (You used to have to join an escorted convoy to get to Abu Simbel by road, but this was stopped in October 2016 or thereabouts.)
There are two temples at Abu Simbel, sometimes simply referred to as the Great and the Small Temple – or, to use their more established names, the Temples of Ramses II (left in the photo) and Nefertari (on the right). They are shown separately in the additional shots below.
Most Travelgumbo readers probably know that what you see at ground level these days used to be 65 metres lower (and would now be below the surface of Lake Nasser). If you do not know the story of the temples’ relocation, there are plenty of interesting internet sources which provide details.