How Do You Get to Abu Simbel?
The three ways to get to Abu Simbel are by road, water, or flying. Trains haven’t traveled this far south for 15 years or more. Each option has advantages, costs, and challenges. No matter which tour you choose, the guides will come from the local pool at Abu Simbel.
Aswan to Abu Simbel Bus Tour
The Abu Simbel bus tour is the most common and overland option and least expensive of any way to reach Abu Simbel. This option is a full-day tour, starting with a 4:00 AM pick up at your Aswan hotel. You travel 3 1/2 hours to Abu Simbel. Stay for roughly an hour and a half, then return to Aswan. There’s very little to see along the way. Look for well-maintained vehicles, group size, and if they provide meals when selecting a tour.
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Private Car From Aswan to Abu Simbel
It’s possible to hire a private driver from Aswan to Abu Simbel. This option makes logistics easier with fewer hotel pickups to negotiate. This feature might allow you to leave a little later, but it’s still going to be early. Drivers tend to travel by caravan to reach Abu Simbel for safety, and no driver wants to be caught on the road after dark. You’ll also tour the temples in an extremely small group, which will allow the guide to customize the trip for your tastes. It’s possible to get a private car for a little more than a bus tour, but the quality and safety of service can vary greatly.
Check with your Aswan hotel to about private transportation
Abu Simbel Boat Tours
You can reach Abu Simbel by cruising across Lake Nasser. Remember, this is above the Aswan High Dam, so this is not part of the Luxor to Aswan Nile River cruise. The ships will be smaller and less luxurious. There’s also little to see in this section of the Nile. It’s below the historic boundaries of ancient Egypt, and what towns did exist are now flooded by Lake Nasser. You can fish and enjoy the remarkable night skies. These tours take roughly four days to complete.
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Abu Simbel Air Tours
There is a small airport in Abu Simbel with direct flights from Aswan. The flight is short, and you’re at the temples in under an hour. You’ll have about twice the time to explore the temples with an air tour than you would with an overland option. You’ll also have a smaller group with your guide. The drawback is that it’s more expensive to fly to Abu Simbel than take a bus tour, but you don’t have to worry about the road.
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Reaching Abu Simbel From Luxor
Flying from Luxor to Abu Simbel isn’t logistically feasible since you’ll be routing through Cairo. There are overland tours to Abu Simbel that leave out of Luxor, but they come as a two-day tour with an overnight in Aswan. If you aren’t taking a Nile Cruise, this is an option to explore the upper Nile outside of Luxor. You’ll save considerable money basing in Luxor for Valley of the Kings, Karnak Temple, and Luxor Temple and adding on this tour. You will most likely miss out on Edfu and Kom Obo with this itinerary.
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Reaching Abu Simbel From Cairo
You can fly from Cairo to Abu Simbel with a reasonable connection through Aswan but is a moderately expensive ticket, and you’ll have to get a hotel to spend the night in Abu Simbel hotel or Aswan. This option will let you see the temples with almost no crowds and enjoy the night skies around Lake Nasser.
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