Aswan is the major travel hub of the south of Egypt. The area has many things worth exploring – Elephant island, the Philae Temple, the Aswan dam and further afield Abu Simbel, which can be see as a day trip from here.
Aswan and its surroundings were known as Nubia in ancient times. You will find that event today, Aswan had more of an ‘African feel’ to it than any other city in Egypt. Although you might want to give the ‘Nubian dancers’ performing in the expensive hotels a miss, getting a real taste of this ancient culture would be an excellent opportunity and an experience you will not forget – the Nubian Cultural center is a good option here.
The city proper lies on the east bank of the Nile. Relax here, visit a few mosques, but then prepare for an adventure. The bazaar runs along the Corniche, which continues past the Ferial Gardens and the Nubian Museum, and continues on to the Cemetery, with its forest of cupolas surmounted tombs from the Fatimid period. Just east of the cemetery in the famous area quarries is the gigantic Unfinished Obelisk. Just to the south of this, two Graeco-Roman sarcophagi and an unfinished colossus remain half buried in the sand.