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Aswan

To sample a little of Egypt's attractions, history, scenery, climate and contemporary culture. Aswan could be the one stop answer. A perfect microcosm of the country, it is also a revitalizing interlude on a comprehensive tour. Dramatically positioned on the first cataract of the Nile, the attractive and atmospheric town looks over several tiny islands scattered in the river's flow. Some, like Elephantine Island, are the idyllic settings for classic hotels. Others now house beautiful relics such as the rebuilt Temple of Philae, while famous Kitchener Island boasts botanical gardens and Mausoleum of the Aga Khan.

All are gently reached by taking to the white-sailed feluccas that litter the waterway. Land-linked highlights of Aswan include the impressive High Dam, the huge Unfinished Obelisk, shops and alleyways, but find time too to visit the lesser known temples on the shores of Lake Nasser.
The construction of the High dam nearly saw many of the temples on this region disappearing forever under the shores of the newly created lake, but in a major feat of engineering the temples were moved to higher ground so they can be enjoyed for many more years.

On such temple is the incomparable Abu Simbel on the southern shores of the lake an inarguable highlight of any holiday to Egypt.