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Introducing Nile Valley: Esna to Abu Simbel

The Nile, south of Luxor, is increasingly hemmed in by the Eastern Desert, its banks lined with grand, well-preserved Graeco-Roman temples at Esna, Edfu and Kom Ombo, its lush fields punctuated by palm-backed villages – it’s the ideal place to glide through on a Nile sailing boat. The once-great city of Al-Kab provides the perfect contrast to the grandeur of the temples, while at Gebel Silsila the river passes through a gorge, which made it a sacred site to the ancients, who used the quarry to built the temples in Luxor. Aswan, the ancient ivory-trading post, has a laid-back atmosphere and plenty of things to see.

South of Aswan, the land is dominated by Lake Nasser, the world’s largest artificial lake. On its shores is one of ancient Egypt’s most awesome structures: the Great Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel.