Location & Access
Oberoi Philae – Nile Cruiser is a Sailing Cruise between Luxor and Aswan. Begin your 4 or 6 night journey on the Nile, aboard Oberoi Philae in Luxor or Aswan and travel through Pharaonic dynasties. This grand cruise offers the elegance of Edwardian travel with turn of the century ambience, which is first experienced in the Lobby with its warm teak wood paneling, parquet floors, European antiques and Oriental carpets.
There are daily EgyptAir flights from Cairo to Luxor and Aswan. The flight duration from Cairo to Luxor is 60 minutes and from Cairo to Aswan it is 75 minutes on a direct flight and 105 minutes on a flight via Luxor..
Both Aswan and Cairo are connected with Cairo via Express trains. The journey time from Cairo to Luxor is 10 hours and from Cairo to Aswan is 13 hours.
Discover The Nile
Oberoi Philae offers guests a cruise on the Nile along the landmarks of an ancient civilization. The journey begins in Luxor or Aswan and courses through Pharaonic dynasties that span thousands of years.
Places of Tourist Interest
Among the major attractions of Aswan are of course the Aswan Dams. There are two. The first was finished in 1902, and was the largest in the world in its days. The new one was completed in 1971, and was constructed as a result of the increasing Egyptian population.
At the southern end of Aswan is one of the granite quarries that supplied the stone for temples and colossi in ancient times. In one section of the quarry lies a gigantic unfinished obelisk that had been hewn from the bedrock but later abandoned after a flaw was detected. Had this obelisk been finished it would have weighed 1168 tons and stood at a height of nearly 42 metres.
Felucca Ride to Botanical Gardens
The feluccas and Aswan are inseparable. The Nile's timeless beauty is best experienced on a lateen-sailed felucca. These indigenous boats offer an unforgettable and uniquely Egyptian event. Take a short ride on a felucca to the Botanical Gardens on Kitchner's Island and spend an afternoon on the island admiring exotic flora from as far as India and Malaysia.
Temple of Philae
A superb temple complex dedicated to the goddess Isis. Built by the Ptolemaic Pharaohs, this temple had to be dismantled and painstakingly reassembled on the Eglika Island in the '60s when the Aswan Dam was constructed.
Known for its unusual double temple, one half of which is dedicated to the falcon-headed god, Haruris and the other half to the crocodile god, Sobek.
Temple of Horus at Edfu
Here you find the sandstone Temple of Horus, the largest and best-preserved temple in Egypt. Built by the Ptolemaic Pharaohs, its bas-reliefs give a vivid picture of life in ancient Egypt.
A magnificent ancient township built on the site of the even more ancient city of Thebes, dating back 4,000 years. The Luxor Temple is a remarkably delicate work of architecture, originally built by Pharaoh Amenophis, and added to by various rulers over the aeons, including Alexander the Great. The Luxor Museum has a wonderful collection of ancient statuary, as well as relics from the ancient city of Thebes.
Temple of Karnak
Located at the northern end of the town of Luxor, Karnak Temple has three main sacred areas that honour three gods: Montu, an ancient local warrior god; Amun, the chief god of Thebes; and the goddess Mut, wife of Amun. Amun, Mut and their son, Khonsu, were members of the sacred family known as the Theban Triad.
The construction of Karnak Temple began in the Middle Kingdom and was completed during the New Kingdom, some 1,600 years later. Every successive king of this era added to the temple, which covers two hectares (five acres) of land. It is a complicated site with four courtyards, ten pylons, a sacred lake and several buildings.
Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings is famous for its royal tombs. These beautifully painted tombs have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. For over a thousand years, the kings, queens and nobles of the New Kingdom (1500-1070 BC.) were buried in this valley making it the world's most magnificent burial ground. The most famous tomb (KV No.62) belongs to the boy king Tutankhamun.
It was discovered on November 22, 1922 by the English archaeologist Howard Carter. The tombs were cut into the limestone rock in a remote wadi (a dried-up river valley) on the west bank of the Nile, opposite the present day city of Karnak. Their walls were painted and sculpted with magnificent murals depicting scenes of daily life and the land of the gods. The chambers were filled with treasures - everything from furniture to food, statues, boats and jewels, which a person may need to sustain life into eternity. The royals and their courtiers hoped to find refuge from robbers and their enemies, who had pillaged the pyramid tombs of their predecessors.
Temple of Madinat Habu
The entire Temple of Ramesses III, palace and town is enclosed within a defensive wall. Entry is through the Highgate, or Migdol, which, in appearance resembles an Asiatic fort. Just inside the Highgate, to the south, are the chapels of Amenirdis I, Shepenwepet II and Nitoket, wives of the god Amun. To the north side is the chapel of Amun. These chapels were a later addition dating to the 18th Dynasties, by Hatshepsut and Tutmoses II. Later the Ptolemaic kings of the XXV Dynasty made renovations.
Temple of Hathor in Dendara
The Temple of Hathor, goddess of Joy, is a Greco-Roman creation built between 125 BC and 60 AD. It emulates the Pharaonic pattern of hypostyle halls and vestibule preceding a darkened sanctuary. In this temple Hathor takes the human form rather than her bovine aspect.
Valley of the Queens
The Valley of the Queens is a misnomer for it also houses the tombs of high officials and royal children along with the various queens and concubines. The valley contains 80 tombs, most of which are uninscribed and simple in plan although the murals in these can rival those in the Valley of the Kings. The reopening of the tomb of Nefertari in 1995 has given the Valley of the Queens an extra fillip.
Air: There are direct flights from all over Europe, USA and the Middle East, most of Africa and some of the Far East countries. Besides the main international Airport at Cairo there are airports receiving international flights at Alexandria, Hurghada, Sharm El-Sheikh and Luxor. Alternatively the cities too are well connected to each other through the domestic network.
Sea: Any port on the Mediterranean Sea, can be a starting point for a ship to Alexandria or Port Said. Alexandria, is the more common choice. There are also ferries travelling from Saudi Arabia and Jordan crossing the Red Sea to Nubia.
Land: Land travel to Egypt can be achieved from all countries in North Africa through Libya or from the Middle East countries through Israel. Sudan is also a common land entry point for most of the middle and southern African countries.
Egyptian consulates abroad and the immigration authorities at the port of entry will issue visas to visitors. A transit visa is sufficient for a stay of less than 7 days. Passports should be valid for at least six months from the date of entry. Visitors are advised to carry their passports at all times.
There are no restrictions on foreign currency. Items like jewellery and video cameras have to be declared on entry. Visitors are requested to confirm return flights on arrival. There is no departure tax. Every foreigner must register with the authorities within seven days of arrival.
The Egyptian pound is divided into 100 piastres. Exchange rates are available at any bank or exchange office. There are notes of 25 and 50 piastres, and of 1, 5, 10, 20 and 100 pounds. Travelers cheques are accepted by banks and hotels.
Egypt enjoys a mild climate. However, temperatures increase as you travel due south. Cairo can be chilly between December and February, and very hot between June and September. But the heat in Egypt is made bearable by the northerly breeze that leads to a drop in temperature at night. Peak temperatures in Upper Egypt occur between May and October, and are accompanied by extremely low humidity.
The best way to deal with Egypt's summers is to dress light. Cotton garments are ideal. Woolens are advisable for the winters. Egypt does tend to get chilly in the evenings, so a light sweater may be needed. But for all seasons, light walking shoes and a hat are absolute necessities. Avoid scanty dresses, as the norm is conservative attire.
Arabic is the language of Egypt. However, tourists will rarely face a communication problem, as Egyptians speak a number of languages, including English, French, German and Italian.