Traveling From Luxor To Abu Simbel: The Complete Guide

If you’re planning a trip to Egypt that includes both Luxor and Abu Simbel, you may be wondering what the best way is to travel between these two incredible destinations. With so many options to choose from, it can get confusing.

So let this comprehensive guide walk you through everything you need to know!

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: The fastest and most convenient way to get from Luxor to Abu Simbel is to book a flight, which takes just over 1 hour. You can also take a private car or small group tour which combines Abu Simbel with other top sites like Aswan along the route.

Evaluating Transportation Options from Luxor to Abu Simbel

When planning a trip from Luxor to Abu Simbel, it’s important to consider the various transportation options available. Each option has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s essential to evaluate them based on your preferences, budget, and time constraints.

Here are the four main transportation options to consider:


One of the quickest and most convenient ways to travel from Luxor to Abu Simbel is by taking a flight. Several airlines operate daily flights between the two cities, making it a popular choice for travelers with limited time.

The flight duration is approximately one hour, allowing you to reach your destination quickly and comfortably. It’s advisable to book your flight in advance to secure the best fares and ensure availability.

Nile Cruises

For those looking for a more leisurely and scenic journey, a Nile cruise from Luxor to Abu Simbel is an excellent option. These cruises offer a unique experience, allowing you to relax and enjoy the stunning views of the Nile River while making your way to Abu Simbel.

Along the way, you can visit other historical sites such as Edfu and Kom Ombo, adding to the overall cultural experience. Nile cruises typically take several days, so they are ideal for travelers who have a more relaxed itinerary.

Private Car or Small Group Tours

If you prefer more flexibility and independence, hiring a private car or joining a small group tour is a great choice. This option allows you to set your own schedule and explore the attractions at your own pace.

Private cars or small group tours often include a knowledgeable guide who can provide valuable insights about the history and significance of the sites you visit. Additionally, this option grants you the freedom to make stops along the way and explore lesser-known gems that are not part of the standard tourist itinerary.

Public Buses

For budget-conscious travelers, public buses offer an affordable way to travel from Luxor to Abu Simbel. Although the journey may take longer compared to other transportation options, it provides an opportunity to experience local culture and interact with fellow travelers.

Public buses are reliable and depart regularly from Luxor, making it a convenient choice for those who are not in a rush and have a flexible schedule. It’s important to note that buses can get crowded, especially during peak tourist seasons, so it’s advisable to arrive early to secure a seat.

Ultimately, the choice of transportation from Luxor to Abu Simbel depends on your preferences, budget, and the overall travel experience you desire. Whether you opt for a quick flight, a leisurely Nile cruise, a private car or small group tour, or a budget-friendly public bus, each option offers its own unique advantages.

Consider your priorities and make an informed decision that will ensure an unforgettable journey to Abu Simbel!

Key Stops and Sights to See Along the Way


Aswan is a beautiful city located on the banks of the Nile River. It is a popular tourist destination and serves as a key stop for travelers on their journey from Luxor to Abu Simbel. Aswan is known for its stunning landscapes, ancient temples, and vibrant markets.

One of the must-visit attractions in Aswan is the magnificent Philae Temple, dedicated to the goddess Isis. This temple was relocated to Agilkia Island to save it from being submerged due to the construction of the Aswan High Dam.

Another remarkable sight in Aswan is the Unfinished Obelisk, an enormous ancient stone structure that was left unfinished due to a crack that appeared in the rock. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the ancient Egyptian civilization and the techniques they used to carve these massive structures.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take a relaxing boat ride on the Nile River to enjoy the stunning views and witness the daily life of the locals. Aswan is also famous for its colorful Nubian villages, where you can immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions.

Lake Nasser

As you continue your journey from Aswan to Abu Simbel, you will pass by Lake Nasser, one of the largest man-made lakes in the world. This vast body of water was created as a result of the construction of the Aswan High Dam.

The lake stretches for about 550 kilometers, offering breathtaking views of its crystal-clear waters against the backdrop of the desert landscape.

Lake Nasser is home to numerous archaeological sites and ancient temples that were relocated to higher ground to preserve them from the rising waters. This includes the famous Temple of Amada, which boasts well-preserved wall paintings depicting ancient Egyptian rituals and scenes from daily life.

Exploring Lake Nasser on a cruise is a popular choice among tourists. It allows you to visit multiple sites, such as the Temple of Kalabsha and the Temple of Wadi El-Sebua, while enjoying the comfort and luxury of a floating hotel.

Abu Simbel Temples

The Abu Simbel Temples are undoubtedly the highlight of any trip from Luxor to Abu Simbel. These temples were carved into the mountainside during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II and are considered one of the greatest architectural achievements of ancient Egypt.

The main temple, dedicated to Ramses II himself, features four colossal statues of the pharaoh seated on his throne. The interior of the temple is adorned with intricate wall reliefs depicting various battles and religious scenes.

The smaller temple, dedicated to Ramses II’s beloved wife, Queen Nefertari, showcases stunning statues and detailed carvings.

What makes the Abu Simbel Temples even more impressive is the fact that they were relocated in the 1960s to save them from being submerged by Lake Nasser. This monumental task involved cutting the temples into pieces and reassembling them in a higher location, preserving their grandeur for future generations to admire.

Visiting the Abu Simbel Temples is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you in awe of the ancient Egyptians’ architectural prowess and their dedication to preserving their rich history.

When to Visit and Travel Considerations

When planning a trip from Luxor to Abu Simbel, there are several important factors to consider. This section will discuss the best time of year to visit, visa requirements, and staying healthy and safe during your journey.

Best Time of Year

The best time to visit Abu Simbel is during the cooler months, from October to April. During this time, the weather is more pleasant and comfortable for exploring the magnificent temples. The temperatures during these months range from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F), making it ideal for outdoor activities.

It’s important to note that Abu Simbel can get extremely hot during the summer months, with temperatures reaching up to 45°C (113°F). It is advisable to avoid visiting during this time if you are not accustomed to extreme heat.

Pro tip: To avoid large crowds, it is recommended to visit Abu Simbel early in the morning or later in the evening, as it tends to be less crowded during these times.

Visa Requirements

Before traveling from Luxor to Abu Simbel, it is crucial to check the visa requirements for your country of residence. Most visitors to Egypt will require a tourist visa, which can be obtained either in advance or upon arrival at the airport.

The cost of the visa may vary depending on your nationality and the duration of your stay.

Pro tip: It is always a good idea to check with the embassy or consulate of Egypt in your home country for the most up-to-date information regarding visa requirements.

Staying Healthy and Safe

When traveling to any destination, including Abu Simbel, it is important to prioritize your health and safety. Here are a few tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey:

  • Stay hydrated: The Egyptian sun can be intense, so it is crucial to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated throughout the day.
  • Use sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays by applying sunscreen with a high SPF.
  • Dress appropriately: When visiting temples and sacred sites, it is important to dress modestly out of respect for the local culture.
  • Follow local customs and laws: Familiarize yourself with the local customs and laws of Egypt to ensure a respectful and safe experience.
  • Keep valuables secure: Be mindful of your belongings and keep them secure at all times to avoid theft or loss.

Pro tip: Consider purchasing travel insurance before your trip to provide additional peace of mind in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

For more detailed information on travel health and safety, you can visit the website of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( or the World Health Organization (

Recommended Itineraries

Planning a trip from Luxor to Abu Simbel? Here are some recommended itineraries to help you make the most of your journey:

Luxor to Abu Simbel Out and Back (2 Days)

If you are short on time but still want to experience the beauty of Abu Simbel, this two-day itinerary is perfect for you. Start your journey early in the morning from Luxor and take a comfortable air-conditioned bus or private car to Abu Simbel.

The drive takes approximately 4-5 hours, but the scenic views along the way make it worth the trip. Once you reach Abu Simbel, spend the day exploring the magnificent temples of Ramses II and Nefertari. Don’t forget to capture some incredible photos of the iconic façade of the Great Temple.

In the evening, head back to Luxor and enjoy a relaxing evening on the banks of the Nile River.

With an Aswan Stopover (3 Days)

If you have a bit more time to spare, consider adding a stopover in Aswan to your Luxor to Abu Simbel itinerary. Start your journey from Luxor and make your way to Aswan, a city known for its beautiful Nile River views and historical landmarks.

Spend a day exploring the highlights of Aswan, including the Philae Temple and the High Dam. In the evening, take a relaxing felucca boat ride along the Nile River and enjoy the stunning sunset. The next day, continue your journey to Abu Simbel and spend a full day exploring the temples.

On the third day, head back to Luxor and take in the breathtaking views of the Egyptian countryside along the way.

As Part of a Longer Egypt Tour (1+ Week)

If you have more than a week to explore Egypt, consider including a Luxor to Abu Simbel trip as part of your itinerary. Start your journey from Luxor and spend a few days exploring the ancient temples and tombs in the city, including the Karnak Temple Complex and the Valley of the Kings.

From Luxor, make your way to Aswan and spend a day exploring the city’s attractions. Then, embark on a scenic cruise along the Nile River towards Abu Simbel. Enjoy the luxury of a cruise ship and take in the stunning views of the river and the surrounding landscapes.

Once you reach Abu Simbel, spend a day immersing yourself in the rich history of the temples. Afterward, continue your journey along the Nile, stopping at various cities and landmarks along the way, such as Kom Ombo and Edfu.

Finally, return to Luxor and conclude your Egypt tour with a visit to the iconic Luxor Temple.

Remember, these itineraries are just suggestions, and you can always customize them according to your preferences and available time. Make sure to plan ahead and book your accommodations and transportation in advance to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

Booking Your Luxor to Abu Simbel Transportation

When planning your trip from Luxor to Abu Simbel, it is essential to book your transportation in advance to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey. There are several options available for travelers, each with its own advantages and considerations.

1. Domestic Flights

One of the fastest and most convenient ways to travel from Luxor to Abu Simbel is by taking a domestic flight. EgyptAir and other local airlines offer regular flights between the two cities, providing a comfortable and efficient travel experience.

The flight duration is typically around one hour, allowing you to save time and enjoy more of your trip.

Pro tip: Book your domestic flight well in advance to secure the best fares and availability.

2. Private Car or Taxi

If you prefer a more flexible and personalized experience, hiring a private car or taxi is a great option. This allows you to set your own schedule and make stops along the way to explore the stunning landscapes and attractions.

However, it is important to negotiate the price beforehand and ensure that the driver is reliable and licensed.

Did you know? The road from Luxor to Abu Simbel is approximately 280 kilometers long and takes around 3-4 hours by car, depending on traffic conditions.

3. Organized Tours

For those who prefer a hassle-free experience with all the logistics taken care of, joining an organized tour is an excellent choice. Many tour operators offer guided trips from Luxor to Abu Simbel, providing transportation, professional guides, and sometimes even meals.

This option allows you to relax and enjoy the journey while learning about the history and significance of the sites you visit.

Pro tip: Research different tour operators and read reviews to find a reputable and well-reviewed company that suits your preferences and budget.

4. Public Transportation

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option and are comfortable with public transportation, you can consider taking a bus from Luxor to Abu Simbel. The journey may take longer compared to other modes of transportation, but it offers a more authentic experience and an opportunity to interact with locals.

Be sure to check the bus schedules in advance and arrive at the station early to secure a seat.

Important: It is advisable to check the current travel advisories and safety guidelines before making any bookings, as conditions may change.

Regardless of the transportation option you choose, planning ahead and booking in advance will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey from Luxor to Abu Simbel. Safe travels!


We hope this guide has helped you understand the best ways to travel between Luxor and Abu Simbel, two of Egypt’s top UNESCO World Heritage sites. With so many options, you can choose the transportation method and itinerary that fits your timeline, budget and interests.

Safe travels! Let the magic of ancient Egypt come alive as you journey between these incredible destinations.

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