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Egypt travel facts

Egypt map
Area (sq km): 995,450
Population: 77,505,756
Nationality: Egyptian
Local Name: Misr
Language: Arabic,
French,
English,
Berber
Time Zone: +2 GMT
Currency: 1 pound = 100 piastres
Rate: www.xe.com
Capital: Cairo
Dialling Code: +20
Electricity: 220V/50Hz
Internet Code: .eg
Religion: Muslim,
Coptic Christian
Climate: Hot Desert,
Mediterranean
Government: Republic
Inoculations: None
Driving: Right
Int'l License: Required
Banking: Su-Th 8.30-14.00
Major Airports: Cairo(CAI),
El Arish(AAC), Luxor(LXR),
Sharm El Sheikh(SSH),
Taba(TCP)

Abu Simbel Festival

Near Aswan, Abu Simbel is one of the most impressive monuments in the world. Twice a year, at sunrise on 22 February and 22 October, the temple becomes flooded with both locals and visitors on holidays to Egypt for the unbelievable Abu Simbel Festival. This festival will remind you of why the ancient Egyptians were the people of the sun, and very clever people at that!

Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel

The Abu Simbel Festival is a biannual event taking place on 22 February and 22 October. Keep these dates in mind when booking Egypt villas so you can visit Aswan and the remarkable Abu Simbel Festival. The days commemorate Ramesses II ascension to power and his birthday at his temple, Abu Simbel.

Abu Simbel Temple

The Abu Simbel Temple is second only to the Pyramids in Egypt, and the Abu Simbel Festival is second to none. At sunrise on both days the light creeps into the inner sanctum and shines upon all the statues essentially marking them as god-like. The statue of the god of darkness, Ptah, is appropriately left in the shadows.

Construction of the Abu Simbel Temple began in 1284 BC making its creation and its purpose all the more magnificent. Witnessing sunrise on either of these days is nothing short of an awe inspiring event. After sunrise around the temple the Abu Simbel Festival gets under way with food, drink, dance and a real festival atmosphere with one of the world’s most important monuments as the centrepiece. Enjoy all of the remarkable events of Abu Simbel Festival when you book Egypt villas in late February or late October.

Aswan to Abu Simbel

The Abu Simbel Temple is in southern Egypt near the Sudanese border. Getting to Abu Simbel is relatively easy. The nearest main city is Aswan. From Aswan you can reach the temple by boat down the Nile River, by bus or even by plane.

Keep in mind when visiting the Abu Simbel Temple that aside from its architectural and celestial significance, the fact that the entire temple complex was moved from its original site to its current location in the 1960s that makes it so famous.

When the Aswan Dam was constructed across the Nile River, it created the world’s largest reservoir, Lake Nassar, and the Abu Simbel Temple would have been lost forever under the water. UNESCO rescued the temple by actually cutting it out of the side of the mountain and moving it higher and more inland.

Now its relation to the sun is slightly different and the Abu Simbel Festival occurs one day after the true birthday and ascension of Ramesses II - something to bear in mind when you rent Egypt villas.

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