Abu Simbel lies about 280 km south of Aswan on the western bank of the Nile, 180 miles south of the First Cataract in what was Nubia. The site was known as Meha in ancient times and was first documented in the 18th Dynasty, when Ay and Horemheb had rock-cut chapels hewn in the hills to the south. Not only are the two temples at Abu Simbel among the most magnificent monuments in the world but their removal and reconstruction was an historic event in itself.
When the temples were threatened by submersion in Lake Nasser, due to the construction of the High Dam, the Egyptian Government secured the support of UNESCO and launched a world wide appeal. During the salvage operation which began in 1964 and continued until 1968, the two temples were dismantled and raised over 60 meters up the sandstone cliff where they had been built more than 3,000 years before. Here they were reassembled, in the exact same relationship to each other and the sun, and covered with an artificial mountain.
There are various ways to reach Abu Simbel from Aswan:-
By Road; This is the most economical way to reach Abu Simbel from Aswan. The drive takes 3-4 hours per way.
By Air; Aswan airport is approx. 16 Kms away from the city center in Aswan. There are 3-4 daily flights operated by EgyptAir from Aswan to Abu Simbel or vice-versa.
By the Nile; This is the most luxurious way to reach Abu Simbel from Aswan, also the most expensive. The Lake cruises are immensely popular among the honeymooners and luxury travellers. The cruise ships float over the Lake Nasser between Aswan to Abu Simbel. Most of the cruise starts from Aswan on Monday and require four days to reach Abu Simbel. From Abu Simbel, they mostly return on Friday and take three days to return to Aswan.