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Upper Egypt

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Earth : Africa : North Africa : Egypt : Upper Egypt
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Upper Egypt (Arabic: صعيد مصر‎ Sa'id Misr) is a region of the Nile Valley in Egypt, between Luxor and Aswan and the historical region of Lower Nubia, characterised by a number of ancient settlements and temple towns that draw thousands of travellers every year.


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The towns of Upper Egypt--typically characterized as the area from Abydos to the north down to Abu Simbel in the south--provide a number of fascinating sites for tourists. This area can be generally accessed either by train, car, taxi, or organized tour. Nearly all hotels and tours will be based out of either Luxor (to the north) or Aswan (to the south). The trip between Aswan and Luxor is especially popular with many travellers to Egypt, and there are a number of temples and historic sites along the way. Exact details differ for each town - it is worthwhile consulting the article on each for full details. Note that Abu Simbel is not close to any train line, and police escorts may be required to travel downstream of Qena and from Aswan to Abu Simbel.

If traveling from Luxor to Aswan by taxi, then negotiate with your taxi driver to stop in some of the sites along the way such as Edfu temple or Kom Ombo. This is a very common practice and can be easily arranged with some canny bargaining. The upper Nile is a relatively quiet area and there is little threat of violence (unlike Middle Egypt) and police convoys are no longer necessary for travel if you are with a guide. If you are a self-driving foreigner, a police escort may be required to drive from Aswan to Abu Simbel, which can be arranged on the spot but must be started before 1pm (so that the route can be completed before nightfall).

Alternatively, a felucca cruise on the Nile between Luxor and Aswan will normally include stops at one or more of these Upper Egyptian towns.

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