Many travelers arrive at Edfu by boat and board a horse-drawn carriage to trot along the Corniche and up to the temple. Others come from Luxor by road, generally by way of the Temple of Khnum at Esna; day-trippers from Aswan usually pair it with the double temple at Kom Ombo. Highlights include hypostyle halls with colored columns, a relief of Ptolemy XII smashing enemy skulls, a granite shrine with a replica of the sacred boat used for temple processions, and a Nilometer, used to measure the flooding of the Nile.
Things to know before you go
- Horus is one of the best-known ancient Egyptian gods, making this a great choice with Egypt-obsessed kids.
- There is a moderate admission charge for the site, payable in cash.
- The temple offers bathrooms, snack stalls, and a plethora of vendors.
- The Temple of Horus at Edfu is flat but the old stones within are uneven, presenting challenges for travelers who use wheelchairs.
How to get there
Edfu sits on the east bank of the Nile, almost exactly halfway between Luxor and Aswan. Most travelers visit the Temple of Horus on a Nile cruise between the two cities, but it’s also possible to drive from either Luxor or Aswan. The temple is more than three miles (five kilometers) from the bus station so day trips by public transport are not recommended.
When to get there
One disadvantage of visiting Edfu on a Nile cruise, at least on larger boats, is that everyone disembarks at the same time, making the temple quite crowded during the winter peak season. Skippers of smaller boats or private guides can time your arrival for periods when the temple is less busy.
What to See Between Luxor and Aswan
Whether you’re traveling between Luxor and Aswan by boat or by road, there’s plenty to enjoy. Most big-boat cruises stop at the Temple of Horus in Edfu, the Temple of Khnum in Esna, and the Kom Ombo Temple. Dahabiya barges, felucca sailboats, and land transport can bring you to other attractions, including the Daraw camel market and Gibel Silsila, a series of ancient rock-cut shrines.
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