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The most popular way to travel between Aswan and Luxor is by Nile Cruise. Alternatively, Upper Egypt can be explored by train and a very enjoyable road trip. This option also lets you add three important sites of  Kom Ombo, Edfu and Esna. The drive is a straightforward one and it takes a few hours. However, with stops, it can be a full day of sightseeing of many amazing temples.

Details of the Upper Egypt road trip

Length of Time: 9.5 hours including visiting the three temples
Driving Distance: 245 km, roughly 5.75 hours of driving

The highway between Aswan and Luxor is just a three hours drive of straight driving without stopping. The drive along the picturesque rural roads on the east bank of the Nile river takes approximately four and a half hours. We started our drive from Aswan at around 10 am and reached Luxor after visiting the three temples at around 5 pm. It can be done in the reverse direction as well i.e from Luxor to Aswan.

Cost: When we did this road trip, hiring a minivan with a driver cost us 2000 EGP with gas. This did not include the parking tickets.

Kom Ombo Temple in upper egypt

Kom Ombo Temple

The crocodile temple of Kom Ombo

Driving Distance and Time (Aswan to Kom Ombo): 47 km, 1 hour from Aswan.

The Temple of Kom Ombo in Upper Egypt is a double temple that is dedicated to two gods, Sobek, the crocodile-headed god and Horus, the falcon-headed god. Next to the Temple of Kom Ombo is the Crocodile Museum, which houses mummies of different sized crocodiles that were discovered around the temple.

  • Entrance Ticket Cost: 140 EGP adult; 70 EGP student with valid ID
  • Camera Ticket: Photography is permitted and free.
  • Crocodile Museum: Photos with a cellphone are free. The crocodile museum has camera charges.
  • Timings: 6 am to 9 pmThe massive entrance of the Edfu temple in upper egypt

The temple of Horus at Edfu

Driving Distance and Time (Kom Ombo to Edfu): 70 km, 1.75 hours

The Temple of Horus is the largest temple dedicated to the god Horus. It is one of the best-preserved temples of Upper Egypt.

  • Entrance Ticket Cost: 180 EGP adult; 90 EGP student with valid ID
  • Camera Ticket: Photography is free and permitted.
  • Timings: 6 am to 5 pm.

    The Temple of Khnum in esna

    The Temple of Khnum in Esna

The Greco-Roman Temple of Khnum at Esna

Driving Distance and Time (Edfu to Esna): 64 km, 1.5 hours

The temple in Esna is dedicated to the god Khnum, a ram-headed god who fashioned humanity on his potter’s wheel. It was much patronized by the Ptolemies and the Roman rulers of Egypt.

  • Entrance Ticket Cost: 80 EGP adult; 40 EGP student. The ticket booth is located on the Nile River, near where the cruise ships dock. From here, it is a short walk through the local market to get to the temple.
  • Camera Ticket: Photography is free and permitted.
  • Timings: 6 am to 9 pm

To drive from Esna to Luxor, it is a 64 km drive that takes 1.5 hours.

Breakfast by the Nile in Upper Egypt

Breakfast by the Nile

Upper Egypt road trip practicalities

There is also the option to take the train and in each town, one has to hire a taxi or a tuk tuk to get to and from the train station. The drive itself is very enjoyable and picturesque. It gets lovelier as you drive through the rural roads on the East Bank of the Nile. This is the sugarcane country and near the river, the land is rich and lush with bananas, mangoes, lemons, tangerines, and other agricultural plants. You can also see patches of the famous Egyptian cotton plantations. Traffic consists of donkey drivers, donkey carts, tuk tuks, a few buses, trucks, tractors, and vans. Driving is pretty mad especially if you come from a country where traffic rules are followed. The road condition is mostly good. Make sure to carry lunch boxes from the starting city. There are not many good quality restaurants or cafes on the way. Clean restrooms are also difficult to find.

Columns inside the Temple of Khnum in Upper Egypt

Columns inside the Temple of Khnum

Kom Ombo temple is rich in engravings

The exquisitely engraved walls of Edfu temple

The exquisitely engraved walls of Edfu

A tranquil Nile sunset in upper egypt

A tranquil Nile sunset

a man stands at edfu temple in upper egypt

A man stands at the Edfu Temple

kom ombo temple column

The mural reliefs in the Vestibule of Kom Ombo are particularly fine.

Columns inside the Temple of Kom Ombo in upper egypt

Columns inside the Temple of Kom Ombo

The beauty of the Nile in Upper Egypt

The beauty of the Nile in Upper Egypt

Follow the rest of the Egypt series here

RESPONSIBLE TRAVELING-BECAUSE I CARE