A Narrative: Journeying Up Egypt’s Nile

A Narrative: Journeying Up Egypt’s Nile

white and red boat on sea during daytime
Aswan | c. Mo Gabrail

The longest river in the world is grand in more than just kilometers covered: from elaborate fauna, to temple views, to cities stacked along its banks, the Nile has carved history’s stone and cemented itself as a key feature of Egyptian heritage for centuries. Nile deities, myths and legends, and love stories all dovetailed together in a romantic, effortlessly regal body of water.Here is the Nile, in all its scenic glory – and how Egypt has grown on its banks.


The journey begins in Lower Egypt. Alexandria is not known for the Nile, though it is treated to a small stretch of placid, scenic views. While others flock to the pale sand and sun, the diligent farmer tends his cattle by the banks of Alexandria’s knotted delta.

Alexandria, EGYPT - Village on the Nile - felucca
Divided Back Era (1907-15) postcard of Alexandria Nile | c. Egypt Art


Cairo stretches on either side of the Nile, felucca idle along the shore. There’s a bustle just past the highway. The 6 October and 15 May bridges hang parallel to the Cairene skyline

aerial view of big canal between city
Cairo Governorate | c. Sherif Moharram
people riding on boat on river during daytime
Cairo Governorate | c. Ruben Hanssen


Halfway down the Egyptian Nile, Al Fayyum comes into view. Tranquil and untouched, an expanse so opposite to the city that Cairo seems worlds away. Al Fayyum is Egypt’s spot for artists and rural love-stories. It is an unforgettable, lotus-like bloom on the river, and remains an essential visit for any and all who cruise down it.

Al Fayyum | c. GettyImages via Lonely Planet
Fayoum Oasis Tours, El Fayoum day trip from Cairo
Al Fayyum | c. Ibis Egypt Tours


Famous and famously historical: Luxor is a masterpiece of legacy. It is Egypt’s open-air museum, a city ripe with history and beauty and integrity. It sits on the Nile, blurring the fault lines between modern Egypt and antiquity, not unlike Cairo’s Nahdet Misr.

Philae Temple
Karnak Temple, Luxor | c. Civitatis
flock of birds on water during daytime
Luxor | c. Jeremy Bezanger


A sister to Luxor, but equally as grand – Aswan is more calm in its atmosphere. It is calm, un-city-like. It is the meeting point of nature and history, as opposed to a battle of generations. Iconic and beautiful, sloping dunes and straying boats color its stretch. It is considered Egypt’s most beautiful location for the Nile, with untainted majesty.

Journey To Egypt Aswan Nile Felucca Tours
Aswan Nile | c. Journey To Egypt (Tours)
Journey To Egypt Aswan Nile Felucca Tours
Aswan Nile | c. Journey To Egypt (Tours)

Abu Simbel

Walk through a temple and onto the banks of the Nile river: this is what is experienced when wandering the grand halls of Philae and Abu Simbel. Both temples are famed and revered, and have been for centuries. Today, Abu Simbel is a cornerstones of any Nile-bound journey.

Aerial view Abu Simbel Temple | c. SARAT
Abu Simbel
View from Abu Simbel | c. Travel With A Pen

Lake Nasser

Man-made in the era of Gamal Abd El Nasser, Lake Nasser is a testament to Egyptian ingenuity and a fine end to a long journey. Scattered with enclaves and coastal gardens, Lake Nasser has not only bayed the flooding season, but also provided Egypt with an expansive display of fauna and wildlife.

Lake Nasser - Lake in Egypt - Thousand Wonders
Lake Nasser | c. Thousand Wonders
Lake-Nasser-Escape-Egypt | Aswan Private Tours, Enjoy ...
Lake Nasser | c. Aswan Tours

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With a heart for radio and an appetite for culture, Mona is a writer and illustrator based in Cairo. At the Erasmus University Rotterdam, she obtained a BSc and MA in Media, Culture, and Society, while actively writing for the faculty magazine. After graduating, Mona was an academic advisor at the American University in Cairo, as well as Managing Director of a small, campus-based advertising firm. Gears shifting, her knack for cultural research took over - enter: Egyptian Streets. Mona’s focus is tapered to issues of identity politics, culture, and social architecture.

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