Elephantine Island Aswan
Elephantine island lies in the center of the Nile opposite central Aswan. Although only a few hundred meters away from the noisy city center it is an oasis of calm with no traffic and no touts. The peaceful Nubian villages that cover most of the island are a delight to stroll through with their tiny winding alleys and colourful wall paintings.
At the southern end of the island is the archaeological site of the ruins of Aswan's earliest settlement, Abu (the name meaning both elephant and ivory). The small museum houses an interesting selection of artifacts including some strange looking statues from the old kingdom and some ancient boomerangs. The ruins themselves also have some interesting features including an immense stone box, carved out of single piece of red granite. Also look out for the pair of carved feet with the second toe longer than the first, unusual in Egyptian statues although common in ancient Greek sculpture. Down by the river bank is a Nilometer, an ancient tool for measuring the level of the river and predicting the important annual flooding of the Nile. This is an older example than the Nilometer in Cairo and of a simpler design.
The museum, ruins and Nilometer are all part of the same site.
Entrance 100LE (2020)
The public ferry to the island leaves from next to the KFC in Aswan and costs 5LE each way.