The temples of Abu Simbel are located in southern Egypt close to the Sudanese border, along lake Nasser, 220km southwest of Assuan. Originally situated in Nubia along the Nile river, the temples were relocated in a massive international effort between 1964 and 1968 to save them from the rising waters of the Nile river, which were caused by the construction of the Aswan dam. The new location was chosen along the Nasser lake, 65m above the water levels and 200m from the sea shores. The Abu Simbel temples consist of the Great Temple of Ramses II and the smaller temple of Hathor. Both temples were carved into the rock wall. The temples draw a large number of tourists every year and have been a UNESCO world heritage site together with the temple of Philae since 1979. Access to Abu Simbel is possible by plane or road from Assuan, or even by hydrofoil over the Nasser lake. Daytrippers leave Assuan at 4am, reach the temple by 7am to experience the sunrise and leave for Assuan before 10am. A more relaxed way to visit the temples is to stay overnight in one of the hotels in Abu Simbel.
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