On the western bank of the Nile River sits Edfu, home to 150,000 people, and an Egyptian must-see. Here, ships dock at a well-maintained port area about two miles from Edfu Temple, built during the reign of Cleopatra VII. Also known as the Temple of Horus at Edfu, the structure is one of the best preserved cult temples in all of Egypt.
What We Love
Pony Rides: A horse-drawn carriage ride is the only way from your boat to the temple. Get that camera ready as you gallop through the busy town, winding past cars, waving to smiling residents carrying out their daily activities. You'll see schools, churches, and markets coming to life during your ride.
Best Known For
Top Temple: The Temple of Horus, dedicated to the Egyptian falcon god, is one of the most complete and well-preserved temples in Egypt. The complex was built during the Ptolemaic dynasty between 237 BC and 57 BC atop the ruins of other temples.
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Who It's Best For
Shoppers: History lovers, of course, will enjoy this port to tour the incredible temple. But the complex is also one of the most complete market areas you'll find. Shops sell scarves, wood, and stone carved items (mainly animals like cats, elephants, crocodiles, and camels). Check with your tour guide for how much items should cost so you know your bargaining position.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Overbearing Sellers: Vendors are extremely aggressive. They will greet you from the moment you step off your carriage and try to hand you their business cards. Acceptance of the card or a verbal "later" is seen as a solemn promise to come to their shop after your tour of the temple. They also will be waiting as you exit the temple to bring you to the stores.
John Roberts is a New Jersey-based writer for ShermansCruise who worked at The Virginian-Pilot.