Aswan, sometimes spelled Assuan, must be the most attractive city in Egypt, perched as it is on the banks and hills lining the Nile as it makes its way through large granite outcrops found along this stretch of the river. These are the famous Nile cataracts, which made navigation on the river difficult and resulted in Aswan becoming a strategic gateway to the trading routes of the south, and a fortress against invasion.
The traditional feluccas laden with tourists add their own charm as they make their way between the islands dotted in the river. Some of these islands are worth dropping in on if you have the time, with a museum of antiquities at the southern end of Elephantine Island, the largest of them, and a botanic garden on Kitchener's Island just to the west of Elephantine Island.
While you're here you definitely owe it to yourself to take a felucca ride on the river. As you can see, there are certainly plenty of them, so prices are affordable even if you're travelling alone or with just a small group of people. It's certainly not difficult to arrange a trip, you'll be approached by touts as you walk along the broad Corniche which stretches along the riverbank. A trip in a felucca is very relaxing, with cool breezes coming off the river as you smoothly and gracefully make your way backwards and forwards up and down the river.
There are some minor remains from Pharoanic times which have been excavated on some of the islands in the river, including a small but ancient step pyramid, and a temple dedicated to the ram-headed god Khnum, whose worship was centered on Elephantine Island.