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“Best of all the ancient monasteries”

Monastery of St. Simeon
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Private Tour: St Simeon's Monastery
Ranked #12 of 37 things to do in Aswan
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Reviewed 1 November 2016

This is the best of the Monasteries still available to see in Egypt from 400-600 AD. Most of the other popular ones still have monks active in them. St. Simeon has been vacant for hundreds of years but it still has many interesting things to see. A wine press, olive oil press, ovens for baking, small monks rooms where 5 were in one room at a time. A long hallway between them.

I enjoyed the chapel with paintings still in the naive. It also has a hole where the elements of the holy communion were passed from a hidden room behind to the priest. Also in the back of the chapel in the room carved into the mountain (church built around it) where Anba Hatre would connect tie a rope to his hair while standing reading scripture and it would keep him away when he would "nod" off.

Great site with a wealth of information on how the monks lived 1500 years ago.

3  Thank Steven W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9 - 13 of 84 reviews

Reviewed 3 August 2016

I took the easy way and went by car to the New Monastery. (You could use a taxi) My hotel made all the arrangements
The Coptic Christians also go by car, local transport or by the coachload. The new (working) monastery is in fact a retreat and has rooms for rent at very low cost. There is a shop that sells soft drinks. This part is not seen if you come by ferry.
To get to the old one you just cross the road and walk a few hundred yards, or ask your driver to carry on past the new one.

Thank Sale1007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 July 2016

I heard about this place off of this site and decided to go to see it when I went to Egypt this month. We had a ferry take us over (~$10 r/t) from Aswan to the opposite side of the Nile. From there it was about a 15 minute walk to the monastery. It was hot and you have to walk in very fine sand up a small hill, so if you cannot walk well or have trouble with the heat, be aware. Along the way we passed some other tourists returning on camels and one of the camel jocks offered to give us a camel ride back, which we agreed to for 50 LE (~$5). Upon arriving at the monastery, you pay 30 LE (~$3) per person to get in. It is SO worth it. We did not have a guide, which was mentioned as available in other trip advisor reviews, but there weren't any there when we went. No problem, we went ahead and explored the place all by ourselves. Tourism is almost non-existent in Egypt nowadays, so we have gone to numerous sites that have had very few, if any, other tourist present. I loved the ruins and the obvious signs of life and living from days long gone. Without a guide, we had to guess at a lot of the rooms and areas that we saw, but no matter it was all very interesting. I would suggest reading up on it before you go and glean some background and history for yourself. The views of the desert surrounding the place are amazing! We spent a good hour there and took our camels back to our ferry. Do not wear flip flops or sandals since there are stairs and lots of loose rocks and pavers to traverse, plus the sand is hot and goes everywhere. Bring plenty of water and a hat. This was a highlight for my son and I, even without knowing all the history and blueprints of the place. P.S. there are small bats in the various rooms of the inner sanctuary.

Thank Jennifer B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2016

We did a camel ride to the monastery from the Nubian village near the steps to the Tombs of the Nobles opposite Assuan town. We paid 15€ for the round trip (excluding entrance to St.Simeon, 2 persons, one camel). Our objective was the camel ride to the monastery and back, not the monastery itself. The approach to the monastery from near the Aga Khan mausoleum is considerably shorter, but our trip gives a real desert impression, total time about 90 minutes.

Thank travelmartin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 April 2016 via mobile

If you are an old stones lover like me, do not miss this place ! Full of history, and amazing place in between the green Nile and the désert ! Just on thing, if you visit the Nobles tumbs before of after, it is not far, and yes, you can walk there , but mind you: the Sand can be super super hot !!!!! M'y feet did love bathing in the Nile after that !!!!!

Thank artemiscaro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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