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Asyut Travel Guide

Egypt is home to some of the most intriguing cities in the world, and Asyut, or Assuit, is undoubtedly one of them. Located about 234 miles south of the capital city, Cairo, the city of Asyut is the largest town in Upper Egypt and houses the third-largest university in the country. The city dates back to Pharaonic times and has been known by many names throughout history. In Pharaonic times, the city was named Syut; later, it was called Lycopolis by the Greeks, or the city of the wolf. Asyut is the capital of Asyut Governorate. In ancient times, the city was a famous center for worshipping the jackal-headed god, Wepwawet, and up until the 1850s, the city also had the largest slave market dating back to ancient Egypt.

Getting to Asyut


Located on the west coast of the Nile, the city of Asyut lies midway between Aswan and Cairo. The 235 miles between Cairo and Asyut can be covered by road or rail. A desert road connects the two cities; driving this is an adventure. With no gas stations or cafeterias, there is nothing around except the desert for the five-hour drive. However, as long as one carries enough water and food for the way, it is okay and a great way to enjoy the desert atmosphere. Another option is to take the agricultural road, which moves through several towns. However, this adds time to the journey. A rail journey takes even more time but ensures you have more company than alone on a desert road.

Places To Stay


Although Asyut may not feature luxury hotels, tourists have a few exciting options for lodging. The city center offers decent accommodations with hospitable staff and owners. Those who want a more comfortable stay can choose one of the large boats on the banks of the Nile. With a perfect view of the sunset, clean and maintained rooms, and more than one dining option, these boats add a nice touch to the overall Asyut experience. Located only 10 minutes from the city center, the university hostel is also an excellent third option.

What To See In Asyut


Asyut still holds various marvels, including silver appliqué work shawls, inlaid woodwork, rugs, finely crafted pottery, and other things that interest tourists. Carpet manufacturing units can also be found in the region. The Cornice offers a perfect view with its neatly laid shops and proximity to the boats. For those who want to enjoy the mystery of the Nile, wooden sailboats help them relive its majestic past.
Asyut has a considerable Christian population and is a prominent agricultural center. The beautiful countryside has vibrant hues, and the well-made canal system marks the fields. Among the ancient marvels, the Necropolis of Asyut signifies the historical importance of the place, with its tomb built for many religious leaders.
Just Minutes Away From Asyut
There are many ancient structures just minutes away from the main city center. The Convent of the Virgin Mary is only 10 km from the city and lies along the steep walls of Western Mountain. The convent adjoins a cave believed to be the last temporary home of the Holy Family before they returned from Egypt to Palestine. The beautiful artwork and the friendly nuns make this ancient place a wonderful visit for pilgrims and tourists alike. August attracts millions of tourists from all over the globe for a special fast in honor of the Virgin Mary.
Banana Island to the north is a 19th-century English barrage still irrigated by the Ibrahimiyya canal. The Hatnub quarries have a long history and were a half-day's journey from the Nile in ancient times. The local Coptic population is also proud of the Lillian Trasher orphanage, founded in the 1900s.
Another ancient monastery, the Harraq monastery, is just 45 minutes' drive from Asyut. A souvenir shop, churches, a library, and an old mansion transform the scenery into a magnificent tableau. The monastery palace, built in 1910, also has many ancient manuscripts. The monastery hosts ancient architecture and texts and is also a place where locals interact in a friendly manner, and children have great fun playing.
The city of Asyut is a perfect destination for tourists who want to experience the marvels of ancient Egypt while enjoying a holiday with all the amenities.

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