Siwa is an oasis in the western desert of Egypt around 752 km from Cairo (http://www.siwaoasis.com/index.html ). The long drive that separates the oasis from Cairo usually discourages people from visiting. If only they know what will be awaiting them in that tiny paradise, they wouldn’t have missed paying it a visit.
It’s one of my absolute favorite places in Egypt. I’m never tired of crossing all those kilometers just to be there and wake up to everlasting greenery. Read more about my Siwa experience here: http://www.war2h.com/2014/10/the-land-of-eternal-palm-trees.html .
Will you be visiting soon? Here is a list of my favorite things to do in Siwa:
- Watch the sunrise from the top of Dakrour Mountain which is the highest point in the oasis. You will also have a 360 degrees view of Siwa; you will be able to see the palm trees as they stretch for as long as your sight can reach.
- Go up the old fortress of Shali. This can be done during the day, during the night, or during sunset time (my favorite) to enjoy the golden hour for some nice photography 😉
- Off road driving in the great sand sea (my all time favorite thing to do) and while doing so you can also sandboard, visit the hot spring, or have a swim in the cold freshwater lake at Bir Wahed.
- Take a bike tour to visit the Mountain Of The Dead, Cleopatra’s Bath, and the Temple Of The Oracle or just to go around the oasis.
- Visit the salt lake and experience floating. It’s amazing how such a salty water lake is surrounded by palm trees. It’s also a good place to watch the sunset.
- Visit Fatnas spring. It’s also an amazing place to watch the sunset; it has a freshwater spring as well where you can have a swim.
- Overnight camping in the desert; you can use the tent or just grab your sleeping bag and sleep outside under the stars (my way of doing it).
The Siwans are known for some handmade goods such as rugs, silver, shawls, embroidery, and ash trays and candle sticks that are made entirely out of petrified salt. The oasis is also famous for the production of dates, olives, and olive oil. You can find all sorts of such products in shops near the fortress of Shali or in town; they make for a nice souvenir.
Siwa can also be therapeutic with all those mineral and sulphuric water hot springs. Being buried in the hot desert sand can also be a remedy for arthritis and rheumatism.
So simply Siwa has it all. Whether you want to relax, go on a desert adventure, get to know some history, or even discover some healing solutions; Siwa will deliver.