Siwa Oasis

 Exploring the Siwa Oasis: A Hidden Gem in Egypt

If you are looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path destination in Egypt, you might want to consider visiting the Siwa Oasis. This remote and isolated oasis is located in the Western Desert, near the border with Libya. It is home to a rich and ancient culture, stunning natural beauty, and fascinating historical sites.

 Siwa Oasis 

What to See in Siwa Oasis

There are many things to see and do in Siwa Oasis, but here are some of the highlights that you should not miss:

Shali Fortress: This is the old town of Siwa, built from mud bricks and salt. It dates back to the 13th century and was once a stronghold against invaders. Today, you can climb up the ruins and enjoy a panoramic view of the oasis and the surrounding desert.

Shali Fortress 

Temple of the Oracle:This is the most famous attraction in Siwa, as it was visited by Alexander the Great in 331 BC. He came here to consult the oracle of Amun, the ancient Egyptian god of the sun and air, who was worshipped here as Zeus Ammon by the Greeks. The temple is located on a hilltop and has a well-preserved inner sanctum and a carved eye symbol on the wall.

Cleopatra’s Bath:This is a natural spring where legend has it that Cleopatra herself bathed during her visit to Siwa. The water is clear and refreshing, and you can swim or soak in it. There are also some palm trees and a small cafe nearby.

Mountain of the Dead:This is a necropolis that contains hundreds of rock-cut tombs from the 26th Dynasty to the Roman period. 

Some of the tombs have colorful paintings and inscriptions, and you can enter some of them with a guide. The mountain also offers a great view of the oasis and the sunset.

Mountain of Dead 

Salt Lakes: Siwa has two large salt lakes, Lake Siwa and Lake Zeitun, that are fed by underground springs. The lakes have a striking contrast of blue water and white salt crusts, and they attract many birds and flamingos. You can also swim in the lakes, but be careful not to get salt in your eyes or mouth.

Salt Lacks

How to Get to Siwa Oasis

Siwa Oasis is not easy to reach, but that is part of its charm and appeal. The nearest airport is in Marsa Matruh, which is about 300 km away. You can fly there from Cairo or Alexandria, and then take a bus or a taxi to Siwa. The journey takes about 4 hours and passes through some scenic desert landscapes.

Alternatively, you can take a bus from Cairo or Alexandria directly to Siwa, but this will take much longer, about 8 to 10 hours. You can also join a tour group or hire a private driver to take you there.

When to Visit Siwa Oasis

The best time to visit Siwa Oasis is from October to April, when the weather is mild and pleasant. The average temperature is around 25°C, and the nights are cool. This is also the peak season, so you can expect more tourists and higher prices.

The summer months, from May to September, are very hot and dry, with temperatures reaching up to 40°C. This is the low season, so you can find cheaper deals and fewer crowds, but you will need to be prepared for the heat and the dust.

Where to Stay in Siwa Oasis

Siwa Oasis has a range of accommodation options, from budget guesthouses to luxury eco-lodges. Here are some of the best places to stay in Siwa Oasis:

Adrere Amellal: This is the most exclusive and expensive place to stay in Siwa, but also the most eco-friendly and authentic. It is a desert resort that is built from natural materials and blends in with the environment. 

It has no electricity, but uses candles and fireplaces for lighting and heating. It also has a saltwater pool, a spa, and a restaurant that serves organic food. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and each one has a unique design and a view of the lake or the desert.

Albabenshal: This is a charming and cozy guesthouse that is located inside the Shali Fortress. It has 14 rooms that are decorated with traditional Siwan crafts and furniture. It also has a rooftop terrace, a library, and a restaurant that serves local cuisine. The staff are friendly and helpful, and can arrange tours and activities for you.

Siwa Shali Resort: This is a modern and comfortable resort that is located outside the town, near the salt lakes. It has 70 rooms that are equipped with air-conditioning, TV, and minibar. 

It also has a large swimming pool, a garden, and a restaurant that serves international and Egyptian food. The resort offers free shuttle service to and from the town, and can also organize desert safaris and excursions for you.

What to Eat in Siwa Oasis

Siwa Oasis has a unique and delicious cuisine that is influenced by its Berber, Egyptian, and Libyan heritage. Some of the dishes that you should try in Siwa Oasis are:

Tagen: This is a stew that is cooked in a clay pot over a fire. It can be made with meat, chicken, fish, or vegetables, and seasoned with spices and herbs. It is usually served with bread or rice.

Bishara: This is a soup that is made from crushed fava beans, garlic, onion, and parsley. It is thick and creamy, and often eaten for breakfast or as a snack.

Shakshouka: This is a dish that consists of eggs poached in a tomato sauce with onion, peppers, and cheese. It is spicy and filling, and usually eaten with bread.

Dates: Siwa is famous for its dates, which are sweet and juicy, and come in different varieties and colors. You can eat them fresh, dried, or stuffed with nuts or cheese. You can also buy date products, such as jam, honey, vinegar, or wine.

What to Do in Siwa Oasis

Siwa Oasis is not only a place to see, but also a place to experience. There are many activities that you can do in Siwa Oasis, such as:

Biking: Siwa is a great place to explore by bike, as it is flat and has many trails and paths. You can rent a bike from your hotel or from a local shop, and cycle around the oasis, visiting the different attractions, villages, and farms. You can also join a guided bike tour that will take you to the best spots and tell you more about the history and culture of Siwa.

Sandboarding: Siwa is surrounded by sand dunes, which are perfect for sandboarding. You can rent a board from your hotel or from a local shop, and slide down the slopes of the dunes. You can also join a sandboarding tour that will take you to the best dunes and provide you with instruction and equipment.

Safari: Siwa is a gateway to the Western Desert, which is full of wonders and adventures. You can join a safari tour that will take you to the desert, where you can see the amazing rock formations, the salt lakes, the hot springs, and the oases. You can also camp in the desert, and enjoy the starry sky and the silence of the night.

Shopping: Siwa has a vibrant and colorful market, where you can buy souvenirs and handicrafts. You can find items such as pottery, baskets, carpets, jewelry, and clothes, all made by local artisans. You can also buy some of the local products, such as dates, olive oil, herbs, and spices.


Siwa Oasis is a hidden gem in Egypt, that offers a unique and unforgettable experience. It is a place where you can immerse yourself in the culture and nature of the oasis, and enjoy the hospitality and warmth of the people. Siwa Oasis is a place that you will fall in love with, and want to return to again and again.

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