Siwa is the desert that appears in daydreams. Only 50km from the Libyan border, it sits about 25m below sea level and is brimming with olive trees and palms. Scattered throughout the oasis are crystal-clear springs, which are a heavenly respite from the harsh summer heat. At the edge of the oasis, the great dunes of sand provide an irresistible opportunity for desert exploration.
With some of the most striking landscapes ever seen, not only is Siwa one of the country’s most isolated settlements, but it is probably the one Egyptian place where you can truly experience Berber culture firsthand.
Within this little paradise, which remains out of sight except to those who have intentionally sought it, a distinctive culture has been preserved, offering its visitors a rich experience unique to the oasis. Considered the easternmost extension to the Berber descendants (the original inhabitants of North Africa), tribes of the oasis have managed to retain their Siwi language.
Relying heavily on agriculture, Siwa’s primary crops are dates and olives. Varying between the many types on offer, you are guaranteed to try some of the best olives and dates you are yet to come across.
Considered to be one of Siwa’s most popular landmarks to visit during your trip to the oasis, Cleopatra’s bath is a muscle-relaxing warm spring along the path leading to the Temple of the Oracle. If you don’t wish to jump into the spring, you can sit back and relax at one of the surrounding shaded cafeterias overlooking the spring.
Spanning over 72,000 sq. km, the Great Sand Sea around the oasis is marked as the world’s third-largest dune field. Whether you’re into sandboarding, quad biking or simply camping out in the desert, make sure you make time for this fun-packed desert expedition.