Visiting Siwa Oasis is like entering a world of tranquility and breathtaking scenery. Siwa Oasis is a hidden oasis in Egypt’s western desert, providing a peaceful retreat from Cairo. Siwa Oasis has become one of the most popular destinations in Egypt due to its beautiful scenery, and fascinating activities. In this article, I will provide an overview of the ideal Siwa Oasis tour program and top attractions.
Mainly the Siwa Oasis is an 8 to 10 hours drive from Cairo by private minibus arranged by travel agencies. Booking a tour that includes transportation is the most reliable choice if you want to avoid the hassle. Traveling to Siwa by public transportation is not ideal since there are no frequent buses directly from Cairo.
Therefore, my first tip is to book a Siwa tour with a tour company. Make sure you pick the one that is flexible with the program and accommodation according to your budget.
Secondly and most importantly, keep your passport with you at all times. The roads have several police and military checkpoints that would need to check your identity. Finally, it’s impossible to stress enough the need of bringing cash while traveling since cashless options are limited.
Siwa Oasis Tour Program
Because the Siwa Oasis is located in such a remote area, the trip program there has to be meticulously arranged. If you don’t want to waste any time planning your program, make sure you complete your research beforehand.
Since 1998, I have visited Siwa both alone and as part of several different group excursions. Over many years, I have integrated myself into the Oasis community and its culture. Besides organizing tours, I worked with the locals on olive oil production and natural products. What this oasis will do for you is make you feel at ease and home in your surroundings.
What is the best time to visit Siwa?
The best time to visit Siwa Oasis in Egypt is during the cooler months, from October to April when temperatures are more moderate and comfortable. The peak tourist season in Siwa is usually between November and March. During this time, the weather is pleasant for outdoor activities and exploring the sights.
How many days you should spend in Siwa?
The number of days you should spend in Siwa depends on your personal preferences and the activities you plan to engage in. However, a typical visit to Siwa usually lasts around 2 to 4 days, allowing you to explore the main attractions and experience the unique culture of the oasis. You always can expand your visit up to 5. days if you choose safari activities. Keep in mind that Siwa is a remote destination, so transportation to and from the oasis might take some time.
Can anyone visit Siwa?
Yes, anyone can visit the Siwa Oasis. It is a popular tourist destination in Egypt and welcomes visitors from around the world. However, it’s always a good idea to check the latest travel tips and any entry requirements before planning your Siwa tour program from Cairo or Alexandria.
Based on my experience, I will provide the main highlights of the Siwa Oasis to include in your tour program. So let’s dig deep and explore my top recommendations which include a range of natural attractions, sightseeing, and activities.
1. The Sunset Oasis: A Spectacular Sunset Over Fatnas Lake
As soon as you arrive, you must head directly to watch the stunning scenery of the sunset over Fatnas Lake. The magnificent sunset scenery is my number one recommendation. Start your tour by getting yourself into a peaceful mood. Embark yourself with the lake view as the sun sets, painting the sky in gold and pink. I recommend taking videos and images while having a drink and enjoying some quiet time in this serene setting. That’s where you would be surrounded by palm palms and framed by magnificent mountains. Now, you are here and the oasis is getting into you.
The serendipity of the lakes
Siwa is famous for its magnificent lakes surrounded by palm trees. Beside Fatnas Lake, also known as Maraqi Lake, also known there is Aghormy Lake. It is located between Zeitoun and Maraqi, and it is used by local people to provide meditation and health treatments.
Personally, I believe it is a must-try to get yourself rejuvenated. The largest lakes in Siwa are Zeitoun Lake in the east, Siwa Lake in the center, Aghormy Lake in the northeast, and Maraqi Lake in the west. Taghaghin Lake, Al-Awsat Lake, and Shayata Lake are only a few of the numerous lakes in Siwa.
I am a big fan of Zeitoun Lake which is located 30 km east of Siwa. This Lake has a remarkable image of water emerging on the edge of the desert.
2. Ancient Secrets Revealed: Sightseeing and Following the Path of Alexandar the Great
The famous Temple of Alexander the Great, also known as the Temple of the Oracle, is should your second destination. It’s a legendary spot where even Alexander the Great went in search of solutions to life’s biggest mysteries. Envision yourself following in the footprints of this mythical conqueror as you uncover the temple’s long-lost mysteries.
The first time I stepped inside, I was able to feel the weight of time on the aged stones. Several tales and legends describe Alexander the Great’s quest for enlightenment in this sanctuary.
As soon as you arrive at the temple, you would be impressed by the intricate architecture of ancient Egypt. The walls were covered with intricate sculptures representing scenes from the past. A heavy aura of devotion and mystery pervaded the temple, as though it still housed ancient mysteries.
I remember when I listened to our guide’s anecdotes, I was taken back in time to the days. The old times when the great conqueror himself stood here in search of enlightenment. The Oracle Temple is a physical manifestation of the mysterious appeal of Siwa Oasis. This site is luring us into exploring the past and its secrets.
The Oracle Temple should be on the bucket lists of both history buffs and wanderlust travelers. It’s an opportunity to lose oneself in Egypt’s storied history. Get to follow in the footsteps of legendary figures, and be awed by the country’s enduring natural splendor.
Our next historical sight will be the Amun Temple, commonly known as the Temple of Umm Ubaydah. Located next to the Oracle’s Temple, this site gives visitors a taste of the Pharaonic era’s splendor. The prominence of the temple during the time of Pharaoh Nectanebo is shown by the engraved wall that survived the destruction.
The Shali Citadel, a Timeless Treasure in the Siwa Oasis
When in Siwa you will easily spot the mud-brick Shali Fortress, which dates back to the 13th century. It has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and draws many visitors every year. The fort was constructed to defend the people of Siwa from the invasions of the Bedouin. It is constructed of Kershef, which is a blend of salt rocks from the region’s salt lakes, and local clay. The stronghold is a maze of crowded structures that formerly reached a height of four or five stories.
Even in its degradation, the site’s remains are breathtaking. You may climb up to the fortress’s peak and look out over the oasis below. The stronghold also has the oldest mosque in all of Siwa, known simply as the Old Mosque. The minaret of the mosque is fashioned like a chimney, making it stand out from the crowd.
Shali Fortress is a fantastic destination for anyone interested in the rich history of Siwa. It’s also a fantastic vantage point from which to see the oasis. Be sure to include Shali Fortress on your itinerary when visiting Siwa. It’s one of a kind and will stick with you forever.
Next, you can visit the ancient necropolis of the Mountain of the Dead. Explore the intriguing rock-cut tombs decorated with complex carvings and symbols that stretch back thousands of years.
These are considered the top historical attractions in Siwa. Within one day or one day and a half, you can explore all these places since it is all located in the oasis. You could ask for guided tours and enhance your Siwa tour program experience by learning more about the history.
3. Floating on a Salt Lake and Dipping in Cold & Hot springs
Siwa’s salt lakes are one of the most underrated experiences in Egypt and the Middle East. Siwa salt lakes may be found around 30 km to the east. They are reachable through paved roads winding through palm groves. Enjoy the ride which offers an amazing, rustic impression of getting through a forest of plam trees. Once you arrive at the location, you will find yourself in the middle of a natural wonder. Amazingly beautiful salt holes and crystal water.
Swimming in the salt lakes of Siwa is a one-of-a-kind feeling of weightlessness as you float in the saline waters. The high salt content of the lake gives you natural buoyancy, making it easy to float and enjoy the scenery. Relax on the surface of the calm, clear water and soak in the healing power of this miraculous sanctuary.
Amazingly, a nearby salt mine has caused the lakes to become almost 95% salt. Both hot and cold water may be found in these pools that are around 4 meters deep. Pick your preferred transparent lake and enjoy a restorative swim. Swimming in the salt lakes of Siwa Oasis, which are known for their curative characteristics, will be an unforgettable experience.
The swimming experience in Siwa includes different encounters and is not limited to salt lake swimming. It is a must to visit the natural springs and dip into cold and hot water. My favorite spot is Bir Waheed due to its unique nature. It is a peaceful place in the middle of the desert with hot and cold springs. This place is usually less crowded which will allow you to relax and meditate in the peaceful atmosphere.
Imagine this picture of tranquility and water full of minerals and spend as much time as you can.
If you want more, your next stop should be the breathtaking Cleopatra’s Bath. The famous Egyptian queen reportedly took a dip in these waters, so why you shouldn’t do the same? Explore this beautiful and serene area while thinking about the past and the past’s link to the present. This place is located in the center with easy access from your nearby accommodation. The place also offers baths, cafes, and restaurants to enjoy the scenery.
Relax in the healing waters while taking in the ambiance of this magical location.
Don’t forget your swimming suit while you travel to Siwa. Swimming in the hot springs is an essential activity for the Siwa Oasis tour program.
5. Great Sand Sea Sandboarding: Dune Crawling Thrills
Picture this with me: You’ve made it to the top of the Great Sand Sea’s dunes, and the vast desert landscape in front of you. A subtle invitation to go out on an adventure that will excite your senses like never before. It’s time to go sandboarding, and I can guarantee it will be an adrenaline rush like no other.
I’ve had my share of exciting adventures as a world traveler and fan of unique pursuits. Sandboarding at Siwa Oasis, though, is a different experience for me. From that vantage point over the dunes, I could see for miles into the desert, and it was quite breathtaking. In every direction, undulating dunes spread out, looking like waves trapped in time.
Siwa Oasis is the ideal location for a day of sandboarding, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie. The dunes are an easy ride and provide an ideal setting for all ages. It is a bit difficult to slide down the dunes but after a few trails, you will master it.
So, fellow explorers, throw caution to the wind and go on a sandboarding trip you won’t soon forget. Make your way across the golden dunes and create new memories that will last a lifetime. I can assure you that once you experience the surge of exhilaration, you will want more of it.
5. Desert Safari: Bedouin Tea and Camping Under the Stars
Camping and Safari should be on your list when you are traveling to Siwa. Enjoy a cup of traditional Bedouin tea as you watch the sun sink gently beyond the horizon. I felt like time appears to stop and the outside world melts away while I am this extraordinary experience.
The Bedouin people will welcome you with open arms and their genuine hospitality. It took me back in time to a world of old traditions and timeless customs. The welcoming approach and warm acceptance of guests of the people in Siwa, made me feel at home. When the night’s mesmerizing darkness descends, I was relaxing in a gathering beneath the watchful gaze of the stars. Enjoy the night sky while feasting on delicious BBQs and sampling regional specialties such as dates.
My most important tip for Siwa is to relax and fall asleep to the soothing sounds of the desert. The perfect balance of isolation and calm surrounds you, providing a haven from the noise and chaos of the outside world.
Siwa Safari invites you into a world of genuine experience, where you may learn the ways of the desert nomads.
6. Melt into the Culture: The Life of People
When it comes to eating, Abdo Restaurant serves up delicious traditional Siwan cuisine around lunchtime. With regional different dishes, group tours and individuals can immerse themselves in the local culture. The place serves delicious specialties from traditional Siwan food.
After that, you can walk down the streets of the oasis and start your shopping experience. Siwa Oasis is a cultural treasure with a rich creative history and stunning natural scenery. Explore the one-of-a-kind, handmade treasures of this magical haven and prepare for a shopping experience like no other.
Siwa markets have a lot to offer the visitors. Therefore, it is important to include the shopping experience in the siwa oasis tour program. Enjoy the beauty of these handcrafted items as you reflect on your time in Siwa and its many fascinating cultural attractions.
- Pottery: Explore the world of pottery and let the intricate patterns and delicate materials captivate your senses. Each decorative item is a masterpiece that captures the essence of the oasis and the skill of its potters. Bring a piece of the creative tradition of the oasis home with you by purchasing a piece of pottery made in Siwa.
- Dates: The delicious dates grown in Siwa Oasis are well-known for their high quality and deliciousness. Savor the taste of these locally cultivated delicacies and marvel at the variety offered. Siwa dates are delicious whether eaten as a snack or incorporated into a variety of different dishes.
- Olive: Siwa isn’t complete without trying some of the region’s renowned olive oil. The extensive olive plantation in the area produces different types of olive oil which is widely regarded as among the best in the world. Enjoy a taste of Siwa by bringing home a bottle of extra virgin olive oil.
- Medical Plants: Siwa Oasis is also a paradise for medicinal plants, with a long history of using herbs for healing. These natural treatment has been handed down from generation to generation. You may find several fragrant plants with therapeutic powers if you look at the local markets. Give a window into the oasis’s historic approach to health and wellbeing.
- Traditional clothes: Traditional clothing is adorned with elaborate workmanship and one-of-a-kind motifs. These garments, from embroidered gowns to beautifully woven accessories, provide insight into the history and culture of Siwa. The Local shopping will enable you to embody the ethos of the oasis via your sense of fashion. Explore the fascinating world of Bedouin handicrafts, where modern artists give new life to age-old practices.
Be amazed by the intricate needlework that has been skilfully weaved into fabrics to portray tales of tribal history and tradition. Bedouin fabrics, such as gowns and scarves, are a monument to the skill and ingenuity of the local population, with their vivid colors and detailed designs.
If you go shopping at Siwa Oasis, you may talk to the locals and learn about their lives. Because of their friendliness and generosity, locals are happy to teach visitors about their traditions and culture. Buying from the locals and contributing to the oasis’s economy is a great way to help preserve the creative legacy of Siwa. You may carry a piece of Siwa Oasis with you wherever you go, and it will always remember you of your visit and your connection to this extraordinary oasis of creation.
Bonus: The Historical World War II Site at El Alamein
If you want to add more to your Siwa Oasis tour, I suggest going by the World War II Monument. This place is in El Alamein, which is not in the Siwa Oasis area. In the end, most tour companies will add it to the schedule, so you can ask for it.
To get the most out of this short trip, it takes a few hours, and it is set up to be the first thing you see when you leave Cairo. El Alamein is about 3 hours away by car and is a stop along the way. The El Alamein Museum is a secret gem for history fans. It is about a mile west of the British landmark. The museum opened in 1965. It has pictures and details of many of the war artifacts that were found on the battlefield.
Next, you can visit the El Alamein War Cemetery, a sad memorial to the soldiers who died. Herbert Worthington created it, and the British War Graves Commission takes very good care of it. There are 7,000 soldiers from a lot of different countries buried there, and the cloister is a memorial to the 11,945 soldiers whose bodies were never found.
The German War Memorial is only three kilometers to the west of the Italian Memorial. It has a beautiful view of the water. It is a unique building because it has an eight-sided shape and looks like the Castle del Monte. The graves of 4,280 German soldiers are inside. People usually leave flowers, photos, and tribute ribbons in a small church just inside the grand golden tile entrance to the monument.
The Italian Memorial is El Alamein’s largest and most beautiful building. Paolo Caccia Dominioni, who fought at El Alamein, was the one who made the place. This makes it even more important. Still missing are 38,000 Italian troops, but as soon as you walk in, you’ll see a small museum and a church with a plaque honoring the 4,800 who never came back.
These El Alamein landmarks show how much people had to go through and how long the effects of war can last. Be ready for the honors given to the heroes who fought for us to break your heart. Bring your camera so you can take pictures of the beautiful view of the blue sea that is close by.
Siwa Tour by Holiday Tours
Holiday Tours’ guides are all Siwa natives who are enthusiastic about sharing their region’s history and culture with guests. The eco-lodges that Holiday Tours offers are located in breathtaking locations and include luxurious lodging and delectable meals. You may rest easy knowing that your stay will not harm the environment since they are dedicated to sustainability.
Booking a Siwa tour with Holiday Tours is a breeze because of our flexibility and user experience. There are many different travel packages available, and your vacation may be tailored to your specific needs and preferences. Holiday Tours’ travel packages are adaptable to provide a personalized experience.
Relax, since Holiday Tours is a dependable business. You may be certain that everything about your vacation will go well.