Discover the Unrivaled Beauty of Siwa Oasis – The Pearl of the Western Desert: 11 Things to See and Do
Updated On: May 26, 2023
Egypt is home to many paradise-like spots, given the splendid landscapes blending with the clear waters. Lying in the Egyptian Western Desert, Siwa Oasis happens to be one of Egypt’s most popular tourist destinations that offers their visitors a heavenly stay. In fact, Siwa Oasis was also labeled as one of the world’s most amazing oases.
Siwa Oasis is located in the Western Desert between the Great Sand Sea and the Qattara Depression. It is situated a few kilometers away from the borders of Libya. Besides, it about 560 kilometers away from the capital city of Egypt, Cairo. If you are traveling from Cairo, it will take you a solid 10-hour drive to reach to Siwa. And, we got to tell you, the road is quite bumpy and full of cracks. It can be a quite tough ride but the destination is outright rewarding.
Besides the picturesque sceneries, there are historical events tied to the most famous places in Egypt, and Siwa Oasis is no exception. In a country rich in history and culture, you can barely find anywhere with no history that traces back to the very ancient times. And, that’s just another aspect that contributes to the beauty of Egypt.
Smooth sand dunes that seem to have no end are one of the most delightful panoramas in Siwa. Despite being situated in the middle of a desert, Siwa Oasis is a spot where people find generous supply of water and food. It is famous for its abundant palm and olive trees, providing succulent food for visitors and passersby.
Let’s walk you through an exhilarating list of the journey you can embark on by exploring the treasures of Siwa Oasis.
1. Take a Plunge into the Salt Lakes
Siwa Oasis is home to more than a few salt lakes that you can dip into for a satisfactory refreshment. The best part is that these lakes are 95% salt. It makes your body float above the water, which means that your swimming skills won’t matter cause you will never drown anyway. Moreover, It is said that the salty waters have healing properties, curing any skin conditions, sinuses, and eye infections.
2. Walk through History in the Tomb of Si-Amun
Despite the seclusion of Siwa, history still plays a vital role in this part of Egypt as well. It is home to the renowned tomb of Si-Amun, one of the most prominent attractions there. This tomb wasn’t discovered until 1940, and the walls seem to have a lot to reveal. The walls of the tomb have portrayals of Si-Amun who had been a merchant during the 3rd century B.C. Besides that, you will come across a lot of paintings that tell striking tales from the past.
3. Watch the Sunset in Fatnas Island
One of the quietest places to enjoy yourself is on the serene island known as Fatnas Island. It overlooks the renowned Siwa Lake, making for an ideal spot to watch the sunset. Not only that, but you can also observe the sand dunes across the lake. The blend of all forms of nature creates a magnificent spot where you can disconnect from the fast-paced world and enjoy the moment.
4. Stay at Kenooz Shali Lodge
Hotels in Siwa Oasis are not like your usual hotel, and Kenooz Shali Lodge is the real deal. It is an eco-friendly hotel with splendid decorations, surrounded by more than a few palm groves and olive trees. There is also a dining area in the outdoors that became popular among visitors. It is a vast area, where dining tables are put under the date palms, allowing people to enjoy their succulent meals.
5. Dip in a Hot Spring
Natural hot springs are everywhere to be found in Siwa Oasis. They are among the significant attractions that draw people to this mesmerizing spot. These hot springs are natural wonders are full of healing properties that help you relax. The best part is that some of these springs are open at night, which is a great idea if you are looking for a brand new experience.
6. Climb the Mountain of the Dead
The Mountain of the Dead is a rocky hill located near the center of Siwa, being home to thousands of tombs that date back to the pharaonic and Greco-Roman periods. You will come across mounds at the base of the mountain, and they all lead to a specific area with different tombs to explore. The tombs have embellishments that have a captivating allurement, telling you a lot about the ancient Egyptian culture.
7. Ride a Bike on Siwa Lake
Siwa Lake is one of the most prominent attractions in Siwa Oasis. It has a picturesque view, blending with nature in the most harmonious ways possible. Most people like to enjoy watching the sunset over the lake. However, you can also rent a bike and ride along the lake watching the beautiful sunset in the distance while enjoy the whiff of light breeze against your face.
8. Don’t Miss Cleopatra’s Bath
There is no way you will get around Siwa Oasis and just not hear about the famous Cleopatra’s Bath. It is one of the many hot springs in Siwa but this one has got a name. Also, it is commonly called Cleopatra’s Spring or Cleopatra’s Pool. It is said that Queen Cleopatra herself used to dip in this specific spring, reaping the benefits of this natural wonder. While there were never studies that backed up this claim, it still goes by this name and is the most famous hot spring around.
9. Sandboard on the Great Sand Sea
The Great Grand Sea is another beautiful attractions that Siwa Oasis sits on its tip. The jumble of the undisturbed waters with the endless scenes of desert is just one to die for. This area offers more than a few activities that you can engage in by booking a tour with one of the local drivers that know how to help you get around. Sand boarding is a popular activity around here; enjoy an ultimate fun in the sand dunes while unraveling the mystery shrouded in the vast lands of the desert.
10. Shop at the Local Shali Market
The Shali is one of the hot tourist attractions in Siwa Oasis, where there is an elevated spot made up of mud that you can climb to take a quick glimpse of the area. It has a vast landscape where beautiful palm groves stretch over. Interestingly, there is also the Shali Market, where you can shop at. It encompasses more than a few local handicrafts and souvenirs, representing the unique Siwan culture. There are fascinating handmade soaps, embroidered scarves, and a lot more flavorful gifts.
11. Take a Sand Bath
Many of us don’t like having sand stuck all over their bodies while we are having fun on the beach, but in Siwa Oasis things are totally different. Sands are here for bathings. Yes, you read that right. In fact, it is a tradition in Siwa for people to bury themselves neck-deep in the sands. It is said that the hot sands of this desert have healing properties and can cure lots of ailments. They claim that it heals joint pain, infertility, and rheumatism.
Obviously, the Egyptians call Siwa Oasis the Pearl of the Western Desert for different reasons, and we promise the naming is for all the right reasons. There is so much treasure to uncover around this paradise-like place. It is an experience that will always be fixed in the mind.