Siwa oasis is a hidden pocket dimension filled with a plethora of natural wonders that have always remained beautiful against the passing of time for millions of years. This living green miracle sits in the heart of the Egyptian Sahara to offer the chance for everyone to witness pure and divine natural magnificence in the shape of an incredible attraction reflecting the unique culture and history of this epic location.
This golden gem will deliver the most thrilling travel adventure which will feel like discovering a whole new world made of oceans of sparkling sands that embraces green pieces of heaven. Explore this marvelous ecosystem that has been touched by gods and kings across history and make every moment count. This article will shed light on all the information and details concerning this enchanting oasis.
Location & How to Get to the Siwa Oasis
This golden Urban oasis is found between the great sand sea of the western desert and the Qattara depression. It comes in the shape of a deep depression which is 19 m (60 ft) below sea level and filled with a number of hot water springs and thousands of palm trees.
It is found 50 km (30 mi) east of the Libyan border and 560 km (348 mi) from Cairo which takes about 8 hours by car. There are highway roads built in the 80s that connect it to the Mediterranean Sea, the coastal town of Maesa Matruh, and Bahariya oasis.
History of Siwa Oasis
The history of the Siwa oasis is very vast dating all the way to the 10th millennium BC as a necropolis was discovered there dating to the 26th dynasty of the Old Kingdom (2700 BC – 2200 BC). Herodotus described the oasis as the fountain of the Sun that becomes cold in the noontime heat. The ancient Greek civilization of Cyrene became aware of the oasis in the 7th century BC which held the oracle temple of Amun was founded.
Alexander the great in 331 BC went to the oasis during his Persian empire conquering campaign to follow birds and the oracle and the moment of seeing him confirmed him as a future legitimate Pharaoh of Egypt and a divine character. The Siwa oasis during the Ptolemaic kingdom was known as the field of Trees. Some fragments and ruins were found that date to the 4th century BC. It was reported that in 1203 about 40 men lived in the oasis. During the 12th century, the Berbers were the main inhibitors of the oasis.
It was visited by a number of English and European travelers and historians in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Siwa oasis was a center for fighting during World War I and World War II. It was the subject of heavy rain that lasted for three days in 1926 AD which damages a lot of structures like the Shali "Ancient Fortress of Siwa" and was later rebuilt over time.
The Weather of Siwa Oasis
The climate of Siwa oasis is known to be tropical and subtropical desert weather which has an average temperature of 70.7°F (21.5°C) all year long which guarantees that everyone will have the most entertaining and magical travel adventure across the historical and natural marvels of this golden desert gem.
Culture of Siwa Oasis
The Siwa oasis is blessed with a rich culture of the Siwi Berbers who made this isolated oasis their home. Camel was the only means of transportation that could cross the desert with ease in order to export olives and dates and exchange them for trade goods plus carry pilgrims on a magical route that connect Morocco with Cairo to Mecca.
Due to Isolation, they established their own epic-rich culture which can be seen across their fashion, dresses, basketry, silverwork, embroidery, and pottery. The most celebrated and enchanting part of their culture is the bridal silver and beads & ornaments that were worn by women during their festivals, ceremonies, and weddings.
These silver pieces came in many shapes earrings, hair ornaments, silver necklaces, pendants, bangles, and many rings plus were decorated with their attitudes, history, and beliefs. One of the most common pieces is the "Adrim" which is a huge silver disc that the girl will give up when married and the "Aghraw" which is a round necklace. Rich women would wear an ensemble of five to six silver pieces.
A number of symbols, signs, and patterns related to the Siwa Berber people were carved on the silver pieces and the women's dresses, shawls, and trousers to promote fertility, good health, and fortune, and provide divine protection.
People in Siwa Oasis
There are more than 30,000 people found in the golden oasis of Siwa who live in an area that is 80 km (50 mi) long and 20 km (12 mi) wide. They become known as Siwi Berbers and were able to develop their own culture and their own language the Siwi language which is very similar to the Zenata language plus they speak Arabic in the Egyptian dialect.
Art and Local Customs of Siwa Oasis
Siwa oasis is blessed with magical works of art that come in many styles and within a fashion that was made of marvelous fabrics and traditional silver jewelry and ornaments which were then replaced by gold. Their artistic old styles and traditions can be seen across the women's costumes and embroidery.
The Siwa People are now mostly Muslims who celebrate a number of festivals like the holy month of Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr, and Eid Al Adha. There is also their own festival the Siyaha festival where they celebrate their patron saint Sidi Sulayman by gathering, eating, and singing.
Archaeology of Siwa Oasis
Siwa oasis was the subject of many archaeological searches in the 20th century in order to find the tomb of Alexander the Great which is believed to be in the Siwa oasis. An ancient hominid footprint was discovered in 2007 which was believed to be two to three million years old.
1. Salt Lakes
One of the most beautiful attractions found within Siwa oasis is the marvelous Salt lakes which offer the most heavenly sight of sparkling pure waters and transparent green. The scenery of the salt lakes is enough to heal your heart and soul plus it has many health benefits such as a very high concentration of salt which will make you float and relax. "Al-Tibtah" which is found at the feet of a mountain in Siwa oasis is famous for being an epic medical and tourist center.
Zeitoun lake is a picturesque wonder known to be the biggest salt lake in the oasis which is 95% salt and is 4 meters deep. This salt lake is able to treat Skin problems, Sinus problems, Psoriasis, Joint Inflammation, Digestive System Diseases, Rheumatism, and Eye problems. The Siwa people extract the salt and use it in building homes and crafting their tools, plus making lamps.
2. Cleopatra’s Bath
The natural spring of the Sun which is known as Cleopatra Bath is where Cleopatra and Marcus Antonius in the 5th century BC enjoyed a dip from time to time. It is found This magnificent natural stone pool is powered by a natural water spring that rises waters from the belly of the ground.
It is one of the most favorite and popular attractions in the Siwa oasis located on the route of the temple of the Oracle. It is one of the most magical places to relax and enjoy your time across the mythical pieces of history and natural beauty.
3. Mountain of the Dead
The mountain of the Dead can be found in the heart of the blessed core of the Siwa oasis and is home to many epic stories and legends. It is composed of a rocky hill made of 1500 tombs that date back to the 26th dynasty, the Greek, and the roman periods which was able to shed light on the rich history and funerary customs of these golden time periods.
The most famous four cemeteries include "Siamun", "Mesu Isis", "Niperbathot", and "Crocodile (Sobek)". Some of the tombs are able to showcase the most incredible funerary drawings that merge the ancient Egyptian and Greek artistic styles together with images of ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses.
4. Tomb of Si-Amun
One of the most known and important Egyptian tombs within the Mountain of the dead is the Tomb of Si-Amun which dates back to the 3rd century BC and was discovered in 1940. The tombs are very massive and contain a number of magical paintings, decorations, and carvings which is able to showcase a lot of facts about the Greek period despite the fact that they were heavily damaged in the roman period.
The owner of the tomb was a very rich Greek merchant and landowner who married an Egyptian woman who worshipped Amun and chose to document his entire life. There are a number of images showcasing making offerings and praying to the ancient Egyptian gods such as Osiris and Isis, Hathor, Horus, Thoth, and Anubis.
5. Fortress of Shali
In the heart of Siwa oasis is a number of an incredible maze of fortresses and houses dating to the 13th century which is made of organic salt taken from the salt lakes outside the town mixed with rock and then plastered in local clay.
This golden labyrinth of crammed buildings is up to 4 or 5 stories that once housed hundreds of people who wished to protect themselves from Bedouin attacks. This colossal fortress was made to offer protection from the Bedouin tribe people. The fortress has the power to offer someone the chance to witness the most incredible panoramic views.
6. Water Springs
Siwa oasis holds a number of natural springs such as a Cleopatra spring that is by far the most known attraction in the area where Cleopatra took a shower within this blessed landscape between golden sand and palm trees. The marvelous Ain Guba water spring holds Crystal water flowing in a massive stone pool where everyone will enjoy their time to the fullest.
Bir Wahid is an epic water spring where everyone can have the most incredible quest in the mineral healing waters of this blessed spring which chances its waters with the seasons between hot and cold.
7. Siwa Sand Bath
One of the oldest ways of natural healing can be found within the celestial sands of Siwa through the most blessing and magical sand bath. The golden sands of Siwa oasis are known to have healing powers that are able to cure a number of joint pain which include fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The sands bath is basically you get covered by sand from the neck to the feet for a couple of hours then all the minerals in the sand will completely purify your body.
8. Temple of the Oracle of Amun
The temple of the Oracle "Aghurmi" became known as the Alexander the great temple, found in the magical Siwa oasis which is connected to the oracle of Dodona of Greece and to 2 priestesses who were banished from the golden city Thebes to the legendary western desert. The Oracle had great influence as many would seek her advice & counsel and others would seek to destroy it. The temple was built in the New Kingdom (1570 – 1050 BC) by members of the 26th dynasty to honor the Theban triad of Amun which was referred to in the Hellenistic period as Zeus and Jupiter Ammon. There is a number of mythical and legendary stories which surround these heavenly and mythical tales. Some believe that the temple was created to celebrate ham who is the son of Noah through the command of Danaus the Egyptian and also some believe it was created to honor the Greek god Dionysus.
The fame and the significance of this temple come from that Alexander the Great visited the temple of Amun in 331 BC as the son of Zeus and the future pharaoh of Egypt to seek knowledge about his destiny and ask the most famous and respected oracles in the area of ancient Mediterranean if he would one day rule the world and the answer was 'yes, but not for very long.
9. The Temple of Umm Ubayda
One of the two temples dedicated to Amun is the magical temple of Un Ubayda which is 200 m on the road to the temple of the Oracle. It was built by Pharaoh Nectanebo of the 30th Dynasty around 380 BC and was also visited by Alexander the Great.
It is totally ruined as in 1811 a strong earthquake hit this magnificent site and it was blown up in 1896 by a Siwan governor to make way for a police station and a mosque. Some remains of the temple remain preserved offering the chance to witness some incredible images of Amun across the walls in a human form.
Things to Do in Siwa Oasis
There are many things to do in this magical Siwa oasis such as camping in the majestic desert the marvelous sand dunes of this heavenly destination and witnessing all the natural beauty of the western desert and discovering the Siwa culture plus their music and beliefs. Discover the epic fantasy Island and witness the marvelous wild nature under the most amazing sunset. Climbing the epic monuments and mountains of this immortal wonder. Enjoying a relaxing yoga session. Witnessing the most beautiful image of the stars from above.
Having a healing sand bath. Enjoying the most amazing shopping experience. Relaxing in the majestic Salt lakes that have much magical healing water will be the gift of a lifetime. Discovering the great sans Sea will be the adventure of a lifetime. Exploring all the magnificent historical treasures of this golden place will be a very enriching travel experience.
1. Yoga Retreat
This heavenly destination makes the most incredible yoga retreat within the golden Siwa oasis. It has the most relaxing yoga session where everyone will have the ultimate sensation of serenity & bliss and be filled with the most magnificent feelings of mindfulness within the astral embrace of nature. All the serene natural landscapes of the Siwa oasis will be the sight of a true miracle loaded with the ultimate sense of belonging.
2. Shop for Local Souvenirs
This is a marvelous chance to have the most magical chance to carry a piece of this magnificent attraction. Within the Siwa oasis, everyone will have the most incredible shopping experience across the shops in the Shali and within the oasis is the chance to buy the most amazing dates and olives, dried lemongrass, embroidered scarves, handmade soaps, and organic hibiscus jams.
3. Night at Siwa Astro Camp
Just 10 km away from the Siwa oasis is the heavenly Siwa Astro Camp which will offer a gate to the stars which will be stargazed away from the city lights. Everyone will explore the incredible atmosphere of the golden Sahara which is filled with miraculous culture while enjoying the finest music and delicious foods & tea under the most magnificent sights of the stars.
Everyone will enjoy the most magnificent and rich sandboarding adventure across the golden desert of Siwa where everyone will have the most thrilling and adrenaline-filled adventure across all these magnificent places of wonder and beauty. Everyone will have the most marvelous and entertaining trip across the miraculous sands of this blessed oasis. The scenery of all the celestial marvels of the Siwa desert will be the key to living the adventure of a lifetime.
Alexander the Great Tomb Theory in Siwa Oasis
There are many theories where everyone believes the tomb of Alexander the Great was discovered in the oasis and there has been a number of excavations within this area trying to find the tomb of Alexander the Great which started in 2019 after a marble statue of his was found in the urban area of Siwa oasis near. Both the Greek and Egyptian governments have established a number of excavations to find this tomb which is filled with a number of treasures.
Where to Stay in Siwa Oasis
Siwa is filled with a number of incredible hotels which include the dream lodge Siwa, mountain camp Ali Khaled, Nour El Waha hotel, Siwa Paradise, Aghurmi Siwa Resort and Salt Cave, Panta lodge Siwa, Seliyaa Siwa Inn Hotel, Siwa Ajubar Resort, and more which will provide the most ideal services during your stay in this magnificent hotel.
Siwa oasis is filled with a number of golden treasures and wonders which can be discovered through one of our Egypt adventure tours which will provide the chance to discover all the golden gems found across these divine lands and waters of Egypt.
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Is Siwa oasis safe?
The beautiful Siwa Oasis is one of the magical natural attractions in Egypt which is totally safe to visit It is found in the western desert and filled with the most incredible collections of natural and historical.
How deep is the Siwa oasis?
The marvelous Siwa Oasis is below sea level deep depression at 19 meters (62 ft).
What is Siwa oasis famous for?
Siwa Oasis is famous for producing a number of olives and dates, having natural water springs like Cleopatra’s spring, and containing the temple of the Oracle that dates to the 6th century BC which grabbed the attention of Alexander the great.
What happened at the Siwa Oasis?
The Siwa Oasis was annexed by the Ruler Muhammed Ali of Egypt in 1820 AD and in 1838 the Siwa Egyptian representative was assassinated. The Oasis acted as a cultural and political center in the tenth century.
Is Siwa Oasis worth visiting?
The marvelous Siwa Oasis is very worth visiting which is filled with hundreds of lakes and salt pools plus archaeological wonders where there is an incredible and relaxing atmosphere that will make every moment feel like magic.
Can you float in Siwa Oasis?
Everyone can float in the waters of the Siwa Oasis as it has a high concentration of salt within the waters of these natural pools.
Are there fish in Siwa Oasis?
The waters of the Siwa Oasis are extremely salty which makes it very impossible to create marine life and grow any fish. The Egyptian government tried to grow fish in the waters of this magical Oasis.
Are there animals in Siwa Oasis?
There are a number of animals within the Siwa Oasis which are turtle doves, Streptopelia, Jubatus, camels, Slender-horned Gazelle, donkeys, Fennec Fox, and a number of birds.
Where does the water at Siwa Oasis come from?
The water of the Siwa Oasis comes from the groundwater which acts as a source of irrigation and drinking. Within the Oasis are a number of natural waters up to 220.
What airport is closest to Siwa Oasis?
The closest airports to the Siwa Oasis North Airport are The Marsa Matruh Airport (MUH), and Borg El Arab Airport (HBE).
How far is Siwa Oasis from Cairo by plane?
The distance between Cairo and Siwa Oasis is 561 kilometers or 349 miles or 303 nautical miles which takes up to 1 hour 30 minutes flight.
What Should I Wear While Being in Egypt?
You should wear whatever you want. It is advised to wear something light from cotton or linen, comfortable and put on sunblock during your time in Egypt in the summer and wear comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the sandy terrain.
What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?
You should bring a brimmed hat and sunglasses if you not used to the Egyptian sun &pack everything you could ever need and put in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.
Are All Nile Cruises Available at Any Time?
Yes, it is available all years. as the Nile from Aswan to Luxor takes three to four days of sailing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the total cost of 600$ and the Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan take four to five days in Saturday, Monday and Thursday for the coast of 650$.
Why book Trips in Egypt?
We have experience in vacation planning for more than 10 years & our staff consists of the most professional operators, guides and drivers who dedicate all of their time & effort create the perfect vacation. All of our tours are customized by Travel, Financial & Time advisors to fit your every possible need during your time in egypt. we always keep in mind that your safety & comfort are our main priority until you return home.
Is it safe to travel to Egypt?
Yes, it is absolutely safe to travel to egypt, You will feel secure in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is very peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt and construct an entire environment dedicated for ensuring the lives of all tourists.
What are Egypt's Visa Requirements?
They are very simples, If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries(check the link), have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD entry fee in cash. As for the E-Visa for 30 days, you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could be one of the countries eligible for a free visa for 90 days.
What is the Weather is Like?
The temperature of Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c, Summer in Egypt is somehow hot and winter is cool and mild but sometimes it becomes cold at night. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 23 ¡ÆC in the summertime and average high temperatures vary from 17 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 32 ¡ÆC in the summertime while the temperature is moderate all along the coasts.
What is the Best Time of Visit Egypt?
It is known the best time to travel to Egypt is in the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a bit tropical, a warm atmosphere with a winter breeze. You will also be notified a week before your trip if the weather is unsafe or if any changes have been made.
Should I Give Tips in Egypt?
It is totally up to you, but if you choose to you can tip the servers at your restaurant 5-10% by handing it to them directly and 5 Egyptian Pounds as a general tip of anyone.
Can I Enter the Pyramids?
Yes, you can enter the pyramids for the small fee of 20$.
How to Enjoy Egypt During Ramadan?
Ramadan is a special time of year for Muslims that should be celebrated by non-Muslims and feel the essence of the Islamic culture. You can fast with the Muslim or just observe but you are always welcome to join the celebrations and festivals.