For those with the extra time and seeking a little more adventure than the standard Egypt Cairo/Cruise combo, consider an excursion to Siwa. But know this is not for the faint of heart, and requires an open and adventurous spirit.
The captivating Siwa Oasis lies in a depression about 60 feet below sea level. The oasis has hosted Alexander the Great, who came to consult an oracle here in 331 BC, and an attempted and failed attack by the King of Persia and his large army, who got lost in the unforgiving environment. This harsh but beautiful area is known for its dates and olives and the people that gather these desert fruits. The Siwans have their own distinct culture with unique customs, and the Berber language known as Siwi.
In Siwa, spend time exploring the desert with locals, go dune bashing, take a dip in the waters, and admire views of the oasis with a cold drink in hand.
- A road transfer is about 8+ hours from Cairo, best broken up with a night in Alexandria on either end. Note that parts of this drive are scenic (think coastal roads, interesting towns), and parts are long stretches of arid land with not much to see.
- Commercial airlines do not fly to Siwa, so to access it by air, a private charter is required.
Driving is the most cost-effective option, but requires more time. Once you arrive to Siwa, we recommend a 2-3 night stay.
Things to know
- As mentioned, Siwa is not for the faint of heart. En route to this desert oasis, your driver will pick up a police escort as there is a military base in this area.
- Siwa is on the list of ‘do not travel’ places with the US Dept of State, it’s approximately 100 miles from the Libyan border.