We spend our last few days in Egypt chilling out in the western desert. Siwa is one of the three oases in the western desert in the middle of the sand sea out toward the libyan border. The oasis is about 80km in length and 20km wide, and contains one of Egypt’s most isolated settlements, where the ethnic Berbers live. Historically, Oasis was a stopping point for the caravans that made there was across the desert, and is known to have been settled since at least the 10th millennium BC.
Siwa is ringed by salt lakes and amazing sand dunes and is filled with date plantations and olive groves. There are also a plethora of hot and cold springs and is just generally a very relaxed and chilled out place to spend a few days. It is also noticeably less touristy than anywhere else we visited in Egypt, so it turned out to be the perfect place to unwind at the end of our holiday. To be honest, I think I enjoyed Siwa better than any other place we visited in Egypt.
As well as chilling out for a few days we visited several springs (both hot and cold) and visited the Temple of the oracle (where Alexander the great came to confirm his divinity, so he could rule as a Pharaoh) and visited the mountain of the dead - where there are numerous Graeco-Roman tombs.
Another highlight was a 4WD safari across the great sand sea to chill out in one of the hot springs as the sun set over the dunes. We also spent lots of time sitting around in cafes drinking turkish coffee and watching the locals go about their daily business.
All in all, Siwa was the perfect way to relax and unwind before driving back across the desert to Cairo and flying out for home.