Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Siwa Oasis - Part 5 : Places to Visit

This is the fifth in a beautiful series of articles written by my friend Gabi Philips who has spent an extended period of time in Siwa.

Also Read
Part 1 : Transportation
Part 2 : Where to Stay
Part 3 : Where to Stay (contd)
Part 4 : Shali

There is a lot to be seen in Siwa. I have been there only twice, the first was as a tourist among a group, the second time was on my own. (Kims Note : Gabi has visited Siwa again since he wrote this)

The basic sightseeing that can be done in one day are all on the Eastern side. You can start the day by visiting Gebel El-Mawta (Mountain of the Dead), very close to the main square to the North, then starting from the main square: The Oracle temple, the destroyed temple of Amun know as "Um e'beida", then Cleopatra spring, then Gelel El-Dakroury (El-Dakroury mountain), then circle back to the main square where you can end your circuit at Shali. At sunset you can go to Fatans islands on the Western lake.

The above tour can be done by bicycle, donkey cart or car but the first two modes will take more time. There is a professional Siwan archeologist who conducts such tours if you're interested, his name is "Fatehy Diab". He has done great amount of research on siwa.

The house of Siwa is a must see.

There is also Siwa museum behind Gebel el-Mawta but I haven't yet visited it.

To the East there is "Abo Shrouf" which has a water spring for swimming and very beautiful scenery, it is about 25 kms to the East of Siwa.

In the West (about 20 kms) there is an area called "el-maraki" where there is more than one temple to be visited.

Siwa is famous for its desert safari, there are several travel agencies in the Siwa market who offer such trips.

There is also a handicraft center at the entrance of the oasis in the North (can't remember the exact name).

Qaret om el-sagheir is a small oasis 130 kms away from Siwa. You need special permission to visit.

Some descriptions for most of the mentioned places will be in the following messages.

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