Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Mon March 30 2015

Opinion Home | Notes from the Goats

  • Nick and Dariece | March 30, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    The Fascinating Desert Oasis of Siwa, Egypt

    The Fascinating Desert Oasis of Siwa, Egypt

    View over the Oasis

    When people think of Egypt, visions of the towering Pyramids of Giza, sailing the Nile River, and the ancient ruins of Luxor tend to come to mind. But there's far more to Egypt than those typical sites. The western deserts have so much to offer the adventurous traveler, and the desert oasis of Siwa is the perfect place to start. Entering the dusty village, you'll be greeted by a towering mud brick fort, which was built over 800 years ago from mud and salt. Donkeys outnumber cars here, and there's no sign of modernity creeping up on this oasis any time soon. For such an isolated town, it sure has a lot to offer travelers.

    Start by visiting the vast Great Sand Sea Desert by 4x4! The rolling dunes are the perfect place to try your hand at sand-boarding, while the ancient seashell fossils are incredible. It's possible to spend the night out there under the stars if you arrange it in advance. There's something serene and calming about the desert, and this one is a must-visit. Water in various forms surround this little town, which in turn gives so much life to the village. Over 300,000 palm trees and 70,000 olive trees all draw sustenance from the 300 springs surrounding the area. There are numerous hot and cold springs that bubble up and are the perfect place to cool down after a hot day in the sun. Cleopatra's Pool is especially popular. However, women must cover up at the springs so as to not offend the locals. Leggings (tights) and a long, loose top will do the trick. However, if you're looking for the best sunset scene, make sure to venture to Lake Siwa and enjoy the views of the sun setting over the dunes from the shoreline.

    siwa oasis

    The clear Cleopatra Spring.

    Renting a bicycle is by far the best way to see this little oasis. Each path you go down will lead to a fantastic spring, a welcoming group of local people, or an interesting archeological site. The Temple of the Oracle is said to be where Alexander The Great stood to confirm with the great Oracle Amun that he was the son of Zeus, and therefore a legitimate ruler of both Egypt and other lands that he conquered. For the best sunrise, hike up the top of Dakrur Mountain, the highest point in Siwa, for fantastic views over the village. Wandering around the various lanes and mud homes is the best way to get a feel for the way the local people live. The people of this oasis are warm and kind, and most likely you'll be offered to come and sit with them to enjoy a cup of chai (tea), while asking each other questions using hand motions.

    travel to siwa oasis

    The people of Siwa Oasis are very friendly.

    Siwa Oasis is fast changing. As of recently, there is an airport, making it much easier to get here than before. Although it is still an incredibly un-touristed destination, and will never see the visitors that the other famous sites in Egypt do, we suggest getting here soon before things really change...

    Have you been to Siwa Oasis? What did you think of it? Share with us!

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Nick and Dariece Notes from the Goats

Nick and Dariece Nick and Dariece are the couple behind Goats On The Road, a website designed to inspire others to live a financially sustainable, location independent lifestyle. Masters at making money abroad and turning their travels into a way of life, they've been on the road since 2008 and have explored some of the least visited places on earth, finding adventure wherever they go. They are also full time contributors at Credit Walk where they share their expertise of making money and travelling forever. Check them out at Goats On The and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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