Nestled between the Qattara Depression and the Great Sand Sea in the Western Desert, 50 kilometers east of the Egypt–Libya border, Siwa welcomes travelers into its mystical realm, filled with ancient tales, with a warm embrace.
Most known for its role in ancient Egypt as the home of Amun (sometimes referred to as Zeus), and the 26th Dynasty Temple of the Oracle located among the ruins of Aghurmi village, Siwa became famous when Alexander the Great made a detour here to consult the god and was declared son of Amun in the temple.
Gebel El-Mawta, the "mountain of the dead," stands as a silent witness to epochs gone by. Essentially a small hill at the northern end of Siwa Town, Gebel El-Mawta is honeycombed with rock tombs peppered with wall paintings of ancient gods and worship. Dating back to the Ptolemaic and Roman times, the tombs at Siwa were used by townspeople as shelter when the oasis was bombed by the Italians in WWII.
And of the many natural springs that bubble up from the ground in Egypt’s western desert, it is Cleopatra’s Pools that are most famous. For it is believed the ancient Egyptian Queen herself bathed here, surrounded by sand dunes and palm trees. And to this day local girls from Siwa bathe in the pools before they wed, in the hopes of becoming as pretty and charming as Cleopatra.
In central Siwa, we’ll find the Shali Fortress a 13th-century mud-brick labyrinth of huddled buildings built from kershef (chunks of salt from the local lake, mixed with rock and plastered in local clay). Dominated by spectacular organic shapes, it was once made up of buildings four to five storeys high housing hundreds of people. Now it is a mere shadow of its former self, but no less charming. And as we explore its alleyways, walking past the old mosque with its chimney-shaped minaret, on our way to the top for stunning panoramic views, we’ll find out just how much.
With each sunrise, Siwa unveils a new chapter, so be prepared to delve into the geological wonders of Bir Wahed a remote freshwater lake on the edge of the Great Sand Sea. Where just over the top of the dune we’ll be greeted with the gurgles of sulphurous water bubbles coming from the perfectly sized hot spring. Here ancient fossils tell tales of prehistoric eras, and with the setting sun, a campfire under the star-studded sky becomes a storyteller of its own.
Nature's creativity will unfold right before your very eyes as Siwa's untamed beauty, painted with vivid strokes, reveals itself as a canvas for exploration. Here, the enigmatic whispers of ancient rocks, and the tales written in the shifting sands spell an adventure etched in time, inviting you to immerse yourself in its mystique.
DAY 0 // DEPARTURE
Meeting at airport for an evening flight to Alexandria.
DAY 1// TOUCHDOWN ALEXANDRIA
Welcome to the land of Pharaoh. Post clearing immigration we will check in to our hotel. After breakfast start driving across desert with all shades of dunes to Siwa. Overnight in ecolodge.
DAY 2// EXPLORING SIWA
Rise and shine, after breakfast we take a ride to Gebel El-Mawta the "mountain of the dead" and the ancient town of Shali to explore the abandoned fortress. We then visit the Temple of the Oracle and Cleopatra’s Pools before moving onto Gebel Dakrour, home to fascinating rock formations sculpted by the wind, which reveals marine life fossils nestled into the layers of its sandstone.
DAY 3// BIR WAHED
Following an early breakfast, we head out to Bir Wahed a remote freshwater lake on the edge of the Great Sand Sea. Tonight, we camp under the stars.
DAY 4// ABU SHROUF – BAHI EH DIEN
Good morning, and off we go to explore Abu Shrouf fresh water natural spring, and Bahi El-Dien village and archaeological site. Tonight, we stay in an ecolodge in Siwa.
DAY 5// DEPARTURE
After breakfast we check-out and make our way back to Alex, stopping for some last-minute souvenir shopping – time permitting – to catch our flight back home with a lifetime of memories.
Level of Difficulty: Easy, available to everyone.
Activities: Exploring, swimming, desert bashing, sightseeing.
COST: 4990 AED incl flights / 3910 excl flights, until JAN 30th.
Rooms & Meals: Ecolodge - double sharing. Meals included.
optional entry fees,
Visas: Most of passports can obtain evisa or visa on arrival for 25 USD.
See yah in Egypt x
Whatsapp 050 4848238 / [email protected]
Find all trekkups at linktr.ee/trekkup
Event Venue & Nearby Stays
Dubai International Airport, غرفة صلاة متعددة الأديان, مطار دبي الدولي دبي, الإمارات العربية المتحدة,Dubai, United Arab Emirates