The Siwa Oasis is nearly 50 km east of the Libyan border, and 560 km from Cairo. Around 30,000 Amazighs live in Siwa in a tribal community, and in addition to speaking Arabic, Egypt’s official language, they have their own mother tongue.

There's something calming about Siwa. The oasis is renowned for being a pleasant place to visit. 

One of the things you must do when you get there is explore the place in a 4x4. Local guides are super friendly and you can enjoy listening to Libyan songs all the way.

Also, the sand dunes there are perfect for sand-boarding. 

There is something calming about the desert Source: A photo from my visit back in 2015

There are a lot of warm and cold water springs across the oasis where you can either swim or bathe. 

One of the numerous water springs in the oasis. Source: I took this one during my visit back in 2015

Siwa is home to some great landmarks

The ancient fortress of Siwa, known as the Shali Ghadi, was built about 800 years ago and is made of kershif (salt and mud-brick) and palm logs. These dwellings were inhabited up until 1926, before folks moved on to more conventional structures.

Located in Siwa's Aghurni is the famous temple of Amun, also known as the Temple of the Oracle. The place if the stuff of legends mainly because of Alexander the Great's passage. According to legend, the Temple of the Oracle is where he was told that he was the legitimate Pharaoh of Egypt. 

It was built around the 26th Dynasty and flourished well into the Greek and Roman periods. 

The Temple of the Oracle, ©heatheronhertravels/Flickr

Gabal El Mawta (The Mountain of the Dead) is where you'll find ancient rock tombs that date back to the Greek and Roman periods.

During world war II, the people of Siwa used the tombs as shelter when the Italian forces occupied the oasis.

The view from the top of the mountain provides visitors with a stunning panorama of Siwa. 

Cleopatra's Bath is Siwa’s most famous water spring. It is a popular bathing spot for locals and tourists alike.

Fatnis island, or Fitnas, as the locals call it, is a palm tree sensation. Among the trees you'll find a small water spring where Siwa's children swim. They usually use empty plastic bottles tied around their waste for floaters. 

One can enjoy watching the sunset there while sipping on some hibiscus tea.

Sunset as seen from Fitnas Island Source: Sonia Halliday

Dakrour Mountain is a well-known therapeutic tourism destination. Visitors go there in summer for 'sand bathing', a traditional treatment believed by the locals to cure medical conditions like rheumatism and joint pain.

Visit the House of Siwa Museum for some heritage. This small museum offers a closer look at life in Siwa, through handicrafts like jewelry, decorative plates, and embroidered clothes with colorful designs reflecting the Amazigh's culture. 

A Siwan lady dressed in a traditional wedding dress Source: Tim Coleman

Siwa is also famous for its dates, olives, and olive oil. One of the things one has to try in Siwa is their chai (tea). It's amazingly refreshing and even more so with a hint of lemongrass. 

Wedding celebrations in Siwa last up to three days, so if you're planning a trip ask your travel agent to check if one is happening during the time of your visit. It's something you have to see.