Siwa Oasis (واحة سيوة) is the furthest away from Cairo, around 650 Kms West of Cairo, it is also one of the most fascinating. On the edge of the Great Sand Sea, Siwa Oasis’ rich history includes a visit from Alexander the Great to consult the Oracle of Amun in 331 BC. Siwans have their own culture and customs and they speak a Berber language, Wiwi, rather than Arabic. Many women still wear traditional costumes and silver jewellery like those displayed in The Traditional Siwan House museum in the town center. Siwa Oasis remains one of the best places to buy jewellery, rugs, baskets and traditional robes and head-dresses decorated with antique coins.
The original settlement of Siwa Oasis, Aghurmi, was superseded by Shali, founded in 1203. Built from salt-impregnated mud of kharsif, the fortress-like community expanded upwards rather than outwards . Set among thick palm groves, walled gardens and olive orchards, with numerous freshwater springs and salt lakes, modern Siwa Oasis clusters beneath the remains of ancient Shali. There are numerous sights which include 26th Dynasty tombs with murals and inscriptions at Jebel al-Mawta (The Hill of the Dead) and the Oracle of Amun, and acropolis temple dating from around 550 BC. Near the Oracle is a ruined Temple of Amun and the famous Cleopatra Bath, a deep pool of bubbling water where you can bathe.