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Siwa Siwa
Photo courtesy of Egyptian Tourism Authority

Siwa Oasis is 300 km (186 miles) southwest of Marsa Matrouh. Permits for foreigners are no longer required as before, however very remote and off the beaten tracks require special permission from tourist authorities.

Despite being very far from the Nile valley, Siwa had a vital role in the Egyptian history. When Cambyses, the Persian Emperor invaded Thebes and decided a crusade to the temple of AmunWho is this deity? in Siwa, his big army got lost in the desert in one of the ancient mysteries, still studied by scientists till now.
Two hundred years later in 331 BC Alexander the Great visited the temple to pay homage to the Egyptian God Amun and there he was beatified by the Amun priests as son of god, part of his wise approach to the Egyptians.

In modern times Egyptians started to look towards Siwa to explore more of its history and enjoy the beautiful gift of nature.
Siwa local inhabitants of Berber-origin are still retaining their unique tradition, dialect and customs.

The oasis is so beautiful and it has several thousand palm trees and olive trees, forming Siwa's main production of dates, olives and olive oil.
Siwa is also full of hundreds of freshwater springs, which makes it the prime source of pure mineral water in Egypt. Siwa's chief city is Shali.

The Temple of the Oracle:
The temple lies about 10 km (6 miles) east of Shali town atop of Aghurmi hill. The temple was built by the 26th dynasty between 7th and 6th century BC and was dedicated to Egyptian God Amun. The temple of Amun, once visited by Alexander the Great, is now in ruins. The temple is incorporated in the old abandoned village of Aghurmi.

In the depression below the hill is another ruined temple dedicated to God Amun. This one is believed to have been connected to the Temple of the Oracle by a causway. The temple, which is believed to be built by 30th dynasty King Nectanebo II, was subject to stone vandalism causing its current shabby state.

Gabal El-Mawta (Mount of the dead):
The mountain lies one kilometer (0.6 miles) north of Shali town. Several tombs dating back to the Late Pharaonic, Ptolemaic and Roman eras are cut on its side. Unfortunately, many of these were robbed but some stand with few remarkable decorations.
Cleopatra Bath:
It is in a form of a spring that pours in a sun-brick pool surrounded by a bosket of palms. You can take a bath enjoying the titillative feeling of the water bubbles on your skin but in wearing modest clothes to show respect for the traditions of the locals. The bath is north of GabalWhat does it mean? El-Dakrur.
Fantasy Island Pool:
The island is in BerketWhat does it mean? Siwa, the biggest lake in the oasis. The site is about 10 km (6 miles) from Shali town. The island is reachable by a narrow causeway running through the lake to the island. It is remarkable for its lush verdure. The pool could be considered better than that of Cleopatra's.

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