Egypt Western Desert Tours  Oasis Information

The oasis, a depression in the desert comprising springs, wells and trees, reflects the beauty, charm and diversity of nature; its surrounding desert...green valleys...water wells...high plateaus...therapeutic sulphur-rich springs. In Egypt there are plenty of oases in the Western Desert. The most significant are Fayyum, Kharga, Dakhia, Paris, Farafrah, Bahereya, Siwa and the Qattara Depression. The Fayyum Oasis lies in depression, right in the Western Desert, about 103 km. south-west of Cairo. It is surrounded by high plateaus, and separated from the Nile Valley by a high ridge to the east at al-Lahun. The oasis is famed for its all-year-round pleasant climate and beautiful scenery. There is evidence of pre-historic settlements as well as Pharaonic, Greek Roman, Coptic, & Islamic monuments. Fayyum boosts a combination of rural, coastal, desert, and urban environments, and thus holds out great attractions to tourists. The Hawara Pyramid (shown to the right) dating from (1991-1778 BC) can be found here. The Oases provides a vast amount of tourist attractions, below is a brief overview of some of the sites that you can visit!

The Oasis:

Al-Wadi Al-Gadeed Oases :(The New Valley Oases)

The New Valley Oases occupies some 67% of the Western Desert and 45.8% of the total area of Egypt. It lies 602 km. from Cairo and 232 km. from Assyut. It's bordered by the Governorate of Matruh in the north, Sudan in the south, Libya in the west, and the Governorates of Middle Egypt in the east. It includes the Kharga, Dakhla, Farafrah and Paris oases with more than 99 monuments dating to different ages.

The area enjoys a mixture of the desert environment, green plains, wells, and sulphur-rich springs, both cold and hot. In one spring, the water temperature reaches 43 C and is suitable for the treatment of rheumatic and digestive ailments, colds and allergies.The oases are famed for their dry climate most of the year, and humidity never exceeds 9.5%. Warm, sunny winters allow them to be an international health spa.

Dakhla Oasis:

Dakhla (capital Mut) is the second provincial capital of the Governorate and lies 200km. north-west of Kharga. Midway is the Zayyan resthouse. Dakhla contains several wells, the most important of which are: The Mut Wells in which the temperature reaches 43 C. One well is 1224 meters deep. It has a round swimming pool and tourist resthouses with complete facilities.The pharonic wells of Ayn al-Qasr in which water temperature reaches 45 C.

Kharga Oasis:

Capital of the New Valley Governorate, it lies 232 km. south of Assyut. It is characterized by its numerous monuments, springs and tourist sites such as the ponds of fish in Bulaq Village.

Paris Oasis: (Temple of Dush)

Located 90 km. south of Kharga, it houses the Roman Temple of Dush dedicated to the God Serapis. There is also a mud-brick Turkish fortress, an ancient church and some pottery dating to the Coptic period.

Farafrah Oasis:

About 320 km. northwest of Dakhla and 170 km. north of Bahereya Oasis, it is suitable for car tours and safaris by means of the circular road connecting it with Dakhla and Bahereya. There are remains of roman buildings, including Qasr al-Farafrah, built of mud-brick, and Qasr Abu Minqar.

Siwa Oasis:
About 306 km. south west of Marsa Matruh and 627 km from Cairo, this oasis is renowned for its beautiful scenery, thick groves of palm and olive trees, water springs, and the surrounding mountains. It has a steady climate, chilly in the winter, hot in the summer and moderate in spring and autumn.

FAYOUM OASIS:

Fayoum Oasis is Egypt's largest oasis, populated by more than 2 million. It is not a pure oasis like the other ones of Egypt, as most of its water comes from the Nile.

But it is a depression, and it has its own artesian wells, allowing water to reach the surface from underground reservoirs.

The extent of it is quite grand, and the green gardens seem to go on and on. Its villages are simple and far too often filthy, making a stark contrast to the gardens and the splended past.

Fayoum's history goes back in time as far as Egypt's. Its earliest recorded name, in the time of the pyramid builders, was To-She. With the construction of irrigation canals in the 19th century BCE, the oasis became the most fertile region in Egypt. The 4th century BCE king Ptolemy 2 Philadelphus named it after his sister/wife Arsinoe.

With the introduction of Roman control a few centuries later, a new taxation system ruined local farmers and resulted in a decline of the oasis that would last for almost 1600 years, before Mohammed Ali introduced new programmes, promoting agriculture.

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