Mark Read

Western Desert

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to Egypt's Western Desert.

Older than the Pyramids, as sublime as any temple, Egypt’s Western Desert is a vast sweep of elemental beauty. The White Desert's shimmering vista of surreal rock formations and the ripple and swell of the Great Sand Sea's mammoth dunes are simply bewitching.

Within this intense landscape five oases, shaded by palm plantations and blessed by a plethora of natural hot and cold springs, provide a glimpse of rural Egyptian life. Get lost exploring Al Qasr's squiggling narrow lanes in Dakhla. Watch sunset sear across the countryside atop Gebel Al Ingleez in Bahariya. Take a stroll amid Siwa's sprawling date palms. Once you've finished adventuring, kick back and just enjoy the laid-back pace of oasis life.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Western Desert.