Bahariya is one of the more fetching of the desert circuit oases, and at just 365km from Cairo it's also the most accessible. Much of the oasis floor here is covered by sprawling shady date palms and speckled with dozens of natural springs, which beg to be plunged into. The surrounding landscape of rocky, sandy mesas is a grand introduction to the Western Desert's barren beauty.
During the Middle Kingdom and especially during Roman times, the oasis was a centre of agriculture, producing wine sold in the Nile Valley and as far away as Rome. Its strategic location on the Libya–Nile Valley caravan routes ensured it prospered also throughout later ages. In recent years, stunning archaeological finds, such as that of the Golden Mummies, and easy access to the White and Black Deserts have earned Bahariya a firm spot on the tourist map.