Bilad Ar Rum

Siwa Oasis

Just north of Kharmisah, around 17km northwest of Siwa Town, the City of the Romans has about 100 tombs cut into the rock of the nearby hills and the ruins of a stone temple, among the spots rumoured to be the final resting place of Alexander the Great. Nearby is Maraqi, once a poor village and now home to chic villas belonging to wealthy foreigners and Egyptians.

Maraqi is also where Liana Souvaltzi, a Greek archaeologist, claimed in 1995 to have found Alexander's tomb. Her findings proved controversial and the Egyptian authorities revoked her permit and closed the site.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Siwa Oasis attractions

1. Gebel Al Mawta

2.15 MILES

This small hill, at the northern end of Siwa Town, is honeycombed with rock tombs peppered with wall paintings. Its name, Gebel Al Mawta, means 'Mountain…

2. Tomb of Mesu-Isis

2.18 MILES

The unfinished Tomb of Mesu-Isis in Gebel Al Mawta is interesting for its beautiful depiction of cobras in red and blue above the entrance. The tomb was…

3. Tomb of Niperpathot

2.23 MILES

In the Tomb of Niperpathot, one of the oldest in the oasis, the inscriptions and crude drawings are made in the same reddish ink you can see on modern…

4. Tomb of Si Amun

2.23 MILES

The best of Gebel Al Mawta's paintings are in this tomb, where beautifully coloured reliefs portray the dead man – thought to be a wealthy Greek landowner…

5. Tomb of the Crocodile

2.24 MILES

This tomb's name comes from its wall painting of a yellow crocodile representing the god Sobek. Many of the paintings inside are badly deteriorating.

6. House of Siwa Museum

2.67 MILES

This small museum contains an interesting display of traditional clothing, jewellery and crafts typical of the oasis. It’s worth the entry fee just to…

7. Ain Al Arais

2.68 MILES

The closest spring to central Siwa is Ain Al Arais, a cool, inviting waterhole with a grotto-like bottom, just five minutes’ walk from the main market…

8. Old Mosque


Just above the entrance to the Fortress of Shali is the old mosque with its distinctive chimney-shaped minaret. The mosque was recently restored and a…