Our Cairo day tour to Fayoum Oasis is one of our special excursions from Cairo that you really shouldn’t miss during your Cairo Holidays. After breakfast, we pick you up from your accommodation in Cairo and take you on a ride to one of the most impressive ecological areas in Egypt, the
The Fayoum Oasis
is not considered to be a real Oasis. Instead of underground springs and wells, it's fed by the water of the Nile River
. Fayoum Oasis gained fame for its rich natural resources and three protected areas, including the Valley of the Whales
, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site
. The desert region of Fayoum Oasis
is a unique mixture of climate and geology that created a fascinating landscape. Enjoy the wonderful green surroundings as you approach
Karanis Egypt – Fayoum Waterwheels
Our Cairo day tour
to Fayoum Oasis
leads us first to Karanis, a city founded by Greek mercenaries in the northeast area of the Oasis in the 3rd century. Here an important cultural part of our day tour awaits you. Among many temple ruins, we come across the Fayoum Waterwheels that played an important role in the economy of the Fayoum Oasis
in the 3rd century. The most impressive Waterwheels are in Fayoum City
, here we can find 4 Waterwheels and further in the north of the Oasis is a place with 7 Waterwheels right next to each other.
From the Fayoum Waterwheels
, we continue our trip to the significant
with is location 45 meters above sea level. Qarun Lake
is considered to be the largest lake in the country and the oldest natural lake in the world. Although the Qarun Lake
continues to shrink every year, it has been considered Egypt's largest salt lake for thousands of years. At the moment, the lake is still around 215 square kilometers.
used to be a freshwater lake, but since the runoff water from the canals of Fayoum City
started flowing, it has become more and more a salt lake. Nowadays, the lake is considered an excellent place for all kinds of water sports such as windsurfing and rowing, as well as a place for fishing enthusiasts and nature lovers for bird watching of the swans and rare falcons that live here, among other things.
For lunch, we take a break in a local restaurant before we drive to our next destination, around 55 kilometers northwest of Fayoum City
Here in Qasr Qarun
, translated “Palace of Qarun” and actually the wrong description for a temple, we visit the well-preserved Qasr Qarun Temple
with its labyrinth of chambers, cellars, tunnels and passages inside – the perfect place for exploration. The otherwise plain temple is decorated with two figures on the upper floor that show the reliefs of the crocodile god Sobek
and a king.
You can reach the roof via the spiral staircase, from where you can enjoy a unique view over the desert landscape in the south and west, as well as the fertile farmland in the east and north. The Qasr Qarun Temple
is surrounded by the ruins of the city Dionysus
from the Greco-Roma era. Some of the ruins can only be recognized by outlines in the ground. On a few of the faded walls, you can still see fresco decorations. In 1948 baths were discovered in the eastern part, but their frescoes have been destroyed by erosion.
A special date for a visit is winter solstice around December 21st when rays of sunlight penetrate the otherwise dark temple interior and illuminate the statues of the crocodile god Sobek
in the sanctuary of the Qasr Qarun Temple
. Our Cairo day tour
Wadi El Rayan
Since 1989 Wadi El Rayan
is called a beautiful nature reserve and is home to around 170 different bird species among many rare wild animals. In Wadi El Rayan
, there are ancient Roman and Pharaonic ruins, but the valley got its fame through the discovery of whale bones, which gave it the surreal name Valley of the Whales.
Two rather large lakes connected by a small river and Egypt’s only waterfalls are one of the beautiful places in Wadi El Rayan
that we visit on our excursion to one of the most impressive nature reserves. Here our Fayoum Oasis – Cairo day tour
ends with the transfer back to your accommodation in Cairo