Al Fayoum Overview
The Fayoum is a wonderful area of Egypt with a rich and interesting history. El Fayum is one of the governors in the north-west of Egypt about 90 km from Cairo. Wadi El Hitan, Maidum Pyramid, Tunis Village, Gabal El Medawara, Wadi El Rayan, Lake Qaroun are the most popular attractions in the city.
El Fayum is renowned for its fertile land, fascinating tourist attractions that date back to ancient Egyptian time and its great history. The name of "El Fayum" comes from the Coptic word 'Phiom' , which means lake or sea since it was enclosing a sea in the Prehistoric period. Ptolemy II (Philadelophos) gave El Fayoum the name 'Philadelphia' .
El Fauoum is also renowned for its Fayimian and Meorian Cultures that date back to the 5500 to 4000 BC. People of these cultures were sedentary and knew methods of agriculture and pottery making. With the climatic changes, around 4000 BC people began to abandon Fayoum and migrate to the Nile Valley, getting in contact with the people of Maadi Culture.
However, El Fayoum remained a savage site for hunting and extracting mining salts. This is why it hosts many interesting monuments like the pyramids of Hawara, Lahun, and Lisht, the ancient city of Karanis, Madinet Madi, and the protected area of Wadi Al Rayan.
Although the Fayoum hosts many monuments, including a number of unique pyramids, that were established starting from the reign of the Pharos and ending with the period of the Ottomans, a great number of tourists miss it and do not have the chance to visit it.
Today the Oasis, with its lakes and sanctuaries, pristine desert areas (which includes fossil remains of world importance such as Wadi El-rayan and the valley of the whales and various cultural sites, plus the rural quietude, forms an amazing and unique site of adventure, and beautiful scenery. Qasr Qarun, Qaitbay Mosque, Hanging Mosque, Lahun Pyramids, Hawara, Wadi Rayan.
Wadi Elrayan, the largest waterfalls in Egypt, around 50 km (31 mi) from the city. The Obelisk of Senusret: It consists of a tall bar of granite that is 13 meters long and it has a round shape top. The obelisk contains a hall to install a crown or a statue of the king.
Al Fayoum Similar to the Oasis, where the desert is surrounded on all sides except the point of contact with the Nile. the desert representing 62% of its area is rich in flora , formations of geological , mountains , desert , eyes natural , birds , animals rare wildlife .
Fayoum oasis is an important Eco tourism site in Egypt for bird watching fans and scientists. It is also a common weekend destination for Egyptian families especially who live in Cairo. It is just hour and half drive by car and offers a perfect weekend visit with its amazing nature varies between the national parks, waterfalls, lake, green fields and desert.
Tour operators and travel agents run a full day guided tour to El Fayoum for tourists and expats living in Cairo. Tours are commonly go to Wadi El rayan, Qaroon Lake and Wadi Hitan "Whales Valley" with national park tickets, lunch and return transfers included.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Egypt is safe country to visit with notable low crime rate, tourist attractions are well secured and there is no common negative attitude towards foreigners, with some sensible precautions and preparations you will feel at home and as safe as you'll ever be.
There is no special dress code when visiting Egypt tourist sites, modest dress is recommended in less tourist sites and there is no special concern for women traveling alone.
Egyptian Arabic is the most commonly spoken language in Egypt, it is also the national language in the country but Egyptians speak and understand English as they study it in school. Fewer Egyptians can speak other languages like French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Egyptians working in tourism sector are accustomed to speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of most travelers.
Egypt is very connected to the world, it has many direct flights with Africa, Asia, European Union and United States. Visit Cairo Airport website for a full list of Airlines that fly to Egypt.
Duty free allowances on arrival to Egypt are 1L alcohol, 1L perfume, and either 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200g tobacco. Duty free shops are available in Egypt airports and major tourist cities (Cairo, Luxor, Hurghada, El Gouna and Sharm El Sheikh).
Giza Pyramids and most monuments and Museums in Egypt open between 8 Am to 5 Pm. During Ramadan, the holy month of the Islamic calendar, be aware that these hours will change significantly.
Shops and stores in Egypt are usually opened from 10 Am to 10 Pm however in major cities it opens much later and some are open 24 hours.
Visitors are welcome in most mosques throughout the year. Modest dress is recommended, women should cover their hair, arms and legs. Both Women and men will remove their shoes before entering.
Taking pictures for people and streets is fine after people permission While Taking pictures for official type or army structures is not permitted. In most historical sites and museums in Egypt it is allowed to use camera, some of them may charge you for camera but at the Egyptian Museum and some similar historical sites it is prohibited and you will be asked to leave camera at reception before entering.
Egypt enjoys big hotel variety from world class luxury to simple hostel accommodations; Check in time in most hotels in Egypt is around midday, 12 or 1 PM.
There in no health concerns or vaccinations required to visit Egypt but we recommend to check with your own doctor, he knows you and your medical history best.
The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (LE), it is about ,06 to USD. Money exchange is widely available, Credit cards are largely used in Egypt major cities and tourist spots.
We do not recommend the public buses in big cities. Taxi and limousine service are fine every where but price is negotiable. Trains go to all big cities in Egypt except Sinai and the Red Sea. Flights from / to tourist cities are always available.
Tipping in Egypt is an appreciated habitual attitude but is Not obligatory. Generally 5 to 10 EGP for small favors is fine for carrying luggage, parking a car or to guys who clean bathrooms. 10 % is fine in restaurant and spa. Tipping your tour guide and vehicle driver should be considered if you're provided with good to great service, feel free to give what you think your experience was worth.
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In Cairo, visit the Egyptian Museum, Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, Khan El Khalili Bazaar and relish a walking tour on foot in Old Cairo. In Luxor visit the impressive Luxor temple, Hatshepsut temple, Valley of the Kings and Karnak temple. Aswan tours go to Philae Temple, Edfu, Kom Ombo and Abu Simbel temples. Uncover the Western Desert oases like Siwa and Bahariya. Diving or snorkeling in the magic waters of Red Sea and Sinai beaches like Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Taba, Hurghada and Marsa Alam to explore the magic of the underwater world. Board a Nile Cruise from Luxor to Aswan or vise versa, Lake Nasser Cruise from Aswan to Abu Simbel or vise versa and Cruise from Cairo to Aswan or vise versa.