Sick of the city? Want to visit more? You need a day trip to Fayoum. Or maybe you are just here for a couple of days but would like to make the most of them.
I recommend you go to Fayoum for the day or spend a night. That is an option as well!
El Fayoum is a land of unspoiled nature and rich history. You won’t regret discovering it!
How to get to Fayoum
Fayoum is located around 100 KMs away from Cairo. And like much of Egypt it has a historical significance to it. It has one of the earliest known agriculture communities.
How to get there you ask? You can get there by car and arrange for 4×4 pick ups for the desert ride! I’ll post the number of a trusted man who rents 4x4s and can arrange your day for you.
Best time to visit Fayoum
I wouldn’t recommend peak of summer as it can get really hot.
October to April is the perfect time to visit Fayoum. If you are there for bird watching along Lake Qarun then winter time is the best time.
What to see in Fayoum
Qarun Lake is considered one of the oldest natural lake in the world. You can watch different kind of birds around the Lake.
Wadi El Rayan
Designated as a Protected Area in 1989. It’s a natural depression located in the western desert about 42 meter below sea level.
Made of two lakes that were created by the agricultural run off water from Fayoum. Wadi El rayan is full of beautiful landscapes.
On your way in on your left you will find Gabal El Medawar. A scenic hiking option overlooking the lake.
The Protected Area of Wadi Hitan; also known as the Valley of the Whales; was designated by the UNESCO as a world Heritage Site in recognition of the 40 millions year old whale skeletons found there.
Wadi El Rayan Waterfalls are also a known site in El Fayoum. Though if you are heading there on a weekend or national holiday I do not recommend. In my opinion, there’s nothing special about it. Even though it’s pretty nice to see the waterfalls in the same area as sand dunes in the middle of the desert!
Also, The Magic Lake that overlooks sand dunes is not to be missed while visiting this area. You can sandboard there or anywhere in the desert! It’s a lot of fun. The only downside is the uphill climb you will have to walk after sandboarding. Though, the most famous area for sandboarding is where we did it is called Qosour El Arab.
You will need a 4WD to visit this area, at least to be able to go off road!
Full of pottery workshops (for some souvenirs) Tunis Village is a beautiful place. The pottery industry in Fayoum was revived by an Egyptian poet and his Swiss Wife who went to Fayoum in the 60s. They decided to build a house and a pottery workshop. From there they started teaching pottery making. Nowadays once a year there’s the Tunis Festival held around October/November.
Pyramid of Meidum
About 30 Kms northeast from El Fayoum is the ruin of the first true pyramid attempted by the ancient Egyptians. It is known to have been an eight stepped structure but the pyramid’s weight caused the sides to collapse. Today only 3 remains.
Where to stay in Fayoum
You have many options while visiting if you wish to spend the night.
First of all you can camp in the desert in Wadi El Rayan. A tent can be provided by your guide if you don’t own one.
You can spend the night at one of the ecological camps like Zwara; Zad El Mosafer or Sobek Camp.
Also, another option, the most luxurious one in Fayoum is Lazib Inn located in the heart of Tunis Village. A boutique hotel that has only 8 rooms.
Our guide organized for us a BBQ by sunset in the desert by Lake Qarun which was fantastic.
For a short video of our day trip to Fayoum, check my IGTV on instagram @trannetastravels