‘At night it is so quiet that you begin to hear the stars’
The ancient Egyptians called Siwa the ‘Field of Trees’. Today this most isolated settlement is home to a small population of Berbers and one of the world’s most interesting hotels. You won’t find marble sinks and black-suited staff here and you can’t use the wifi because there is no electricity. In London this sort of thing would be called ‘rough luxe’. Your room is luxurious but in the sense that you are free from the demands of digital existence. A traditional mud hut is where you sleep on a bed made of rammed cotton. Here is a rare chance to enjoy the simple things, dinner under the palm trees, horseback riding through desert dunes, your guide silhouetted against a blood orange sunset. Siwa has been inhabited for over 10,000 years and there are hundreds of archaeological sites and ruins to explore. Visit the Roman and Ancient Egyptian ruins and find that the hieroglyphs are still visible. The mummies are all gone though (boo!). Also around here is the lost city of Zerzura which, as legend has it, is full of the treasure of the desert kings and queens.