The isolated oasis
With only 4,000 inhabitants and about 200 km to the first
neighbour settlement, Farafra is among the most isolated places
in Egypt. It is part of the Western Desert circuit, so it still
gets many visitors. And the place has a number of attractions,
of which the adjacent White Desert is one of Egypt's most famous
The architecture of Farafra is the old and ingenious one, where
mud brick houses stand close together, with narrow roads with
roofs. Many of the houses have painted exteriors with murals.
Many traditions live on in Farafra — traditions that die when
locals in towns like this move into nondescript "modern" box
houses. Dresses and shirts have beautiful embroidery, but little
is available for visitors with hard cash. Of products for sale,
olives and olive oil are of high quality here. In addition,
there is a rich output of vegetables and fruits, including
bananas, mangos and guavas.
Most visitors to Farafra take at least one swim in the many hot
springs in town. Female visitors should respect local
traditions, and bathe only in the afternoons.