About Fayoum

Fayoum in Brief

Fayoum from Space
Fayoum from Space

The Fayoum, located less than a hundred kilometers from Cairo and with its rich heritage of flora and fauna and archaeology, is one of the most beautiful and fertile regions of Egypt. in addition, it includes two areas declared as protected by the Egyptian Government: Lake Qarun and Wadi Rayan National Parks.

Map of Fayoum
Map of Fayoum
The Fayoum is divided into six administrative centers of which the chief towns are Madinat al-Fayoum, Tamiya, Sinnuris, Ibshawai, Yusuf al Siddiq and Itsa – comprising approximately 157 villages and 1565 hamlets with population of more than 3 million inhabitants. the total surface 4678 sq. Km . cultivated area is 1437 sq. Km  .

The Land 

Fayoum palms

The Fayoum is a vast depression  that contains a great lake in its lowest part called Birkat Qaroun ( Lake Qaroun ). This depression receives water from branch of the Nile that was canalized in ancient times,  now called Bahr Youssef. This splits up into a dense network of secondary canals. Fayoum is usually refers to as an oasis, but it differs from the real oasis as it receives the water directly from the Nile.

Arial View

The northern part of the depression is entirely below sea level that contains the lake which lies at ground 45 meters below sea level. the depression is bounded on the northwest by high limestone scarp. to the the southwest of The Fayoum is a smaller depression , Wadi al Rayyan, reaching 43 meters below sea level . This has no natural water supply  and no soil, but water has recently been channeled in to form two large lakes.  

Name & Etymology

Fayoum passed several different names through the ages until it reached its present name … In ancient Egypt, specifically in the Old Kingdom Fayoum was called “Shedet” in the sense of the lake and in the middle kingdom, it was called “Ta – She,” meaning the land of the lake.

ancient map
ancient Fayoum
The modern name of the city comes from Coptic ” Pa-Ym” whence the proper name payom, meaning the Sea or the Lake, which in turn comes from late Egyptian pA y-m of the same meaning, a reference to the nearby Lake Moeris. It has been named Al Fayoum after the Arab conquest of Egypt. 

The Climate :

Fayoum enjoys a hot dry climate, rare rain in the winter the temperature ranging in the winter (Hi) between 11 and 17 and (low) of 4 and 10 degrees in January, and the average annual rainfall is around 17 mm.

The People

people of Fayoum

The People of the Fayoum usually classify themselves in two main ethnic groups, a majority of Egyptians in towns and central areas,

people of Fayoum

and a minority of settled “Bedouin” or Arabs in peripheral areas.

Poetic description about Fayoum

Fayoum Tunis

” Cool are the dawns ; tall are the trees ; many are the fruits; little are the rains ”

by el Nabulsi 750 years ago!

Getting in Fayoum :

By microbus from different regions in Cairo e.g. Ramsis Square and also from different regions in Giza e.g. El-Remaya Square (Shotting Square)and El-Moneeb.

Getting Around Fayoum :

service taxi is available in Fayoum city and it’s pretty easy.

Useful Telephone Numbers:

Fayoum Tourism Authority : +2 084 2168056

Tourist Police : +2 084 6307298

Emergency Numbers

  • Tourist Police : 126
  • Fire Service : 180
  • Ambulance : 123
  • Police : 122
  • Telephone Guide : 140
  • Cairo Airport Shuttle Bus : 19970
  • Flying Hospital Service : +2 37766393/2
  • Gas Emergency : 129

Keep in Mind During your trip in Fayoum

Do’s

  • Drink a lot of water, Fayoum’s weather is very dry and it’s very easy to get dehydrated
  • Carry some cash when heading to remote locations
  • For sightseeing, make sure you have a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, light cotton or linen clothes, and don’t forget comfortable shoes
  • While visiting religious locations dress modestly and take off your shoes before entering a mosque.
  • Respect the local customs: these include dress codes
  • Visit the local tourist office if you have any requirements or questions
  • Seek the help of the touristic police if you find yourself in any troublesome situation
  • Always carry some kind of identification document

Don’ts

  • Don’t assume you can pay with your credit card, always ask first
  • Don’t take pictures where you’re not allowed to
  • Don’t feel obliged to tip anyone for anything
  • Don’t take anything from the natural parks and reserves and keep them as clean as you can
  • Avoid leaving your hotel or apartment without telling anyone where you’re heading
  • Don’t leave your hotel or accommodation without a guide or a map close at hand, unless you know where you’re heading
  • Don’t expect Egyptians to understand your language. Instead, learn some useful phrases. Locals will appreciate it.

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