Shadowed by the mystical relics of the ancient world, Egypt is an underrated wellness destination. Alternative wellness and medicine has been a defining part of Egyptian culture since primeval times. Practices like aromatherapy and reflexology date back millennia. As one of the oldest civilizations on earth, ancient Egyptians dedicated a great deal of time to health and wellbeing practices. They viewed ailments and illnesses as a fight between good and evil, and used magicians and prayer alongside trained physicians. In fact, most alternative health practices come from the ancient Egyptians. This makes the country one of the most unique places to experience immersive and traditional wellness. Follow our spa and wellness guide to Egypt to have a rejuvenating experience on your next visit.
Swim in the Healing Red Sea
Famous worldwide for its crystal clear water and colorful coral, the Red Sea also boasts a plethora of wellness benefits due to its high saline concentration. It’s around 35% higher than most other seas. The age-old Red Sea is home to reefs dating back 7,000 years. It sits in a scenic ring of the mountains of the Sinai desert. The mountainous barrier ensures the air around the Red Sea is pure. It lacks airborne grime from sandstorms and pollution, making it the perfect natural wellness hub.
Boasting amazing healing and exfoliating properties, the Red Sea helps ailments like skin inflammation and blood circulation issues. The sand also contains unique radioactive elements and trace minerals said to help patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory problems. Regardless of the time of year, the sea boasts lukewarm, delightful water. This makes a dip here one of the best ways to boost your health and wellness in Egypt.
Sink Into a Sand Bath at Siwa Oasis
Recognized in 2017 as one of the best global destinations for medical and environmental tourism, Siwa Oasis is home to a number of wellness opportunities. Located on the tip of the Sahara desert right near Libya, Siwa is the perfect place for rejuvenation. Also, it’s one of the top destinations for those seeking rest and rejuvenation in Egypt.
The most famous wellness treatment in Siwa is the traditional sand bathing, open seasonally from mid-June to mid-September. Capturing the heat of the hot summer months, the sand is said to enhance overall health and wellbeing. Benefits from bathing include detoxification, boosted immunity, and improvements in blood circulation, fertility, heart function, and cholesterol levels.
To begin with, the entire body up to the neck is buried in the steaming sand for 10-15 minutes, triggering a cold sensation that is said to catalyze rejuvenation. After bathing, the patient dresses in winter clothing to rest. Oil massages, cupping, and warm, herbal tonics complete the treatment, leaving the patient feeling restored and renewed. The healing properties of sand bathing lured many ancient leaders to Siwa, including Cleopatra and Alexander the Great.
A trip to Siwa offers an amazing opportunity to truly indulge and renew; with the nearest town being hundreds of kilometers away, there’s no distractions from attaining peak wellness.
Indulge in One of Cairo’s Spas
There are many opportunities to unwind in Egypt’s capital city. If you’re after a luxurious spa and wellness experience in Egypt, look no further than Four Seasons Hotel Nile Plaza Spa. As one of Cairo’s largest wellness centers, it offers a huge list of alternative and traditional treatments. These include the Pharaonic massage, jet lag recovery, and the illustrious Nile Journey massage. Additionally, treatments are infused with traditional Egyptian rituals including herbal steam baths and loofah scrubs, making it one of the most relaxing ways to escape the hustle and bustle of Cairo. Afterwards, if you’re after a more immersive experience, stay at the hotel for treatment in the comfort of your room. Read our Cairo city guide and where to stay in Cairo to get the most out of your visit. Or take a tour of ancient Cairo’s highlights.
Try Traditional Herbs with Dr. Ahmed
As one of the last remaining traditional herbal growers and doctors in the Sinai region, a visit to Dr. Ahmed at his wondrous desert garden is a must for all alternative wellness lovers. Known throughout Egypt and into Israel for his extensive knowledge on the traditional use of Sinai herbs, he also has an amazing ability to diagnose the holistic health issues often missed by modern medicine.
As a descendant of the Jabaleyya tribe, who guarded St. Catherine’s Monastery for over 1,600 years, Dr. Ahmed works hard to ensure his knowledge continues with future generations. While there, see the small school for the local Bedouin children out of his garden. Read our guide to Egyptian culture and customs before meeting the locals! Whether you require a diagnosis or are simply interested in delving deeper into ancient Egyptian herbal medicine, a trip into the Sinai desert isn’t complete without stopping by Dr. Ahmed’s garden. Or a tour to trek on camels to stargaze under the expansive skies.
Loosen Up with Cupping
While the origin of cupping remains a controversy, there’s no doubt that the ancient Egyptians used the treatment for a number of purposes, as it has even been found inscribed in hieroglyphics. Cupping works by creating suction that draws out toxins and foreign matters from the body. Occasionally used for pain management, it also helps with blood flow and deep tissue treatments. Egypt is one of the most authentic destinations to experience the benefits of cupping. In Cairo and looking to experience an amazing cupping treatment? Try out Cura Clinic or Osana Family Wellness.
Escapes in Egypt
This ancient bastion of healing is at the top of every traveler’s itinerary. Whether you’re looking to tour the region or just relax, Egypt offers it all. See our hotels in Egypt to finish off your plans and get started on your Egyptian journey.