The attractions of Dakhla can be divided into those in the east and those in the west of the Dakhla depression.
In the East
Is the most eastern village in Dakhla. It has an interesting cemetery with unusual mud tombstones which are painted blue or white. Apart from that the most interesting thing about Tineida is its history. It was the final destination of the survivors of an epic trek made by the Bedouin of Kufra in 1930. Not wanting to live under Italian control, about 500 individuals set off intending to settle in the Jebal Uwaynat area but, on arrival, found it too dry and inhospitable. The majority of them waited with no food and very little water while a scouting group went on to Dakhla to see if the conditions there were better. A survey team led by P.A.Clayton came across those left behind at Uwaynat. They were in a terrible condition from the lack of food, water and the enormous distance they had covered. Clayton's team rescued those they could carry in their cars and alerted the authorities who sent out a search party to help the remaining survivors. About 300 of the original 500 reached Tineida safely having crossed 675km of arid desert.
Was named by running the words Pasha and Hindi together. He was a sheikh who is buried here. There are also many Roman tombs here as well as houses thought to be of a Pharaonic design. There is also a hot spring here.
Contains an old city with small, narrow covered streets. The design was for protection not only from the sand and sun but so that horses and camels could not enter and all fighting would have to be on foot. Just to the southwest of Balat is an area where very early signs of human habitation have been found surrounding an ancient spring.
In the West
Is the main town of Dakhla and is growing into a sprawling city. Old architecture is becoming rare although it is still possible to visit Old Mut with its narrow, shaded streets. The main reason to spend time in Mut is the excellent ethnographic museum. There are no official opening times for this museum. The Tourist Information Office or Culture office will be able to help you to gain access.
Is believed to be the longest continuously inhabited site in Dakhla. Although growing there are still original, interestingly decorated buildings to visit in Qasr Dakhla as no new construction is permitted within the old city. The village is approached through a palm grove. A modern gleaming white mosque stands outside the walls of the old city while just inside an old tapering mud-brick minaret soars above the houses. There are buildings with carved wooden door lintels with Koranic inscriptions, which date back 500 years. The streets are narrow and covered in places. There are many low parts supported with ancient palm beams that you have to duck under. Some of the buildings rise upwards for some 4- or 5- storeys as in the Shali at Siwa. Ancient kilns have been found that show that pottery is not a new handicraft here in Dakhla. The Ayyubid Nasr al-Din mosque and the House of Abu Nafir provide examples of traditional Islamic buildings. The House of Abu Nafir is built on the site of a temple and hieroglyphs can be seen on the old door jambs. One of the most interesting rooms is found at the Court of the Madrasa, it has red and white decoration and high windows letting in shafts of sunlight. It was used as a school for Islamic sects and as the courthouse. Outside the walls near the Court of the Madrasa you can still see the place where criminals convicted in the courthouse were hung.
Just 2.6km west of Qasr at the edge of a dune field is a place where a dune can be seen tumbling down the side of the escarpment as part of its relentless progress across the desert floor. It is especially beautiful at sunset.
Here in Qasr Dakhla there is an ethnographic museum. It brings together handicrafts, traditional costumes and utensils from all the oases under one roof. It is a charming place, with friendly, informative staff and a small shop where you can buy jewellery, knitted socks and scarves, basketwork and pottery. There is a small entrance fee.
The Muzawwaqa tombs
Are accessed from a dirt road 2km west of Qasr Dakhla. There is an entrance fee here. Out of the three hundred tombs here, two in particular stand out. The tombs of Petubastis and Padiosiris are both highly decorated with full colour paintings which are about 2000 years old. Damage to the tombs means they are not always open.
The Monastery of the Stone, also has an entrance fee. This is a sandstone temple west of the Muzawwaqa tombs which has been visited by many since ancient times. Some cartouches of Roman emperors are visible on the walls but the majority of the decoration comes from C19th travellers. They could not resist adding their names to the pillars as proof that they had reached this remote site. Edmondstone, Drovetti and Rohlfs are all represented here by their graffiti. There is also an unusual stone step decorated with inscriptions from the Koran which is now covered so that it cannot be defiled by people walking on it. There are rock-cut tombs immediately behind the temple and ruins of pigeon houses all around. There is also a small visitors' centre and a very friendly ticket seller who has been working at the temple for over 12 years and will probably offer you tea.