It’s difficult to imagine a desert oasis with a magical lake, cascading waterfalls, and a valley of ancient whales failing to be listed among a destination’s top attractions. But in a place like Egypt, with its ancient pyramids and beautiful beaches, competition is understandably steep. Located less than two hours south west of Cairo, Fayoum Oasis is undoubtedly one of the country’s hidden treasures. Made up of many lakes and canals, this large region is an ideal weekend or day trip spot for those keen to escape the bustle of the city. Wadi El Rayan, a protected national park that stretches across nearly 700 square miles, is one of Fayoum’s many highlights. It’s comprised of an upper and lower human-made lake, with what’s considered to be Egypt’s largest waterfalls in between. These waterfalls can be hard to spot from the upper plateau, as they’re slightly smaller than other renowned falls. But viewing the multiple drop-offs from the lower plateau is the best way to witness their collective beauty and experience a unique shower in the middle of a desert.