The province of El-Fayoum is located about 70 Km southwest of Cairo and is easily found on the map because of the large lake (Lake Qaroun), which is close by.
This region is extremely rich in many archaeological sites, such as the old City of El-Fayoum (Crocodopolis). It is in a natural depression in the desert, linked to the River Nile by a branch called "Bahr Yousuf", whose name was probably derived from the ancient Egyptian Word "Baym", which means sea or lake. It contains a lake known by the ancient Egyptians as "Mr-Wr", which means "the great sea", and in Greek, it became "Moris". Today, in Arabic, it is called "Qaroun Lake".
The word Baym was most probably the origin of the word El-Fayoum. In Ancient Egypt it was called "shedt" and it was a great city during the Middle Kingdom. Hawara Pyramid, which is considered to be one of the most important sites of the province, was the Pyramid of King Amenemhat III who ruled during the Middle Kingdom. Unfortunately, nothing is left of his huge and fabulous mortuary Temple, which was called the Labyrinth.
One of the most famous areas in El-Fayoum is Kom Mady (Narmouthis); this is because of the remains of the old Temple of kom madi, which dates back to the XII Dynasty and was dedicated to the crocodile God Sobek, the Goddess Isis, and the Goddess Renen-Wetet. Actually, there are several historical and archaeological sites that are scattered in different locations throughout this province such as Kom Oushim (Kranis), Um Al Athl (Bachias), Batn Ahryt (Theadelphia), Philadelphia, Qasr, Qaroun (Dionysius) and others.
Today the Oasis, with its lakes and sanctuaries, pristine desert areas (which include fossil remains of world importance such as Wadi El-Rayan and the valley of the whales and various cultural sites, plus the rural relaxing atmosphere, form an amazing and unique place of adventure and beauty.