The interior of the Matrouh Governorate is part of the Libyan Desert, including the Siwa Oasis, in antiquity known for its shrine to Ammon. In the center of the Governorate is the Qattara Depression, descending to 133 metres below sea level.
Matrouh Governorate contains many historical sites related to World War II. The latter include El Alamein, which comprises cemeteries of fallen soldiers from Axis and Allied forces. An estimated 16 million mines, planted by the Europeans during the world wars, still hinder development of most of the governorate, and are constantly being removed.
The province has been described as "religiously conservative".