Connect with history on the streets of Alexandria, visit the impressive Qaitbay Fort and look up at towering Pompey's Pillar, explore the underground Catacombs of Komel-Shokafa
Tour description provided by G Adventures
Delve into legendary Alexandria, Egypt's capital for a millennium and once home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Wander the Roman amphitheatres, palaces and catacombs of Egypt's gateway to the Mediterranean. Starting from Cairo, spend a day and a half exploring Alexandria's Greek, Roman and Byzantine history in one of the greatest cities of the Hellenic world. And with a top-notch CEO from door to door, you'll know you're in good hands the whole time.
Day 1 Cairo
Your G Adventures CEO will pick you up at your Cairo hotel (overnight not included) at 9am and transfer you 220km across the desert to the city of Alexandria, a journey of approximately three hours by private vehicle. Egypt's only Mediterranean city has a European feel and refreshing sea breezes.
Upon arrival, your CEO will take you to visit the Roman theatre at Kom El Dikka, which is thought to have been a place more for public meetings than for performances. The theatre was recently discovered in 1967 when work was underway to construct modern building on its site. It is the only Roman theatre in Egypt and one of its kind.
Later in the afternoon you'll visit the Montazah Summer Palace to spend a quiet afternoon in the gardens near the Mediterranean Sea. Khedive Abbas Hilmy (1892-1914) built Montazah as his summer palace, a place to retreat to when Cairo became too hot. Sited on a rocky bluff overlooking the sea, it's designed in a interesting mix of Moorish/Florentine style. It is now used by Egypt's president and off limits to the public, but the surrounding gardens are a great place to wander. By the sea, there is an unusual Victorian-style bridge running out to a small island.
Later in the day you will check-in to your hotel for an evening at leisure. Opt to head to the bar at the famous Cecil Hotel for a sunset drink.
Your Alexandria hotel is a comfortable seaside property with all expected amenities. Guestrooms feature satellite television, minibars and air conditioning as well as an en-suite bathroom. There are two restaurants and two bars on site.
Cairo to Alexandria, approximately 3 hours by private vehicle
Day 2 Cairo (B)
After an early breakfast, you will set out with your CEO to the Fort and Citadel of Qait Bay.
The Qait Bay Citadel is considered one of the most important defensive strongholds along the Mediterranean Sea coast. It formed an important part of the fortification system of Alexandria in the 15th century AD.
The citadel is situated at the entrance of the eastern harbour on the eastern point of Pharos Island. It was erected on the exact site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In the 14th century there was a very destructive earthquake and the whole building was completely destroyed, after which the fortification you see today was built.
Next visit Pompey's Pillar. The name "Pompey's Pillar" is actually a misnomer, as it has nothing to do with Pompey, having been erected in 293 for Emperor Diocletian, possibly in memory of the rebellion of Domitius Domitianus.
Next visit the Catacomb of Komel-Shokafa. These tombs were tunneled into the bedrock in the age of the Antonine Emperors (2nd Century AD) for a single wealthy family still practicing the ancient religion. They represent the last existing major construction of the old Egyptian religion.
Our final stop is the new Alexandria Library. The Ancient Library of Alexandria, was probably the largest, and certainly the most famous, of the libraries of the ancient world. It flourished during Greek rule and functioned as a major center of scholarship, at least until the time of Rome's conquest of Egypt, and probably for many centuries thereafter. The magnificent new library opened in 2002 very near the site of the old library.
In the late afternoon you transfer back to Cairo where your tour will finish on arrival with a transfer to your hotel (overnight not included) or the airport for your onward travel. Please ask at time of booking if you would like to organize post-tour accommodation. Please do not book any international flights until after 9pm this evening.