Alexandria

Alexandria – STT106

We have a very full day planned for you in Egypt’s Mediterranean city – Alexandria.

You will visit Montazah, Pompey’s Pillar, the Catacombs, Fort Qait Bey and the Museum. You will take a look at the Bibliotheca and stop off at the Roman amphitheatre being excavated at Kom el Dekka. Wander the museum. You will drive the Corniche as you move from one attraction to the next and maybe take a short stroll as well when you stop for lunch. If at all possible we will try to make time for a walk in the souk and a little shopping. This is a big day in Alex so be prepared to leave very early and get home quite late!

Pompey's Pillar and sphinx in Alexandria

Pompey's Pillar and sphinx in Alexandria


In the southwest of the city, Pompey’s Pillar is an impressive column made from a single shaft of red granite from Upper Egypt. Erected in 297 AD, Pompey’s pillar rises out of the ruins of the Serapeum, an acropolis erected in honour of Serapis. Mostly rubble with a few sphinxes, the Serapeum isn’t much to look at, but the pillar is impressive and is the only remaining ancient monument in Alexandria that’s still intact.

Not far from Pompey’s Pillar and built in the late 1st century AD, the Kom el-Shuqafa (literally means “Mound of Shards”) is the largest known Roman burial site in Egypt. Since the catacombs were built to house more than 300 dead notables, there are plenty of tombs to explore as well as a banqueting hall. Many of the rooms display a unique fusion of ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman decorative artwork. There’s lots of stairs and it’s a bit squeezy in places, but it’s an interesting spot.

Man reading the Quran in front of the the fort at Qait Bey, Alexandria

A man relaxes in the sun and and reads the Quran in front of the the fort at Qait Bey, Alexandria

Fort Qait Bey is an impressive building, located on a narrow peninsula where one of the ancient wonders of the world, the famous lighthouse the Pharos, once stood. The Fort was built in the 15th century and now houses a naval museum. We won’t go in here but will have a stroll along the market stalls and waterfront and admire its splendid exterior. The Fort also offers beautiful views of the city of Alexandria as well as the Mediterranean. The Corniche is the road that runs along the eastern harbour of Alexandria and can also be the perfect place for a waterfront stroll if time and weather permit. You’ll pass some nice examples of Art Deco buildings like the Cecil Hotel which has been enjoyed by the rich and famous.

In front of the Library of Alexandria

In front of the Bibliotecha Alexandrina

At the beginning of the century a new library, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina was constructed harking back to the famous library of the 3rd Century BC. A small price allows you in to the library for a look around although the interior is not yet as impressive as the exterior as it still only has a small collection. Al Montazah Palace is now used by Egypt’s president but the gardens are open to the public. A bridge allows you to walk across to the waterfront and watch the locals fishing or promenading. It’s a popular place for local Egyptians to enjoy a stroll and a picnic.

Boys celebrating with drums at Montazah, Alexandria

Boys celebrating a birthday with drums at Montazah waterfront, Alexandria

Kom el-Dekka is an area which includes a Roman amphitheatre that isn’t large but is very well preserved nevertheless. Excavation continues nearby to reveal the remains of a Roman city, including the Villa of the Birds, so called after the beautiful floor mosaics.

The Attarine Souk is a maze of little streets, too narrow for cars to fit, that houses literally hundreds of little antique shops and boutiques. It’s called the Zinqat as-Sittat market (which literally translates to “the women’s squeeze”). You’ll find some good deals to bargain for here. It’s an uncovered bazaar so it’s not so hot and stuffy.

Duration
Close to 6.30 am leave your accommodation (hotel pickup may be a little earlier or later, we will advise on reconfirmation) and at around 9.30 am arrive in Alexandria
Visit Pompey’s Pillar and the Serapeum, Kom el-Shuqafa (The Catacombs), visit Fort Qait Bey, and see the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the Museum, amphitheatre and Montazah Palace. Enjoy lunch. Walk in the souk if time permits. The order of the program depends upon traffic etc. and the conditions of the day.
Around 6.00 pm leave Alexandria and head back to Cairo
Around 9.00 pm delivered back safely to your accommodation.
The tour operates daily at all times of the year.

Inclusions
All transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle
Accommodation pick up and drop off
Entrance fees to sites visited
Registered tour guide (who speaks your own language or English) who will assist you in making the most of your visit
Lunch
Children 3 and under are free

Exclusions
Food and drink unless specified
Tips (recommended)
Any activity costs not mentioned in our programme
Entrance to Villa of the Birds
Entrance to the Bibliotheca

Things to note:
You will do some walking, some of it over rough ground so comfortable footwear is advised.
Sunscreen, a hat and water are important. Most of our drivers have cold water on board that you can purchase at a small price.
There are souvenir salesmen everywhere in Egypt and bazaar shop owners can be insistent; be polite but firm if you are not interested in purchasing. Ask your guide for assistance if necessary.
If required, wheelchair accessibility should be discussed when booking. A vehicle with wheelchair accessibility can be made available but some sites are not easy or even possible with a chair or for people with walking difficulties.
Don’t forget your camera!!! Bring a spare battery and card – you’ll want to take home plenty of reminders. NB. NO photography is allowed at the Catacombs. However, unlike the Egyptian Museum, photography is allowed inside the museum at Alexandria, although you may not use a flash or tripod.
The vehicle will make a stop on the way to Alexandria and on the way back to allow you to purchase refreshments.

Costs

1 person – US$215 per person
2 – 4 people – US$132 per person
5 – 8 people – US$88 per person
9 -15 people – US$77 per person
Request a quote for 16+ people
Reduced costs for children 4-12, children 3 and under free
Prices are in US$

If you wish to book this tour please quote STT106. You may contact us by email at nilewavetravel@gmail.com or phone 202 398 15920 or +2017 333 8800.

Montazah Palace at Alexandria

Al Montazah Palace at Alexandria. The larger Al-Haramlik Palace and royal gardens were added to the Montaza Palace grounds, being built by King Fuad I in 1932, as a summer palace. It is in a mixture of Turkish and Florentine styles, with has two towers, one rising distinctively high above with elaborated Italian Renaissance design details. The palace has long open arcades facing the sea along each floor.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s