Carriage ride, Alexandria
The horse-drawn carriage, or hontor, is still a popular form of transportation in Egypt’s cities.
Photo by Brian McGilloway
Trip Details at-a-Glance
|Lodging:||2 nights hotels|
|Meals:||Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)|
|Activity:||Archaeology, Cultural Adventures|
Cultural explorations and walking tours
Visa RequirementsA visa is required for U.S. citizens visiting Egypt. You can obtain your visa on arrival.
Our Trips using this Extension
Egypt Private Journey
Egypt: the Nile by Sail Private Journey
In the Wake of Cleopatra
Pyramids to Petra
Choosing the Right Trip
We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.
Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, Alexandria is the crossroads of the ancient world, and prospered as the Mediterranean’s most glorious city under the Ptolemies, the dynastic Greek family that reigned as pharaohs over Egypt. Our extension includes explorations of the Roman Amphitheater (the only one in Egypt), Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the extensive Alexandria National Museum, and the Catacombs of Kom El Shugafa, the largest Roman burial site discovered in Egypt.
Alexandria / Roman Amphitheater / Alexandria Library and Museum
With your guide, journey on the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road to Alexandria. Upon arrival, explore the Roman Amphitheater, discovered quite recently during excavations for a new apartment building. This well-preserved theater once stood with 13 semi-circular tiers of white marble imported from Europe, and contains galleries, sections of mosaic flooring, and marble seats for up to 800 spectators. At one point, it may have even been roofed over to serve as an Odeon for musical performances. Some inscriptions suggest that it was sometimes used for wrestling contests. We then enjoy a visit to the Qait Bey Fort, a 15th century Mamluk fort built on the foundations of the Pharos lighthouse that includes both a mosque and a castle inside its walls. After lunch, we visit the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, not only a library but also an integrated cultural complex. It stands on what is thought to be the site of the ancient Library of Alexandria, built by Ptolemy I. The largest library of antiquity, the Library of Alexandria was frequented by scholars from all over the Mediterranean from the 4th century BC to its eventual destruction by fire 700 years later. Our accommodation, the 5-star Helnan Palestine Hotel, is set along the Mediterranean...BL
Alexandria: The history of the Alexandria region stretches back thousands of years, well before the time of Alexander. Greek literature from Homer’s time recognized the island of Pharos as a busy harbor for ships laden with goods from Crete, Phoenicia, and the Aegean. A causeway known as the Heptastadion was constructed to link the mainland of Alexandria to the island of Pharos, thus creating two remarkable harbors. The famous Lighthouse at Pharos, one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was built in the 3rd century BC under Ptolemy I and Ptolemy II. It rose to over 300 feet, casting a bright light that could be seen for many miles. The lighthouse was toppled by an earthquake in 1323 and now lies in pieces in the harbor, visible to divers underwater.
Alexandria National Museum / Cairo
Visit the Alexandria National Museum, with its thousands of artifacts spanning the ages from the Pharaonic Era through the Greco-Roman period in Egypt. Papyrus scrolls, perfume bottles, and painted mummy cases are tastefully displayed, as well as classic Greek statues showing the physical beauty that represents the ideals of that culture. Later, we visit the Catacombs of Kom El Shugafa, the largest Roman burial site discovered in Egypt. The three tiers of tombs and chambers are cut into the bedrock to a depth of over 100 feet. Constructed in the 2nd century AD as a single-family crypt, these tombs were later expanded to hold more than 300 individual tombs. There is even a banquet hall where grieving relatives paid their last respects with a funereal feast. Though the motifs are pure ancient Egyptian, the architects and artists were schooled in the Greco-Roman style, resulting in an amazingly integrated artwork quite unlike anything else in the world. We return to Cairo in the afternoon. Overnight at Cairo group hotel (this is Day 1 of the regular trip)...BL
Prices are for 2014
$995 (4-5 members)
$1095 (2-3 members)
Single supplement: $220
more on pricing
Extension Cost Includes:
- 1 night at Fairmont Towers Hotel in Cairo (or 1 night at Fairmont Towers Heliiopolis Hotel in Cairo at the end if you are doing the extension post-trip), 1 night Helnan Palestine Hotel in Alexandria
- Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- English-speaking guide
- Transfers and excursions in private air-conditioned car with English-speaking driver
- Mineral water on board the vehicle
- Entrance fees
- Baggage porterage at hotels
Extension Cost Does Not Include:Gratuities for guide and driver, waiters, etc.; meals not specified (BLD); drinks during meals; items of a personal nature (telephone calls, laundry, room service, etc.).
Day 1 (1 night), Cairo, Egypt
Conveniently located just five minutes from the Cairo airport, this large 247-room hotel is set around a huge glass-enclosed atrium decorated with ...
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Day 2 (1 night), Alexandria, Egypt
Set on the former grounds of King Farouk’s old palace on the Mediterranean, this hotel remains one of Alexandria’s best and offers ...
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Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.