Alexandria City Tour - Meet the Pearl of Egypt
Duration: Half Day
Spend a day exploring one of the world’s most famous ancient cities during your holiday in Egypt as you discover the precious monuments and treasures of Alexandria. The Montazah Summer Palace, the 15th century Fort Qaitbay, Pompey's Pillar and the Catacombs of Komel-Shokafa are just some of the tour highlights.
Founded by Greek conqueror Alexander the Great in 331 BC, Alexandria remained the capital of Egypt for over a thousand years. Today it is the second largest city and largest seaport in Egypt, extending approximately 20 miles (32 km) along the coast of the Mediterranean in the north of the country. Described as “The Pearl of the Mediterranean”, Alexandria’s relaxed ambience seems more Mediterranean than Middle Eastern. Explore the city at leisure because soaking up the atmosphere is just as important as seeing the sights.
Our first stop on the tour is the magnificent 19th century Montazah Summer Palace, the summer residence of the former Egyptian Royal family. This beautiful, 115 acre complex is surrounded by walls and overlooks a beautiful sandy beach. Walk around the grounds and marvel at the impressive Montazah Gardens, which are covered with palm trees, exotic flowers and lush vegetation.
After enjoying lunch in a popular seafood district, you will visit the impressive Fort Qaitbay, one of Alexandria’s most popular tourist attractions and an icon of the city. Constructed around 1480 by the Mamluk Sultan Qaitbay (Quait-bey) to defend the city against the Turks, this historic citadel was one of the most important defensive strongholds on the Mediterranean Coast.
Located on the eastern point of Pharos Island, this magnificent structure is believed to have been built on the site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Visitors can explore the castle and grounds whilst enjoying beautiful views of the coast. Inside the fort you will find a Naval Museum and several floors showcasing Napoleonic and British relics.
Your next stop is the impressive Pompey's Pillar, which was built in 297 AD for the Roman Emperor Diocletian. This imposing marble pillar is the highest monument in the world and has a circumference of 9 metres (29 feet). Your day ends with a visit to the Catacombs of Komel-Shokafa, the largest known Roman burial grounds in Egypt.
Built in the 2nd century AD during the Roman era, these spectacular tombs were carved deep into the rock over three different levels, the lowest of which is constantly underwater due to the ground water. Intricately adorned with funeral sculptures and friezes, the graves portray a unique combination of both Egyptian and Greco-Roman art. They may well be the last tombs in Egypt to represent the ancient Egyptian religious beliefs.
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