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The second largest city in Egypt, Alexandria, known as "The Pearl of the Mediterranean", has an atmosphere that is more Mediterranean than Middle Eastern. Its ambience and cultural heritage distance it from the rest of the country, although it is actually only 225km from Cairo.
Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, Alexandria became the capital of Greco-Roman Egypt, its status as a beacon of culture symbolized by Pharos, the legendary lighthouse, that was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The setting for the stormy relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Alexandria was also the centre of learning in the ancient world. But over the years, ancient Alexandria declined and when Napoleon landed, he found a sparsely populated fishing village.
Alexandria is a city to explore at random; synonymous with commerce, cosmopolitanism and a bohemian culture, it is as important to enjoy the atmosphere as it is to see the sights.
Best time to be there
Winter (October to April) for cultural trips, although May to September is great for the Red Sea. Ramadan is a particularly exciting time to be in Egypt - it is celebrated here with more exuberance than anywhere else in the world.
Cairo, Luxor (British Airways, Egypt Air); Sharm el Sheikh (British from Sep 2015, Easyjet); Hurghada (Easyjet)
4 hours 50 minutes direct
GMT +2 hours
Required - obtainable in advance or on arrival
No mandatory vaccinations
Our experts can tailor-make the perfect holiday to suit your individual requirements, however, if you need inspiration or a starting point, below are some of our suggested trips and experiences:
Nights: 9 | from £5,215pp
Cruise in luxury on Sanctuary 'Sun Boat III,' travelling to off-the-beaten-path Denderah, exploring Egypt's pyramids from the inside out and sailing the... Find out more
Holiday type: Group departure
Call 01242 547 918 Enquire
Below are some of our suggested places to stay:
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Sunboat IV was like being at home again! The crew are outstanding, nothing is too much trouble, they really seemed happy to see me again! Housekeeping is excellent, the food as always delcious, the service on the entire boat is exemplary, and I cannot wait to get back on it again!
- CB, London