July 17, 2024 11:04 pm
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Alexandria City

Alexandria is known as the "Pearl of the Mediterranean."

The city of Alexandria played the most important part in ancient history since it was linked with notable leaders such as Alexander the Great and Cleopatra, Ancient Egypt’s final active Pharaoh.

After being established by Alexander the Great himself in 332 BC to be the heart of Hellenistic civilization, the city was important for transferring Hellenic culture to the rest of the Mediterranean.

It was the capital of Egypt for almost a thousand years during the Ptolemaic, Roman, and Byzantine periods, until the Muslim invasion in 641 AD, when the city of Fustat became the official capital.

Location of Alexandria City

With a population of 3.5 million people and a land area of 2,679 km2, the city is also Egypt’s second-biggest metropolis after Cairo.

Alexandria, which stretches 32 kilometers along the Mediterranean Sea’s coast and is located 138 kilometers (114 miles) northwest of Cairo on the western border of the Nile Delta, has a pleasant temperature throughout the year, with hot, humid summers and wet winters.

It produces two-fifths of the country’s industrial output and serves as a showcase for art and beauty on a cultural level.

History and Attractions in Alexandria

Because of the incredible quantity of monuments and levels of magnificence and attraction, Alexandria is a famous tourist destination.

During his visit to Amun Temple in Siwa in 331 BCE, Alexander the Great built it on a settlement called Racotis.

He commissioned Dinocrates, his principal architect, to construct a metropolis that would represent his vision and honor his memory.

The Legendary Lighthouse of Alexandria, also known as the Pharos of Alexandria, was erected under the Ptolemaic dynasty in 280 BC at a height of 120-137 m (394-449 ft), making it the second-highest structure behind the pyramids.

Unfortunately, it was destroyed by a series of earthquakes between 1303 and 1323 AD, and in 1477 AD, the formidable fortress of Quitbey was built on the same site using the lighthouse’s leftover blocks to safeguard the city from any foreign Naval invasion.

The city also has the fascinating Catacombs, which served as the ultimate resting place for a Greek Nobel family during the Greco-Roman period and are renowned for flawlessly mixing Greek and Egyptian art.

Alexandria City is well-known for

Alexandria was once known for housing a diverse ethnic population, including the world’s biggest Jewish community and the first Greek translation of the Hebrew sacred book.

The ancient library of Alexandria, which housed millions of scrolls and volumes on every subject imaginable, was a source of enlightenment and a hub for art and science throughout the Mediterranean.

It was built in the 3rd century BC during the Ptolemaic dynasty, during the reign of Ptolemy II between 285-246 BC, and was destroyed by fire in 48 BC. In 2002, a new library called Bibliotheca Alexandria was built to commemorate the original ancient library and keep the spirit of the original alive.

The Pillar of Pompey, which is the tallest structure of its kind outside of the imperial cities of Rome, shows the amount of prosperity and power experienced by Alexandria during the Roman administration.

The Serapeum of Alexandria is an ancient Greek temple built west of the Alexandria library by Ptolemy III Euergetes (246-222 BCE) during the Ptolemaic Kingdom to commemorate the Greco-Roman god Serapis.

The Mamluk and Fatimid dynasties spent most of their time in Cairo and settled on transforming Alexandria into a naval port and a shipping port. Additionally, there is the famous El-Mursi Abul Abbas Mosque, which is located near the Citadel of Qaitbay and was built in honor of the 13th century Murcian Andalusi Sufi saint Abul Abbas al-Mursi.

When Alexandria fell under Ottoman domination, it lost any sense of beauty, splendor, or elegance, but during Muhammad Ali’s reign in 1805, it recovered its lost attractiveness and became one of the world’s most appealing locations.

Top-rated attractions and things to do in Alexandria

Egypt is a great place to visit for vacations.

Check out our Egypt tour packages and book one of our Egypt tours to see Alexandria and some of the country’s most iconic attractions.

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Lenka Traverlers

July 9, 2024

Egypt Fun Tours was contracted by our travel agency Lenka Travelers to arrange and guide us through parts of Eqypt and Jordon. They did a fabulous job. The hotels, restaurants, places we visited and transportation were the best. Our guide in Egypt, Mohammad was very knowable, spoke perfect English and made each stop we made interesting and alive. I’d recommend Egypt Fun Tour to anyone planning any tour in Egypt and or Jordan

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Sjhedcon

Day trip to Wadi el Hitan and Wadi el Rayan

July 9, 2024

We went on a full day trip to Wadi el Hitan and Wadi el Rayan with Mohamed (Hamada). Mohamed was a wonderful guide, always making sure we had plenty of water and enough to eat, and providing us with information about the area and Egypt more generally. He also gave us plenty of time to explore by ourselves. We would highly recommend Egypt Fun Tours and Mohamed.

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KirstenMelville5

Absolutely the best

July 9, 2024

we visited Cairo over a 15-hour layover. Egypt fun tours organize a customized and wonderful experience for us. We could not be happier. The day included a visit of all the great sites, the marketplace is, dinner and a boat ride on the Nile, and a host of other special request. I cannot recommend this company enough. In particular our tour guide Hosam Janel was a wonder, knowledgeable, kind, a great joy to be with. Ask for me!

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museum233

Great guided tour of pyramids

July 9, 2024

We travelled to Cairo on Friday May 3, 2019 from Toronto. We landed at 0530 and was met by a representative of Fun Tours at the departure gate.

We were only on a layover of 6 hours and the tour company came with a private van, water, a driver and a guide. I was travelling with my husband and 12 year old daughter.

Our guide was Ahmed, he was excellent. Being a Friday in Egypt was good as it is a holiday and less traffic. They took us on a tour of old Cairo, we stopped for a falafel it was excellent.

Then to the Pyramids which open at 0730, was a good thing too as it was very warm by 0900. Ahmed took pictures of us and gave us a really great tour.

We went to the Bizarre right their for a few little gifts, post cards and we were on our way. We stopped at PHARAONIC PAPYRUS MUSEUM museum on the way back and bought a small picture after learning about the paper.

At about 10AM we were done, heat and an overnight flight wore heavily on my daughter and husband.

I highly recommend this tour group and Ahmed, they were quick at answering my husbands questions and the tour ran smoothly.

We also had no issues at the airport or while travelling.

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trigger8395

Private 16 day tour. Magical, captivating, amazing. Highly recommended.

July 9, 2024

My husband and I had a fantastic time in Egypt, exploring the pyramids and temples and learning more about the ancient Egyptian beliefs and customs. From the time I first contacted Egypt Fun Tours to plan our trip, Hamada responded promptly to our questions. After explaining to him that we preferred visiting ancient ruins and learning about Egyptian mythology, he adapted the ‘Golden Nubia’ tour package and created a customised itinerary for us.

We were greeted at Cairo airport by Mohammed who helped us through customs. We then met Hamada and the driver. Our first item on the agenda was the Cairo city tour. However, after a long flight from Australia, we were very tired and preferred to rest. Hamada had no problems re-arranging the itinerary.

Over the next 2 weeks, we saw the pyramids in Giza and Saqqara; the temples in Abu Simbel, Aswan, Luxor; cruised the Nile; visited a Nubian village; camped overnight in the White Desert; spent the day at Alexandria; explored the Egyptian Museum, Old Cairo and Islamic Cairo. The tour really captured the best of Egypt.

Review of: Pyramids, Sphinx, Saqqara, & Memphis Full Day Tour:

We started the day with a visit to Memphis, followed by Saqqara and then Giza. Our guide Yousef was excellent. He explained how the first pyramids were built, took us through the king’s ceremony and gave a good summary of the displays in the Museum of Imhotep.

At Giza we paid an additional entrance fee to go into the Great Pyramid. As no cameras were allowed, Yousef looked after our things while we went inside the King’s Chamber. He never once rushed us and told us to take our time while inside.

After seeing the Sphinx we visited a papyrus workshop. It was interesting to see how papyrus was made; we now know how to tell the difference between real and fake papyrus.

We had a great time with Yousef. He is knowledgeable, spoke very well and took great pictures for us.

Review of: Abu Simbel, Aswan sightseeing, Luxor temples (7 days):

It was an early morning flight out of Cairo to Aswan, then a long drive to Abu Simbel, but when we finally arrived, it was worth it. Our guide Hamada explained the 19th dynasty, specifically the reign of Ramses II, who left a legacy of magnificent temples and majestic statues. We later attended the Sound & Light Show at the Abu Simbel temples. This is a must-see!

Over the next couple of days, we drove back towards Aswan, where we saw the High Dam and the Unfinished Obelisk on the way. We also visited the Temple of Philae, which is now located at Agilkia island, so we took the motorboat to get there. We then visited the Botanical Gardens and strolled through the Aswan market. It was refreshing to have a glass of fresh sugar cane drink to end the day!

As we sailed from Aswan back to Luxor on the Nile, we spent 3 nights on a cruise ship. During the stopovers, we visited the Temple of Khnum on Elephantine Island, the Temple of Kom Ombo, the Temple of Edfu and strolled through a Nubian village. When we finally arrived at Luxor, we visited the magnificent Luxor Temple.

After checking out of the cruise ship, we had a big day exploring the Valley of Kings, the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Medinet Habu (mortuary temple of Ramses III), the colossi of Memnon and the massive complex of the Karnak temples. All throughout the tour, Hamada remained enthusiastic and responsive to our questions about the Egyptian gods, pharaohs and temples. For me, it was one of the best history lessons I have ever had.

On our last day in Luxor, we visited the temples in Abydos and Dendara. Our guide for the day, Karma (Ekram Hagag) met us at our hotel. On the way there, she gave us some information on the temples, which gave us a good preview of what we would be seeing when we got there.

These temples have the best-preserved hieroglyphics that we have seen. The walls, columns and ceilings are filled with such interesting stories, which Karma was able to relay to us. She was knowledgeable, spoke very well and offered to take pictures of us.

Review of: White Desert tour and overnight camping:

After a long drive from Cairo, we arrived at the Bahariya Oasis for lunch. We met Abdul, our Bedouin guide, who would be taking us around the White Desert and set up our tent for the night.

The desert landscape is breathtaking and out of this world. Be prepared for some rough off-road driving on a 4×4. We saw the Black Desert, Crystal Mountain and the unusual rock formations at Akabat. We then stopped by a sand dune and did some amateur sandboarding, which was a lot of fun.

With the full moon casting shadows over the huge rocks, we had the best dinner under the stars in the White Desert. Sipping strong (and sweet) Bedouin tea in front of a campfire was truly a memorable experience.

We returned to Bahariya Oasis the next day, and then to Cairo. I had hoped to see the Temple of Alexander of the Great, and the tombs of the nobles at the valley of the golden mummies on the way back, as it was in the original itinerary but we were not able to (as we had reduced the desert tour to an overnight stay).

The Bedouin food and hospitality were unbelievable. Abdul is a skilled 4×4 driver, spoke well, and is an amazing cook!

Review of: Alexandria sightseeing day trip:

The drive to Alexandria took about 2.5 hours from Cairo. Our guide Hamada took us first to the Catacombs under the ground. It was fascinating to see the mix of Egyptian, Grecian and Roman art on the walls of the Tegran tomb. Next, we saw Pompey’s Pillar which towered 25m high, and the ruins of the Serapeum nearby. We then saw the Roman amphitheatre before stopping for a delicious seafood lunch.

We saw the Citadel of Qaitbay from the outside (said to be built on the site of the ancient lighthouse) and then the oldest mosque in Alexandria (Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi mosque). Unfortunately, I had hoped to visit the Alexandria Library, but we only managed to take some photos from the outside.

It was a great day of sightseeing on a lovely seaside city. Hamada explained the history of the place really well, which gave me a sense of what Alexandria would have been like during ancient times.

Review of: Cairo day tour – Egyptian museum, Khan Bazaar, Islamic & Coptic Cairo:

We started the day exploring the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. As there are not many signs in the museum, our guide Hamada explained to us the key artefacts. For instance, an important artefact is the Narmer Palette, which depicts the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. Hamada explained the engravings very well, which gave me a richer understanding of the significance of the palette.

There are so many artefacts to see and with the crowds in the museum, Hamada was able to guide us to the main ones so that we would not miss out.

After spending about 3 hours in the museum, we went to Coptic Cairo and visited the Abu Serga church (Saints Sergius and Bacchus Church) and the Ben Ezra synagogue. We then visited the first mosque built in Cairo (Amr ibn al-As mosque), before heading to Islamic Cairo. Unfortunately, we didn’t get time to see the Coptic Museum and the Hanging Church.

Walking within the massive enclosure of Islamic Cairo was amazing. Hamada skilfully guided us through the busy Khan El-khalili bazaar and explained various aspects of the ancient streets and complexes. He then took us for some great coffee at El Fishawy, which is a very popular spot for locals and tourists to meet for shisha and coffee/tea.

This was our last day of our 16-day customised tour. It was the perfect ending as it summarised all we had seen before in the pyramids and temples.

Overall, the service and professionalism provided by Egypt Fun Tours is outstanding. The drivers, guides and representatives were friendly and welcoming and have made our visit to Egypt memorable. Everything was arranged for us and it has been one of the stress-free travels I have ever had. Hamada was our main guide. He is entertaining, very experienced and spoke very well. If you want an unforgettable time in Egypt, I highly recommend Egypt Fun Tours.

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Jocelyn Nicholson

Response from Egypty Fun Tours

Hello Jocylen: What a fascinating detailed report, thank you so much for taking the time to write it down. Hamada is still talking about you and your experience in Egypt with us. You are great people”.

Regards,

Mac Hitfield Marketing manager & Business developer Egypt Fun Tours

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