Lady Egypt Tours
offers day tours to Alexandria. If you have a few days to spare in Cairo, you can easily spend a day in this amazing Mediterranean city. Have a look at our range of Itineraries
Eating a lunch of fresh fish and enjoying views of a beautiful harbor, we could be in Cannes, Corsica or Crete but that is Egypt – the land of hummus, Pyramids and, as of late, a fair amount of political tension - but no - this time we present you Alexandria the ‘Pearl of the Mediterranean’, thanks to an atmosphere (and food) that might be described as rather less Middle Eastern than that found in other cities on Africa’s long north coast.
Alexandria was reputedly founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC (though a small village existed before that famous globe-trotting general arrived), it was the capital of Greco-Roman Egypt.
Its status as a beacon of culture was cemented by its great library, which supposedly held every manuscript in the world, and the Pharos – a giant lighthouse on the harbor which was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Two millennia on, the lighthouse and the library are long gone. But there are enough sights here – including the first-rate Alexandria National Museum in an old 19th century mansion – to keep history buffs busy.
For more modern pieces of the past, it is not far along the coast to the World War II battlefield of El-Alamein. Here, of course, the North Africa campaign turned decisively, when Monty (General Bernard Montgomery) defeated Rommel’s Africa Corps in 1942.
The sheer number of soldiers killed – 11,000, nearly 4,000 of them British (with 70,000 wounded) – is a potent reminder that World War Two was not won on European soil alone.
Strolling around the site, we can see that these sacrifices have not been forgotten. The cemeteries are still lovingly tended, and the museum, complete with tanks, cannons and trucks, provides an in-depth insight into the harrowing conditions in the field.