In the Trails of Alexander

Journey off the beaten path to the stunning Siwa Oasis in western Egypt, in the trails of Alexander the Great where he sought the Oracle of Amun for his conquest expedition of Asia. Discover the incredible landscapes dotted with fertile plains and mud brick villages that is in stark contrast with the Nile. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Experience a wondrous stay at the Adrere Amellal

Visit the "sand-castle" towns and civilizations of the Siwa Oasis

Savour unique local cuisines in Egypt

Experience an insiders experience of touring Egypt

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE ALEXANDRIA

Arrive at Alexandria Intl Airport where we then begin Egypt's historic Mediterranean city that is  characterized by a distinctly European atmosphere and the legacies of Alexander the Great, founded in 332 BC by one of history's greatest conquerors. An important trade center during the Hellenistic civilization era, we begin our exploration of this fascinating city discovering the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa - considered one of the wonders of the Middle Ages and the largest Roman cemetery consisting of 3 levels cut into the rock dating back to the Greek period 200 BC. We then marvel at the Pompey's Pillar, the biggest memorial column in Egypt at a height of 28m erected in honor of the Roman Emperor, Diocletian. Continue next to the ruins of the Roman Amphitheatre - the only one in Egypt dating back to the 2nd Century AD that once sat more than 700 spectators. Our day then continues with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, one of the most unusual architectural masterpieces of the 21st century. The Old library was very famous all over the world for its huge books capacity of different sciences and literature. Next, make a visit to the Mosque of Abu al-Abbas al-Mursi, designed with impeccable attention to details with a cream colored façade, four great domes, arabesque designs and a high minaret. Our day ends with the medieval fortress, Citadel of Qaitbey, built in 1480 at the order of Sultan Qaitbey, on the site of Alexandria's ancient lighthouse, one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, where parts of the remains of the lighthouse can be seen in the construction of the old fort. Finally, we arrive at the Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria for check in. 

Overnight: Four Seasons Hotel, Alexandria

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: ALEXANDRIA / ALAMEIN / MARSA MATRUH / SIWA OASIS

We leave Alexandria heading west with stunning views of the corniche and the Mediterranean Sea before arriving at the town of Alamein where we visit World War II Museum and War Cemetery of the many soldiers who died during the great battle which took place here during World War II between the Axis forces (Germany & Italy) and the Panzer Army Africa under the command of the Allied British Imperial & Commonwealth. Thereafter, continue west to the beachside town of Marsa Matruh where we have time for lunch and appreciate the views of the seaside basins and beaches of this popular coastal town such as the Cleopatra's Beach - believed to be the bathing place of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony. Enjoy a little stroll to the Libyan Souq, a fascinating market place where Libyan products are imported across the border (some illegally) due to the closeness to the Egyptian-Libyan border. From here, our journey cuts inland into the arid landscape of the Siwa Oasis where we arrive at the Adrere Amellal, interestingly-built on the side of a white limestone mountain where we spend the next few nights. 

Overnight: Adrere Amellal, Siwa Oasis

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 3: SIWA OASIS

Awake to a magical day in the stunning isolation of the Western Desert, dotted with oases such as the Siwa, renowned not just historically for Alexander the Great's oracle-seeking expedition, but also for its olives and dates which decorate the Siwa Oasis in a stunning picture of green against the arid landscape. We enjoy an insight into the culture and heritage of the oasis, located on the old date caravan route where the community has largely occupied by the Berbers for more than 1,300 years. Today, we will also explore the Tombs of Gebel al Mawta "Mountain of the Dead" that dates back to the Ptolemaic and Roman periods. Later during WWII, these cave tombs were used as shelters from Italian bombardments. Witness a number of beautifully-preserved murals painted into the plaster that surround the sarcophagus. Worth seeing as well is the Tomb of the Crocodile believed to have been built during the Ptolemaic Period where we admire the murals. Later, we will visit the Temple of the Oracle in the abandoned village of Aghurmi, built in the 6th Century BC on the site of an earlier temple dedicated to Amun where Alexander was thought to have been revealed by the oracle he was the rightful heir of Zeus and advised how the great commander could placate the local population on the Nile River and what he could expect if he left the Mediterranean Sea and pursued the Persians to Babylon. Thereafter, the highlight of the day culminates in the visit to the ruins of the 13th Century Shali Fortress, built entirely from "kershef" salt rocks from local salt lakes and mud atop a limestone hill, the fortress was quite solid and commanded views of the open desert as well as the thousands of palm and olive trees Learn about how Siwans built it for protection from the hostile Bedouin tribes who periodically raided the oasis.

Overnight: Adrere Amellal, Siwa Oasis

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4: SIWA OASIS / MARSA MATRUH / CAIRO

Arise early this morning as we hit the road back to Marsa Matruh (approximately 4hrs drive) where we will break for lunch and take a break with the beautiful coastal scenes of the Ageeba Beach, "miracle" in Arabic. One of the most beautiful virgin beaches in the world, enjoy amazing views of limestone cliffs with astonishing shades of blue and green of the Mediterranean Sea. From here, we then embark on another 4 hours drive to Cairo where the journey ends at the Marriott Mena House with glorious views of the Giza Pyramids

Overnight: Marriott Mena House, Cairo

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 5: CAIRO

We start the day with a visit to the awe-inspiring Giza Pyramids, until today a hugely-debated topic about its origins and who built the pyramids, a hugely-advanced engineering marvel deemed to be too ahead of its time for ancient civilizations. Nevertheless, gain insights into the story of the pyramids with your Egyptologist guide and consider entry into the pyramids (OPTIONAL). Witness the enigmatic Great Sphinx - perhaps the most recognizable statue associated with ancient Egypt, of a recumbent lion with the head of an Egyptian king carved out of limestone on the Giza Plateau. Our day then continues on to Memphis, Egypt's ancient capital and administrative center until around 2,200 BC. View the UNESCO-listed sculptures and ruins in its outdoor museum, and behold the star turn: a spectacularly large, fallen statue of Ramses II. 

Overnight: Marriott Mena House, Cairo

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 6: DEPARTURE CAIRO OR CONTINUE TO THE NILE

Today, be transferred to Cairo Intl Airport for your journey home OR fly to Luxor to start the second part of your adventure in Egypt to uncover the stunning temples of Luxor and the ancient civilizations of the Nile River on a dahabiya cruise. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Recapture the glamour of Egypt's coast at Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano, situated on the beautiful Mediterranean shoreline with 19 stories of classic European-inspired luxury accommodations in San Stefano's stately Grand Plaza with incredible open-air restaurants, world-class service and a European-style spa. 

Four Seasons Hotel, Alexandria

Adrère Amellal desert eco lodge is a paradox in process, mingling the asceticism of a Cistercian monastery, the luxuries of a Turkish seraglio, and the whimsy of a Cape Cod sandcastle allowing for one of the world's most unique destination stay experiences imagined. 

Adrere Amellal, Siwa Oasis

Discover the majesty of the Pyramids from Marriott Mena House, Cairo. This 5-star hotel, which has welcomed numerous heads of state, allows travelers to bask in its storied history while benefiting from modern luxury. 

Marriott Mena House, Cairo

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