Extending along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Alexandria, Egypt's second largest city, was named after its founder, Alexander the Great and is the stuff of legend. As the seat of the Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt, Alexandria quickly became one of the greatest cities of the Hellenistic world, second only to Rome in size and wealth. However, upon the founding of Cairo by Egypt's medieval Islamic rulers, its status as the country's capital ended and fell into a long decline, which by the late Ottoman period had seen it reduced to little more than a small fishing village.
In ancient times the city was known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the Library of Alexandria - the largest library in the ancient world. Very little of the ancient city has survived to the present day though the remains of Cleopatra's Palace and the ancient lighthouse can be seen by divers offshore. Much of Alexandria crumbled or sank into the harbour but the Alexandria of today is a thriving cultural hub with its own dynamic powered by the younger generations.
Alexandria's impressive seafront corniche, dotted with cafes and restaurants, is a lovely place to wander. In addition, Alexandria boasts the Bibliotheca Alexandria - the New Library, plus vestiges of ancient times are still present in the form of Pompey's Pillar, the Catacombs and Fort Quaitbey. Pompey's Pillar towers are a modest 25m and represent the remains of an ancient column that came from the ruined Temple of Serapis. Fort Quaitbey, a citadel built during the 1480s, is perhaps most famous for occupying the site of Alexandria's great lighthouse.
If you are planning a Alexandria holiday, have a look at some of the accommodation that we recommend. 'Our Rating' indicates how we feel each property rates according to normal Western hotel standards. 'Local Rating' indicates how the property is categorised/rated locally:
Four Seasons San Stefano Alexandria
Combining a fashionable resort setting with its own private sandy beach overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano is a luxurious hotel with elegant accommodation. Each room comes with a private furnished balcony from where guests can enjoy the sea breeze and panoramic views. Decorated with classical furnishings and grand design features such as a marble entrance and comfortable sitting area, the rooms are well-equipped with all mod cons. The hotel also boasts a full-service spa, outdoor pool and nine distinctive restaurants offering a diverse selection of cuisine.
Hilton Alexandria Green Plaza Alexandria
Shop until you drop at the Hilton Alexandria Green Plaza hotel set in the Green Plaza Mall, with 370 shops, a cinema and a Fun Castle, perfect for families with plenty of entertainment for the kids. The hotel features spacious Art Deco-style rooms furnished in a neutral palette and well-equipped with modern conveniences. Relax in one of the two outdoor swimming pools, lounge on the sun deck or enjoy a cocktail at the Nefertiti Lobby Bar and Lounge. The Splash Italian Restaurant serves pizza and pasta whilst the Ginger Restaurant specializes in Asian cuisine.
Mercure Alexandria Romance Alexandria
The Mercure Alexandria Romance has comfortable rooms and suites all with delightful panoramic sea views. To make the most of the views the guestrooms feature wide floor-to-ceiling windows and a neutral palette of colour. There are two restaurants to choose from including the Le Clovis, which offers fine French cuisine, and the Mermaid Cafe that offers regional cuisine 24 hours a day.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
Alexandria Tailor made suggestions
Here are some of the recent tailor made itineraries we have created for our clients which include a visit to Alexandria.