A journey into the Hellenistic and Roman Kingdom
Travel in the footsteps of Alexander, Cleopatra, Julius Caesar & Mark Antony as we explore the monuments of Alexandria, capital of the Ptolemies, one of the great cities of the Hellenistic and Roman world. Near Alexandria on the edge of the western desert, we visit the 6th century Christian pilgrimage town of St. Menas, and Abusir, which in recent years has been a focus for the search for Cleopatra’s tomb.
In modern Cairo, the Roman Babylon, we visit not only Roman and early Islamic remains but delve back further in time to the early Pharaonic monuments at Saqqara and Giza, including a visit to the Grand Egyptian Museum.
The sites we explore on this memorable tour will bring the world of Cleopatra’s Egypt vividly back to life.
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£4,590 (including offers)
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Day 1 - London - Cairo
We depart from London and arrive in Cairo – this buzzing, energetic metropolis that is Egypt’s extraordinary capital and a city that Egyptians admiringly refer to as ‘the Mother of the World’.
A snack will be provided in the hotel room due to late arrival.
|Hotel||Cairo Marriott Hotel|
Day 2 - Giza & Cairo
This morning we visit the pyramid complexes on the Giza Plateau, including the Great Pyramid – a true wonder of the ancient world, where atmospheric passageways lead to the breath-taking grand gallery and royal burial chamber. We also explore the Valley Temple of Khafra and the enigmatic Great Sphinx, whose limestone form has occupied this spot for more than 4,000 years. In the afternoon we enjoy a visit to the new Grand Egyptian Museum*, where the world’s most extensive exhibitions in pharaonic artefacts can be seen. Among the many treasures on display are the solid gold mask of Tutankhamun, and the Narmer Palette, thought to depict the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. The new museum is also home to King Khufu's Solar Boat.
*if the GEM is not open we will instead visit the Museum of Antiquities in Tharir Square, Cairo.
Day 3 - Cairo
This morning we discover the rich Islamic culture and history of Egypt at the spectacular Sultan Hassan Mosque, the Al Rifau Mosque and the bustling and vibrant Khan al Khalili. After lunch, we explore the Coptic culture and history of Egypt at the Museum of Coptic Art, and visit one of Cairo’s oldest churches, the ‘Hanging Church’.
Day 4 - Saqqara - Memphis
We start our day with a visit to Saqqara, a vast necropolis to the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. We discover the incredible Step Pyramid of Djoser and the smooth-sided Pyramid of Unas, the Mastaba of Mereruka, the Serapeum, catacombs for the sacred Apis bulls and resting place of the body of Alexander the Great on its journey to Alexandria. We also visit the Imhotep Museum, home to unique exhibits found during excavations nearby. After lunch we visit Memphis which served as the country’s capital during the Old Kingdom. Today this bustling ancient city is reduced to an open-air museum, its highlight the extraordinary fallen colossus of Ramesses II.
Day 5 - Cairo - Alexandria
This morning we depart Cairo and travel to the Mediterranean coast and Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great and the capital of the Ptolemy dynasty. Famous for its library, Alexandria was one of the greatest cities of the Hellenistic and Roman world. After check-in at our hotel we National Museum of Alexandria with its excellent collection of Greaco-Roman material. After lunch we visit Fort Qaitby, built on the site of the Pharos of Alexandria, one of the wonders of the ancient world.
Day 6 - Alexandria
We spend the day in Alexandria exploring the major monuments of the ancient city. We visit the Catacombs of Kom el-Shoqafa an underground labyrinth of decorated tombs from the Roman period, we also visit Pompeys Pillar, the site of the Serapeum, the temple dedicated to the god Serapis and his consort Isis and one of the most important temples of the Hellenistic world. We explore part of the civic centre of Roman Alexandria at Kom al Dikka, with its major monuments including an Odeon type building and a fine house, the Villa of the Birds. We finish our day at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, the modern Library, here we will see superb mosaics recovered from the royal palace of the Ptolemies.
Day 7 - Alexandria – Abu Mena & Abu Sir
We start the day with a visit to the beautiful Ptolemaic catacombs at Mustapha Kamil and the in the afternoon we travel west of Cairo to visit the Coptic pilgrimage centre of Abu Mina, dominated by the remains of the 6th century church dedicated to St. Menas. Afterwards we travel on to Abu Sir, ancient Tapaposiris where the Ptolemaic temple and a funerary monument modelled on the Pharos were built on a ridge between lake Mareotis and the Mediterranean.
Day 8 - Alexandria – Cairo - London
This morning we journey back to Cairo and transfer to the airport where we take our flight home.
|Meals included||Breakfast, Lunch|
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Professional Tour Manager
- Local travel aboard a private air-conditioned coach
- Meals as per the itinerary, tea or coffee with dinner
- Entries to all sites as per the itinerary
- All taxes & gratuities
- Field notes
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Offer||Availability|
|31 January 2022||ACEG220131||31 January 2022 (Monday)||7 February 2022 (Monday)||Tony O’Connor||£4,645
|£500||£660||Call for availability|
|30 January 2023||ACEG230130||30 January 2023 (Monday)||6 February 2023 (Monday)||Tony O’Connor||£4,790
|Book your trip|