Egypt's second largest city, Alexandria, has a more Mediterranean than Middle Eastern atmosphere and is known as 'The Pearl of the Mediterranean'. Home to antiquities from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, Alexandria is ideal for a stopover on the way to Egypt's stunning Mediterranean coast. Located to the north of Cairo on the Nile Delta where the Nile meets the Mediterranean Sea, the city of Alexandria overlooks a series of bays with golden sandy beaches.
Shopping in Alexandria is an experience not to be missed on your travel deals to Egypt. Visit the gold and silver bazaars in El Manshiya and El Attareen, the fish market on the Corniche Road to El Kashafa, the souvenir and second-hand book stores in the Attarin District and the bazaars on Al-Witwalli Street. Don't forget to haggle when making a purchase as this is traditional in these parts. Egypt is a mainly Muslim country therefore men and woman should remember to always 'cover up' and never go out in revealing clothes or outfits.
Golfers can enjoy a round or two at Egypt's oldest golf course at the Alexandria Sporting Club which was built in 1890 and at the Porto Marina Golf Course which includes a championship course, a floodlit driving range with 20 tees and seven target greens.
Eating out is a great experience in Alexandria. Don't miss the traditional Egyptian mezzeh starters, lamb shwarma (the Egyptian equivalent of Turkish doner kebabs) and the delicious desserts including honey pastries, dates soaked in milk and baked rice.
Places to Visit in Alexandria
The Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Opened in 2002 this wonderful piece of architecture which resembles a giant sundial is an amazing reincarnation of the famous ancient library of Alexandria. The original library was home to the largest collection of manuscripts in the world and was a major centre of learning for 600 years until it was burned down in the 3rd century.
The Mosque of Abu al-Abbas Al-Mursi
Located south of Fort Qaitbay on the Corniche this is a beautiful mosque which was built on the ruins of the old Mosque in 1943. The mosque has a high minaret and four domes and is one of Alexandria's most important Islamic monuments. Women are not allowed inside the mosque proper and may only visit a room at the back of the mosque.
The city of Al Alamein on the Mediterranean Sea is where the battles between Montgomery and Rommel took place during the Second World War. Today cemeteries, war graves and monuments can be seen here as reminders of the city's past history.
Now home to a naval museum, this 15th century fort stands on the site of the original Pharos lighthouse which was destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th century.
Ancient Alexandria under the Sea
Much of ancient Alexandria lies under the sea. Take a diving excursion to discover the city's many archaeological ruins which are preserved in this giant underwater museum.
Alexandria has mild rainy winters and hot summers that can often be very humid. January and February are the coldest months with temperatures reaching 12C-18c and minimum temperatures of 5C. July and August are the hottest months with temperatures averaging 30C.
Combine your package holidays to Sharm el Sheikh or Cairo with a few days in this intriguing city for a perfect Egyptian holiday.
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