Tailor-Made Holiday

Egypt - Alexandria & the Western Desert

11 days

from £2,595pp

Most visitors to Egypt stay in the Nile Valley, visiting the ancient sites and wonders, so a trip out into the Western Desert will not only inspire you, but you will also find you are one of few travellers in this region.

  • Travel across golden sand seas and see uncanny rock formations and magical landscapes
  • Rest at the lush oasis of Siwa, famous for its dates and olives
  • Take a thrilling desert safari by 4-wheel-drive and camp overnight in the white desert
  • Visit Bahariya Oasis, home to amazing ruins, tombs and old churches

This journey into the Western Desert visits a beautiful, diverse, interesting and mesmerising area of Egypt. Begin the journey in Cairo visiting the main sites before heading north to Alexandria. Located along the Mediterranean coast and famous for being called the "Pearl of the Mediterranean,” the captivating Alexandria will fascinate you with its mix of history and modernity. Although very little remains of the old city, Alexandria still retains its Mediterranean ambience of old cafes and European residence houses. Continue to Siwa, in the Sahara Desert, located on the edge of a great sand sea, rich in history and famous for its dates and olives. Take a desert safari by 4-wheel-drive vehicle and spend the night camping in the white desert, finally visiting the far flung oasis town of Bayahria before driving back to Cairo.

If you wish to extend your holiday in Egypt, include a cruise down the River Nile or on Lake Nasser, visiting the wealth of archaeological sites in these regions.

 

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE FLIGHT COST IS A SUGGESTED FROM PRICE. FLIGHT COSTS WILL BE CONFIRMED AT TIME OF BOOKING. ALL FLIGHTS ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Cairo


Cairo is a bustling, cosmopolitan city and the largest in Africa. It is a city whose celebrated highlights tell of a fascinating history. Most notable are the ancient pyramids of Giza, but others include Coptic churches, Islamic monuments and world class museums. History lives on through the bazaars and cafés that thrive in the city and haven't changed for centuries.


You will be staying at Mena House

Day 2

Half Day Pyramid Tour
Visit to the Great Pyramids at Giza. The only present-day survivors of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and which never lose their ability to inspire and overwhelm visitors. Nearby is the mysterious Sphinx, an ancient figure shrouded in legend and mystery. Nearby also visit the Solar Boat Museum which contains an ancient wooden sailing ship that was excavated near to the pyramids.


Half Day Visit to the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities
The museum houses the world’s greatest collection of Egyptian antiquities from 2700 BC to the 6th century AD, including thousands of statues, jewels and artefacts from nearly every period of ancient Egypt. Admire the amazing treasures of the young king, Tutenkhamun, including his famous mask made out of solid gold and in a perfect state of preservation. There are 12 rooms filled with treasures from King Tutenkhamun’s tomb, which was discovered in 1922 virtually untouched.


You will be staying at Mena House

Day 3

Drive from Cairo to Alexandria (Road Journey)


The second largest city in Egypt, Alexandria, known as "The Pearl of the Mediterranean", has an atmosphere that is more Mediterranean than Middle Eastern. Its ambience and cultural heritage distance it from the rest of the country although it is actually only 225 kms from Cairo.

Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, Alexandria became the capital of Graeco-Roman Egypt, its status as a beacon of culture symbolized by Pharos, the legendary lighthouse that was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The setting for the stormy relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Alexandria was also the centre of learning in the ancient world. But ancient Alexandria declined, and when Napoleon landed, he found a sparsely populated fishing village. From the 19th century Alexandria took a new role, as a focus for Egypt's commercial and maritime expansion. This Alexandria has been immortalized by writers such as E-M- Forster and Cavafy. Generations of immigrants from Greece, Italy and the Levant settled here and made the city synonymous with commerce, cosmopolitanism and bohemian culture.



Alexandria is a city to explore at random. It's as important to enjoy the atmosphere as it is to see the sights.


You will be staying at Helnan Palestine

Day 4

A full day of sightseeing to explore Alexandria
In the southwest of the city stands Alexandria’s largest ancient monument, Pompey’s Pillar, rising from the ruins of the ancient and famous Serapeion (Temple of Serapis). This column of red Aswan granite rises to a height of 27 metres and is believed to have been erected by the Emperor Theodosius to commemorate the victory of Christianity over paganism and the destruction of the Serapeion in 391.

Alexandria’s catacombs, known as Kom esh-Shoqafa, lie 35 metres underground, and are reached by a spiral stairway. The catacombs were built in the 2nd century CE, possibly beginning as a family crypt.

Montazah Palace was built by Abbas II, the last khedive of Egypt, around 1900. The building is closed to the public but the surrounding gardens and beach are open.

Alexandria National Museum is located in a restored palace and contains around 1,800 artifacts which narrate the history of Alexandria through the ages - Pharaonic, Roman, Coptic and Islamic eras.


You will be staying at Helnan Palestine

Day 5

Explore El Alamein
Visit El Alamein where the famous battle was fought in the deserts of North Africa. The Allied victory at El Alamein lead to the retreat of the Afrika Korps and the German surrender in North Africa in May 1943.
Visit the Italian and German Military Cemetery on Tel el-Eisa Hill just outside the town. The German cemetery is actually an ossuary containing the remains of 4,200 German soldiers, built in the style of a medieval fortress. The Italian cemetery is a mausoleum containing many galleries of tombs. There is also the Commonwealth war cemetery with graves of soldiers from various countries who fought on the British side. This has monuments commemorating Greek, New Zealand, Australian and South African forces.

Drive from Alexandria to Siwa Oasis (Road Journey)


A magical oasis in a stunning desert landscape, Siwa's history has not only been shaped by all major civilizations, but also by the contrast of the surrounding desert with the lush soil of the oasis setting. The Siwan people have their own culture and customs and, as well as speaking Arabic, speak Berber. Women still wear traditional costumes and silver jewellery. The modern town of Siwa is set among thick palm groves, walled gardens and olive orchards, with numerous freshwater springs and salt lakes. Siwa also clusters beneath the impressive remains of the ancient fortress town of Shali.


You will be staying at Siwa Safari Paradise

Day 6

Full Day Sightseeing Siwa Oasis
After breakfast today visit the Temple of the Oracle, where in 331 BC Alexander was given the status of a god. Also see the remains of the nearby Temple of Amun. After lunch, explore the el-Gabel tombs in the Mount of the Dead and take a look as Siwa's small museum. Weather permitting, take a drive across the causeway to Fatnas Island to view the sunset.


You will be staying at Siwa Safari Paradise

Day 7

Half Day Tour of Old Town Siwa
Walk through the abandoned Old Town of Siwa and see mud dwellings piled up on the hillside like skyscrapers, set amoungst date palms and presenting a picturesque yet mysterious scene.


4x4 Desert Safari
Take a thrilling desert safari by 4x4 across the Great Sand Sea and spend the night camping in the desert.


You will be staying at White Desert Camping

Day 8

Drive from The Western Desert to Bahariya (Road Journey)


The most accessible of the Western Desert Oases, Bahariya offers many interesting attractions and an insight in to how modern life plays out in an oasis. A key agricultural centre in Pharaonic times, the area exported large quantities of wine, dates and olives to the Nile Valley.


You will be staying at International Hot Spa Spring Hotel

Day 9

Bahariya Sightseeing
Visit the Mummies Museum, the Temple of Alexander and tombs. Bahariya is also known for it's hot springs. The 65 degree waters of these natural sources help in the treatment of rheumatism, joint ailments and digestive disorders.


You will be staying at International Hot Spa Spring Hotel

Day 10

Drive from Bahariya to Cairo (Road Journey)


You will be staying at Mena House

Day 11

Fly Cairo to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Mena House

Mena House

With a superb location adjacent to the Pyramids of Giza, The Mena House was originally a royal hunting lodge used by the King of Egypt being later expanded to receive royal guests after the opening of Suez....

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Helnan Palestine

Helnan Palestine

Located in the grounds of the Montazh Palace and Park, the 5 star Helnan Palestine is set in an idyllic location....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Egypt

Amy Waters, Travel Expert

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Charlotte Lawton, Sales Consultant

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Joe Parkes, Travel Expert

"It was extremely helpful to work in conjunction with Joe and his much more up to date knowledge of India and arrive at an itinerary which we were happy with. We enjoyed the whole trip and probably what made it special for us was the fact that all the arrangements worked so well and we really didn’t have to worry about anything at all. Even when we decided to make a small change it was dealt with efficiently and promptly. We can't think of anything that would have made our trip more enjoyable."

"The service from start to finish has been excellent. Joe was very quick to respond to any queries and put together an excellent itinerary at short notice."

"A pleasure to deal with Joe. Efficient, helpful, knowledgeable and fun!"

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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