Gardens & parks, Alexandria
Walking further to the east of Montazah palace, you reach a sandy cove with a semi-private beach that is popular with picnicking families. There are also opportunities for some watersports and swimming, although the beach does not look too inviting.
Across a Victorian bridge from the beach is a an island that is perfect spot for admiring the beautiful Mediterranean sunset. The whole show is even made more scenic by a small lighthouse on a breakwater that juts out into the Meditteranean (see picture) and by the small boats moored lazily close to the shore. It's a perfect place to end a long day of sightseeing before you hit the shisha (waterpipe) cafés.
For directions on how to get to Montazah, check out this tip.
Montaza Palace with its 115 acre complex is surrounded by great walls from the south, east and west, and with the beach on its north side. This area used to belong to the Mohamed Ali family, that ruled Egypt from the mid 19th century until 1952. The construction was started in 1892 by King Abbas II, who built a large palace inside the complex called the Salamlek. In 1932, King Fuad built a larger palace and called it the Haramlik. His son, King Farouk, built a bridge to the sea to act as a water front. The rest of the 115 acres is nothing but beautiful gardens. Palm trees and gazelles cover the area. This is a wonderful spot to enjoy the beauty of Alexandria
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In the year 1892, El-Salamlek Palace was built by H.H. Khedive Abbas Helmi II as a hunting lodge for his Hangro-Austrian mistress Countess May-Torok von Szendro (later wife under the name: Gawidan Hanem Abdallah) The Palace was built by the Greek architect Dimitri Fabricious Pasha (Chief architect of teh Khedive). The Palace is situated on a hill overlooking the emerald mediterranean sea at the glorious Montazah bay as well as the most beautifully landscaped gardens in Alexandria (Al Montazah).
The Montazah Palace, the grounds of which are open most days to the public for a very small entrance fee. Avoid Fridays, which is like Sunday in a Western country (more crowded and Egyptians find it hard to relax without local pop music blasting from ghetto blasters). Montazah, which contains the former palace of King Farouk (now the summer residence of the Egyptian President) has its own rail station (an uncomfortable half hour plus third class ride from Misra Station) or take bus or simply hail a taxi (if you can bear to haggle).