How Long Did It Take to Travel From Rome to Egypt in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, long-distance travel was not as quick and easy as it is today. Traveling from one place to another required a lot of time and effort, especially when the distance covered was significant.

One such journey that took a considerable amount of time was traveling from Rome to Egypt. Let’s delve deeper into how long it took to travel from Rome to Egypt in ancient times.

Distance between Rome and Egypt

The distance between Rome and Egypt is approximately 1,336 miles or 2,151 kilometers. This distance could be covered by sea or land.

Traveling by Land

In ancient times, traveling by land was the most common method of transportation. However, it was also one of the most challenging methods as there were no proper roads or highways like today’s modern infrastructure. The journey from Rome to Egypt could take up to several months depending on the route taken and mode of transportation used.

The Via Maris Route

One of the most popular routes taken during ancient times to travel from Rome to Egypt was the Via Maris route. It roughly translated to ‘the way of the sea’ in Latin, and it passed through various regions such as Syria, Palestine, and Israel.

It took approximately 40-60 days for travelers to complete this journey on foot or using pack animals like camels or horses. This route had many dangers such as bandits who would rob travelers along the way or harsh weather conditions such as sandstorms.

The Desert Route

Another route that some travelers took was through the desert. This route was even more challenging than the Via Maris route because there were no established roads or paths. Travelers had to navigate their way through the desert using landmarks like mountains and stars.

This journey could take up to several months due to its difficult terrain and unpredictable weather conditions such as sandstorms and extreme heat.

Traveling by Sea

Traveling by sea was a quicker and safer method of transportation than traveling by land. However, it was not without its challenges as well.

The Nile Route

One of the most popular sea routes used to travel from Rome to Egypt was the Nile route. It was a safer option than traveling by land as there were no bandits or harsh weather conditions to worry about.

It took approximately 20-30 days for travelers to complete this journey. However, this journey had its own set of challenges such as navigating through narrow river channels and avoiding crocodiles and other dangerous animals.

The Mediterranean Route

Another sea route that some travelers took was through the Mediterranean Sea. This route was faster than the Nile route but also more dangerous due to storms and pirates who would attack ships along the way.

It took approximately 10-15 days for travelers to complete this journey, but it had its own set of dangers such as shipwrecks and violent storms.


In conclusion, traveling from Rome to Egypt in ancient times required a lot of time, effort, and patience. Depending on the mode of transportation used and the route taken, this journey could take several months or even up to a year. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in terms of transportation technology, making long-distance travel much quicker and easier than it ever has been before.