An adventurous young Andalusian shepherd determined to fulfill his Personal Legend, which is to find a treasure at the foot of the Egyptian pyramids. He is the book's protagonist.
A 200-year-old, extremely powerful alchemist residing in the Al-Fayoum Oasis. He dresses in black, rides a white horse, and carries a scimitar, the Philosopher’s Stone, and the Elixir of Life. He often speaks cryptically, but he understands the Soul of the World and the importance of Personal Legends.
A struggling merchant who owns a crystal shop on top of a desolate hill. His shop was once popular but lost much of its business as Tangier lost its status as Egypt’s premiere port town. He is a good-hearted, devout Muslim, but has a crippling fear of change.
A well-educated science student determined to learn the secrets of alchemy by learning from a true alchemist. He is a skeptic and loves reading his books.
The King of Salem. He appears to possess magical powers and helps those pursuing their Personal Legends.
A beautiful and chaste young "desert woman" who lives at the Al-Fayoum Oasis. She understands that she must allow Santiago to travel in pursuit of his dream.
An old women living in Tarifa who interprets dreams. She reads palms and uses black-magic iconography, but she also keeps images of Christ.
A friendly former orchard owner and devout Muslim who feels content with his life despite losing his orchard in a flood. He has made the pilgrimage to Mecca and lives his life in service of omens from God.
The Tribal Chieftain of Al-Fayoum
A strict and ruthless tribal chieftain who lives in luxury. He enforces Al-Fayoum's status as a neutral ground and believes in dreams and omens.
The beautiful and intelligent raven-haired daughter of the merchant who buys wool from Santiago.
A welcoming Coptic monk living in a monastery near the pyramids of Egypt.
A merchant who buys wool from Santiago on a yearly basis. He worries about being cheated so he demands that any wool he buys be sheared from the sheep in his presence.
A kindly, unadventurous family man who hoped Santiago would become a priest but gives him his blessing to become a shepherd.
A scam artist living in Tangier who speaks Arabic and Spanish.
A generous vendor in the Tangier marketplace who enjoys his occupation.
A well-meaning bartender who lives in Tangier and speaks only Arabic.
The bold leader of a caravan traveling across the Sahara Desert from Tangier to Egypt.