"The Alchemist" follows an Andalusian shepherd named Santiago as he journeys from Spain to the Egyptian pyramids. On his way, he meets an alchemist and they travel together to find the treasure Santiago dreamed was under the pyramids.
Santiago consults with a gypsy and a magical old man who tell him to make the journey. He is robbed in Tangier but finds work with a crystal merchant. Santiago teaches the kind merchant how to improve his business, and they both become rich within a year. Santiago travels by caravan to Egypt, where he meets an Englishman who wants to be an alchemist. The caravan takes refuge in the city to avoid a tribal war in the desert, and Santiago meets and falls in love with Fatima.
After defending the city from an attack, the alchemist and Santiago choose to continue Santiago's "Personal Legend" to find treasure at the pyramids, leaving Fatima behind. They are captured and the alchemist gives the tribe all of Santiago's money and tells them that Santiago can turn into wind. After three days, Santiago asks the wind and the sun to create a sandstorm and he disappears at the height of the storm.
Santiago is assaulted again at the pyramids, and one of the men says he used to dream about a treasure in Spain. Santiago realizes the dream is about the place he came from and he returns and finds a large treasure. He returns to the city in the desert and reunites with Fatima.