Sinai and the Red Sea Coast
Travel to Sinai and Red Sea Coast – Mountains, Desert & Coast
The Sinai Peninsula is the meeting point of Africa and the Middle East, home to ancient Bedouin tribes and with strong biblical associations. This land of contrasts attracts people who come to explore its rugged heart and stunning coral gardens, to get the adrenaline racing with a wide variety of activities such as wind and kite surfing and quad-bike riding.
Sinai has a long history dating back some 5,400 years but is most familiar to Westerners as the land where Moses led the Israelites after fleeing from Pharaoh; today’s visitors can follow in his footsteps and climb Mt Sinai. Inhabiting the region since ancient times are the Bedouin tribes who still live a semi-nomadic existence and who can be found scattered throughout the region. Their traditions of hospitality are undiminished and they will happily play host to travellers who come across them as they explore. Visitors today can take a 4WD safari, trek on foot or by camel to areas only relatively recently opened and which include dramatic canyons, pharaonic remains and desert oases.
Many people visit the region to enjoy what is some of the best diving in the world. Ras Mohammed National Park and the dozens of dive sites that stretch north to Nuweiba and beyond are a magnet for divers of all abilities, with live-aboard, day trips and qualification courses available at several locations.
Back on the mainland Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Hurghada has become a mecca for sun worshippers and this sometimes garish resort is especially popular with East Europeans. Nonetheless for visitors with little time to visit the Sinai it gives the opportunity to see something of the Red Sea’s wonders with many boat trips available for divers and snorkellers alike. Further south an al Quseir is Hurghada’s smaller, quieter neighbour offering similar attractions but with an interesting history to boot.
- Spend at least a day, preferably more, either diving or snorkelling over the reefs of the Red Sea
- Explore the rugged Sinai interior by 4WD spending a few nights camping
- Make the slow but reasonably easy ascent of Mt Sinai to reach the summit in time for sunrise