Travel to Sinai Peninsula – Stunning Mountains and Coral Gardens
The Sinai is the triangular peninsula of rugged mountains spreading south from Israel and Jordan into the Red Sea. For centuries only Bedouin tribes lived here, but now it’s stunning scenery both above and below the warm waters of the Red Sea attract those in search of adventure and relaxation.
Prior to the 1980s the Sinai was inhabited largely by the 14 Bedouin tribes that wandered its rugged interior. The small settlements at Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab and Nuweiba hosted a few intrepid backpackers and divers who didn’t mind sleeping in small, scruffy hotels: all that has changed.
The wealth of natural attractions to be found has created an explosion of tourism with travellers keen to explore this amazing natural wonderland. There’s a wide variety of accommodation and a huge choice of adventurous activities on offer. Highlights of a visit include the colourful canyons and wadis of the interior, biblical Mt Sinai, St Katherine’s Monastery and Bedouin settlements hidden in the mountains. Along the coast there are any number of dive sites to choose from, many suitable for snorkelling, and all with stunning coral gardens.
A wide variety of very affordable activities are on offer. Dive trips
The Sinai offers superb walking and treks of 1 to 7 days can be arranged. 4WD trips to from the coastal resorts or Cairo to sites such as the Coloured Canyon, Wadi Ghazala and Ein Hodra are popular and allow easy access into the inhospitable interior. In the west of the peninsula lies the only Pharaonic site in the Sinai, the turquoise mines of Serabit al Khadim and Wadi Feiran, one of several Bedouin settlements clustered around an oasis.
An early-morning ascent of Mt Sinai offers spectacular sunrise views across the surrounding mountains whilst the fortress-like St Katherine’s Monastery at its foot can also be visited. Other activities include kite and windsurfing, quad-biking and camel treks.
Sharm el Sheikh has the most western-style bars and nightclubs. Dahab and Nuweiba are more low key with most people relaxing at beachside café’s many of which have informal open-air lounge areas where you can sprawl on rugs and cushions.
Public transport is poor in the Sinai when compared with that in the Nile Valley. Buses link the coastal towns of Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab and Nuweiba with each other and Cairo, but they can be infrequent and timetables unreliable. A better option is a shared taxi if travelling between the coastal resorts, or to organise a package from home in which case it is likely transport would be included.
- Experience some of the best diving and snorkelling anywhere in the world
- Take a 4WD safari into the interior to explore canyons and wadis and meet the local Bedouin people
- Climb Mt Sinai at sunrise and then visit the remarkable St Katherine’s Monastery