There are moments in Sinai when one feels as if the history of all the world can be read in its stones. Indeed, the land here is a monument to the antiquity of life on Earth, from the fossilized reef animals of Ras Mohammed to the mines of El Maghara, whose copper fueled the Bronze Age. In many places visitors from thousands of years ago literally recorded their passage in stone, as at the Rock of Inscriptions near Dahab. And at Serabit El-Khadem, near ancient mining sites, archaeologists have discovered carvings that record the very earliest emergence of our alphabet. All three of the West's great religious traditions--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--know Sinai as a holy land, a vast expanse traversed time and again by prophets, saints, pilgrims, and warriors. Sinai is most familiar to many as the "great and terrible wilderness" through which the Israelites wandered for forty years. However, it was also the path by which Amr swept down into Egypt in 640 AD, bringing Islam in his wake. Even after the muslim conquest, the monks of St. Catherine Monastery (founded in 547 AD) continued to greet pilgrims to the site of the Burning Bush. Many of the most memorable conquerors have passed through Sinai as well. Alexander the Great crossed at the head of a great army, as did Ramses II, Napoleon Bonaparte, and (in the opposite direction) Salah el-Din. The Arab-Israeli conflicts of this century raged across the Sinai as well, their passage still evident in the ghostly wreckage that marks certain parts of the Suez coast. In recent years, and for the first time, the history of Sinai seems to be emerging as a story about the land itself--its artifacts, its people, and its extraordinary natural beauty--rather than the story of those who pass through that land. Today, it is the Sinai's brilliant coral reefs, its striking mountains and deserts, and its enormous cultural heritage that hold the future--once again, though in a very different way, the history of Sinai seems to be written in the land itself.
Sharm el Sheikh
Located at the southern tip of the Sinai, Sharm el-Sheikh is one of the most accessible and developed tourist resort communities on the Sinai peninsula. Sharm El Sheikh is divided into two separate area's. There is the town itself commonly referred to as 'Sharm' and about 6 km north is Na'ama Bay. Sharm El Sheikh is a divers paradise with crystal clear waters, lovely reefs and a variety of exotic fish where people can enjoy diving, snorkeling, fishing or any other water sports. Na'ama Bay is where most people stay and has both small intimate hotels, as well as larger resort complexes, many with there own private beaches with sun loungers, shades and bars. Sharm El-Sheikh mall provides shops with both foreign and local products, including jewelry, leather goods, clothing, pottery and books. Great night life. Activities and places to visit Ras Mohamed national park A trip to Ras Mohamed can be arranged from Sharm el Sheikh , It is the best place for diving as well as it is declared recently as a National Park . The 480 square kilometer protected area lies where the Gulf of Suez meets the Gulf of Aqaba at Sinai's southern extremity. The arid desert terrain of sand dunes, gravel plains, fossilized corals and granite mountains is home to a number of rare mammal species: Dorcas gazelle, Nubian ibex and red fox. Easier to spot are the resident birds like terns, herons, gulls and ospreys. Thousands of white storks pass through Ras Mohammed each year, heading south during September/October and back north during April/May. About 85 flora species live in the park, including mangroves. In glaring contrast to the seemingly desolate landscape above, the ecosystem underwater is a magnificent eruption of life: 200 coral species (125 of which are soft corals), 1000 fish species, 40 starfish species, 25 sea urchin species, 100 mollusk species, 150 crustacean species, and 2 turtle species: the Green Turtle and the Hawksbill Turtle.
Dahab (meaning 'gold' in Arabic) is located about 85km north of Sharm El Sheikh. There are activities and accommodation here to suit every budget. Dahab is a favorite for divers and those who enjoy the backdrop of Bedouin culture in a relaxed, down-to-earth atmosphere. Bedouin-style restaurants line the shore, along with dive centers and beaches, where a wide variety of water and land activities are available Places to visit: One of the natural wonders of the Sinai, Color Canyon is awe-inspiring. Take a walk in between dramatic sandstone canyon walls streaked with melting yellows, purples, reds, magentas and gold. In certain places the canyon walls reach up to 40 meters. You feel as if you are enclosed in a spectacular coloring book. Formed by the natural elements over time, the walls of Color Canyon cascade with colors as a result of ferrous oxide and manganese. Consequently, a natural maze has been formed that is excellent for exploring and taking photographs. A haven of tranquility, Color Canyon promises it's visitors peaceful moments and silence. The blue Desert, Located between Dahab and St Katherine, you can easily see this site in one day. The most amazing thing about the Blue Desert isn't the blue paint on the rocks, it is the wadi itself - against the backdrop of the legendary blue Sinai sky. Massive granite sculptures and golden boulders cover the desert floor along with beautiful pink flowers dotting the plains. The Blue Desert is a great place for climbing, taking pictures or just getting away from it all.
The port and town of Nuweiba are located on the eastern coast of Sinai, between Taba, 65 km to the north, and Dahab, 70 km to the south. It offers a beautiful scenery of colorful high mountains, deep blue sea and superb sandy beaches, lined with palm trees. Tarabin is the beautiful, palm tree shaded beach of northern Nuweiba Bay. It is ideal for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling and other water sports. You can also relax at the comfortably cushioned Bedouin restaurants and coffee shops along the beach. Beach camps with bamboo huts and small hotels provide accommodation nearby. You will also find some tourist shops, supermarkets and an internet cafe in this area. At night there are plenty of possibilities to party Places to visit: One of the natural wonders of the Sinai, Color Canyon is awe-inspiring. Take a walk in between dramatic sandstone canyon walls streaked with melting yellows, purples, reds, magentas and gold. In certain places the canyon walls reach up to 40 meters. You feel as if you are enclosed in a spectacular coloring book. Formed by the natural elements over time, the walls of Color Canyon cascade with colors as a result of ferrous oxide and manganese. Consequently, a natural maze has been formed that is excellent for exploring and taking photographs. A haven of tranquility, Color Canyon promises it's visitors peaceful moments and silence. To ensure your safety, in some areas of the Color Canyon you will need to be reasonably fit to investigate. Day trips to the Color Canyon can be arranged from Dahab, Nuweiba, or Taba. n
Taba is a small town located on the Red Sea coast of north-eastern Sinai, right by the border to Israel, it serves mainly as a growing resort settlement and as a border crossing into Israel. The border is open 24 hrs a day, and can be crossed by foot or car. Bus services are provided at both sides of the border. However, for those who want to avoid mass tourism, Taba is also popular because of the peaceful beauty of its Bedouin camps offering simple accommodations with unbeatable views of the sea. Activities & Places to visit:- Pharaoh's island , Today you will not only marvel at the rock drawings of the distant past, but you can also admire the ruins of the quarries, mines, fortresses, watch towers and wells that lie scattered along this principal route. Pharaoh's Island, also called Coral Island or Geziret Faroun, lies eight kilometers south of Taba and 250 meters off the coast. The Phoenicians were the first to make use of this island's fine natural harbor during the 10th century BC to foster trade with Egypt. Much later the small rocky island came under Byzantine control. One of the natural wonders of the Sinai, Color Canyon is awe-inspiring. Take a walk in between dramatic sandstone canyon walls streaked with melting yellows, purples, reds, magentas and gold. In certain places the canyon walls reach up to 40 meters. You feel as if you are enclosed in a spectacular coloring book. Formed by the natural elements over time, the walls of Color Canyon cascade with colors as a result of ferrous oxide and manganese. Consequently, a natural maze has been formed that is excellent for exploring and taking photographs. A haven of tranquility, Color Canyon promises it's visitors peaceful moments and silence. Day trips to the Color Canyon can be arranged from Dahab, Nuweiba, or Taba.
Taba protected area
Inland from Taba and Nuweiba is the latest addition to Egypt's national park series. The huge 2800 square kilometer Taba Protected Area is a complex network of wadis and canyons that navigate through the park's granite and sedimentary mountains. Here, years of water and wind erosion have carved out gripping geological monuments. Some of Sinai's most stunning natural spots, like the color canyon, Ein Umm Ahmed and Ein Khudra, are located within the protectorate. History buffs are intrigued as much by the park's ancient rock art of religious symbols and vanished animals, as by it's presumably stone age Nawamis tombs
The area of St Catherine always promises something significant. You can take a hike in the footsteps of Moses or light a candle under a famous icon in the Monastery of St. Catharine - or perhaps hire a Bedouin guide and trek around the mountain and look for the smallest butterfly in the world. There is plenty to discover in this small but outstanding town. Activities and Places to visit You can climb Mount Sinai, the mountain just south of the Monastery of St Catherine, is of great religious importance to Jews, Christians and Muslims. According to the Old Testament this is where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Throughout the centuries the mountain has drawn thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. You can ascend to the summit (2285 m, 7497 ft) to experience the ultimate spiritual high; either by climbing some 4000 steps built by monks or by following an easier but longer path. Both lead to an open area known as Elija's Basin where you walk up the remaining 750 steps to the top. At the summit you will find the Chapel of the Holy Trinity that was built in 1934 on the site of a much earlier chapel built in 363 AD. The climb takes about three hours but the view from the top is truly breathtaking, especially at sunrise