Sharm el Sheikh tours and visits

Sharm el Sheikh holidays should not be just confined to it’s beautiful shores and coastal areas.  Take a journey inland and discover what precious gems of beauty and ancient history are in store for those who have a sense of adventure.

Here we have listed some of the must see’s when on holiday in Sharm El Sheikh.  We would welcome you thoughts and tips and even criticisms of these excursions so that others may benefit from your experiences.

Excursions into southern Sinai

This spectacular region is criss-crossed by deep gorges and canyons with multi-coloured rock walls. The deep clefts in the rock conceal great veins of turquoise, malachite and copper. Discover the caves, many of them with impressive cave paintings.

Temple of Serabit el-Khadim

This Pharaonic temple, built on the summit of a 2,550ft cliff is a must see for the more adventurous. The temple is dedicated to Hathor, the goddess of love and Mistress of the Turquois, which along with copper was mined 800 years ago.

Serabit el-Khadim (Heights of Slaves) can be accessed from Naama Bay where some jeep safaris include it in their tours. Alternatively a 4×4 can be hired but it is recommended that you take a guide to this isolated part of the country.

Coloured Canyon

Close to Nuweiba is the Coloured Canyon, where you’ll see the most extravagant rainbow of colourful minerals adorning the rocky walls, which are up to 50 metres high.

Top Tip: you can refresh yourself at the nearby oases of Ain el-Furtaga and Ain Khudra.

St. Catherine’s Monastery

A model of Byzantine architecture, St. Catherine’s Monastery (dating from the 6th century) is dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, and is celebrated for its magnificent icons. The monastery is said to have been built on the site where it is believed Moses saw the burning bush. It houses a large collection of valuable manuscripts, second only to the collection in the Vatican.

The monastery is open from 9.00 a.m. to 12.00 midday every day except Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays. 64 km (40 miles) west of St. Catherine’s is Feiran Oasis, the largest in the southern Sinai, tucked away in a winding valley surrounded by high rock walls and palm groves. For more information visit www.sinaininastery.com

Mount Sinai

Known as the Sacred Summit, because this is where God is said to have given Moses the Ten Commandments. The peak reaches a height of 2,285 metres and can be climbed on foot up the 3,750 ‘steps of penitence’. Make sure you get to the top where you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view over the Sinai Desert.

Near St. Katherine’s Monastery.

Tips: make the climb at night-time so you can watch the sunrise from the summit: a memorable experience. Why not try something different and make some of the journey camel-back by taking the camel trail.

Ras Mohammed National Park

Managed by Egypt’s Agency of Environmental Affairs, the park boasts great geological treasures as well as a remarkable variety of wildlife on land and under the sea: foxes, ibex and gazelles abound, and there is also a mangrove swamp with sedentary and migratory birds such as storks.

25 km (15 miles) south-west of Sharm el-Sheikh, the park can be reached by car, taxi or jeep.

Activities: trekking and diving with scuba gear or snorkel.

Nabq National Park

This protected zone, located 20 miles north of Sharm el-Shiekh, shelters the largest mangrove swamp in the region, as well as superb sand dunes at the mouth of Wadi Kid.

Abu Gallum Park

Wild landscapes, mountains, remote valleys and many freshwater springs, along with some 160 species of plant.

Tip: make sure you hire the services of a Bedouin guide.

Diving spots

Sharm el Sheikh is considered to be one of the cheapest places in the world to gain a PADI ((Professional Association of Diving Instructors) qualification.

By boat it’s easy to reach well-known diving sites like the Straits of Tiran or the Ras Mohammed National Park with its many reefs, home to great shoals of fish and sharks.

If you want to see the larger specimens in the water then go diving early in the morning or in the late afternoon.

These are the top things to see and on whilst on a Sharm El Sheikh holiday.  Remember it’s nice to sit by the pool or beach and soak up the sun but it is also rewarding to do something different like seeing the sunrise on top of a mountain mentioned in the bible!  So open you horizons and experience this fantastic part of the world.