Red Sea and Sinai Travel Information
Know about Sinai in Egypt
Sinai Peninsula in Egypt is a famous tourist destination in the country which is spread over an area of 64,000 Sq KM. The town is referred as a perfect destination to enjoy the sun, sea and adventures. Sinai houses the most popular as well as least developed beach resorts of Egypt, offering travelers of every kind an ideal accommodation option. Sinai also enjoys fame as being the scuba diving center offering many other activities like canyons and mountains for trekking, rock climbing, mountain biking, camping and even room for indulging in desert dune buggies and safari adventures.
In olden days, Sinai was famous as a chief pilgrim route and was a home to many cultures. Most part today is an arid desert and the interior part is covered by jagged mountains and ranges housing the popular archeological monument St. Catherine Monastery and Mount Sinai, a place which touts to where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments.
Sinai overall is amazing, but the southern part is most beautiful adorned with exquisite coral reefs and best diving spots on globe.
Among the most famous cities in Sinai are:
When entering Sinai
If reaching Sinai directly, an entry visa that is referred as Sinai-only visa can be acquired at the airport, which is valid for 14 days and allows you to explore South Sinai only. To explore other areas in Sinai having a regular visa seems mandatory which you can get at the Sharm el-Sheik Airport on arrival, this visa gives you access to travelling all across Egypt.
Weather at Sinai
The climate at Sinai is extreme, daytime temperatures at the coast can soar to 50°C (120°F) in summers, where nights are temperate based on the wind speed. On the mountains, the winters see slight snowfall and rainstorms during spring, when nights are cooler. When visiting Sinai in summer it’s recommended to carry complete sun protection with you and lots of bottled water to stay hydrated and avoid sunburns and heat exhaustion or heatstroke. During summer, the best place you would like spending time is in the waters, while forgoing even camel riding and trekking entirely.
How Sinai can be reached?:
Reaching Sinai is easy as it’s well-connected with many cities in Egypt. A domestic flight by Egypt Air is available everyday that takes just 30 minutes to reach Sinai from most cities in Egypt. If looking to travel in a bus, regular buses to Sharm el-Sheikh are available. Ferries too connect Sinai to Aqaba in Jordan and Nuweiba. When entering via Jordan, visa fee is not charged as it’s a part of the free trade zone. A high speed catamaran ferry too is now available that takes much lesser time. Sinai can also be reached by trains from Cairo to Port Said which can take you till the northwestern edge of this peninsula.
Interesting tourist sites of Sinai
Sinai is blessed with many tourist attractions, helping every visitor experience an amazing holiday here. Just few such places of tourist interest include;
Touted to be the most beautiful diving spot in Sinai, this is often referred as The Canyon, and it gets its name from the breath-taking, spectacularly clear waters that are blue in color. The difficult trip to the place is all worth the final view.
The Colored Canyon is a famous safari destination which is usually combined with a tour to the St. Catherine’s Monastery. The place offers a breathtaking view of amazing rock formations and canyon walls. The place is among the must-see attractions of Sinai where you can escape to experience silence and beauty at its best.
Dahab meaning gold, is an ideal place where wind surfing can be enjoyed to the fullest. The place is adorned with palm groves adding ample beauty to the coast. Reaching Dahab is much easy and this is a place if looking for tourist activities in Sinai.
Located close to St. Catherine Monastery, it was in 1980-81, that a Belgian artist Jean Verame painted many boulders blue with the permission of late President Sadat, as a symbol of end of war between Egypt and Israel. The place is an extraordinary one and worth paying a visit to.
Touted to be a biblical peak, the place has a religious significance to Islam as it’s believed to be where Boraq, Mohammed’s horse ascended to heaven. The place must be visited by every tourist coming to Sinai.
The place can give any onlooker a treat in the ancient history about 5000 years back, which is even older than the Egyptian pyramids. The tombs are constructed with dry-wall stone in a circular shape. It’s for all history lovers with the site still very well-preserved.
It’s a popular beach resort among tourists visiting Sinai. The place has now become more admired and is an ideal spot for windsurfers due to the constant wind here most time.
Ras Mohammed National Park is a nature protected area located in Sharm El Sheikh and is touted to be the first national park of Egypt. The place has both marine and terrestrial area and this is a must place to see at Sinai. Find hotel near Ras Mohammed National Park for booking.
This is a very popular archeological site in Sinai displaying the mines of the pharaohs and is in the western part of the peninsula.
St. Catherine’s Monastery:
Centered at the foot of Mount Moses, this was constructed on orders of Emperor Justinian between 527 and 565. Build around Moses’ Burning Bush, there is a chapel constructed on top. The setting is spectacular and natural with many art works like oil and wax paintings, Arab mosaics, marbles, sacerdotal ornaments, reliquaries and has the second largest collection of illuminate manuscripts.
Taba was returned to Egypt in 1989 and has now turned into a popular tourist place housing extraordinarily beautiful coves and bays. There are many hotel properties located here and also Bedouin camps here offer simplistic experience with an amazing sea view.
Lying to the south of Sinai, till 1970 the place was hardly known, but tourism here brought with it the makeover or facelift. Millions of people from across the globe visit this place every year. Today many hotels here serve to guests coming from all categories.
This tiny islet in turquoise blue waters houses a castle which is well-preserved and is of Salah ad-Din. The boat that can take you to these island runs only from the Salah ad-Din Hotel and a return ticket can be obtained from the hotel reception. For the ticket to the fortress, you can buy it only after reaching the island and after landing.
Still other places of tourist interest, which must be visited when planning a trip to Sinai, include the Feiran Oasis, and Na’ama Bay, which are among the major tourist attractions at Sinai.
Things to do at Sinai
Sinai Peninsula has since thousands of years been a popular place for religious pilgrimages. Even being a tourist spot since ancient times, the same has seen a considerable change during last few decades due to the flocking of outnumbering tourists here due to scuba diving and other activities. The diving culture has led to the emergence of a completely new growth era for Sinai.
Visiting Sinai can help any tourist now enjoy a number of activities including water sports like diving, swimming, snorkeling, sailing, wind surfing, paddle boating, water-skiing, jet skiing, fishing and more. Also, the terrestrial activities here can be enjoyed thoroughly including horse riding, camel trekking, jeep trekking and more. A safari trip can be an adventurous experience for everyone on-board. Bird-watchers can specially get a treat with the amazing variety seen here. The games and sports are also organized by the many hotels and sports centers including bowling, aerobics, tennis, bicycling and golf to keep the enjoyment spirit going always.
When at Sinai you get a chance to indulge in
- Sand boarding, an adventurous experience which can surely send through you that rush of adrenaline
- Snorkeling in the beautiful oasis at the south
- Sleep under the open, star-studded sky at a Bedouin camp
- Try activities like diving, windsurfing and other water sports
- Discover white and narrow canyons while riding a camel
Diving into Sharm
The city of Sharm El-sheik is one of the most visited places in Egypt for luxury water sport amenities. According to the latest Sinai Tourist Information this place has plenty of tourist facilities of international standard.
The city provides some exotic arrangements of diving and snorkeling. It is also a model place for open water diving and gaining a PADI or CMAS certificate.
In order to hire tanks and diving equipment here tourists have to produce an internationally recognized certificate. Most of the dive courses are scheduled for 5 days in open water; tourists want to obtain such license have to complete the introductory course.
The final word about Sinai travel
Sinai Peninsula in Egypt is a getaway that can offer any tourist an amazing holiday experience. When here you can discover not just few but diverse landscapes, occupying more than you can anticipate. From the golden beaches to the lush oases, from thriving reefs to vast deserts, it all sits here at their boom. The place is an adventure paradise for all in the family with remarkable reef’s and exotic marine life. The mountain backdrop makes Dahab a perfect spot from which Sinai can be discovered in an ideal manner. When at Sinai, no person on-board would every feel bored or monotonous with so much to do like camping under the sky, sand boarding or diving and snorkeling into the sea; in short you can truly indulge in best of both the worlds, when here. Get more Egypt travel guide.