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Travel bucket list idea:

Climb Mount Sinai

  • Sharm el-Sheik, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

  • Bucket List Experience

Last updated: 08 April, 2024

This 3-mile trail, high on religious significance, leads up to the rocky summit where Moses is believed to have received the Ten Commandments.

Most tours start in the early hours, to see the sunrise and the dramatic colour shifts in the surrounding desert landscapes.

The trail starts at the beautiful 6th-century monastery of St. Catherine, built to protect the biblical ‘Burning Bush’ where Moses received instructions to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.

Who to go with: tour operators

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  • Sharm el-Sheik, Sinai Peninsula, Egypt

Aerial view of the Monastery of St. Catherine, the oldest Christian Monastery located on the slopes of Mount Horeb, Sinai Peninsula in Egypt.

Bucket List Experience

St Catherine’s Monastery

At the base of Mount Sinai, set amid a dramatic and harsh desert landscape, is the Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Catherine. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this remarkable monastery was built by order of Emperor Justinian I (527-565) to protect the biblical ‘Burning Bush’, where Moses received his instructions to lead the Israelites out of Egypt in Canaan. The living bush in the grounds – now surrounded by a protective fence – is apparently the original.

The monastery is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world, and it is still used by a religious community. It remains a holy pilgrimage site.

Adult price: £2

Good for age: 18+

Duration: 3-5 hours

Logistics

Price from: £35
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: 3-5 hours

Getting there & doing it

St. Catherine’s is reached by car from Dahab (about 90 minutes), Sharm el Sheikh (about 2.5 hours) and Cairo (about 8 hours). Guided tours e.g. with Viator are the most convenient way to go – everything is organised for you. Hotels in the resorts can also arrange tours.

If you’re going independently, taxis are the easiest ways of getting there from the coast. Be sure to arrange your return journey before you leave, or face a haggle and inflated charges to get back to the coast. The Bedouin Bus service is another option. It runs each Tuesday and Friday between St. Catherine and Dahab.

The monastery guest house has a good restaurant serving simple soups and grills. Kiosks selling hot drinks, biscuits and chocolate have set up on the summit for dawn climbers.

If you’re planning a dawn climb, book a room at the monastery guesthouse the night before. Accommodation is simple but decent and includes meals. There are also other hotels nearby.

When to do it

If you’re climbing Mount Sinai, note that the mountain is extremely cold between November and February, and extremely hot (on the way down) in summer.

The monastery is open Monday-Thursday and Saturday. Closed Wednesday, Sunday and on religious holidays.

Who to go with: organised tours

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Our selection of the best Viator tours of this attraction or activity

  • Sharm el Sheikh

It's a unique experience to follow the biblical history of the sacred mountain, where it’s believed Moses received the Ten Commandments. Climbing to the summit (2285mt) to watch a spectacular sunrise is worth the tough efforts you do. ⠀ After you meet sunrise at the mount top, the group goes to the monastery of St. Catherine, located at the foot of the mountain. The trip starts around 19:30-21:00 from your hotel. Ends around 14:00. Our tips: - be ready for a cold weather on the top and take with you heavy clothes (gloves, hat, jacket); - you can take hot drinks with you in thermo cup and some snacks. The prices on the mountain are "touristic"; - there is option to rent a camel, but the last part of the route - 750 steps to the top you have to walk. Attention: the microbus has no luggage space, so you can't take it for the trip. Pick up from the airport, Royssat bus station, Dahab is with extra charge.

Price $38

Min age 4

Rating 4.37 / 5 [54 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >
  • Cairo

This 2-day, private tour covers both the ancient Egyptian highlights and Old Cairo. Visit the Giza Pyramids, the Sphinx, the tombs and pyramids at Sakkara, Egypt's first capital, Memphis old city , and the Egyptian Antiquities Museum. Then explore the Citadel of Saladin, the Alabaster Mosque, the Hanging Church, and Ben Ezra Synagogue, concluding with a shopping trip

Price $35

Min age 1

Rating 4.95 / 5 [21 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >
  • Dahab

We will detox our bodies by eating healthy food cooked by, we will be vegan, vegetarian, and carnivores. We will hike, canyon, climb, scramble, and meditate by the sunset/rise. We will sit together to talk and at other times we will have the space to only listen to our own voices. We will share powerful insights and perspectives about life's ultimate truths.

Price $298

Min age 18

Rating 5 / 5 [18 ratings]

Tour supplied by:

Viator Logo
Website >