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Interior of Sinai

Posted On : 01/03/2023 Kate Clark 50
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Most visitors focusing on the eastern Sinai Peninsula and the beautiful waters that surround it should not overlook the interior and the historical richness this region offers. Before beach tourism developed in Sharm el Sheikh, and later in other places such as Dahab and Taba, Sinai was primarily known for its religious history, as a destination for the Jewish people of the Old Testament fleeing to Egypt .

The most popular destinations in the Sinai interior are Mount Sinai and the town of S. Caterina, founded at the base of the mountain near the homonymous monastery. The community of monks who settled there from the 6th century AD erected the first wall of the current structure where, according to biblical tradition, Moses saw the burning bush.

Half-day tours can be arranged from any location or beach resort on the peninsula to Mount Sinai, most of which include the arrival of the climb to the mountain for the spectacular aurora show over the desert mountains, which is then followed the visit to the monastery, to which access is not allowed due to the community of monks who still live there. However, a visit to one of the oldest religious buildings still occupied remains an interesting destination. The library of S. Caterina is known for the most important collection of sacred manuscripts after that of the Vatican.

The area around the monastery and its mountains is also quite an interesting destination. The local Bedouin population organizes trekking and walking tours throughout the protectorate of S. Caterina, the duration of which can vary from half a day to several days. The desert gardens that can be seen on these excursions are known for their beauty. A very common tour is to the Blue Valley, where a well-known artist painted a rock complex this color to symbolize peace in 1981. Another must-see excursion is to the Colored Canyon, a beautiful area around Nuweiba that offers wonderful trekking routes through astounding gorges of variously colored rocks. Furthermore, it is possible to organize a desert safari in a 4x4,

The Sinai region can be reached from Cairo by bus to the towns of Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab and St. Catherine.

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By Kate Clark

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