Mount Sinai, Sharm El Sheikh
Moses Mountain again is a very popular attraction in Sharm. It is not for the faint hearted though as it is a long day. I know someone who did this tour and although they said it was fantastic, they said it was very tiring and also worth it for the amazing view.
It lasts around 3-4 hours where you will be picked up from your hotel in the morning and taken to see St Catherine's Monastery to watch the sun rise then you spend a 3 hour climb up to Moses Mountain and enjoy the amazing views. Prices do vary from £65 per adult and £25 per child.
Last info dated December, 28 2010.
A "guide" is said to be necessary but I met several people on the road who climbed alone and no control was enforced. Anyhow to hire a guide only cost 80 Egyptian Pound (12 EUR) and offers some chance for better explanation has they all speak decently English and off course they show the way and shortcuts.
The climb, perse, is easy: 1.5 hours uphill climb on a rocky steps track. Just take the valley after the Monastery and stay on the right canyon (not the main valley) . The path is well marked up to the top. Elevation at start 1560 circa, at the top 2280 circa.
The descent can be done in 1 hour from the main track used uphill by who prefer to use the camels.
Outstanding view from he top. No need to carry water/food , there are 2-3 huts that sell everything including blankets/mattress if you want to sleep on the top.
You see that ‘spot’ in red circle??? That is chapel on top of mountain; where according to Bible Moses received Tablets of the Low with the Ten Commandments. There are two ways to reach chapel. One is climbing on 3750 steps (which I haven’t tried), that monks built with rocks, and this is shorter but more difficult way. Other is climb on carved path that is long about 7km. Good thing is that you can have strength and take camel ride.
Let start from the beginning. Gathering is in the Monastery of Saint Catherine, very early in the morning, around 3 or 4 am.
Sinai looks like nothing so much as the surface of the moon.The Sinai Peninsula consists of an area of some 61,000 square kilometers. Geographical Sinai belongs to Egypt cut from its motherland by the Suez Canal. The natural barriers are the Gulf of Suez to the west, separating the African continent from Arab Asia and the Gulf of Aqaba to the east.
However, in the 3rd century hermits who sought refuge and seclusion in the high mountain range of the St. Catherine region developed the idea of Mt. Sinai being the place where Moses had received the 10 Commandment
The trip to Mount Sinai is certainly a most! Although the trip can be quite tough, it's all worth it. The walk up at night is not for the skimish and one elderly man actually got sick and could not complete the walk down by himself. This should not deter you and as long as you're somewhat fit and healthy it will be a fantastic trip! The sun rising in the early hours is absolutely amazing.
It is a long…long…long walk, for people that are not used to walking it is a bit of a challenge to get to the top. We started going up at 1.30 in the morning and we got to the top around 4.45 just over 3 hours walking with 3 5minutes stop. Its 2.30 walking in a path and after that 750 steep.
You can take a camel up to the steps for 65 E.P (£6.50) which is very cheap if that means saving you the 2.30 hours walk. But they did not look very comfortable so I walked. I did consider going up in the camel after 30minutes walking,
Once in the top waiting for the sun raise, you will forget the walk and every minute you walked is worth it. Especially if you believe this is a holly place. The view is amazing and so is the feeling of being up there. Is one thing that you do it once but never forget!
Tip: Take warm clothing; it is really cold at the top. Our rep forgot to tell us this and I almost froze. Especially some thing to cover you head and chest.
"Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight - why the bush does not burn up." When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!" And Moses said, "Here I am." (Exodus, 3:1-3:4)
The bush is still there, though not burning any more. If you visit St. Catherine monastery, you can also have a look at it. You can also touch it and make a wish. But please don't break the branches. And don't try to carry them awa and plant in another place, they will not grow.
Going up the Sinai mountain is hard, but absolutely worth it! You'll start at night, at around 2am. It took me about 4 hours to reach the top and then about an hour to wait for the sunrise.
Just to think that centuries ago Moses walked the same path!
You can take a camel, it's cheap and it will make your climb much easier, but if you can walk, do it yourself, you will feel great!
You walk in complete darkness with your flashlight lighting only the nearest surroundings and the road under your feet. When I walked a while and then looked back I was fascinated with the sight of a stream of lights from hundreds of people's flashlights walking behind! And when I looked up I saw millions of stars in the clean mountain sky!
It was fantastic!
A flashlight and a bottle of drinking water were provided by our travel agency. Don't forget to take warm clothes with you - at least a sweater and a windbreaker, cause it's cold on the mountain top (around 11C). When you reach the top change into a dry warm sweater and wait for the sun!
When you walk down in the morning, it's amazing to finally see the path you walked up in darkness.
The dry Sinai half-island is covered with these sharp edged mountains that are really typical.
The picture was taken when flying back from Sharm. Impressive view, huh?
On one of these mountains it is said, that the Arche Noah landed after the flood.
On another one Moses got the ten rules from god.
And Abraham spoke to the burning bush.
So you see this dry desert landscape is religiously very important land.
There are excursions to climb the mountain where the St. Catherines Monastery is. This is suposed to be the Mountain of Moses. if you do so, start in the night, watch the sunrise from the top, then get back down, before it gets too hot.
Hard to pick which is more beautiful, the turquoise waters of the Red Sea, or the stark jagged red mountains of the Sinai peninsula...
On this particular trip I spend a lot more time underwater that on land, so I can't be a fair judge, but I would love to come back and get the opportunity to hike up in the stunning mountains of the Sinai...
John Lloyd Stephens said that 'Among all the stupendous works of Nature, not a place can be selected more fitting for the exhibition of Almighty power. Mount Sinai is both the name of a collection of peaks, sometimes referred to as the Holy Mountains, and the biblical name of the peek on which Moses received the Ten Commandments. Mount Mousa (or Musa), also referred to as Jebel Musa, Gebel Mousa, Mount Moses or the Mountain of Moses (all of which basically means the same thing) is considered to be that biblical peak. This peak has religious significance to Islam as the place where Mohammed's horse, Boraq, ascended to heaven. The 7,497 foot mountain has 3,750 steps hewn out of stone by monks of St. Catherine's Monastery, which is located just to the North. The peak is accessible by the steps, or by a gentler path east of the monastery. Both lead to an amphitheater known as the 'Seven Elders of Israel'. From there, one must ascend the remaining 750 steps to reach the summit where the Chapel of the Holy Trinity was built in 1934 (on the location of the original chapel built in 363 and rebuilt by Justinian in 530) and affords a truly breathtaking view. It is recommended that you take the steps down, as they will lead you past the fountain of Moses, a small chapel of the Virgin, and two arches, the Gate of St. Stephen and the Gate of the Law.