most tourists and christian pilgrims going to Saint Katherine came from the Taba Crossing Point from Israel and are fetched by tour buses and private vans going to Saint Katherine which is about a 2 hour drive from Taba. the tour buses shuttle you to saint katherine monastery (800 meters away, you must walk or ride the shared taxi for LE 6 per person one way) and to toher points around saint katherine and the hotel and then the long 10 hour drive to cairo.
most of the big tour buses also have free wifi too!
the path going up Mount Sinai is a rocky and irregular one and can be steep in other areas. majority of the tourists and christian pilgrims going up the mountain hire a camel going up or down and even round trip to and from the camel station about 3/4 of the way to the top. (the final 1/4 is too narrow and steep for camels to go up). hiring a camel with the bedouin guide will cost LE 170 one way and LE 340 for the round trip (cost is the camel ride with the bedouin guide), they also accept US Dollars and Euros. the ride from the base camp to the camel station is 2 1/2 hours and 2 hours going down.
if you are on a holyland package like us, then private vans that will fetch the christian pilgrims in your group who will wish to go up the mountain (as some do not want to climb it due to old age or medical conditions) to and from the starting point and ending point of the mount sinai climb and the ride and the camel ride to the top with the corresponding bedouin camel guides will not be included in the package.
your tour guide will arrange the package and it includes all like the camel ride, bedouin guides, tips, private van to and from mount sinai base camp.
as most of the hotels around Saint Katherine are far from the base of climing Mount Sinai, located at the Front of Saint Katherine Monastery, There are many Taxi Vans plying the route with some of them parking at front of the different hotels to ferry the mostly christian pilgrims going to Saint Katherine Monastery and Mount Sinai. Taxi Fare is about 18 to 25 LE per person one way to and from the hotel to the Monastery. Taxis can be the van type or the car type.
if your tour bus will take you to the monastery for a tour, they don't stop at the monastery itself but on the bus parking located 800 meters (1/2 mile) away from the monastery, then you ride the shared ride taxi to and from the monastery from the bus parking area for 7 LE (or 1 US Dollar, yes they accept US Dollars) per person one way.
When climbing or descending Mt. Sinai there is also the possibility to take a camel until/from the staircase.
The camel path begins from behind the Monastery and goes up to the steps. The remaining 750 steps must be climbed on foot.
Probably the best option is to take the camel when climbing.
It costs USD 10- but at the end of the ride the owner will ask you for a tip. With another USD 1- you can make him happy.
Most hotels from Dabah, Sharm el-Sheikh, or Nuweiba provides various tours and bus tickets. I paid 55 EGP for a minibus tour from Dabah to Mt. Sinai departing at 11pm and return by noon. When you entered the National Parks of Egypt St Katherine Protectorate, the driver will let you off the car and buy entrance ticket for 17.5 EGP (May 2006).
At the St Katherines, you can see big coaches parked on one side, whilst the mini buses in the other.
There is a high-speed ferry a few times a week going from Sharm el Sheik to Hurghada. It is supposed to take 1,5 hour, but when I went with it took 3 hours. The sites on board are comfortable and there is a small snack bar selling coffee (6 pounds) and tea, coke, crisps and sandwiches. If you feel seasick you better sit in the middle in the middle. The ferry leaves Sharm at 6 pm. You will need your passport. A ticket was 250 pounds (July 2005).
When you have crossed the border at Taba you will be met by taxi drivers offering to take you to your destination in Sinai. But if you walk on, less than a km, you will come to the bus station and hopefully there will be a bus for you. If not you can always ask for a taxi here in peace and quiet.
I was going to St Katherine’s Monastery for which the only bus leaves at 7 o’clock in the morning. I arrived at 3 pm and had to take a taxi. I had heard stories (and have also read one here on VT) about taxi drivers stopping in the middle of nowhere refusing to go further with you in the car if you don’t pay more than you agreed of in the beginning. A taxi driver in a red minibus (if you are around Taba or Nuweiba and need a taxi his number is 0020127075078) offered to take me to St Katherine’s for 200 pounds and he seemed to be an honest man and the price correct. We stopped three times along the way, once for drinking tea and the other two times for me to take photos.
The drive took about 2,5 hours.
I came to Dahab from St Katherine’s Monastery. There is a bus from the nearby village leaving for Dahab at 1 o’clock. I wanted to leave earlier so I went down to the parking just after 9 o’clock, hoping I could go with one of the many tour buses and taxis waiting there (the monastery opens at nine and after visiting all people who came to climb Mt Sinai go back to their resort). I found a group of people going in a minibus to Dahab and their driver let me go with them for 30 pounds, which I accepted.
Leaving Dahab I shared a minibus with three other people. Someone else had already negotiated about the price and we paid 150 pounds for the car. You can get it cheaper (2005)!
It's easy to reach St Katherine's Monastery by tarred road from the east or west coast. A a normal car will do.
Even if there was a tarred road, our driver Mohammed with his landcruiser went off-road, if he had any chance.
In Cairo I met the other 3 members of our small international group for the ''six day off road tour'' in the Sinai.
Our driver Mohammed was a very good, but also a crazy driver. When he drove off road, he pushed the accelerator down to the bottom.
So at the question ''how does the landscape of the Sinai looks like?" I can only answer "Most of the time very fast moving". Anyway we had the most amazing trip ever. We didn't saw travellers, so the sticker at the back of our car "Don't follow me, I'm lost too" was not really needed to be on our own.
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