The town of St. Katherine is in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt at an elevation of about 1600 meters from sea level, at the foot of the Sinai High Mountains. Up to a thousand visitors come to visit St. Katherine’s Monastery, the oldest continuously inhabited monastery in the World built on the site where Moses “Prophet Musa” talked to God in the miracle of the Burning Bush, and to climb Mt. Sinai “the Biblical Mt. Horeb, known locally as Jebel Musa” where Moses has received the Ten Commandments. Most visitors arrive on organized coach tours from the Red Sea resorts of Sharm El Sheikh, Taba and Dahab in the evening, have dinner and maybe a couple of hours sleep in a hotel, climb the mountain at dawn, visit the Monastery in the morning and return to the resort. St. Catherine and Mt. Sinai can be visited independently as well, avoiding the busy times on the mountain and discovering the rest of what this unique region offers. Check here if you are after all inclusive holidays to Egypt that includes Sinai and other attractions in Egypt. However to have a truly memorable experience we suggest that you do not miss out visiting the city of St. Katherine which is an important place for the three major religions in the Sinai area: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Either if you are a follower of any of these three religions or not, a visit to the area might be a good idea as there are some very  significant religious and historic sites around the city of St. Katherine that are worth to see. The monks of Sinai, from earliest times until the present day, maintain a dedication both to prayer and to the support of pilgrims and visitors. They live at peace with the native Bedouin. They maintain the ancient spiritual heritage of Sinai, a heritage that extends from the giving of the Law, through the whole of the Old and New Testaments, to the multitude of saints whose memory has been enshrined at Sinai – above all, to the All-holy Theotokos, to the holy prophets Moses and Elias, and to Saint Catherine.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee added the monastery in Sinai to its list of protected sites at its meeting in Budapest on 28 June. Jill Kamil describes what has been tabled as mixed property – cultural and natural. The first steps to conserve the natural and cultural features of South Sinai were taken back in 1996 when the St Catherine Protectorate was declared under the management of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency [EEAA] and the commission of the European Union. The aim then was to conserve the area by laying down certain rules for visitors. These included respecting the sanctity of the land; protecting its large variety of flora and fauna “some unique to Sinai”; forbidding visitors from removing or interfering with animals, plants or rocks; requesting them to dress conservatively when visiting the monastery and to respect the local cultures of the Bedouin “seven different tribes live in or around the protectorate”; and ensuring that people remove their litter or place it in the bins provided.” The monastery has been honored by rulers throughout its history. These include the Empress Helena, the Emperor Justinian, The Prophet Mohammed of Islam, Sultan Slim I, the Empress Catherine of Russia, and Napoleon Bonaparte.  Contemporary heads of state have continued to show their interest in the monastery. The Holy Monastery of Sinai has been celebrated throughout the world for its spiritual and cultural radiance. It has been revered not only by Christians, but also by Moslems and Jews. It has recently been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, both for its cultural and for its scenic significance.

The Greek Orthodox monastery of the God-trodden Mount Sinai is located at the very place where God appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush, beneath the Mount of the Decalogue. In the providence of God, it is at this site also that the holy relics of Saint Catherine are enshrined. This is the oldest continuously inhabited Christian monastery, with a history that can be traced back over seventeen centuries. The monastery predates the divisions of the Christian world, its origins extending to late antiquity. The monastery has never been destroyed in all its history, and thus it can be said to have preserved intact the distinctive qualities of its Greek and Roman heritage. Members of other Christian confessions have honored the monastery, coming as pilgrims to this holy place. But from its beginnings, the Christian inhabitants of Sinai belonged to the Greek speaking world, and it has remained so to this day. The earliest description refers to the Monastery of the Holy Virgin, for the revelation of God at the Burning Bush was seen as a type of the Virgin Mary and the Incarnation. The monastery is also especially dedicated to the holy prophets Moses and Elias, who both came to this mountain and who both spoke with Christ at the Transfiguration. More recently, it has been known as Saint Catherine’s Monastery. This remains its name today, though the monastery has not lost its earlier dedications. The monastery can be thought of as a veritable Ark for its spiritual treasures. These include the manuscripts and early printed books preserved in the Sinai library, which is celebrated throughout the world for the antiquity and importance of its volumes. It also includes the monastery icons, which include the most important collection of pre-iconoclastic panel icons, and icons of the greatest beauty and significance dating from the time of the Commune dynasty.

Overview

Set out from Sharm El Sheikh to explore Sinai.  Travel at night to St. Catherine at the foot of Mount Sinai. Climb the mountain in darkness to take in the stunning sunrise from the mountaintop before descending again to visit one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world, St. Catherine. It is an Orthodox Greek monastery within its amazing walls rests a citadel likes no other, incredibly rich in important religious and historical structures. Among its treasures is the Museum of St. Catherine where there are icons attributed to the painter Angelos, one of the most famous artists of the 15th century, or to his peers, as well as all six icons by Michael Damaskenos which are considered among the most important works of the Cretan School of the 16th century

Touring Itinerary

Sharm Touring Egypt representative will pickup up from your hotel in Sharm El Sheikh, then you will transferred to St. Catherine to visit St. Catherine monastery 220 km northwest Sharm el Sheikh and located between the St. Catherine’s mounts and Moses Mount which is the oldest monastery of Christianity. After that head to Dahab, the Flower Power City in the Red Sea, for a city tour and shopping tours in Dahab. Have lunch at a local restaurant then we will drive you back to your hotel in Sharm El Sheikh. Tour starts at 07:00 AM and return 15:00 PM

  • Early morning, pick up from your hotel in Sharm el-Sheikh “Approx 07:15 AM”
  • Drive to from Sharm el-Sheikh to St. Catherine “Approx 02:30 hours”
  • Tour inside St. Catherine Monastery, with its rare icons and Burning Bush.
  • After your tour inside the Monastery, drive to Dahab City.
  • Lunch in Dahab.
  • After Lunch free time for shopping.
  • By the end of your day trip, drive back to Sharm el-Sheikh.

What’s Included

  • Pick up services from your hotel in Sharm and return
  • All transfers by air-conditioned 4×4 Jeep
  • English speaking guide
  • Lunch during your trip
  • Bottled water on board the Jeep
  • All taxes & service charge

What’s Excluded

  • Any extras not mentioned in the Touring
  • Tipping
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional activities

Details

  • Trip Duration: about 11 hours
  • Tour Runs: Everyday Expect Sunday/Friday
  • Start Times: 07.15 AM from your hotel.

Things Recommended to Bring

  • Passport.
  • Light shoes.
  • Long clothes to visit the holy Monastery.

Price Per Person
Adult: 25 GBP
Child: 15 GBP (Child is till 12 years old)
Special prices for groups

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