Things to Do in Sharm el Sheikh
For many visitors to St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai, the trek to the mountain's 2,285 meter (7,495 foot) summit is a highlight of their visit.
There is a chapel at the top, reached by either following the camel trail or climbing the 3,750 Steps of Repentance. Whichever way you visit, the final stretch is a grueling 750 rocky steps to the top, where you’ll be rewarded by spectacular views, plus the knowledge that you are standing on the spot where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
Most visitors climb the mountain before dawn, arriving in time to catch the sight of the sun rising over the desert and surrounding peaks. To make things easier on your thigh and calf muscles, take the path on the way up, and the steps on the way down.
This legendary Greek Orthodox St. Catherine Monastery is one of the oldest places of worship in the world. Founded in the 4th century, the monastery stands on the site where Moses saw the burning bush. When you visit, it’s possible to see a living descendant of that very bush.
The walled monastery complex includes a fortress, chapel, the 6th century Church of the Transfiguration and monastic buildings. The monastery was never attacked, so its famous library of rare manuscripts, priceless icons, reliquaries and artworks is complete.
Towering 2,285 meters (7,495 feet) above the monastery is Mount Sinai. For many, the trek to the summit is a highlight of a visit to the monastery, either by following the camel trail or climbing the Steps of Repentance. At the top you’ll be rewarded by spectacular views, plus the knowledge that you are standing on the spot where Moses received the Ten Commandments.
World-famous coral reefs, wreck diving, fantastic snorkeling and a rich array of marine life are protected by Egypt's Ras Mohammed Marine National Park, attracting avid scuba divers from around the planet.
Plunge into the park's waters and you have the chance to spot more than 220 species of coral, over 1,000 species of fish, dozens of varieties of star fish and sea urchins, and several kinds of sea turtles. Popular diving sites include Sha'ab Mahmoud, Beacon Rock, Jackfish Alley, Yolanda Reef, Old Quay and the wreck of the SS Thistlegorm.
Wreck diving is popular off Tiran Island, surrounded by coral reefs and snorkeling lagoons in the Red Sea.
The wreck of the Sangria can be clearly seen here, its doomed hull rising above the surface of the sea.
The lagoons surrounding Tiran are ideal for swimming, snorkeling and diving, and the island is a popular destination for Red Sea excursions and diving tours.
The focus of the Sharm el Sheikh resort action is Na’ama Bay, a collection of glittering seaside resorts fronting the water.
Stroll the beachfront promenade lined with restaurants and hotels, or organize a camel or horse ride to the desert Bedouin villages.
Na’ama Bay’s clubs party hard from midnight to dawn, and cafes overlooking the water are an atmospheric setting to try a sheesha water pipe.
Of course, Na’ama Bay’s other raison d’être is as a jumping-off point to hit that crystal-clear water, filled with fluttering fish, lying offshore in Ras Mohamed National Park.
Sharm el Sheikh lies on the tip of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, where the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez meet the Red Sea. Rapidly growing in popularity with tourists, it is one of the most extraordinary diving destinations in the world. In addition to cruise ships, the port welcomes private yachts and sailboats and regular ferries to and from Aqaba and Hurghada.
The port is located on the southern side of town, about 4 kilometers from Old Sharm and 10 kilometers from the tourist hotspot Na’ama Bay. No public transportation connects the port with the city and taxis may not always be available, so the best option to get into town may be a shore excursion or other transportation offered by your cruise ship.
Diving is the primary attraction in Sharm el Sheikh, but there is plenty to occupy the non-diver. Possible activities include snorkeling, horseback riding, quad bike riding, parasailing and camel trekking.
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