Reasons to Visit
The Ancient Egyptians have attracted more interest and attention than almost any other ancient civilisation. Their feats of engineering, and the details of their lives we can glean from tomb and temple walls make them seem very alive; similarly their obsession with death also fascinates us.
From the temples of Upper Egypt, to the numerous fantastic pyramids near Cairo, Egypt is probably best known for its ancient ruins. Even once away from the ever-popular Nile Valley, there are oasis tombs, and remnants of Roman Alexandria to uncover.
The shores of the Red Sea are rightly famous the world over. The water is a stunning clear blue and the coral reefs are simply amazing. Year-round, the sun shines, and there are excursions into the mountainous interior to tempt you away from the sand and lapping waves.
Gliding serenely past lush green fields, farmed by ox-drawn ploughshares, admiring the sleek form of a egret is one of the great pleasures of a visit to Egypt. The fact that this glimpse of unchanged rural life also links together some of the greatest historical monuments in Egypt makes a Nile cruise a must!
The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities is one of the world's great treasure troves, crammed with artefacts from the country's illustrious past. Other, much smaller museums are more than worthy of your time: Luxor museum is especially noteworthy.
As you twist and turn deeper into the Khan El Khalili, passing under Mamluke arches and admiring Ottoman 'mashrabiya' window screens, you're drawn into a traditional world where charismatic vendors try to persuade you to purchase handicrafts and goods manufactured in a tiny workshop behind the shop front.
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North Africa & the Middle East
You have the opportunity to ascend Mount Sinai after visiting St Catherine's Monastery. The ascent can be done either on foot or by came.
St Catherine's Monastery is a Greek Orthodox foundation, dating back to 337AD. During the sixth century, the Monastery was fortified by walls and a basilica, and two hundred guards were supplied to protect the monks and the monastery. Although the Prophet Mohammed is said to have granted the monastery protection after the Muslim conquest, the number of monks gradually dwindled and there are now around twenty monks currently in residence.
You enter the monastery through a small gate in the northern wall and continue through a passageway to Moses' Well and the transplanted descendant of the Burning Bush. You also have the opportunity to look around St Catherine's Church with its ornate carvings and icons, and the charnel house which is heaped with monks' skeletons.
Also open for viewing is a small museum and library, showing a selection of icons, books and manuscripts from the monastery's extensive library.
You have the opportunity to ascend Mount Sinai after visiting St Catherine's Monastery. The ascent can be done either on foot (approx 3-4 hours) or by camel (approx 2 hours). You can stock up on water at the monastery shop before heading off, and there are refreshment stalls along the way with increasing prices the higher up the mountain you go.
On reaching the summit, you have time to relax and watch the spectacular sunset, before descending.
For many years Sharm has been a magnet for tourists seeking beaches and fantastic diving and snorkelling. As a result the town itself is very much geared towards mass-market tourism, with the full array of shops, restaurants, night clubs and package tourists.
180 miles away in Luxor
239 miles away in Cairo
Include Saint Catherine's Monastery & Mount Sinai. on your tailor-made trip around Egypt by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in EgyptWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasEgypt CruisesPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout EgyptCountry Guides
Other countries in North Africa & the Middle East:IranJordanLebanonLibyaMoroccoOmanSyriaTunisia
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