Whole Sinai is desert, and one of the driest in the world at that, but you could divide it to ‘mountains’ and ‘desert’. The High Mountain Region, technically called a ‘high altitude desert ecosystem’, is wetter than and very different from the rest of the peninsula. Strictly speaking it is around the town of St Katherine in the centre, but in a broader sense the whole south-western tip of the peninsula is considered to be part of the high mountains. Desert landscapes, as most people imagine desert, are found in the sandy belt that stretches across the peninsula virtually from coast to coast, north of the mountainous tip and south of the Tih and the Guna Plateaus. 

Click on links to jump to the desired place.
  • St. Katherine and Mt. Sinai: the two most famous tourist sites in the Sinai are found in the town of Saint Katherine, but there are other lesser known attractions in and around town.
  • The high mountains: the roof of Sinai, with many peaks above 2000 metres, containing a maze of wadis with lush Bedouin orchards.
  • The desert: as stunning as any in the world, the sandy desert areas of Sinai are very diverse, with big open sandy plains, long plateaus, sandstone hills and rock formations, canyons and oases.
  • The coast: wash off the dust of a long trek or desert safari in one of the coastal national parks.
  • Index of locations: alphabetical list of all the places along the main Sinai trekking and safari routes, as mentioned in the guidebook, linked to corresponding photos.

The main attractions in the Sinai on the map

Click on location name to see further information about that place, or the camera symbol – [o] – to see relevant photos, sorted according to user rating. You can also rate the photos, and there are different search and filtering options to get the results you want.

Cities, towns, settlements: 1. Sharm el Sheikh [o]; 2. Dahab [o]; 3. Nuweiba [o]; 4. Taba; 5. St. Katherine [o]; 6. Sheikh Awad [o]; 7. Wadi Feiran [o]; 8. El Tur [o]; 9. Abu Zenima [o]; 10. Serabit el Khadim [o]; 11. Ras Sudr [o];
Places of interest: 12. St. Katherine and Mt. Sinai (Jebel Musa) [o]; 13. Mt. Katharina [o]; 14. Jebel Abbas Basha [o]; 15. Bab el Donya [o]; 16. Galt el Azraq [o]; 17. Kharazet el Shaq [o]; 18. Jebel Naja [o]; 19. Sid al Nogra [o]; 20. Jebel Banat [o]; 21. Ras Mohamed National Park [o]; 22. Nabq Protectorate [o]; 23. Abu Galum Protectorate [o]; 24. Ein Kid [o]; 25. Wadi Isla [o]; 26. Jebel Umm Shaumar [o]; 27. Blue Desert [o]; 28. Jebel Guna [o]; 29. Arada Canyon [o]; 30. Nawamis site [o]; 31. Jebel Matamir [o]; 32. Jebel Barqa (Jebel Makharum) and Haduda sand dune [o] [o]; 33. Ein Khudra oasis and White Canyon [o] [o]; 34. Closed Canyon [o]; 35. Jebel Mileihis [o]; 36. Jebel Berqa and El Breqa [o] [o]; 37. Wadi Watir [o]; 38. Coloured Canyon [o]; 39. Wishwashi Canyon [o]; 40. Rainbow Canyon [o]; 41. Ein Umm Ahmed [o]; 42. Wadi Zalaqa [o]; 43. Jebel Dalal [o]; 44. Forest of Pillars (Jebel Fuqa) [o]; 45. Jebel Hmeyer [o]; 46. Serabit el Khadim [o]; 47. Wadi Gharandal [o]; 48. Hamam Faraun [o]; 49. Wadi Mukattab and Wadi Maghara [o] [o]; 50. Jebel Serbal [o].

St. Katherine and Mt. Sinai (Jebel Musa)

The town of Saint Katherine is famous for the Monastery of St. Katherine and Mt. Sinai (Jebel Musa), and these two sites are what most visitors see. However, there is much more in the area right around town, and even on the Mt. Sinai range itself. You can see the main attractions below.

The Monastery of Saint Katherine
: The Monastery of St. Katherine is the oldest continuously inhabited monastery in the World and its library has the largest religious collection after the Vatican. It was built by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD, although there was already a church at the site of the Burning Bush erected by the Empress Helena in 330 AD. Byzantine Orthodox monasticism has even earlier roots, and the area is sacred to all three monotheistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
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Visitor Centre
: Located at the roundabout before town, the Visitors Centre offers excellent displays on the Protectorate, natural history, archaeology, Bedouins and the Monastery. It is supposed to be open the same hours as the Monastery, but if you find it closed, you might ask for the caretaker in the little settlement of Kharazin just across the road.
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The Golden Calf
: Not far from the Visitor Centre in Wadi el Deir, at the base of the towering Jebel Safsafa, you can see a rock formation what locals believe is the mould which was used to make the Golden Calf. The area, including the Visitor Centre, is called Nabi Harun, after Aaron who Muslims consider to be a prophet. There are a little chapel and mosque on a hill dedicated to Aaron/Harun.
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Mt. Sinai (Jebel Musa)
: Mt. Sinai is revered by Jews, Christians and Muslims as a holy place, where a covenant between God and His people was established. Apart from the Old Testament it is alsomentioned in the Quran. Although its exact location has been disputed, for most people it is not the mountain but the message which is important. It is one of the highest mountains around town, and it’s described in more detail in the high mountains section.
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Wadi Arbain
: Wadi el Arbain provides an alternative to head for Mt. Sinai from the town of St. Katherine, and is also on the route to Mt. Katharina, Egypt’s highest peak. It is also home to the Monastery of the Forty Martyrs and the Rock of Moses. The rock that is believed to be from which Moses fetched water. The twelve clefts on it, according to local tradition, represent the twelve springs described in the Quran.
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Rock of Moses
: (Hajar Musa): At the beginning of the walk there is a Bedouin Wishing Rock, where locals throw a pebble on the flat top of a big boulder. If it stays on top the wish will be granted they say. Halfway in the valley is The Rock of Moses (Hajar Mousa), with the Chapel of the Birth of the Holy Virgin built right next to it. The rock with 12 clefts is believed to be the rock from which Moses fetched water. Locals believe the twelve clefts on it represent the twelve springs mentioned in the Quran (Sura 2:60). It is also mentioned in the Exodus as the rock which sustained the children of Israel (1 Cor. 10:4). According to Swiss orientalist Johann Ludwig Burkhardt the Jebeliya Bedouin believe that by making female camels crouch down before the rock the camels will become fertile and yield more milk1. Next to Hajar Mousa is a Bedouin marriage proposal rock. Lovers came here in the past and they marked one foot on the rock surface next to the other’s. If the two footprints are encircled, it means they eventually got married.
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Monastery of the Forty Martyrs (Deir el Arbain)
: At the upper end of the valley is the Monastery of the Forty Martyrs with a big garden, olive groves and cypress trees. The Monastery was constructed in the sixth century in honor of the forty Christian martyrs who died in Sebaste (central Turkey). Monks relate that forty Christian soldiers from the Roman Army in the third century were commanded to worship pagan gods. They refused and were put to death by being exposed at night to the bitterly cold winds off a frozen lake. Those who survived until morning were killed by the sword. In the grounds of the monastery is a chapel dedicated to the hermit Saint Onuphrius. Coming from Upper Egypt, he was said to have lived for seventy years in the rock shelter at the northern end of the garden, until he died in AD 390.2
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Wadi Itlah
: A huge boulder marks the start of Wadi Itlah shortly after Wadi Quweiz and Wadi Talaa merges into it. There is a stone road in this upper part of the valley leading to Chapel of Saint John Klimakos. Along the road on a plateau there are the ruins of a Byzantine monastic setlement.
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The Chapel of Saint John Klimakos
: locally known as Galeli Max, was built in 1979 in Wadi Itlah to commemorate his devotional work in the 6th century AD. Also spelled St. John Climacus or Climax, the saint spent forty years in solitude in a cave above the existing chapel. During this time, Klimakos was elected Abbot of Sinai and asked to write a spiritual guide. He composed The Ladder of Divine Ascent which likens spiritual life to the ladder seen by the Patriach Jacob extending from earth to heaven (Genesis 28:12-17).1
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Wadi Tala
: it is a beautiful wadi very near the town of St. Katherine, approachable from Wadi Quweiz, with a few gardens belonging to the Monastery and one to a Bedouin family. In the biggest garden there is a lesser known ancient Greek monastery named after Kosmas and Damianos. At the bottom of the wadi there is a spring at a deep cliff known as Ein Abu Tufaha. At the top of the wadi, a steep gully known as Sid Daud leads up to the high mountain wadis, the tricky path disappearing under a boulder at one point. A pass known as Naqg el Raheb connects Wadi Tala to town over a smaller granite range.
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The Monastery of Kosmas and Damianos (Deir Rahab)
: is named after the martyred brothers who were doctors and treated local people free in the 3rd century AD. – A beautiful wadi with one of the best orchards, belonging to the Hussein family, at the upper end. At an elevated point not far there is a leopard trap and some Bedouin rock shelters built under boulders. Down in the wide valley floor there is the Monastery of Cosmas and Damianos with big olive groves and tall cypress trees. Giant boulders dot the huge garden and the gracious stone monastery building is in the middle. Further down there are some smaller but just as beautiful gardens which also belong to the Monastery and are looked after by Bedouin people.
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Bustan el Birka
: A big stone walled Bedouin garden, called bustan, with a water tank, called birka, under a massive granite cone, close to where Wadi Freah and Wadi Abu Zeituna meet. There is a mulberry tree next to the garden and a rock shelter made under a flat rock. There are many Byzantine ruins, many of them in excellent shape, in the area scattered around the hills.
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Attractions in the high mountains

Strictly speaking, as marked on the locally available map, the High Mountain Region is the area around the town of St Katherine – this is where Egypt’s highest and holiest peaks, Mt. Katharina and Mt. Sinai, are found. This area also corresponds to the tribal territory of the Jabaleya Bedouin tribe. However, the whole south-western tip of the peninsula is a mountainous landscape and in fact some of the highest mountains, such as Jebel Umm Shaumar and Jebel Serbal, are located further away from St. Katherine. Sometimes this whole mountainous area is referred to as the High Mountains, while the area around St. Katherine as Central High Mountains. On this page the attractions in the broader area are listed.

Bab el Donya: Bab el Donya and Jebel Bab are two peaks of the same range, on the perimeter of the high mountains. To the west you get spectacular views of lower ranges running towards the Gulf of Suez and in clear weather you can see across the sea. The spring of Ein Najila, at the foot of Bab el Donya, drips from the mountain to a stone fountain. The overflowing water forms a little creek running through a series of shallow granite pools and disappearing in the sandy wadi floor.

Blue Desert: The Blue Desert – marked as Blue Valley on some maps and known locally as the Blue Mountain – is a big open plain close to the town of St. Katherine. Several boulders have been painted blue by Belgian artist Jean Verame to commemorate the peace between Israel and Egypt. It is a popular picnic site, usually approached by car from Nabi Salah, but the best views on it are from the pass of Naqb Dirwa. You could easily arrange a hike, with a car first dropping you off at Farsh Umm Qaysum, then picking you up at the Blue Mountain.

Ein Kid: It is a secluded and remote oasis between St. Katherine, Dahab and Sharm el Sheikh, with only a handful of Bedouin living there. Approachable from St. Katherine only on foot, and via a one-way 4×4 track from the Sharm- Dahab road, it remains largely untouched offering a feel of what a real oasis is used to be. There is not much to do, apart from enjoying the setting and having a Bedouin tea, but that’s what gives its authenticity and character. Cars cannot drive all the way to the oasis and you have to walk about 10 minutes.

Galt el Azraq: Located 2 days walk from the town of St. Katherine, Galt el Azraq is the largest water pool in the High Mountain Region, and probably in the whole of Sinai. It is full all year round, being fed by underground streams. It is in Wadi Talla Kibira, a long, steep and green valley starting at Farsh Rumana and leading from the high mountains to lower wadis. Galt el Azraq is about halfway down.

Jebel Abbas Basha: Approachable on foot from the town of St. Katherine, Jebel Abbas Basha is located in the centre of the high mountains with stunning views all around, to the mountain ranges, the lowlands and to the town of St. Katherine with Mt. Sinai (Jebel Musa). The unfinished palace of Abbas Pasha is on top, its massive walls still stand firm. The best time to visit is either early in the morning or before sunset. Hidden, below the summit, is the green, secluded basin of Farsh Abu Mahshur. Climbing Jebel Abbas Basha is a moderate trek: steep climbs, but good path. However, reaching Farsh Abu Mahashur involves some scrambling and the path is a bit difficult.

Jebel Banat: Located near the town of St. Katherine, Jebel Banat can be reached on foot either starting from the settlements of Abu Seila, Sheikh Awad or Abu Zeituna. It is a fairly demanding trek. Standing on the northern perimeter of the high mountain massif, the peak of Jebel Banat offers superb views of the whole high mountains region on one side and the lowlands on the other.

Jebel Naja: Located in the high mountains near the town of St. Katherine, Jebel Naja is quite a walk. You can also start from the settlement of Abu Seila. Either way, the route starts from near the water pools of Kharazet el Shaq. Jebel Naja stands on the perimeter of the high mountain mass in the north. As you approach it you are already high up, and the top of the mountain looks like a small hill from this side, but on the other side you feel the depth as you look down on the lowlands and the distant Tih Plateau.

Jebel Serbal: Dominating the view over Wadi Feiran, the tough looking Jebel Serbal is indeed tough to climb. The route starts from the Convent into Wadi Aliyat, and it is a day to reach the mountain top. You find little secluded basins, water sources, gardens, ancient ruins and inscriptions – then of course the views: you can see the Gulf of Suez and mainland Egypt, the desert to the north and the high mountains to the south.

Jebel Umm Shaumar: The second highest mountain in Egypt, standing on the perimeter of the rugged mountainous interior, with long wadis and smaller ranges running towards the sandy plain and the coast at El Tur city. You can see across the Gulf of Suez to mountain ranges in mainland Egypt. It is a tough climb, and even to get to the base involves some walk. A car can drive out to Wadi Zawatina from where the trek starts.

Kharazet el Shaq: Located in the high mountains near the town of St. Katherine, the water pools of Kharazet el Shaq is quite a walk. You can also start from the settlement of Abu Seila. It is located at the top of Wadi Shaq Tinya, a steep gully connecting highmountain wadis to lower Wadi Itlah. The whole Wadi Tinya area, including part of Jebel Abbas Basha, drains through this single gully. There are overflowing granite pools at the very top, with one of them big enough for a dip. There is always water in the main pool, and after rains other pools and water falls form below.

Sid al Nogra
: Located near the town of St. Katherine, it’s a fairly demanding trek to reach Sid al Nogra, usually combined with a climb to Jebel Banat. You could either start from the settlements of Abu Seila, Sheikh Awad or Abu Zeituna. Sid al Nogra is a dramatic sight, especially when there is water flowing in it – usually there is a little in the granite pools at the top, fed by underground streams collecting water from a huge area. 

Mt. Katharina: Mt. Katharina is the highest mountain in Egypt at 2642 metres, with a small Orthodox church on the summit. According to tradition this is the place where monks, after a dream, found the missing body of the martyred St. Katherina. Jebel Musa (Mt. Sinai) is below, and the views onto it and the whole high mountain area are stunning. It is a tough climb, but worth the effort.

Mt. Sinai (Jebel Musa): Mt. Sinai is the most visited site in the Sinai interior, but most people don’t realise how much more to it than its revered peak. Forming one massif with Jebel Safsafa, you find several little secluded granite basins harbouring churches, gardens and ruins of Byzantic life, as well as offering great views to areas not seen from the peak, including the town.

Wadi Isla: Wadi Isla is part of the traditional caravan route between St. Katherine and El Tur, used by pilgrims as well as the Bedouin and the monks to deliver goods to the coast and get supplies. The long and winding wadi becomes narrow and lush towards the end, with many date palms, canes, trees and a creek running through a pretty gorge. The sight of the plain of El Qaa from the very end, Seil Isla, is also very dramatic. It can only be approached on foot involving a longer walk.

Attractions in the desert

The desert in the Sinai is very diverse, consisting of big open sandy plains, dunes and rock formations, flat mountain ranges and a maze of wadis, canyons and oases. Several Bedouin tribes live in the area.

Arada Canyon: Arada Canyon, also known as the Double Canyon, is located below the Guna Plateau, little in from the road-side settlement of Wadi Arada. It is indeed two canyons, connected in the middle by a path over a small rocky plateau. If you have time and are up for it a steep climb to the edge of the Guna range can take you to a look-out point, known as Nosrat el Guna, with great views on the desert and the High Mountains in the distance. Count at least half a day extra if you plan to climb.

Closed Canyon: Located just off Wadi Khudra in a secluded sandy basin, the Closed Canyon is usually approached by 4×4 via Ein Khudra, Ras Ghazala, Jebel Mileihis or Ein Furtaga. On foot you could also come via Wadi Rum, or from the Tarabin areas in the north. The Closed Canyon is not the most famous sight, but it is impressive as it runs extremely narrowly between very high walls. The beginning of the canyon is still relatively wide, but later it gets so narrow people can just about pass through. The canyon then widens up a bit, but as the name suggests is closed at the very end by unscalable vertical walls.

Coloured Canyon: Although it is probably the most visited sight in the Sinai interior after St. Katherine, you can still find peace and quiet at this beautiful spot. Most groups arrive mid-morning, so you could visit the canyon early morning or late afternoon without others. A lodge is at the rim of the plateau above the canyon and a cafeteria at another point where the hike usually finishes. The 4×4 track to the Coloured Canyon starts at the little oasis of Ein Furtaga, located next to the asphalt road in Wadi Watir.

Ein Khudra and White Canyon: Ein Khudra is a beautiful oasis in a hidden basin, connected to a sandy plateau above – and the St. Katherine road – by the White Canyon. Cars can only reach the oasis via Wadi Khudra, either coming from Ein Furtaga or Ras Ghazala. You can visit the White Canyon and carry on to other sights or make a loop and descend back via the pass of Ein Khudra. It is an easy pass, the direct route connecting Ein Khudra to the plateau. There are some eight gardens in the oasis, all catering for visitors and providing basic facilities.

Ein Umm Ahmed: Ein Umm Ahmed is an oasis at the end of Wadi Zalaqa, a natural bottleneck where water from a large area is collected. In Wadi Zalaqa there are many lone Nawamis buildings on the banks of the wadi, but shortly before Ein Umm Ahmed there is a cluster of well-preserved buildings on a hill. The first garden is of Sheikh Ashish – it is one of the few gardens which grow more traditional crops. People are genuinely friendly in Ein Umm Ahmed, despite first appearances. A 4×4 track leads next to Jebel Qalb over a rocky pass, connecting Ein Umm Ahmed to an area called Swana and Wadi Watir.

Forest of Pillars (Jebel Fuqa): Often the whole area is called Jebel Fuqa, which is a smaller range below Jebel Raqaba, a massive head of the Tih Plateau. The Forest of Pillars is an unusual geological rock formation at the foot of Jebel Raqaba, it is unfortunately badly affected by tourism. If you want to climb Jebel Raqaba for some stunning views, you can do so from the small Bedouin encampment known as Warsa. It takes 4-5 hours return – with rest you might count an extra day.

Jebel Barqa and Haduda sand dune: Jebel Makharum, the “mountain with the hole”, is one of the sandstone hills of a range known as Jebel Barqa. It is a spectacular area, popular with 4x4s as well as trekkers. Haduda sand dune, the biggest dune in South Sinai, is at the edge of the big open sandy plain, across from the Barqa ranges. The area is also connected to Wadi Arada via Bier Safra and another sand dune known as Dune at Safra.

Jebel Berqa and El Breqa: Seen from far distances across the region towering above lower ranges, Jebel Berqa is a tough mountain to climb. You can see the sea at Nuweiba and a big part of the desert and mountain ranges of South Sinai from the top, but the last ten metres or so to the summit is potentially dangerous. If you are not up for this climb, you could only go as far as the top of the small canyon from where the path starts up to get a nice view. You find other attractions around the mountain that are easier to reach, including a maze of little canyons, ancient inscriptions and simple stone structures, and across a little pass the region’s highest sand dune, El Breqa.

Jebel Dalal: The southernmost head of the Tih Plateau, standing above Wadi Zaranik. (Note: the Bedouin don’t consider it to be part of the Tih, they only call the western part of the plateau Jebel Tih.) To the west is a big desert plain stretching to Serabit el Khadim; to the east is Wadi Zalaqa running between the Tih and Guna plateaus to Ein Umm Ahmed; to the south the plain of Elu el Ajramiya lies, and beyond the village of Tarfa, St. Katherine and the High Mountains. It is an important cross-road between the different regions. A drivable dirt road even ascends the range, and there are several more options on foot, depending where you are coming from.

Jebel Guna: Jebel Guna is a long, flat mountain range separating two main wadis from which gullies descend to all directions. From the rim of the plateau there are stunning views of the sand desert around dotted with sandstone outcrops and distant rugged ranges, including Mt. Katherina. The mountain top consists of a confusing system of shallow basins, and dramatic looking, steep gullies connect higher ground to the plains below. You also find ruined old stone circles known as Nosra, water sources and a hill littered with crystals. Several canyons are located at its base, including Arada Canyon (Double Canyon).

Jebel Hmeyer: Ramlat Hmeyer, the “Red Sand”, is a vast desert plain between the dark Serabit ranges and the Tih Plateau. It comes to an end at Jebel Hmeyer which looks like a hill from one side, but there is a dramatic drop on the other side. A 4×4 vehicle can easily drive up to the flat top, there is a good track. Below another plain lies, with curious patterns of red and black sand washed together by rains.

Jebel Matamir: Located near the Nawamis site – actually, as a beautiful background to it – Jebel Matamir is a magical place. It is a group of elongated sandstone hills, rising from a sandy plain and separated by wadis. There are secluded sandy basins atop and steep sand dunes ascending in narrow gullies. Jebel Matamir has a couple of peaks that you can climb, but the path is tricky at places. From the top you have far reaching views on the sand desert and distant high mountain ranges.

Jebel Mileihis: An impressive flat-topped mountain just off Wadi Ghazala, close to Ras Ghazala on the St. Katherine road, it offers stunning views on the desert and even a bit of the sea. The climb is not difficult, although the terrain is not the best as it is loose rocks. At the base of the mountain, the springs of Moyat Mileihis are a magical spot. Keep in mind that if you visit the springs, you will have to climb back the steep pass (unless you continue on to the Ein Furtaga). The area is connected to Ein Furtaga, Ein Khudra, Ras Ghazala or, via Wadi Samqi, to Nuweiba or the Abu Galum Protectorate.

Nawamis Site: The biggest site of the mysterious Nabataean buildings known as Nawamis, it is located a short distance from the St. Katherine road, although not really visible from it. Little is known about these buildings, found all over South Sinai and nowhere else but South Sinai. Often claimed they are burial places, but no bones were found to prove this theory. They are always located at elevated points with the doors always facing west. The name actually comes from the Arabic word for mosquitoes. A bit awkward to approach by car as the turn-off point is at a sharp curve, there is a small Bedouin settlement nearby with an inspiring community building.

Rainbow Canyon: Colourful canyon, with its entrance starting in a secluded sandy basin encircled by jagged rock faces. You can only reach the area on foot, either coming from Bier Biriya, a well with date palms, or from Wadi Watir via Hlel el Waar. It’s a pretty place, worth a visit if you are walking from the Coloured Canyon to Jebel Berqa, but just to see it alone probably not.

Serabit el Khadim: Serabit el Khadim is the most important Pharaonic ruin in the Sinai featuring the only temple outside of mainland Egypt, on the flat top of a small range. The easy climb starts at the end of the asphalt road in the settlement of the same name. You find several mines on the plateau as well as the Temple of Hathor, and get spectacular views on the desert belt and the Tih Plateau. You could descend on the other side at Umm Ajraf, convenient if you carry on to El Ramla or Wadi Mukattab.

Wadi Gharandal: Seil Gharandal, the mouth of the long wadi running below the Tih Plateau on the way to Serabit el Khadim, is very pretty. Water runs along the surface and there are ponds, gardens, date palms and lush vegetation. Little into the wadi there is a Bedouin settlement. Going to Serabit el Khadim, this route is more spectacular than the one from Abu Zenima – the two actually join at one point – but it is also a major industrial road with many trucks and several open mines along the way.

Wadi Mukattab and Wadi Maghara: Wadi Mukattab is also known as the Valley of the Inscriptions since it is covered with ancient scripts on the rock faces for about two kilometres. Wadi Maghara, further north at Sheikh Suliman’s tomb, is where turquoise was mined from Pharaonic times. The area is connected to Serabit el Khadim and the Forest of Pillars via Wadi Sieh. From Abu Rudes, the old British mining route known as Tariq Hamsa Arbain (Rd. 45) is a direct route to the site.

Wadi Zalaqa: Long and wide Wadi Zalaqa, running between the Tih and Guna plateaus, is along the main route connecting the peninsula coast to coast. It starts at Wadi Zaranik under Jebel Dalal, and ends at the oasis of Ein Umm Ahmed. Jebel Berqa, the most impressive mountain of this region, is just off Wadi Zalaqa shortly before Ein Umm Ahmed. You find many Nawamis buildings along the way.

Wishwashi Canyon: Located a couple of hours walk from the laid-back beaches of Ras Shaitan, between Nuweiba and Taba, the Wishwashi Canyon is a pretty little place. It is just off Wadi Milha, the route to the Coloured Canyon. Wishwashi Canyon is usually visited as part of that trek, but could be done alone. A little scrambling is involved to reach the point where the canyon is cut off, and water might be present at places in little pools.

The Coast

The main focus of this website is on the interior, but some of the treks and 4×4 safaris finish at or visit beautiful natural sites on the coast, so they are described here. 

Abu Galum Protectorate: One of the coastal nature protectorates, extending both into the sea and inland, Abu Galum provides a pristine coast line between Nuweiba and Dahab. Approachable by car only from the north via Bier Zweir, it is also connected on foot or camel-back to the Blue Hole and Dahab in the south. Some treks from the interior also connect to Abu Galum. There are camps at Bier Zweir and simple beach huts on the shores at the Blue Laguna and Ras Abu Galum.

Hamam Faraun: Hot thermal water surfaces along the coast at Hamam Faraun and steam turns a few little caves into natural saunas. It is not the top tourist attraction, so making a detour might not be worth just to see this site. However, it is on the Cairo-Sharm el Sheikh road between Ras Sudr and Abu Zenima, so if you are coming this way you might as well stop for a short visit.

Nabq Protectorate: The northernmost point where mangroves can still be found along the Red Sea coast, Nabq Protectorate is at the wide floodplains of the mountain wadis north of Sharm el Sheikh. The main tracks are either from Wadi Khrezi – marked as Wadi Kid in several maps – and from the Sharm suburb of Nabq, with a National Park ticket office at both. You find an informative National Park Visitor Centre and simple huts providing fresh seafood and accommodation at the Maria Schroeder wreck and at a location known as Ghurgana.

Ras Mohamed National Park: Ras Mohamed, the first National Park in the Sinai, is famous for its underwater life and coral reefs, and so is usually visited for snorkelling and scuba diving, either by car or boat. It is a pleasant spot even if you are not into water sports. It is the southernmost point of the Sinai Peninsula and there are a number of beaches in little cute bays, as well as lookout points. There are toilet facilities. You have to pay an entrance fee to the national park.

Index of locations

All geographical locations found along the trekking and safari routes and mentioned in the guidebook, linked to corresponding pictures in the Photo Archive. The locations also refer to the treks, so the trek number is also stated.

All locations A-Z
Explanation of geographical locations in names (after coma): farsh – basin; hajar – rock; jebel – mountain; kitib – sand dune; naqb – pass, gully; sharafa – saddle; tabaga – cave; wadi – valley;

Arimziya, Farsh (Trek 1); Abaya, Farsh; Abaya, Naqb (Treks 14 and 15); Abbas Basha, Jebel (Trek 4); Abiad, Kitib (Treks 18 and 22); Abu Gasaba (Trek 5); Abu Hbeq, Sid (Trek 5); Abu Heyman, Naqb (Trek 2); Abu Jeefa, Naqb (Treks 2-6); Abu Jidda (Trek 5); Abu Ksheib, Wadi (Trek 8); Abu Mahashur, Farsh, Jebel (Trek 4); Abu Rmel, Bier (Trek 2); Abu Seila, Naqb; Abu Seila, settlement (Treks 6 and 7); Abu Shajara, Jebel (Trek 9); Abu Taleb, Sheikh (Trek 26); Abu Trefiya, Farsh; Abu Trefiya, Naqb (north); Abu Trefiya, Naqb (south) (Treks 14 and 15); Abu Wayed, Bier (Trek 25); Abu Zeituna, Wadi, settelement (Trek 7); Abu Zenima, town (Region V); Agula, Wadi (Trek 22); Ahdar, Wadi (Trek 22); Ahmar, Wadi, Jebel (near St. Katherine) (Trek 2); Ahmar, Wadi (near Nasb) (Trek 11); Ahmar, Kitib (Treks 18 and 22); Ahmed, Sheikh (Trek 6); Aliyat, Wadi (Trek 23); Amud, Wadi (Trek 20); Anshil, Wadi (Trek 7); Arada, Canyon; Arada, Wadi (Trek 15 ); Arada, Wadi (Guna) (Trek 14); Arada, Wadi (Biriya) (Trek 22); Aranab, Farsh (Trek 5); Arbain, Wadi (Treks 1 and 2); Aswad ‘Eish, Naqb (Trek 5); Atafi, Naqb (Treks 14 and 24); Ayana, Naqb (Trek 24); Awad, Sheikh (Treks 6, 24 and 26);

Bab el Donya (Bab, Jebel) (Trek 5); (Trek 5); Bahariya, Naqb (Trek 5); Banat, Jebel (Trek 7); Barq, Bier; Barq, Naqb (Trek 14); Barqa, Jebel (Trek 16); Berqa, Jebel (Treks 15 and 22); Berry Canyon (Trek 5); Biriya, Bier, Wadi (Trek 22); Blue Desert (Trek 13); Breqa, El (Trek 22); Breqa, Naqb (Trek 9); Bulia, Wadi (Trek 5); Bustan el Birka (Trek 7);

Cafeteria Joma (Treks 16 and 17); Closed Canyon (Trek 18); Coloured Canyon (Trek 21);

Dahab (Trek 20); Dalal, Jebel (Trek 24); Dgemiyet, Farsh (Trek 5); Dirwa, Naqb (Treks 8 and 13); Disco, Wadi (Trek 19);

Ehded, El (Treks 2-6); Ein, Wadi (Trek 22); Elijah’s Basin (Farsh Eliya) (Trek 1); Elu el Ajramiya (Trek 24);

Far Adar (Trek 11); Fara, El (Trek 14); Farah, Wadi (Trek 1); Faranja, Sheikh (Treks 14 and 24); Farat el Ataba (Treks 19 and 20); Feiran, Wadi, settlement (Region VI, Treks 24-26); Forest of Pillars (Jebel Fuqa) (Trek 24); Freah, Wadi (Trek 7); Freish, El (Trek 6); Freya, El (Trek 21); Frush, El (Treks 8 and 13); Furtaga, Ein (Treks 21 and 22);

Galt el Azraq (Trek 5); Gharaba, Wadi; Gharaba, Hashm (Trek 24); Gharandal, Seil, Wadi (Trek 24); Gharba, Wadi (Trek 7); Ghazala, Ras, Wadi (Treks 16 and 19); Ghlim, Bier, Wadi; Ghlim, Naqb (Treks 14, 15, 22); Ghurgana (Trek 20); Guna, Jebel, Plateau; Guna, Ras (Treks 13-15, 22 and 24);

Haduda sand dune (Trek 16); Halal, Wadi (Trek 22); Halisat, Naqb (Trek 11); Hamam Faraun (Circ. 1); Hamam, Wadi (Trek 16); Hamera, El (Trek 13); Haraba, El (Trek 14); Haraba, El (Trek 24); Haramat, Wadi (Trek 22); Hawa, Naqb (Trek 7); Hebran, Wadi (Trek 26); Hemidet, Naqb (Treks 18 and 19); Hlel el Waar (Rainbow Canyon) (Trek 22); Hlel el Waar (Zalaqa) (Trek 22); Hmeyer, Jebel; Hmeyer, Ramlat (Trek 24);

Imbardia, Tabaga, Hajar (Trek 25); Imlah, Wadi (Trek 11); Isbaiya, Wadi (Treks 8 and 13); Iskikriya, Sharafat (Treks 4-6); Isla, Gorge; Isla, Wadi (Trek 10); Islaf, Wadi (Trek 26); Islibet (Treks 2-6); Itlah, Wadi (Treks 6 and 7);

Jarijniya, Wadi (Trek 2); Jibal, Wadi (Trek 5); Jinab, Wadi (Trek 7);

Kayasa, Wadi (Trek 11); Khamila, Wadi (Trek 24); Kharas, Hajar (Trek 11); Kharaza, El (Treks 2 and 3); Kharazet el Shaq (Trek 6); Kharazin, El (Trek 7); Khrezi, Wadi (Trek 20); Khudra, Ein; Khudra, Sharafat; Khudra, Wadi (Treks 17, 18 and 22); Kid, Ein, Wadi (Trek 11); Kinist el Hmar (Trek 2); Kiri, El, Wadi (Trek 16); Kohla, Naqb (Trek 21);

Laguna (Trek 20); Loz, Farsh (Trek 25); Loza, Farsh (Trek 1); Luksuriya, Bier, Wadi (Trek 11);

Mabar Garib (Trek 22); Madaman, Wadi (Trek 7); Maghara, Wadi (Trek 23); Majaza (Treks 17 and 19); Makharum, Jebel (Trek 16); Maktub, Hajar (Trek 17); Maria Schroeder wreck (Trek 12); Matab Zalaqa (Trek 24); Matamir, Jebel (Trek 16); Mathar, Wadi (Treks 2 and 3); Matura, Wadi (Trek 13); Mileihis, Jebel; Mileihis, Moyat (Trek 19); Milha, Moyat, Wadi (Trek 21); Milha el Atshan, Wadi (Trek 21); Mkattala, Wadi (Trek 13); Mt. Katharina (Treks 2 and 8); Mt. Sinai (Jebel Musa) (Trek 1); Muahis, Naqb (Trek 22); Muajed, Seil, Wadi (Trek 10); Mukattab, Wadi (Trek 23); Musa, Hajar (Treks 1 and 2);

Nabi Salah, Sheikh (Trek 13); Nabq Protectorate (Trek 12); Nahara, Wadi (Trek 11); Naja, Jebel (Trek 6); Najila, Ein (Trek 5); Namena, El (Trek 8); Nasb, Wadi, settlement (Treks 8, 11); Nasb el Asfal (Region V); Nawamis site (Trek 16); Ngerat, Wadi (Trek 11); Nogra, Sida, Wadi (Trek 7); Nqaba (Trek 13); Nuweiba (Trek 20);

Oqda, Bier, Wadi (Trek 20);

Qaa, El (Trek 10); Qatta, El (Trek 20); Qattar, Naqb (Trek 24); Quweiz, Wadi (Treks 6 and 7);

Raba, Farsh, Jebel (Trek 2); Rahaba, Wadi (Trek 8); Raheb, Naqb (Trek 6); Rainbow Canyon (Trek 22); Raqaba, Jebel (Trek 24); Rasis, El (Treks 1 and 2); Rehebet Nada (Trek 5); Rhazana, Wadi (Trek 2); Rim, Wadi (Trek 25); Rod el Air (Trek 23); Rotok, Seil (Trek 8); Rsasa, Wadi (Trek 20); Rtama, Wadi (Trek 11); Rum, Wadi (Treks 18 and 22); Rumhan, Jebel, Wadi (Trek 9); Rummana, Farsh (Trek 5);

Saada, Wadi (Trek 20); Saal, Wadi (Trek 13); Safra, Bier, Dune, Wadi (Treks 13 and 16); Safsafa, Farsh, Jebel, Ras (Trek 1); Sagar, Wadi (Trek 6); Saheb, Wadi (Trek 24); Salama Canyon (Trek 19); Samqi, Wadi (Treks 19 and 20); Sana, Farsh, Jebel (Trek 7); Saray, Wadi (Trek 7); Sdud, Wadi (Treks 8 and 13); Seh Hashen, Naqb (Trek 16); Serabit el Khadim, site, settlement (Trek 23); Serbal, Jebel (Trek 25); Shaby, Wadi (Trek 1); Shaharani, Naqb (Trek 25); Shaitan, Ras (Trek 21); Shaq, Wadi (Treks 2 and 3); Shaq Musa, Wadi (Trek 2); Shaq Tinya, Wadi (Trek 6); Sharm el Sheikh (Trek 20); Shaymir, Naqb (Trek 19); Shegera (Treks 13 and 14); Shkaya, Ein (Treks 2-6); Sieh, Wadi (Trek 23); Smaila (Trek 22); Smera, Naqb (Trek 13); Smera, Ras, Wadi (Trek 22); Smera, Wadi (Trek 22); St. Katherine, Monastery (Trek 1); St. Katherine, town: (Region I); Suliman, Sheikh (Trek 23);

Tahoun, Jebel (Region VI); Tala, Wadi (Trek 6); Tala Kibira, Wadi (Trek 5); Talat el Jamal (Trek 11); Tarafa, Wadi (Treks 10 and 11); Thamila, Seil (Trek 20); Themid el Faras (Trek 22); Tinya, Wadi (Treks 5 and 6); Tubuq, Wadi (Treks 2-6); Tufaha, Ein (Treks 2-6); Tur, El, city (Trek 10);

Ubugiya (Treks 6 and 7); Umm Ahmad, Ein (Trek 22); Umm Ajraf (Trek 23); Umm Hamata, Wadi (Trek 13); Umm Hamata, Bier, Wadi (Trek 15); Umm Ishtain (Trek 16); Umm Misma, Naqb (Treks 16 and 20); Umm Rayah (Treks 13 and 16); Umm Saida, Ein, Wadi (Trek 11); Umm Serabit (Trek 18); Umm Serdi, Wadi (Trek 3); Umm Shaumar, Jebel (Trek 9); Umm Siha, Naqb (Trek 5); Umm Silla, Farsh (Galt el Azraq) (Trek 5); Umm Silla, Farsh (Mt Katharina) (Trek 2);

Waraa (Trek 11); Warsa (Trek 24); Warwara (Trek 22); Watir, Wadi (Treks 21 and 22); White Canyon (Trek 17); Wishwashi Canyon (Trek 21);

Zalaqa, Wadi (Treks 22 and 24); Zaq, Farsh (upper) and Zaq, Farsh (lower) (Treks 3 and 4); Zaqra, Wadi (Trek 16); Zaranik, Wadi (Trek 24); Zatar, Farsh, Wadi (Trek 5); Zawatin, Wadi (Treks 3-6); Zawatina, Wadi (Treks 9 and 10); Ziri, El (Treks 3 and 4); Zweir, Bier, settlement (Trek 20);

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