Mount Sinai rises a lofty 7,497 feet (2,285 meters) above sea level and is an important religious pilgrimage site, where the prophet Moses is said to have received the 10 Commandments directly from God. Visit the site’s ancient monastery or hike to the summit for panoramic views of Egypt’s mountainous Sinai Peninsula.
Mount Sinai’s rocky slopes are steeped in history. Here you can explore St. Catherine’s Monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage Site built almost 1,500 years ago against the foot of the mountain; see the Chapel of the Burning Bush and a gallery of ancient icons; ride a camel to the mountain’s summit; or walk the Steps of Repentance—3,750 stone steps leading to Sinai’s peak.
Mount Sinai tours typically last a full day and include a visit to St. Catherine’s Monastery as well as a hike or camel ride to the mountain’s summit. Sunrise tours leave late at night and allow you to climb the peak before dawn, arriving in time to see the sun rise over the desert and surrounding hills. For a personalized experience, opt for a private tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Mount Sinai is a must-see for culture lovers and history buffs.
- The hike to the summit can be strenuous; wear sturdy sneakers or hiking boots.
- Dress in layers if you plan to visit during sunrise or sunset, as it can be cold at the top of the mountain. It’s also possible to rent blankets at the summit.
- Multiple huts sell refreshments along the mountain path, so it’s a good idea to bring some spending money.
How to Get There
By road, Mount Sinai is located roughly one hour from Dahab, 2.5 hours from Taba, three hours from Sharm El-Sheikh and Eilat, and six hours from Cairo. The easiest way to get there is by private vehicle or through an organized tour, although it’s also possible to take a bus from Sharm El-Sheikh and then hire a taxi from the nearby village of Al Milga.
When to Get There
You can visit Mount Sinai year-round, although Egypt’s weather is most pleasant from October through April. Opt for a sunrise excursion to see the landscape at its most picturesque, as dawn transforms the surrounding mountains with shades of lilac and pink.
Walking the Steps of Repentance
Ascending Mount Sinai via the camel path and descending along the Steps of Repentance (also known as the Path of Our Lord Moses) is a classic way to experience the landmark mountain. According to legend, the 3,750 stone steps were created by a single monk who was repenting for evil deeds.