Sinai; land of discovery. The
route to the Promised Land; where Isis sought Osiris and the
Pharoahs found gold. Where Moses witnessed the burning bush and
Bedouins camped by Crusader forts. A meeting point for three great
religions, at the crossroads of Africa and Asia. After 80,000 years
at the heart of history, experience the continuing contrasts. Sinai:
where rock meets coral reef and the desert stops at the sea. Where
the grandeur of granite meets the golden beaches of the " Red Sea
Riviera ". Tropical Fish and rare birds; spectacular sunsets and
clear starry nights.
Sinai - by its geographical location
- is the junction between Asia and Africa. It is shared like an
inverted triangle, with the base stretching between Rafah and Port
Said, in the north, and the apex, Ras Mohammed, in the south. This
prominent and strategic position of the Sinai Peninsula has made it
the gateway to Egypt from the east. Sinai’s history goes back to the
Pharaohs who explored its land, searching for gold, copper and
turquoise. Thus, it came to be known as the Land of Turquoise.
Sinai is rich in scenery. To the
north, palm-shaded sandy beaches stretch along the Mediterranean
shore. Along the Gulfs of Aqaba and Suez, soft golden sands surround
bays of clear blue water. There are tourist villages, fishing and
snorkeling centers, where the waters are rich with rare marine life
and exquisite coral reefs. Sweet water springs are scattered
throughout Sinai. In the south, the towering mountains with their
beautiful reddish colored rocks are surrounded by huge valleys
leading to the Holy Mountain.
Sinai also has various medicinal
plants and different kinds of indigenous and migrating birds.
Because of its geological nature,
Sinai was divided administratively into the twin North and South
Sinai Governorates, with Al-Arish and Al-Tor as their respective
- North Sinai Governorates
- South Sinai Governorates
- Map of Sinai
North Sinai Governorate:
The Govenorate of North Sinai lies on
the Mediterranean Coast and is separated from South Sinai by the
Taba line. Al-Arish, the capital, is famous for its beautiful shores
and palm lined beaches. The most prominent of North Sinai’s beaches
Bir Al-Abd: An
important city, located half way between Qantara East and Al-Arish.
Built by Sltan Al-Ghouri in 1516 AD to safeguard the pilgrim route.
on the Mediterranean coast, it is characterized by its tranquility
Other Main cities:
- Al-Shiekh Zuweid
Fortress of Al-Arish: Built
on a plateau south-west of Al-Arish on the ruins of an ancient
Pharaonic fort, it was rebuilt by the Turkish Sultan Al-Qanouni in
Fortress of Nekhl: Built
at Nekhl village, south of Al-Arish, by Qansuh Al-Ghouri in 1516 AD
to safeguard the pilgrim route.
Horus Military Road:
Located in North Sinai, where several fortresses and fortified
military towns stood between Qantara East and the city of Rafah. The
road was used from the time of the Pharaohs until the Ottomans.
Fortress of Al-Farma:
Lies in the city of Al-Farma, northwest of Balouza village and
houses Roman baths with rare mosaic floors.
South Sinai Governorate:
The Governorate of South Sinai
extends from Taba on the Gulf of Aqaba across the northern foothills
of Al-Tin plateau to Ras Masallah on the Gulf of Suez in the west,
and Ras Mohammed in the south.
Al-Tor: The Governorate capital, is on
the Gulf of the Suez, about 170 km. south of Suez. It is
characterized by an excellent all-year-round climate and its
numerous orchards. Its airport is equipped to handle small and
medium size aircraft, while its port can accommodate medium size
On the Gulf Of Suez, and about 191 km. from Cairo, is both a winter
and summer resort.
Rodeis: On the Gulf of Suez, is a center for extracting
petroleum. It has an airport that can handle small and medium size
St. Catherine: Lies
about 150 km. south-east of Abu Rodeis on a high plateau 2500 meters
above sea level. It is considered the center of religious tourism in
Sinai. Nearby lies the Monastery Of St. Catherine dating back to the
6th century. This town is famous for its orchids and plentiful
water. The village compromises 100 bungalows and an elegant
Mount Sinai: (
as shown on left) " Among all the stupendous works of nature, not
a place can be selected more fitting for the exhibition
of the almighty" ( John lloyd Stephens)
Main Tourist Sites
in South Sinai:
About 15 km. east of Suez, it is an oasis compromising 12 sweet
Monastery of St. Catherine:
This was built in the 6th century and dedicated to the daughter of a
ruler of Alexandria, who converted to Christianity and was subjected
to great torture. The huge walls of the Monastery surround a number
of small churches. On the east wall is an ancient basket and a
pulley which was used instead of opening the door.
Main Landmarks of
The Mosque: Built
in Fatmid age, stands west of the main church within the walls of
Hammam Fara’un (Pharaoh’s
Bath): A group of hot sulphur springs, with at temperature of 72 C
at the source.
Chapel of Aaron:
Stands the plain of Al-Raha, Wadi Firan.
An object of pilgrimages prior to the advent of religions.
Moses and Sefsafa Mountains:
2 km. long mountain chain, the highest peak of which Moses mountain
Other Main Landmarks:
- The Basilica Church
- The Chapel
- The Refectory
- The Library
The Fortress of Sidr:
Built by Salah al-Din al-Ayoubi.
The Fortress of Nuweiba:
Built by the Turks in the 18th century.
The Fortress of Al-Tor:
Built by Sultan Selim in 1520 AD.
The Temple of Sarabit al-Khadim:
Lies on a small hill top north of Al-Tor. It consists of several
caves, most important of which are: Cave of the Goddess, Hathor,
built during the reign of King Snefur, and the cave of Souidu, the
God of War.
Tomb of Nabi Saleh:
Lies at the junction of Wadi Mur and Wadi al-Sheiekh.
(shown to the right) situated at the peak of the Sinai Peninsula, 53
km. from Sharm Al Shiekh and its narrowest part between the Gulfs of
Suez and Aqaba. It is renowned for having the most exquisite coral
reefs in the world and for being a refuge to rare marine life. It
has recently declared a nature preserve and most fit for diving.
Overlooks the Gulf of Aqaba, and is about 53 km. from Ras Mohammed
and 336 km. from Suez. It is both a summer and winter resort due to
its moderate climate all year round and depends on fishing and
tourism. It is the Mecca of all those who seek tranquility and love
the sun. There are several well equipped diving centers.
Dahab: About 81
km. north of Sharm Al-Shiekh, it is one of the most beautiful
beaches in South Sinai because of its gleaming sand, clear waters
and colorful marine life. It has a tourist village, diving centers,
camping sites and boats and waterskiing facilities.
87 km. from Dahab on the aqaba Gulf, it is famous for its beautiful
sandy beaches. It has a diving center, a tourist village, cafeteria
and fish restaurant.
Main Diving Centers:
- Sharm al-Sheiekh: Tel.
- Al-Gamal Diving Centre:
- Gazalla Diving Centre: Tel.
- Dahab Diving Centre: Tel.
- Nuweiba Diving Centre: