Mount Sinai - The full Guide to climbing the Holy Mountain of Egypt (2024)

Mount Sinai - The full Guide to climbing the Holy Mountain of Egypt (1)

The full Guide to climbing the Holy Mountain of Egypt

Here you will find everything you need to know about climbing Mount Sinai in Egypt. Also known as the Holy Moses Mountain, it attracts thousands of tourists and pilgrims every year, since many believe that this is the biblical Mount, where Moses received the ten commandments from God.

If you’re planning a trip to Egypt and looking for a unique adventure, climbing Mount Sinai is an experience you won’t want to miss. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll find all the details you need to know to make the most of your trek up the Holy Mountain.

And be sure to check out this article on 12 amazing things to do in Egypt, which includes Mount Sinai and other must-see destinations in this fascinating country. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or adventure, Egypt has something for everyone. So start planning your trip today and get ready for an unforgettable journey!

Mount Sinai - The full Guide to climbing the Holy Mountain of Egypt (2)

Things to know before climbing Mount Sinai in Egypt

Where is Mount Sinai located?

You can find Mount Sinai in the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula, close to the city of Saint Catherine. The closest tourist cities are Dahab (approx. 2 hours) and Sharm el-Sheikh (approx. 3 hours).

How to get to Mount Sinai

To climb Mount Sinai, it isrequired to have a guideby local authorities for safety reasons. Therefore the easiest way is to join a group tour from Dahab or Sharm el-Sheikh.

Below I have linked two tours that I can recommend. They are quite affordable and include everything.

Sunrise Hike from Sharm el-Sheik

Sunrise Hike from Dahab

The best and most popular hikes are the sunrise hikes. First of all, you will get an absolutely spectacular view. And the other main reason is that the hike during the day usually is much too hot.

The tours also include a tour of Saint Catherine Monastery, a UNESCO heritage site and the oldest continuously inhabited Christian Monastery. Here you will find the Burning Bush from which God spoke to Moses.

How high is Mount Sinai in Egypt?

Mount Sinai is the second-highest mountain in Egypt, with a height of 2,285 meters (7,497 feet) above sea level.

How long does it take to climb Mount Sinai?

Climbing Mount Sinai is quite easy due to the well-graded track. It should take you between 2 and three hours, depending on your fitness level.

What should you pack for the Mount Sinai Hike?

If you are hiking up for sunrise, it is important to prepare accordingly. Below you will find a list of things you should pack for your climb to the Holy Moses Mountain.

  • Sturdy Shoes – Running shoes or hiking boots.
  • Passport – You will need it for the military checkpoints.
  • Warm clothes – This is a MUST! It will get really cold, especially at the top.
  • Water – You can purchase some on the way, but it is always good to have some with you.
  • Sleeping bag – This is not a must, but it will keep you warm waiting at the top.
  • Camera – To catch the beautiful sunrise reflecting on the mountains.
  • Sunscreen – During the descent becomes strong quite fast.
  • Head torch – Usually, the travel agency will provide you with a regular torch.

Climbing Mount Sinai in Egypt – The Complete Guide/My Personal Experience

1. Getting picked up the evening before at the hotel

This will be a long day!

The evening before, my mother and I are picked up at our hotel in Sharm El-Sheik around 9 pm. by our tour group. After stopping at several other hotel resorts, our group is complete, and the actual trip can begin.

A small air-conditioned van takes us to the foot of Mount Sinai.

The drive takes about 3 hours. The roads are bumpy, and again and again, we stop at military checkpoints – just like we are used to in Egypt.

Around 1 o’clock at night, we reach our starting point.

After another security check, where our backpacks are searched, we are finally ready for the ascent.

Mount Sinai - The full Guide to climbing the Holy Mountain of Egypt (3)

Here we are at the foot of Moses Mountain. It is pitch dark, and above there are thousands and thousands of stars.

And it isextremely cold.If you are planning to go on this adventure, please bring enough warm clothes with you!

2. Saint Catherine´s Monastery

Equipped with a flashlight, we first cross a peaceful valley. To the left and right of the path, you can make out olive trees in the darkness. The path is wide and made of gravel. After a short time, we pass the Monastery of St. Catherine.

We will visit it later on the way back in daylight.

Mount Sinai - The full Guide to climbing the Holy Mountain of Egypt (4)

3. Hiking the Camel Path

We continue our way and reach the beginning of the camel trail. It is relatively wide, winding with a slight rise up the mountain.

On the way, you will be approached again and again by Bedouins, who offer you their camel service. Three-quarters of the way can be done by camel.

For this service, however, the Bedouins demand a decent price. You should also keep in mind that the camels are only on the easy part of the climb. My mother and I are good on foot, and so we do without the camel-cab. In total, the climb takes about 2 hours.

Mount Sinai - The full Guide to climbing the Holy Mountain of Egypt (5)

4. 750 Steps to the Top of the Holy Mountain

After most of the hike, we reach the 750 steps that take us to the top of the mountain. These turn out to be much steeper than the previous path but are quite doable. After successfully having climbed the steps, it is still quite early.

Since it is very cold, we spend the remaining time in one of the tea houses near the top.

Mount Sinai - The full Guide to climbing the Holy Mountain of Egypt (6)

5. Sunrise at the Summit of Mount Sinai

Just before sunrise, we climb the last steps to the highest point of Mount Sinai. Besides the beautiful view, you will also find a Greek Orthodox Chapel (next to a large rock they call Rock of Moses), the ruins of the Justinian basilica (16th-century church), and a small mosque still used by Muslims.

Mount Sinai - The full Guide to climbing the Holy Mountain of Egypt (7)

6. Descent

With the sunrise also comes the heat, and so we start the descent towards St. Catherine’s Monastery. The descent is much easier, especially because you can see where you are going in the daylight.

Mount Sinai - The full Guide to climbing the Holy Mountain of Egypt (8)

7. Saint Catherines Monastery

Once at St. Catherine’s Monastery, there are several highlights to see.

  • Church of the Transfiguration – Church tower and main focal point of the monastery.
  • The Sacred Sacristy – An open museum containing many treasures and collections, including the Ladder of Divine Ascent and pages from the Codex Sinaiticus, said to be the oldest bible in the world.
  • Monastery Mosque – 11th-century mosque built during the Fatimid period.
  • The Burning Bush – Legend says this is a descendant of the Old Testament’s burning bush.

8. Returning back to Sharm el-Sheik or Dahab

After the tour of the monastery, we are exhausted and tired and headed back to the hotel. All in all, it was quite exhausting. However, it was definitely worth it – a unique experience.

Mount Sinai - The full Guide to climbing the Holy Mountain of Egypt (9)

Wrapping Up

If you’re planning a trip to Egypt, you won’t want to miss these 12 amazing things to do! And if you’re feeling adventurous, I highly recommend adding a sunrise hike up Mount Sinai to your itinerary. It’s an unforgettable experience that even non-spiritual people will appreciate.

Despite the lack of sleep and physical exhaustion, the breathtaking views from the top are well worth the effort. So don’t be deterred by the initial challenges – I promise you won’t regret it!

In addition to the above article, you might also enjoy reading about the fascinating history of the Pyramids of Giza, located just outside Cairo. Check out this informative guide to learn about the construction process, ancient burial practices, and more.

This article may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission when you purchase products or services through these linksatabsolutely no extra cost to you. This is a free way to support me and allow me to continue to create inspiring adventure travel guides. See my disclosure notice for more information.

Mount Sinai - The full Guide to climbing the Holy Mountain of Egypt (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rueben Jacobs

Last Updated:

Views: 5939

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (77 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rueben Jacobs

Birthday: 1999-03-14

Address: 951 Caterina Walk, Schambergerside, CA 67667-0896

Phone: +6881806848632

Job: Internal Education Planner

Hobby: Candle making, Cabaret, Poi, Gambling, Rock climbing, Wood carving, Computer programming

Introduction: My name is Rueben Jacobs, I am a cooperative, beautiful, kind, comfortable, glamorous, open, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.