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2 days: Mt Sinai and Bedouin gardens

Day 1: Monastery / Pilgrimage trails / Hermit cells / Byzantine ruins

  • The morning is spent with a tour round the monastery to view the Burning Bush, Basilica and Icon Gallery.
  • Lunch
  • The afternoon is spent climbing Mt Sinai by the ancient pilgrimage trails to see hermit cells, prayer niches, the remains of early monastic settlements and medieval chapels.
  • As the sun sets, there is a splendid walk along granite domes and ridges to descend into Elijah’s basin where guests spend the night in a monastery garden with tented shelter and campfire dinner.
  • Overnight in the garden.

Day 2: Sunrise on Summit / Steps of Repentance / Bedouin gardens

  • Early reveille to climb the steps to the summit of Mt Sinai for sunrise (about 45 min climb).
  • The crowds soon dissipate to allow a quiet descent back to the garden campsite in Elijah’s basin for a campfire breakfast.
  • Quick descent of the mountain by the Steps of Repentance. A gentler descent is possible by the camel path for those who prefer it.
  • Transfer to the Bedouin village of Abu Seyla for a scramble down a gulley to Wadi Itlah.
  • A short walk then brings us to the Herbal Garden where we will have a Bedouin lunch with produce from the garden.
  • Exploration of Herbal Garden to learn about the medicinal herbs.
  • Climb up to the cave of John Climacus.
  • Ascent of Wadi Itlah back to village of St Catherine.
  • Dinner and overnight in Sheikh Musa Camp

Though best done over two full days, for visitors coming from Cairo for a weekend, the programme can be adjusted to fit in with a departure from Cairo at 6.00 am, arriving around noon for lunch and a departure from St Katherine around 3.00 pm to arrive back in Cairo at 9.00 pm. Please contact us for more advice. Transport from Cairo can be arranged.

Galleries: MonasteryMt SinaiBedouin GardensMedicinal Herbs

Stories: Mt Sinai and the Monastery of St Catherine