Saint Catherine monastery excursion combined with 4x4 jeep safari to the colored canyon from Sharm el Sheikh will let you discover the ancient christian monastery, beautiful canyon & the unique nature of Sinai.
Pick up from your hotel in Sharm-el-Sheikh in the morning and drive towards Nuweiba city.
During the drive you will enjoy Sinai desert landscapes, different altitudes of the granite mountains. We will drive through the old caravan road which was used by Nabatians in the ancient times, the views there are amazing.
The monastery is situated 1571 m above sea level and dates back to Roman times 542 A.D. We will visit the church of St. Catherine which considered one of the most famous churches all over the world. There is a magnificent mosaic depicting the transfiguration of Jesus in the apse inside the church. It is the earliest and one the most beautiful mosaics of the Eastern Church and has remained in its entirety to our days. In artistic style it is similar to the Italian school of this period, especially the mosaics in the church of S. Vitalius, as well as in the Higia Sofia in Constantinople.
The Library which is considered the second in importance only to the Vatican, in both number and value of the manuscripts it contains 3000 items.
The Charnel house is a repository of the bones of the monks who died at St. Catherine over the centuries. The dead are first buried in a small cemetery, then disinterred and their bones deposited in the charnel house.
The burning bush which flourishes several yards farther from the chapel where it was transplanted in order to build the holy Alter upon its roots. It is the only bush of its kind growing in the entire Sinai peninsula.
Moses well, the Icon gallery of the monastery you will visit as well.
Then we will have some fun and adventures, to discover the extraordinary colors and shapes of the rocks which were formatted by nature. We will move from the monastery to the north along the normal road till Nuweiba city, then for 40 minutes you should hold yourself because we will drive along the track, sands and mountains until we reach the colored canyon. From the mouth of the canyon we will get down on 250 meter depth, and then walk for one and half hour in the canyon between the rocks, you will enjoy with the nature, the rocks and the different colors. You will see amazing paintings which were painted by the erosion of the wind and water.
After our adventure we will go to Nuweiba city to have lunch at the local restaurant which is situated on the beach of the gulf of Aqaba. Their you can also swim or snorkel for a while.
We'll end our trip with a free tour in Dahab city. After we will go back to Sharm-el-Sheikh.
At the end of the tour we will drive back to Sharm el Sheikh, the desert landscape & forms of mountains on the way to Sharm el Sheikh are amazing and deserve to be seen. Transfer to your hotel.
Desert Jeep safari to St Catherines Monastory was excellent. There were only 3 of us in the group, along with guide and driver. The monastery is partially closed at the moment, so you may be only slightly disappointed, although good all the same. We then went to a canyon. It wasn't the red ones as advertised as it had flooded, but our guide bust a gut, and made several calls to ensure we could go down some. We met up with Ahmed, our canyon guide. We viewed the million year old canyons, and survived the searing 50 degree heat. Take plenty of water with you, and ensure your heads are covered. The trip over to Dahab to snorkel and Bedouin lunch on the beach was well worth it. I was the only one in the group to snorkel. I wont forget viewing the 80 metre drop to the ocean floor and swimming around with fish. It was then back to the hotel.
GeorgettReviewed 15 December 2015