Worth watching out for.
 — John Cleare

Sinai - The Trekking Guide

Sinai - The Trekking Guide

Excerpt:
Sharm el Sheikh


Contents | Introduction | Planning your trek | When to go | Route options | Sharm el Sheikh | High Mountain Region | Sample trek: Jebel Berqa | Sinai desert trekking routes map


Sharm el Sheikh

 

Sharm el Sheikh is the biggest town in South Sinai; an ever-expanding mass of resorts, casinos and gleaming shopping malls. Tourists are more common than the Bedouin here and the whole place feels a long way from the rugged mountain wilderness on the doorstep.

Some people hate Sharm; others enjoy a few days here. It has plenty of plus points, including the best range of diving in the Sinai and some great restaurants and bars. As much as anything though, think about your budget. You can rough it on LE150/day but you’ll need significantly more to get the most out of it; reckon on European prices. If that’s too much, head north to Dahab.

 



WHAT TO SEE AND DO

The Heavenly Cathedral (‘Kineesa el Samayeen’; see map p99) is Sharm’s biggest and newest Coptic church. Its construction was funded by three Christian businessmen and it was voted one of the world’s ten most beautiful churches when finished in 2010.
    

The inside is covered with Biblical scenes such as The Creation and The Exodus. St John’s vision of The Apocalypse stares ominously down from the ceiling. It was done by two Egyptian artists and their 17 assistants in a remarkable two years. The cathedral is in the Hay el Noor district, not far from the twin minarets of El Mustafa mosque.
    

With hotels so territorial about their coast, public beaches are the only way to see the sea on a budget. There’s one in Sharm el Maya (see map p100) and another in Na’ama Bay (see map p101); both beaches open daily 8am-sunset, LE10 entry. Neither has a coral reef.
  

For details about diving and snorkelling in the area see box pp96-7. Equipment for all kinds of water sports (kayaks, catamarans, jet skis etc) can be rented in Na’ama Bay. Shark’s Bay doesn’t have the same range but everything’s cheaper.
    

Quad biking might be fun but the erosion, noise and exhaust fumes damage desert wadis. Consider Sinai Moto Cross (see map p99) dirt track on Sharia Salem instead.
    

Mountain biking is more eco-friendly altogether and is offered by Blackjack Bike (mob tel 0122-370 3116, www.blackjackbike.com).

Sinai - The Trekking Guide

Excerpts:

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