Mount Sinai Sunrise Tour
Duration: Half Day
This unforgettable excursion will introduce you to the ancient history and captivating beauty of the holy land of Sinai as you watch the sun rise from Mount Sinai before visiting the Monastery of St Catherine, the oldest monastery in the world. Walk in the footsteps of Moses and many devoted pilgrims before you as you climb to the summit. Whether you are a believer or not, this awe-inspiring experience will take your breath away in more ways than one!
Departing from Taba in the late evening, we will travel through the Sinai Desert to the foot of Mount Sinai, otherwise known as Moses Mountain, before the sun rises. From here you will embark on a three-hour trek up the stone “Steps of Repentance” to the summit, where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God according to the Old Testament. The climb to the top will reward you with spectacular panoramic views of the rugged peaks and vast desert, which are all the more captivating as the sun rises on the horizon, illuminating the Sinai mountain range and valleys in the distance and flooding the landscape with red-golden hues. This magical experience is one to treasure.
You will then start your descent back down the mountain, enjoying more beautiful vistas on the way. One of the highlights of the climb back down is a bird’s-eye view of St Catherine's Monastery, the oldest working Christian monastery in the world. This historic building was constructed within the walls of a fortress in the 6th century by the Emperor Justinian in order to protect the monks in the region from attacks by the Saracens, as well as to honour the traditional site of the ‘Burning Bush’, through which God spoke to Moses. The living bush on the grounds here today is believed to be the original. This famous holy region is the area through which Moses is believed to have led his people to the Promised Land and is sacred to three of the world’s religions − Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. It is one of the most important pilgrimage centres for Christians in Egypt and around the world.
You will get the chance to visit the Monastery of St Catherine when we reach the bottom of Mount Sinai. The monastery's original name is the Monastery of the Transfiguration, although it is more commonly known as St Catherine’s after being dedicated to the early Christian martyr St. Catherine of Alexandria in the 11th century. Catherine was imprisoned and sentenced to death by the Roman Emperor Maxentius after criticising his persecution of Christians and successfully converting people to her faith. According to legend, angels carried her body and relics to Mount Sinai where she was laid to rest. Her remains were allegedly found by monks on a mountain peak next to Mount Sinai around 800 and buried in the monastery's Basilica.
Inside St Catherine’s, you can view an outstanding collection of ancient religious icons that date from the 6th to the 19th centuries. Its priceless treasures include one of the largest and most important collections of illuminated manuscripts in the world, which is second only to the Vatican, as well as beautiful early Christian art, Arab mosaics, Greek and Russian icons and many other awe-inspiring relics that reveal the incredible talents of artists over the centuries. In order to protect the beautiful Byzantine architecture and its valuable contents, St. Catherine's was dedicated an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.
Arriving back in Taba by early afternoon, you can relax and reflect on this unique day of beauty, history and discovery, which will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of your holiday in Egypt.
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