Fly to Cairo.
We have a relaxing morning before heading to the impressive Pyramids at Giza, on the western outskirts of Cairo. Home to the Great Pyramids of Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus and the timeless and enigmatic Sphinx, these great monuments to the afterlife defy the imagination. Only the throng of sightseers, Egyptian and foreign, milling around their huge foundations keep the viewer in the 21st century. We take a camel ride here too, the perfect opportunity to take a few classic photos! In the afternoon we return to the hotel. The hotel has a large pool and some nice gardens.
Today we get up early as we transfer to the Sinai Peninsula – a journey of around 5½ hours (600km). On arrival in Nuweiba we go by quad bike into the desert. This is a great way to get over the journey and really experience the landscape of the desert first hand.
We spend today experiencing what the Red Sea has to offer – clear waters and a wealth of coral and colourful fish. We snorkel at a site close to Taba and discover the underwater kingdom. Lunch is provided on the boat. We return to our hotel late afternoon.
This morning we travel by 4WD vehicles in to the middle of the Sinai desert and on to the White Canyon. These deep canyons have been forming over thousands of years due to water and wind erosion, and are aptly named as the cliffs are as white as snow. The next stop is the larger Coloured Canyon where years of erosion have exposed beautiful red and yellow sandstone layers. We have time to walk (and climb! - please note that you will climb over some rocks at both canyons though there are ropes to help) amongst the impressive rock formations, passing the lonely acacia and willow trees, at both the White and Coloured Canyons. After a full day of exploration we head back to our hotel by the coast.
There is time this morning to relax at the hotel and swim in the Red Sea before we head towards the foot of Mount Sinai. We have kept this day quite relaxed as we have an early rise the next day so we can reach the summit of Mt Sinai for sunrise!
This morning we get up very early for an ascent of Gebel Mousa, better known as Mount Sinai (2285m), where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Rising at 1:30 am can be a shock but it will assure us of wonderful dawn views, making the early rise very worthwhile. We can climb to the summit via 3750 steps cut into the rock, known as the ‘Steps of Repentance’, alternatively you can hire a camel for most of the way. The views at dawn are magnificent as we look across the barren mountain range. On our descent, via the camel road, we visit Saint Catherine’s Monastery, built around the putative Burning Bush, where God manifested himself to Moses (Exodus 3:5-6). It was once only accessible by being winched over the high walls, but we can now enter by more conventional means. The inside of the monastery is a fascinating collection of chapels, monks’ cells and even a mosque. In the afternoon we transfer back to Cairo.
Fly to London.