Hiking & trekking
Summit Mount Sinai and wild camp under the Milky Way before exploring Bedouin fishing villages and diving in the tropical reefs of the Red Sea
ANNUAL leave needed:
9 days off work
UK airport (with flights), Sharm el Sheikh (without flights)
# of people:
B&B, camping, and wild camping
Discover the rugged landscapes of Sinai on our Summit to Sea tour. You’ll make your way through the dramatic canyons of the desert before cooling off in the Red Sea. Learn more about the Bedouin way of life (fancy making fire bread?), sleep in the open air under the sky, and spend time in the peaceful coastal haven that is Dahab. This is an adventure for those looking to experience wild, spacious landscapes and a simpler way of living.
You’ll take a late afternoon flight to Sharm el Sheikh, where you’ll be met on arrival. A transfer will take you to St Catherine Village in the mountains of south Sinai and we’ll arrive at Fox Camp at around 21:30. Sit around the crackling campfire and tuck into a delicious meal while you admire the incredible desert skies (a great opportunity to test those night photography skills).
Fuel up for the day with a traditional Bedouin breakfast in the idyllic mountain setting of Fox Camp, before exploring St Catherine Monastery, the oldest continually inhabited monastery in all Christendom. Back at Fox Camp, we’ll tuck into lunch before heading out to Wadi Telah. At Farrag’s organic garden, you’ll learn about the medicinal properties of wild desert herbs before returning to camp for dinner and a good night’s sleep.
Walking time: 4 hours
Start the day bright and early at 1am (helped by generous helpings of tea and coffee) before starting the 800m ascent up the mighty Mount Sinai. We’ll walk the ‘Pilgrim’s Path’ (also known as Jebel Mousa) by torchlight, turning them off now and again to appreciate the epic night sky. At the summit, we’ll be treated to unbelievable views of the colourful Sinai Desert sandscapes.
After our descent, we’ll take a 4x4 transfer to the double canyons of Wadi Arada. A hearty Bedouin lunch cooked over an open fire will taste pretty good after the energetic morning. Meanwhile, the camel guides will get us packed up for our trip to the camp on the El Guna Plateau (which we reckon beats any 5-star hotel hands down).
Mount Sinai walking time: 3.5/4 hours
Total walking time: 10-11 hours
Wake to the smell of a campfire breakfast and learn how to make mouth-watering Bedouin staples like Lebe Naar (fire bread). After loading the camels, we’ll start our trek across the El Guna Plateau, a sandstone ridge separating the east from the west in south Sinai, all of which was once underwater. On the way, look out for seashell fossils, desert herbs and dry waterfalls.
Lunch will set you up for a trek to Ein Um Ahmed, a lush natural oasis in the middle of the desert.
Walking time: 6 hours
Today, you’ll follow in the footsteps of ancient Bedouin tribes who walked the desert from oasis to oasis. We’ll discover the oases of El Barqa and Wadi Roum before spending a bit more time at Ein Khudra in the afternoon. Don’t miss the Closed Canyon – an impossibly narrow pass between near-vertical walls.
The evening will be spent around the fire, chatting and trying your hand at Bedouin games (camel dung ball, anyone?) before falling asleep under the stars.
Walking time: 6-8 hours
Day six is dedicated to exploring the Sinai Deserts dramatic landscapes, from mushroom rocks to outcrops sculpted by extreme weather. After leaving the Ein Khudra, we’ll trek through White Canyon before crossing the trans-Sinai road, the closest you’ll come to civilization.
But it’s not long before we get lost in the desert wilderness again, this time in a set of unusual burial tombs called Nawamis. Thought to date back to Nabataean times, they erupt right out of the desert floor. Look out for inscriptions by pilgrims and traders as they travelled through the desert.
Our final destination of the day is the largest dune in South Sinai, El Hadudeh, which is also our camp for the night.
Walking time: 8 hours
Wake up with the sunrise and a cup of authentic Bedouin tea made from the minty desert herb, habak. It’s time to say goodbye to the desert and hello to the coastal mountain range. The day will be spent making our way to El Agabi plateau, where we’ll sleep under the stars beside the campfire. By this point, you’ll be immersed in the rhythms of the desert; the way the colours shift every few hours, the simple rituals of life around the fire.
Walking time: 7 hours
We’ll inch our way across the El Agabi Plateau to Bir El Ogda, a tough patch of rocky terrain that even the Bedouins revere, getting closer to the Red Sea. Feast on open-air lunches and soak in the peaceful silence on the range.
When you need a drink, there’s no better place. ‘Bir’ means ‘well’, and the water here is thought to be the best in all of South Sinai.
Walking time: 7 hours
On day nine we say goodbye to the Sinai landscapes and the Bedouin lifestyle after travelling all the way from Mount Sinai to the Red Sea. How best to celebrate? Jumping straight in and exploring the coral reefs (now, that’s our kind of shower). We’ll spend time in the tiny settlement of Ras Abu Galum, swimming and snorkelling in shimmering waters.
In the late afternoon, we’ll trek for an hour along the coast to the Blue Hole, an iconic dive site. Once you’ve dried off, you’ll hop in the jeep and we’ll travel to the town of Dahab (meaning ‘gold’ in Bedouin, after its sparkling beaches).
Walking time: 3-4 hours
Take things at your own pace today. Spend time exploring quaint and friendly traveller-haven Dahab, or take to the water and try your hand at wind-surfing. There’s no better feeling after days spent trekking through the desert. We’ll be staying in a simple and traditional hotel, where you can soak in the pool or sample traditional cuisine in the restaurants.
Days Eleven & Twelve
Over the next couple of days, you can choose your own adventure. Test yourself with free-diving and kitesurfing or just relax. Can’t decide? Experienced guides are on hand with their recommendations. Here are some of our top tips for getting the most out of your time in Dahab:
Rock climbing: Spend a full or half day climbing the granite crags of the epic coastal range. There are routes available for every availability level.
Diving: The highlight of diving in Dahab is the colourful reef that clings to the shoreline. Check out world-class dive sites like the Blue Hole and Eel Gardens. New to diving? Take a PADI Discover Scuba Diving course over one or two days to get your beginner’s certification.
Snorkelling: You can also experience the bright jewel colours of the reefs by snorkelling. The water stays up to 28 degrees in October so you can explore at your own leisurely pace.
Wind and kite-surfing: This is a hot-spot for wind sports thanks to the northerlies bottle-necked through the mountains. Just south of Dahab is the place to go for the best conditions and mysterious lagoons.
Free-diving: There’s no feeling quite like exploring the depths free of equipment or masks. Learn how to free dive and up your skills at the legendary Blue Hole.
Wake-boarding: Get your adrenaline rush by trying out wake-boarding with our recommended instructor Franco, who has over 19 years’ experience.
After almost two weeks of exploring everything the desert and Red Sea coastal range has to offer, it’s time to head home. You’ll transfer to Sharm El Sheikh before travelling home to the UK, arriving in the evening.
All food whilst on the trek, and breakfast when city based
Fully qualified, experienced, local guides
Our guides are the best in the business. They know the environment you will be trekking through intimately and hold the highest first aid qualifications to lead groups in remote places.
Your Bedouin guide will is a member of the Aleqat Bedouin Tribe, along with a small team of camel guides.
One of the unexpected wonders of a trek through the Sinai desert is seeing how he and the team move through the desert, organise their camps, cook and generally enjoy the trek as much as we all do! In St Catherine, you will also have a dedicated guide from the local Jebeliya Tribe for the monastery and Mt Sinai.
Your guide will meet you at Sharm el Sheikh Airport. We will let you know where and when nearer the time of departure.
At the hotel we will be served with an open buffet with several kinds of hot dishes, salads and desserts for dinner. During the trek breakfast will include jams, pitta bread, cheese, teas and coffees, orange juice etc. while our lunch boxes will be classically Bedo with pitta bread and hummus, mineral water etc. Our dinners will be a nightly open buffet with one kind of hot dish (comprised of meat) a soup, four kinds of salads and dessert with tea and coffee served at safari tables around a fire.
Yes, of course. A lot of Bedouin food is vegetarian so you’ll find there are generally plenty options for vegetarians. If you have any dietary requests or allergies, please let the team know when booking and we will ensure that the local teams have all of the information and can cater for your needs.
Drinking water will be sourced from mountain springs and wells, which are the main local water supplies. This will be boiled where necessary, but we do suggest bringing water purification tablets. We can bring bottled water on request for drinking, though we do encourage trekkers to avoid this due to the plastic waste. We would advise bringing your own reusable bottle on the trek. Bottles with filters to purify work well – we’re fans of WatertoGo.
You will be able to fill your bottles at breakfast before the start of the day’s trekking. The camels will carry water supplies along with us during the trek, which we replenish at the mountain springs and wells, so there are plenty of opportunities to fill up during the day also. Water will then be available when back at camp and during meals.
One of the main charms of this incredible expedition is that we will be sleeping out under the stars as the Bedouin do. A more amazing sleeping experience is hard to imagine! On the first, and possibly last, nights of the trek, we will be staying in a semi-permanent camp and this may have a covered area in which to lay our sleeping bags.
Please bring a 3 season sleeping bag (-10 C comfort rating), a Thermarest or similar sleeping mat and, if you wish, a camping pillow. (See the Kit List for a full list.)
The camp set-up will be a mix of the two. Fox Camp at the beginning, and Ras Abu Galum at the end of the trek, are fixed camps. The rest of the time we will be wild camping under the stars – our Bedouin team will set up the camp, a toilet area, and make a fire at each location.
This expedition is an experience of living a true desert lifestyle. Water at some camps is scarce but where available we will be able to use it to have a wash. Washing will be predominantly wet wipe washes – there won’t be showers until we reach Dahab! Basic squat toilets will be found at some camps but in the desert, we will find a convenient boulder or, as the Bedouins do, a small hole will be dug to bury waste as the exceedingly dry temperatures of the desert disintegrates it rapidly. Toilet paper will be provided and can be burnt after use, as this does not degrade in the desert.
We will be woken up early each morning and given a basic but hearty breakfast. After breakfast we will pack up with the help of the Bedouin guides and begin the first trek of the day for about 3 hours. A long and early lunch will be taken to avoid trekking during the hottest part of the day. We set off to walk again for another few hours or so and then we establish camp late afternoon for dinner and a well-deserved rest.
Yes, you will have a chance to fully immerse yourself in the local culture. One of the greatest pleasures of this expedition is to meet and learn from the Sinai’s original desert people, the Bedouin. These incredibly humble and fun-loving people are great teachers and take delight in showing you not only the ways of their lifestyle and customs but teach you desert survival skills along the way too. You’ll join this expedition for the desert, but you’ll want to return for the Bedouin.
The weather is best for trekking in Egypt’s autumn and spring when the daytime temperatures are a bit lower – between October and April.
The average daily temperature is likely to be between 20°C and 34°C, depending on the location and the wind. Nights in the mountains will generally be 5-10°C cooler than this.
The water temperature of the Red Sea is usually around 25-28°C at this time of year.
Accidents can happen and anyone undertaking these adventures has to accept there is a degree of risk due to the very nature of the challenge. Our guides are in communication with each other by satellite phone and radio and our local crew are all experienced in dealing with any problem that will arise. Our guide always carries a comprehensive first aid kit, and will be certified in Emergency First Response. In the case of serious accident or illness, the guides will arrange evacuation to Dahab or Sharm el Sheikh, and the office team will be on hand to assist where necessary.
Inoculation requirements can change frequently so it is important you visit your GP or local travel clinic for the latest recommendations and to ensure you are up to date on necessary vaccinations. A health certificate regarding COVID-19 may be required.
If you must leave the expedition early then we will of course help arrange this, with the local team and the office crew. All costs will be for you to cover in situ, and to then recoup from your insurance company.
Yes. When travelling you will not be able to head out until you have given the office your travel insurance details. If you are thinking of doing one or more of the adventure activities in Dahab, for example scuba diving or climbing, it is your responsibility to make sure you are covered. Please note for diving insurance most policies ask if you will be diving to 18 metres or to 40 metres.
You'll be sent a full list once booked
We can book flights on your behalf. We provide confirmation of flight times and departure terminal approximately eight weeks before your departure date. Please be aware that flight schedules are subject to change. Please ensure that you have checked flight details before setting out for your flight.
You will need money for tipping, and then the amount of money you will need additionally depends on how many souvenirs you wish to buy or how much you plan to drink when we are staying in hotels, or which activities you wish to add in Dahab. Aside from the activities, we would recommend approximately £100-150, in local currency.
Egyptian pounds can be purchased in the UK before travel which may make it easier on arrival as you don’t need to change money.
The women in St Catherine and Ras Abu Galum often sell homemade Bedouin crafts – to give you an idea of costs, these go from a simple bracelet for 20 EGP (just over £1) to hand spun and woven carpets for £50-100.
Our local crew work extremely hard to assure that your expedition runs well. While tipping is not compulsory, it is and always has been very much part of the culture, and tips are always greatly appreciated.
We would suggest you tip your Monastery guide before you leave St Catherine, and again for the trekking crew before you leave Ras Abu Galum/Blue Hole.
We suggest 200-500 EGP per guide/host in St Catherine, and 500-1000 EGP per guide/host on the trek. As a guideline, if you budget approximately 80 GBP per person in tips, and have this available in Egyptian pounds on the trek, in small dominations, this should suffice.
Egypt uses the Egyptian pound (EGP – as a loose guide 1.00 GBP = 20 EGP). However, you should keep an eye on the changing exchange rates. ATMs are widespread in more urban areas but don’t always offer the most favourable rates. When receiving local currency, always ask for small bills, as larger bills are hard to change in small towns or for small purchases. The best places to exchange money are normally foreign exchange bureaus, which are fast, have longer hours and often give slightly better rates than banks. Do not accept torn money as it will likely not be accepted.
Snorkelling in Ras Abu Galum is included in the overall cost of the expedition.
If you are a certified diver with recent dive experience and would like to dive in Ras Abu Galum then 2 dives will be 80 euros. We will need to know in advance so the equipment and guides can be prepared. If you have not dived in 6+ months, you’ll need to start with a check dive, which costs an additional 10 euro.
If you consider yourself very rusty, we suggest you snorkel in Ras Abu Galum and then do a more thorough Scuba Review in Dahab.
There are many restaurants in Dahab, serving local foods as well as a variety of international cuisine. £10–15 per meal should be plenty, although you can eat local meals such as falafel and Koshari for only a few pounds, or the local equivalent. (Koshari is a popular Egyptian street food, made with rice, lentils and pasta, which is then topped with a spicy tomato sauce and caramelised onions – it’s delicious!)
Yes, absolutely – it’s a great place to learn!
A PADI Discover Scuba Diving course (a 1 day / 2 dive introduction to scuba diving) will be 65 euro. Otherwise, the full PADI Scuba Diver course is 225 euro. PADI Scuba Diver starts online with 3 chapters of theory before you arrive, then when in Dahab you have 3 underwater skill sessions and 2 Open Water dives. It qualifies you to dive to 12m with a professional guide. Please chat to the 360 office in advance if you would like to book this for your trip.
At any time, with any PADI Dive Centre worldwide, you can upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver with another 2 days. Unless you wish to extend your time in Dahab, you would not have time for the full Open Water course and certification.
Dives, with a guide, will be 27 euro per dive. A refresher dive or a night dive would cost an additional 10 euro. This includes your equipment rental.
If you are an Open Water Diver but would love the chance to dive the Canyon and Blue Hole, you can do the PADI Advanced course. This is a 2 day course and offers you 5 dives, for 225 euro. All theory can be completed before arrival. Please chat to the 360 office in advance if you would like to book this for your trip.
Many people bring their own snorkel and mask, others prefer to hire this, along with fins, in situ. There are many options but once you have your kit you can just jump in! If you wanted to travel down the coast to an alternate snorkelling spot this can be arranged, there will be a small charge depending on the site, or if you wish to have a guide and/or rent equipment.
Fully equipped self-sufficient climbers should budget 25 euro per day for permissions, transportation and lunch, or 20 euro for a half day.
Guided climbing with equipment rental is 55 euro for a full day, including lunch, or 40 euro for a half day. Guided climbs are suitable for all levels, including beginners. These prices also apply to bouldering, and include bouldering pads.
The instructors at our recommended climbing school are Single Pitch Rock Climbing Instructors, certified under the Austrian Alpine system, as well as certified Emergency First Responders.
Mainly single pitch, from French 3a to 7b.
The main climbing season is between October and April, when there are always routes in the shade. During the hotter months, half days generally start around 2 or 3pm, finishing at sunset, or you start early in the morning before the heat builds.
Wadi Qnai climbing areas are a 20 to 40 minute drive from Dahab, depending on which crag you’re climbing.
On full days, lunch, drinking water and Bedouin tea are included. No food is included for a half day of climbing, and it’s recommended that you bring snacks and water.
The school is fully equipped with rental equipment and everything necessary for safety during the climb. If you are already a climber, we would suggest you bring your own shoes.
Definitely! A ‘Try Climb’ is 55 euro for a full day, including lunch, or 40 euro for a half day of climbing.
You could also sign up for the full Beginner Rock Climbing course, Top Rope Climber, which runs over 2 days and costs 195 euro
Yes, there are climbs at this level in all 3 main climbing crags in Wadi Qnai. You might want to do a day in Wadi Qnai (Camel Canyon and Waterfall), and a second day in Wadi Hamam (10 routes 5c-7a). Wadi Hamam is a 45 minute drive outside Dahab, with high transportation costs, so to make it cost effective we suggest a minimum of 2 climbers, though the more people that join, the more to split the transport costs between. There is also world class bouldering in Dahab.
You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the expedition. We cannot take you on this trip without proof of insurance.
It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate insurance for your intended trip and to cover, at a minimum, medical evacuation and coverage for any activities in you wish to partake in Dahab.
Your insurance details are requested on the booking form, however this can be arranged at a later date. We will be requesting your insurance details 8 weeks before your departure.
Personal fitness is important for this trek, and we have included a training programme in the brochure which should see you at peak fitness! If you are struggling from day one then this is likely to impact on your enjoyment of the rest of the trip. Physical preparation does not have to be Herculean: concentrate on cardiovascular exercise during the week by taking short runs when time allows and try to spend at least 2 weekends a month going on long walks (a decent six hours or 12 miles) carrying a rucksack of around 5kg in a reasonably hilly environment.
Generally no, although there are a few areas where it is possible to pick up a signal. Your guide will have a satellite phone for emergency use.
Egypt uses the standard Euro ‘C’ and ‘F’ type plugs, so you will need an adaptor for Dahab.
There will be no charging facilities on the trek – if you wish to charge any electronics in the desert, we recommend you bring your own solar chargers and/or power banks.
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