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Sinai

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Travel Guide Africa Egypt Sinai

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Introduction

Dawn at Mount Sinai

Dawn at Mount Sinai

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The Sinai Peninsula, or just Sinai, is the northwestern part of Egypt. Although Egypt is an African country, this part is considered a landbridge towards Asia. The Sinai is split into North Sinai and South Sinai. North Sinai is not visited by tourists usually. However South Sinai features so many options for visitors and receives 1,000's of tourists per year. The most popular region being Sharm el-Sheikh, but also Dahab is popular. Nuweiba is also visited as a place for real beach chill out staying in a rustic bedouin camp. Mount Sinai and St Catherines Monastery are the most famous land marks in South Sinai and people make a daily pilgrimage up the Mountain know as Moses Mountain and visit the monastery.

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History

The region has historically been the centre of conflict between various states, based largely on its strategic geopolitical location. In addition to periods of direct rule by Egyptian governments (including the Ayyubids, the Mamluks, the Muhammad Ali Dynasty, and the modern Egyptian republic), it was like the rest of Egypt, also occupied and controlled by the Ottoman Empire, and the United Kingdom (which occupied Egypt from 1882 until 1956). Israel invaded and occupied Sinai during the Suez Crisis (known in Egypt as the Tripartite Aggression) of 1956, and during the Six Day War of 1967. On 6 October 1973, Egypt launched the October War to liberate the peninsula, which was the site of fierce fighting between Egyptian and Israeli forces. In 1982, after the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979, Israel withdrew from the entirety of Sinai. Today, Sinai has become a tourist destination due to its natural setting, rich coral reefs, and biblical history. Mount Sinai is one of the most religiously significant places in Abrahamic faiths.

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Geography

The Sinai Peninsula is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about 60,000 km2 in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two continents. The bulk of the peninsula is divided administratively into two of Egypt's 27 governorates (with three more straddling the Suez Canal area), and has a population of approximately 500,000 people. In addition to its formal name, Egyptians also refer to it affectionately as the "Land of Fayrouz", based on the Ancient Egyptian "Dumafkat", which has the same meaning.

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Sights and Activities

Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai, sometimes called Mount Horeb, Mount Musa, Gabal Musa, or Jabal Musa, is a mountain near Saint Catherine. The name Mount Sinai is mentioned many times in the Book of Exodus in the Torah and the Bible as well as the Koran. According to Jewish, Christian and Islamic tradition, the biblical Mount Sinai was the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Because God spoke to Moses in these places, this area is sacred those three world religions. The mountains is 2,285 metres above sea level and is near Mount Catherine, with 2,629 metres the highest mountain on the peninsula. At the top you will find a mosque, still used by Muslims, and a Greek Orthodox chapel, constructed in 1934 on the ruins of a 16th century church, that is not open to the public.

St. Catherine's Monastery

St-Catherine Monastery: Sinai

St-Catherine Monastery: Sinai

© All Rights Reserved wolfschlag

St. Catherine's Monastery is an Orthodox monastery on the Sinai peninsula at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt. One of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world, St. Catherine's incorporates the burning bush seen by Moses and contains many valuable icons. Above the monastery is Mount Sinai, where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God. Because God spoke to Moses in these places, this area is sacred to three world religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

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Weather

The Sinai Peninsula has a hot desert climate with little rainfall and dry conditions year-round. Temperatures can hit over 45 °C in summer and winter nights in the higher interior can drop below zero.

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Getting There

By Plane

Sharm el-Sheikh International Airport (IATA: SSH, ICAO: HESH), formerly known as Ophira International Airport, is an international airport that, after Cairo International Airport, is the busiest airport in the country.

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Contributors

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Sinai Travel Helpers

  • travelkitten

    I have been living in South Sinai Egypt since 2005 and i stayed throughout the revolution. I have extensive experience of all of this region and i have been helping visitors here since 2006. I am an English female (single) i still love living here and i am not likely to be leaving for a long time yet! I am happy to help with any questions however big or small. I know the whole region of South Sinai including St Catherines and Mount Sinai, Sharm El Sheikh, Dahab, Taba and Nuweiba.

    Ask travelkitten a question about Sinai

This is version 5. Last edited at 12:53 on Jan 3, 13 by Utrecht. 8 articles link to this page.

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