St Katharine Monastery, Mount Sinai and Coloured Canyon

St Katharine’s Monastery is located at the foot of Mount Sinai and is a UNESCO world heritage site, the monastery is one of the oldest working monasteries in the world and open to visitors at certain times.  Mount Sinai, or Moses Mountain as it’s also known, rises to 2,285 metres above sea level and is mentioned in the Torah, the Bible and the Quran so carries great religious significance to many.

A day trip from Dahab is an essential part of many visitors itineraries, the 133 km drive alone has magnificent scenery with desert and mountain views.  One of the most popular day trips offered in Dahab departs early evening to climb Mount Sinai so as to experience sunrise from the summit, with a visit to the monastery on your descent before the return journey to Dahab.  These trips run frequently and we are happy to assist in arranging them for our guests.

For those wishing to explore the area in more detail it is possible to stay in an eco lodge or indeed the monastery itself, local guides can be hired for further exploration off the beaten track on far less frequented trails. The area around St Katharines is famed for traditional medical herb gardens with leading specialists in the art of traditional medicine.  The medicinal plants conservation project works with the local Bedouin community to encourage and support the sustainable cultivation and harvest of medicinal herbs.  For those wishing to make an independent trip to the area the Bedouin Bus is a not-for-profit organisation set up in 2011 which links Dahab, Nuweiba and St Katharine’s for local Bedouin families and the more adventurous traveller.

The Coloured Canyon is another popular excursion from Dahab, located approximately 90km from Dahab. It gets its name from the striking stripes of colours you can see in the stone which is a mixture of sandstone and limestone.  The canyon itself is a relatively short 800m and although the sides of the canyon tower 40 metres above you, at places there is only a very small gap to climb through.  Most day trips to the Coloured Canyon also include other popular sites such as the White Canyon and the Salama Canyon, those participating will need good walking shoes and plenty of energy!  We would not recommend such day trips in the middle of summer as it is simply too hot.

It should be noted that the typical day trips offered in Dahab are not that easily accessible for those with limited mobility or for wheelchair users. At Residence Arabesque we pride ourselves on being fully inclusive and will happily help to arrange any excursion for our guests.  Private drivers and guides can always make areas that are less easily accessible open to everyone.