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I'm planning a trip to Egypt towards the end of 2013. We are planning to visit all of the standard Egyptian sites (Cairo, Giza/Dashur Pyramids, Luxor, Aswan, Abu Simbel) as well as doing some diving in the Red Sea (probably Ras Muhammed near Sharm). We're debating on either visiting (1) St. Catherine's Monastery and then climbing Mt. Sinai, or (2) going on a desert excursion. My wife is very interested in Egyptian history. We also enjoy some adventure. Mt. Sinai supposedly has an important history of being where Moses received the 10 commandments, but the location is up for debate and may not have been Mt. Sinai.
Any advice or recommendations? Thanks
St Catherine's and Mount Sinai is a one night one day visit, although it can be a challenge to find an economic way to get away after nightfall. I would think a desert tour should be at least a couple days and nights to make it really worthwhile. Personally, I think a focus on the Nile Valley skipping Sharm/diving and even St. Catherine's would make the most sense. Plan a second trip for diving, St. Catherine's, the Jordanian desert and Petra. Best Advice if you are interested if Egyptian history is to do a lot of reading before you go. Otherwise it will just be too over-whelming. There are really a lot of inexpensive picture books available -- at least in the USA.
The climb to Mt Sinai was priceless. You can do this for a Day. But the location is quite a challenge I agree. I stayed in Dahab when I did mine, You might wanna consider that. I did some diving and snorkeling,and the following Day at 'round 2am we drove to the base of Mt Sinai for the climb which took us more than 3 hours and awaited for the sunrise. Then we continued the visit to St Catherine's, that was a short one. went back to Dahab for a relaxing afternoon. a Couple of days is enough unless you wanna enjoy the sea more in Dahab. As for the desert excursion, i think Wadi Rum in Jordan be your bet. :) Have fun!
firstly is not what OP requested beside he goes to Sharm and might want to go to Luxor
secondly Always Egypt is not very popoular, TripAdvisor Popularity Index:is at #55 of 67 activities in Luxor
@OP In Sharm go to Naama Bay where are the two main travel agencies, all others go thru them.
you can't do yourself Sharm-Luxor-Sharm as you need an early fligth to Luxor and an other back to Sharm, if not took with a tour it would cost a bomb.
By land it's too long, it takes days, imho it's better take the flight also to Cairo, when I did by plane other people did it by bus, they saw much less, in a hurry and always with people armed inside the bus, all the time. We could be back in time for late dinner at hotel, others come back in the middle of the night and left the evening before. Surely you won't dive following day.
if you think to the classic week of holidays you could not see hystory and diving, imo you need at least stay 10 days, to do, five days relax and FANTANSTIC diving (except fifth afernoon), meanwhile you go to Nama and book the tours, then sixth day take your walk to Mt.Sinai & S.Caterina, other two days have your flights to Cairo/Luxor - last day leisure - shopping - pick up all stuffs... back home. Skip desert tour, it is a tourist trap unless you are really interested in stones.
btw my wife would suggest to avoid also desert's tea as she took the escherichia coli there!!! I was with her when she felt sick, it has not been pleasant.
why desert tea? because the tea in the desert has been the only thing I did not drink/eat together with her otherwise we've always eaten/drinken all the same things all the times.
Thanks the responses.