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Some like to experience the desert riding a 4×4, others would enjoy it effortlessly on the back of a camel, but as we both are hikers; we believe that the best way is to walk it on foot, to connect with nature, and get as close as one can get. That’s why we have put together a list of the best hiking trails in Egypt.
If hiking is not your thing, we have got plenty of other ideas that would -for sure- satisfy your wanderlust.
The difference between hiking & trekking? Hiking is to walk for long-distances, however trekking is to walk a long arduous journey.
Hiking by Ardiss Hutaff via unsplash
Is Egypt’s first long-distance hiking trail; beginning from the Gulf of Aqaba, ending at the highlands of Catherina, initially established to save the Bedouin Heritage from vanishing.
In 2016, what started as a 220 KM route, taking 12 days to complete, with 3 Bedouin tribes involved, is now a 550 KM trail, requiring 42 days to finish, involving 8 Bedouin tribes.
Hiking the Sinai Trail, would not only do you good as a hiker, but will aid a thriving community to preserve their cultural heritage comprising; traditions, knowledge, lifestyle, and above all survival skills which helped Bedouins make it through the years, at such arid conditions.
DID YOU KNOW THAT.. in 2016 The Sinai Trail won Best New Tourism Project at the British Guild of Travel Writers, and was named one of the greatest new trails in the world by Wanderlust Magazine.
The Blue Hole to the Blue Lagoon in Dahab
One of the most rewarding hikes you can ever walk, in one of Egypt’s hippiest towns Dahab, where the Red Sea with its vivid shades of blue, would be on your right, and Sinai Mountains on your left <3. It’s pretty secluded yet every once in a while you’ll be greeted by a Bedouin resident, who will offer you a lift, some Bedouin tea, or to sell you thread bracelets. It gets crowded as soon as you reach Ras Abu Galum Protectorate, but after passing all the camps, you will be isolated again for another hour or so until it gets crowded again. Some hikers walk from the Blue Hole, make a stop at Ras Abu Galum before continuing to the Blue Lagoon, but some others just stop there.
For beach-goers; note that Abu Galum is less windy compared to the Blue Lagoon famous for kite & wind surfing.
Snippets from my hike to the Blue Lagoon by Passainte Assem
The Valley of Whales in Fayium
Millions of years ago, now a valley, once part of the ocean; the Valley of Whales –Wadi Al Hitan– is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can see well-preserved rock-formations carrying shell remains, along with skeletons of land whales, among other species. The hike is flat, it doesn’t require any special skills, and is best enjoyed at break of dawn, when the sun-rays reflect on the rock formations at the Valley.
Some people go to the Whales Valley to spend a couple of hours, but some others prefer an overnight stay in the desert, to camp, & marvel at its millions of stars sky, or sleep under a sky lit by a full moon.
DID YOU KNOW THAT.. A Fosil & Climate Change Museum has been established at the Valley since 2016, to showcase the history of the valley & those -now skeletons- whales, and how they evolved. Electricity at the valley is entirely produced through solar panels installed there.
The Valley of Whales in Fayium by Passainte Assem
A kick-ass challenge to complete a 38 KM trail comprising 3 mountain peaks of; Jebel Abbas Basha (2383m), Jebel Katherina -a.k.a. Saint-Catherine (2637m)- and Jebel Moussa -a.k.a. Mount Sinai or Mount Moses- believed to be where Moses received his 10 commandments (2285m).
The challenge has 3 levels accommodating every fitness level as follows;
- Moderate Challenge: to complete it in 72 hours -one peak a day
- Main -Difficult- Challenge: to complete it in 24 hours -hiking by day & night
- Extreme Challenge: to complete it in 12 hours or less to make a record
Sinai by Mohamed Hamdy via pixabay
Mount Moses or Mount St. Catherine & Surrounding Valleys in Sinai
If you are more into taking things slow, and are keen to enjoy a panoramic view of Sinai; Mount Moses might be for you, it is more of a trek, but isn’t a technical hike, however the last 450 stairs are not for everyone, as for Mount Saint Catherine -commonly referred to as the Rooftop of Egypt, since it’s the tallest peak in Egypt-, this one is more arduous, cannot be climbed without a guide, and is not as equipped as Mount Mouses that has several rest houses to drink tea & buy some snacks, blankets are also provided, and tents for those who want to spend the night.
While there you must visit the Monastery of Saint-Catherine, and the world’s second largest ancient library recently reopened to the public. You might as well be interested to find out about the Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of the Holy Family in Egypt.
THE BEST SCENARIO is to climb Mount Moses in the afternoon -might be hot though- to watch sunset, spend the night on the mountain, wake up at break of dawn to witness sunrise <3.
Monastery of St. Catherine in Katerina, South Sinai via pixabay
Do you know of any other interesting hiking trails, that we must walk? Please share them with us in the comments below.
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