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Historically thought of as a bridge between Africa and Asia, Sinai is now a destination all its own. This slice of Egypt is best-known for its world class diving. The Ras Mohammed National Park near Sharm el-Sheikh and the beaches off Dahab are both great dive areas. Most visitors to the Sinai instantly think of visiting Sharm el-Sheikh, but in reality, this Egyptian town is a minor player compared to Na'ama Bay, a nearby strip of coastal resorts that resembles Waikiki. The low-key alternative is Dahab, a former hippie colony that has become a popular target for independent travelers. Dahab is a nice place for beachside strolls, cheap ...

Historically thought of as a bridge between Africa and Asia, Sinai is now a destination all its own. This slice of Egypt is best-known for its world class diving. The Ras Mohammed National Park near Sharm el-Sheikh and the beaches off Dahab are both great dive areas. Most visitors to the Sinai instantly think of visiting Sharm el-Sheikh, but in reality, this Egyptian town is a minor player compared to Na'ama Bay, a nearby strip of coastal resorts that resembles Waikiki. The low-key alternative is Dahab, a former hippie colony that has become a popular target for independent travelers. Dahab is a nice place for beachside strolls, cheap food, sunbathing and snorkeling, and you still get the odd camel wandering through town.

Farther inland, it's possible to do treks with Bedouin guides into some starkly beautiful desert terrain. Of course, the best hike is to the top of Mt. Sinai, the legendary mountain sacred to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It was here, the Bible tells us, that Moses ascended to receive the Ten Commandments from God. At the base of the mountain, you can visit St. Catherine's Monastery, a place of pilgrimage for 1700 years.

Michael Kohn
About the Expert

Michael Kohn is the author of Lonely Planet guides to Israel & the Palestinian Territories, South Africa, Tibet, Central Asia, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka.

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Michael Kohn for Triporati

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Now Happening in Red Sea & Sinai

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Triangle-shaped peninsula in Egypt. It lies between the Mediterranean Sea (to the north) and Red Sea (to the south), forming a land bridge to Southwest Asia.
  • Language: Arabic, English
  • Currency: Egyptian Pound
  • Research: Sinai Peninsula | Red Sea | Sinai
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    March to May or September to November