WAS ZU SEHEN - Dahab - Rotes Meer

Saint Catherine's Monastery

In 330 A.D., Empress Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, ordered the construction of a small church at the foot of Mount Sinai (Gebel Musa) close to the Biblical Burning Bush of Moses.
It was called the Church of Transfiguration.
The fortified monastery that we can see today was built around that small church during Emperor Justinian's reign (527-565 A.C.)

In the XIth century, the monastery was dedicated to Saint Catherine of Alexandria who died in 310 A.D.
It is said,that her remains found on a mountain top close to Mt.Sinai by some monks, were then burried in the Basilica of the Monastery.

Facing beautiful gardens and tall cypreses, the Monastery now belongs to the Greek-Orthodox Church that both administers and looks after it.
You will be able to see the Burning Bush and many ancient works of art: priceless icons, marvelously carved doors, beautiful fresco paintings and other precious religious decorations.
Its rich library hosts the second greatest, after the Vatican, collection of world ancient manuscripts (unfortunately not available for tourists).

All tour operators organize a half-day or a day trip to the monastery.
Tourists are taken there by coach.
The visit to the Monastery lasts about one hour, a local guide speaking various languages will accompany you inside and will illustrate all places and history of this history-rich land.
This trip can be combined either with the climb of Mount Sinai or a visit to Nuweiba.

The Protected Area of Abu Galum

The Abu Galum protected area,stretching between Dahab and Nuweiba, along the Gulf of Aqaba is a 500 km long natural wonder.
The pebbly beaches, dotted by seashells run parallelly to the marvelous coral reef,sometimes ending sharply in front of the dropping sheer into the sea mountain walls.

These excursions are made on comfortable and air-conditioned 4X4s.
After crossing the desert you will find yourself in the Abu Galum area where you can admire the beautiful coloured rocks and you will be welcomed to the village by a small Bedouin family offering you some fantastic Bedouin tea.
After that you will reach a spot on the sea from which you can see the Jordanian coasts.
Here, you will leave your jeeps and will continue your walk along the beach on camels up to the famous "Blue Hole", an incredible spot where you can go snorkeling and admire the marvellous corals or simply relax basking in the sun.
You will also have the time for lunch in one of the sea-front restaurants.


Coloured Canyon.... a wonder of nature

One of the natural wonders of the Sinai is the majestic Coloured Canyon.
You will follow a narrow path in between sandstone walls, streaked with delicate yellow, violet, red, magenta and gold.
The walls of the canyon, in certain points, reach 40m of height.
You will feel completely wrapped up in colours.

The walls of the canyon, formed ages ago and its colours generated by iron oxide and manganese,descend in colourful falls.
The result of the latter is a natural wonder, marvellous to explore and take pictures of or just enjoy moments of total silence.

The jeep excursions last half a day.
Comfortable shoes should be worn, as in certain points the walk becomes quite difficult.
Some physical preparation would be of help.
Sometimes this excursion can be combined with the visit to the Nuweiba village (1-day trip).


Ras Mohammed National Park

The Ras Mohammed National Park is a natural marine and land reserve.
This 480km2 protected area is situated where the two gulfs, the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba, meet at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula.
The barren desert land of sand dunes, fossil corals and granite mountains which hosts rare species of animals,including many types of birds, is a dazzling contrast with the underwater ecosystem.
The latter is a magnificent explosion of life: 200 species of corals (125 of which are the soft corals), 1000 spieces of fishes, 40 spieces of starfish, 25 of sea urchins, 100 of molluscs, 150 species of shellfish an 2 of turtles: the Green Turtle and the Hawksbill Turtle.
Amongst the most beautiful attractions of the park and what should not be missed, are the internal lakes of mangroves right next to the sea.

The excursion from Dahab to Ras Mohammed is done overland (it usually takes just half a day): your guide will take you to the most beautiful white- sand beaches.
There, you can just walk into the sea and admire one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world.
A 1-day trip will include a stop in Sharm el Sheikh, the Red Sea capital of entertainment.

Rules of the park
  • it is strictly forbidden to remove,damage or take away any material, live or inert(corals,seashells,fish,plants,fossils etc).
  • cars should stay on and follow the established and pre-marked tracks.
  • no rubbish should be abandoned.
  • access to areas closed to public, walking on the reef, feeding fish and any other marine animals and whatever form of fishing are strictly prohibited.
  • all visitors are to leave the park before sunset.
  • it is recommended to access the sea from designated points.
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    Feiran, The Thousand Palm Oasis

    The Feiran Oasis, situated half way between St.Catherine's Monastery and the Gulf of Suez, is one of the most ancient Christian centres of the Sinai.According to tradition, Moses together with his followers on their way to the Promised Land had passed through this oasis - the biggest one in Southern Sinai.
    The ruins of numerous ancient churches document its importance; for a long period, starting from the second century A.D., the oasis was considered a religious fulcrum of greatest importance.

    The Seven Girls'Monastery (called also the Feiran Monastery)built in the IVth century right in the centre of the oasis and its rich palm groves is obviuosly worth a visit.
    Next to the nunnery, you can see the ancient ruins of the Sinai Archbishop's See that functioned up to the VIth century.
    A winding path amongst ancient Bizantine churches leads you to the top of Gebel Tehuna.
    There, you can admire a most spectacular view. Next to the western entrance of the oasis you can find the rock that, always according to tradition, Moses had hit and made water gush out.
    The excursion by coach foresees the visit to the Feiran Oasis and to St.Catherine's Monastery.
    The programme may vary depending on the organizers.


    The Desert Safari

    One other good idea during your stay in Dahab is, without doubt, a trip into the desert.
    Try to turn your back to the turqouise waters and huge hotels: the sight that opens up in front of your eyes is one of the most fascinating in the world - an endless stretch of sand, rocks, mountains and hidden oasises,home to the Bedouins,will astonish you with their beauty.
    Professional guides will accompany you in the discovery of wadis (dry riverbeds), dunes, mountains and secluded oasises.

    All operators offer you a vast selection of Desert Safaris.
    They are 1-day or half-day trips. Comfortable and air-conditioned 4X4s are used to drive tourists into the desert.