Mt. Sinai and the Safsafa basins

Jan 29, 2012

It’s an interesting sight to see the different Christian faiths – from Korea, Nigeria, the Balkan, Russia and the West – welcome the rising sun on Mt. Sinai, but if you are after a quiet experience I advise to avoid the midnight climb. Apart from being crowded, it is dark, cold and you miss much of the attractions. Starting in the morning you could explore the beautiful Safsafa basins, visit hidden Byzantine churches and have a stunning view on the Monastery from above, before continuing on to the peak of Mt. Sinai. The sunset is very quiet on the top, with hardly anyone around, and the colors in my opinion are more vivid, the sight is more magnificent. Even if there is no early moon, if you leave right after the sunset you will have enough time to descend back to the Monastery via the Camel Path easily and safely. Winter is a bit tough, but if you’re up to it you could sleep on the top in one of the cafeterias, to see the sunrise as well.

The hike is fully described in “Trekking in South Sinai” with an accurate map, GPS points and photos. See:

The view on the the Visitor Centre and the Nabi Harun area. The view on the Monastery. The Visitor Centre with Mt. Safsafa behind it. The Monastery of St. Katherine. The Stairs of Repentance. Elijah’s Basin under the peak of Mt. Sinai. Kinist el Hmar with the peak of Mt. Katherine in the distance. Quiet time at sunset on the summit of Mt. Sinai. Farsh Loza, with the almond tree. Monastery garden in Farsh Safsafa. The map of the Mt. Sinai hike.

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