Mountains, desert and sea… the Sinai has much more to offer than most people think. The high mountain region, with its religious and historical importance, orchard gardening tradition and unique nature, is like no other place in the World. The desert is just as beautiful as any in the Middle East and North Africa and you will find an amazing variety of different landscapes within a small area. The coral reefs of the Gulf of Aqaba are rated internationally as some of the best and a number of coastal protectorates, with their different eco systems, offer quiet get aways from the resort towns.
The Sinai is divided into two governorates, the North Sinai Governorate and the South Sinai Governorate. The border is more or less along the route from the Ahmed Hamdy tunnel to Taba, although the Bedouin mark the border along the edge of the Tih Plateau further south. North Sinai is off limits for foreigners, but the bulk of the attractions are in South Sinai anyway, which is a peaceful and laid back region.
Satellite view of South Sinai
The capital of the Governorate of South Sinai is El Tur (1), although the biggest and most developed city is Sharm el Sheikh (2). Another popular destination is Dahab (3), a smaller and more laid back town, attracting mostly the independent traveler. In Nuweiba (4), the gateway to Jordan, and further north along the road until Taba (5), there are many simple camps offering huts right on the beach. The road beyond Taba leads to the only border crossing to Israel. In the center of the mountainous interior is the town of St. Katherine (6), famous for Mt. Sinai and the Monastery of St. Katherine. Wadi Feiran (7) and Serabit el Khadim (8) are smaller settlements with important historical and archeological sites. The coastal town of Abu Zenima (9) is a small place with a few shops and cafeterias from where transport can be organized to Serabit el Khadim. Ras Sudr (10), further to the north, is a sea-side destination popular with people from Cairo. To Suez and Cairo the road connects via the Ahmed Hamdy tunnel (11) under the Suez canal, and from here there is also a road going to North Sinai, and another, the ancient caravan route of pilgrims from Cairo to Mecca, cutting across the peninsula via the interior at Nakhla (12) and connecting to the Gulf of Aqaba. (View South Sinai, Egypt in a larger map.)