Visit St. Catherine’s Monastery from Sharm and see where Moses received the 10 Commandments from God at the foot of Mount Sinai. Beautifully isolated, you will get dramatic views of the Sinai Desert, and tour the monastery with an Egyptologist.
What to Expect
Take a full-day tour to one of the holiest places in the world on this trip from Sharm through the Sinai Desert to St. Catherine’s Monastery, located in the remote city of the same name.
The journey to the earliest surviving bastion of Christianity takes you through breathtaking vistas of arid rock formations.
Founded by Empress Theodora in 342 AD, at the foothills of Mount Moses and the Megafa Mountain, the Monastery has been a center of worship and learning for over 1,600 years.
Born Dorothea to a noble family in Alexandria in 294AD, she studied poetry, music, art, physics, mathematics, astronomy and philosophy in a pagan school before converting to Christianity and being baptized Catherine. She was tortured and beheaded for her faith and belief in Jesus by Emperor Maximus on November 25th 305 in Alexandria.
Her body disappeared and according to tradition was transported by angels to the highest mountain peak in the Sinai, now named after her. Three centuries later some monks of the Monastery, following a dream, found her body, brought it down from the mountain and placed it in a gold plated sarcophagus, which now stands in the Basilica Choir.
In the 7th-Century the prophet Muhammad dictated a long document granting protection to the monastery and exempting it from taxes. A copy of it hangs in the priceless Icon Gallery and next to it, Napoleon’s letter of protection written in 1798 can also be seen.
The mosque, built in 1381 inside the Monastery’s walls, convinced the advancing Ottoman armies that the complex was partly Muslim, safeguarding it from destruction. Since the 11th-Century, the Monastery of the Transfiguration has been known as St Catherine’s Monastery. Its library contains one of the world’s most ancient and important manuscripts with a collection of over 3,000 most of them in Greek, plus another 5,000 books, considered second in importance only to the Vatican.
Throughout its history, the monastery has received gifts from Popes, Christian princes and most of all, from the Russian Tsars who considered themselves the natural successors of the Byzantine Emperors. From the many aspects of the Monastery, you will visit Emperor Justinian’s 6th-Century church, see the Mosaic of Transfiguration, the Chapel of the Burning Bush, the Icons Gallery, Jethro’s well and St. Catherine’s shrine.
Depart from the monastery for the village of Dahab on the gulf of Aqaba, where a delicious lunch buffet will be served at one of the leading resorts of the area. On the return to Sharm el Sheikh you will drive via the Naama Bay Resort area.
- Pick-up services from Sharm Port & return
- All transfers by a private air-conditioned vehicle
- Private English Egyptologist guide
- Entrance fees to mentioned sites
- Bottled water on board the vehicle during the tour
- All taxes & service charge