Mount Sinai is one of the holiest places in the Arab world.
It was mentioned a few times in the Quran and the Bible. This is the place where Moses was believed to received the Ten Commandments.
The mountain is located in St. Katherine. It is located 3 hours from Sharm El-Sheikh which it is accessible by bus. Most hotels and resorts around Taba, Nuweiba and Dahab arranges private tours to Mount Sinai. All climbers need to register and pay admission fees at the base entrance.
Mount Sinai is approximately 2,200 metres high. It usually takes between 2-4 hours to climb depending on your ability. Despite that, the mountain is easily climbable and is suitable for any adults. In fact I had a high temperature when I managed to scale the mountain in less than 3 hours. This amount of time also includes regular stops, therefore it is very rare to climb to the summit longer than 4 hours. If you're tired half way up, there is always a Bedouin willing to help you using one of their many camels.
Most people climb the mountain at night, usually starting between 2-4am.
The main reason is it's usually hotter to climb during daytime. Besides, I like the fact that when you're climbing at night, you're guarded by torch lights and some monks uses candles to guide themselves up. It feels like you're back in time. Amazing feeling. But remember to bring a torchlight with you.
There are actually quite a number of Bedouin available as guides. They usually bring camels with them. Camels are constantly drawn not just to carry people but food and supplies to the many small stalls along the way. Be wary of the camels. The Bedouin only shout out 'camel' when they're really close to you.
In winter, make sure you wear enough layers as it can be really cold. Energy bars and chocolate should help to give an energy boost. Bring also a bottle of water. However, you can find a number of stalls along the hike if you need more. Also wear hiking shoes or at least trainers.
Being right in the middle of a desert and surrounded by red granite mountains, the summit is a great place to catch sunrise.
The atmosphere is magical.
The red rocks reflect light from the sun, creating a blazing red landscape with dark shadows cast by the rugged terrain. The view is really breathtaking. There is a small mosque and a chapel at the summit. There is also 'Moses Cave', the place where Moses was believed to receive his Ten Commandments. You could easily spend an hour at the summit.
The trek down is also amazing. Most people descend through Siket Sayidna Musa which is approximately 3,750 steps. You would get a better view of the amazing mountain range. At the base of your trek you will reach St Katherine Monastery, also a popular tourist attraction.
To summarize my experience, it is definitely worth climbing the mountain.
The view from the top is breathtaking to say the least.
Written and contributed by Amer