Mount Sinai – known to the local Bedouin as Jebel Musa or the Mountain of Moses – is considered by many to be one of the world’s holiest mountains; indeed, its summit has perhaps been holy to more people over a longer period of time than any other peak on Earth. This mountain is believed to be the site where the Bible and Qur’an relate that God spoke with Moses, giving him a set of divine laws which later came to be known in Jewish and Christian tradition as the Ten Commandments. Pilgrims have been visiting Mt. Sinai for well over 1500 years, and it remains the most-climbed mountain in the Sinai or anywhere else in Egypt today.

Atop the mountain, hikers will discover a small chapel built in the 20th century from the ruined blocks of an older Byzantine church. Next door is a small mosque, below which you’ll find a hollow in the rocks; tradition reports that Moses took shelter in this hollow during his time here.

The chapel and mosque are just two of many historic sites on the mountain. The Abraham Path’s route across Mt. Sinai will take you off more beaten tourist paths to discover a mountain laced with ancient hermit cells, chapels, wells, and orchards, all relics of a much earlier Christian era when hundreds of ascetics scattered out across this lofty, desolate wilderness.

Mount Sinai might be broadly regarded as the spot where Moses spoke with God, but there hasn’t always been consensus that this particular peak is the true mountain. For many centuries, many scholars believed the true Mt. Sinai to be located at present day Mt. Serbal, a high peak about 60km away. Others regarded Mt. Um Shomar, the Sinai’s second highest mountain, to be the most likely contender. Some even believed the original Mt. Sinai to be a peak in the northern parts of the peninsula, like Mt. Hallal or Mt. Maghara. The current mountain’s status as the holy peak was only secured with the construction of the Monastery of Saint Catherine at its foot in the sixth century; and even today, some scholars continue the debate.

Sites in the Mt. Sinai Region:

Ancient Leopard Traps

See the old leopard traps of the Sinai: on windswept mountain passes, hunters used these to trap leopards until the great animals’ disappearance in the 1950s.

Blue Desert

Discover a desert mountain where the rocks are painted blue. One of the Sinai’s most surreal landscapes, it commemorates Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.

Ein Hudera

Visit one of the Sinai’s most beautiful oases, a watering point on the old pilgrim route between Jerusalem and Mount Sinai and – according to some – the biblical Hazeroth.

Hajar al-Maktub

Examine a rock etched with graffiti by millennia of pilgrims as they passed between Jerusalem and the peak of Mount Sinai.

Mt. Katherina

Gaze out over the distant Red Sea from the peak of Egypt’s highest mountain, where legends claim that St. Catherine’s remains were found many centuries ago.

St. Katherine’s Monastery

Visit the Byzantine Monastery of St. Katherine, probably the oldest functioning Christian monastery in the world and certainly one of the most iconic.

Nawamis Tombs

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Explore the Sinai’s prehistoric nawamis tombs, burial chambers built by the early peoples of the peninsula with doorways facing the setting sun.

Orchards of St. Katherine

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Discover a unique part of Bedouin culture in the high mountain orchards of Saint Katherine – colorful islands of green in a rocky landscape of red mountains.