Warning: Parts of the Sinai Peninsula are currently not considered safe for tourists due to some kidnappings and attacks on foreigners in the area, and attacks on Egyptian security forces. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all travel to the Governorate of North Sinai, and against all but essential travel to parts of South Sinai. They emphasise, however, that the major tourist resorts are protected by enhanced security measures, and are still considered safe.
South Sinai © B. Simpson
Sinai is about contrasts. This is a desert interior full of history: here Moses received the Ten Commandments en route to the Promised Land; the Pharaohs found gold and searched for their gods; and the Bedouins still camp beside ruins of Crusader Forts. Christianity, Judaism and Islam all consider Sinai a holy land and over the years prophets, saints, pilgrims and warriors have crossed this vast nothingness in search of the divine. Mount Sinai and St Catherine's Monastery, at its foot, are frequently visited.
The desert comes to an abrupt end at the Red Sea, where exquisite coral reefs provide a fine underwater playground for divers and snorkelers from around the world. The coral reefs along the Sinai coastline are among the best in the world and 'diving tourism' is the most recent catchphrase on the peninsula. The Red Sea has one of the highest volumes of marine life variety in all the tropical seas. There are numerous popular beach resorts along the Red Sea coast which offer all sorts of activities and sightseeing excursions out into the desert.
Visitors come to Sinai and the Red Sea to experience the simplicity of sun, sea and sand, and surround themselves by rugged mountains, history and modern Bedouin culture. It is a fascinating region and well-equipped for hedonistic resort holidays as well as religious and historical pilgrimages to ancient sites.