Egypt // Sinai //

Longer treks around St Catherine’s


The two four-day treks outlined here give an idea of local trekking opportunities; other possibilities are mentioned under the “Feiran Oasis” section.

St Catherine’s to Al Galt Al Azraq

The first trek, starts off in El-Milga and begins by taking the path through the Abu Giffa Pass down into Wadi Tubug, passing walled gardens en route to Wadi Shagg, where you’ll find Byzantine ruins and huge boulders. The next day you follow the trail through Wadi Gibal and climb one of two hills offering magnificent views, before descending to Farash Rummana camping spot. On the third day you strike north through a canyon to the water-holes of Galt al-Azraq, pushing on to camp at Farsh Um Sila or Farsh Tuweita. The final day begins with an easy hike down towards Wadi Tinya, before climbing Jebel Abbas Pasha (2383m), named after the paranoid ruler who built a palace there (now in ruins). You then follow a path down through the Zuweitun and Tubug valleys, back to Abu Giffa and El-Milga. If you want a more detailed account of the trek, track down a copy of Francis Gilbert and Samy Zabat’s A Walk in Sinai: St Catherine’s to Al Galt Al Azraq.

St Catherine’s to Farsh Abu Tuweita

The second trek starts at Abu Sila village, 3km from El-Milga, where there are some rock inscriptions. You’ll probably camp out near Bustan el-Birka’s sweetwater spring. Day two involves descending into Wadi Nugra, below Jebel el-Banat, where you can bathe in pools fed by a twenty-metre-high waterfall. You then press through Wadi Gharba to the tomb of Sheikh Awad, where the Aulad Gundi tribe holds an annual feast in his honour. Having spent the night here, you have a choice of three routes to Farsh Abu Tuweita, the final night’s camping spot. On the fourth day you follow the same route as the final leg of the first hike.

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