The best hiking trails in Egypt

Egypt is an African country with a rich history dating back over 3,000 years. The country's North African desert region is characterized by low precipitation and a wide temperature variance, making it ideal for hiking trails. Sandstorms, known as khamsins, occur frequently from March to June. Egypt's hiking routes offer breathtaking views of the country's amazing landscapes, including one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Explore these scenic wonders on foot or by camel and take in some fresh air while discovering some of the most wonderful places in Egypt.

The best hiking trails in Egypt

Sinai Trail: A Thrilling Trek Through Egypt's Mountainous Terrain

The Sinai Trail is the first long-distance hiking trail in Egypt, covering a distance of 550 km and taking 54 days to complete. It was launched in 2015, taking 12 days to complete, and involving three Bedouin tribes. Today, eight Bedouin tribes work on the Sinai Trail, namely the Tarabin, Muzeina, Jebeleya, Awlad Said, Gararsha, Sowalha, Hamada, and Alegat.

During this popular Egypt trekking, you will navigate the epic deserts of the Sinai, displaying the best of Egypt’s famous wilderness. The trail is designed for both Egyptians and tourists from all over the world, providing another way to investigate and experience the country. The region has exceptional desert scenes, nature, heritage, and locals.

You can hire camels to carry your food, equipment, water, baggage, and different supplies. Refilling your water bottles is also possible en-route from natural springs. The treks can be customized as per your preference and wish and range as long as you want.

The Sinai Trail was voted the best new tourism project in the world at the BGTW Tourism Awards in 2016 and ranked one of the world’s best new trails by Wanderlust and Outdoors magazines in 2017. The trail offers a unique experience to hikers, showcasing Egypt's mountainous terrain, stunning landscapes, and historical significance.

Nuweiba: Unwind and Explore the Picturesque Beachside Hiking Trails

Nuweiba, located in the Sinai Peninsula, is a perfect spot for those who want to combine their love for hiking with beachside relaxation. The Coloured Canyon, situated in the vicinity of Nuweiba, is an 800-meter long hiking trail that presents a breathtaking array of colorful sandstone formations.

The shades and tints of hues visible on the walls of the canyon are a result of the retreating tides from the Red Sea, which shaped the canyon's rough walls with limestones, granites, and sandstones. Hiking through the Canyon is a unique experience that offers an opportunity to witness nature's power, which has left behind a labyrinth of vibrant scenes.

After exploring the Canyon, the Basata Eco-Lodge is the perfect place to rest and refuel. It is one of the best eco-lodges in Egypt and offers a Bedouin-cooked feast that will satisfy your hunger after a long hike. Additionally, it offers an excellent opportunity to unwind and stargaze.

The Coloured Canyon is roughly a two-hour commute from Sharm el-Sheikh and situated 210 miles (322 kilometres) from Cairo. The location is also home to various Bedouin communities and biodiversity, making it an ideal spot for adventure enthusiasts. Don't miss out on this unique hiking experience while exploring the Sinai Peninsula.

Mt. Catherine: Scaling Egypt's Highest Peak for Breathtaking Views

Located in the high mountain region of the Sinai Peninsula, Mt. Catherine is the highest peak in Egypt, towering at 2645m above sea level. This trek is situated towards the southeast of St. Catherine's village and offers breathtaking views from its summit. It is named after the Christian martyr, Saint Catherine.

Mt Catherine Sahara Desert Hiking

Despite being overlooked by many travelers in favor of the more popular Mount Sinai trek, climbing Mount Catherine provides an even more challenging experience and offers greater isolation on its grand summit. It is a must-do hiking trail in Egypt for those seeking a strenuous and adrenaline-fueled adventure.

The hike to the summit of Mount Catherine usually takes around 5 to 6 hours and offers stunning vistas along the way. The trek is challenging, but the reward of reaching the top and taking in the panoramic views of the surrounding landscape is worth the effort.

If you're up for the challenge, make sure to add Mount Catherine to your hiking bucket list and experience the stunning natural beauty that Egypt has to offer.

Sahara Desert Hiking: An Adventure Through Egypt's Iconic Landscape

Hiking through the Sahara Desert is a unique and unforgettable experience that takes you through the largest desert on the planet. Although most of the Sahara is inaccessible to travelers, there are a few western regions in Egypt that are open for hiking trips. Here are some highlights of what you can expect during a Sahara Desert hike in Egypt:

  • The Sahara Desert is a vast expanse of orange, black, and white sand dunes and rock formations that have been shaped by the wind over time. The landscape is breathtaking and unlike anything else on Earth.

  • On a desert hiking trip, you can explore different areas such as the White Desert, the Black Desert, and the Crystal Mountain. Each area has its unique terrain and natural wonders to discover.
  • You can also visit the Valley of the Whales, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to 40-million-year-old whale skeletons and other fossils. Other sites to see include the Valley of the Kings from Luxor and the tomb of Alexander the Great.

  • The best time to hike in the Sahara is between October to April or early May when the temperature is more manageable. The hike can take up to 12 days to complete, and it's important to go with a reputable tour operator who can ensure your safety and provide the necessary equipment.

Overall, hiking through the Sahara Desert is an adventure of a lifetime that offers a chance to witness one of the most iconic landscapes in Egypt. It's a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the vastness of nature and explore the unique features of the desert terrain.

Jebel Serbal: A Journey Through History on Egypt's Sacred Mountain

Jebel Serbal, located in the Sinai Peninsula, is considered one of the best mountains in the region and one of Sinai's most iconic destinations. Although it is not as high as some of the other mountains in the area, the ascent during the trail is quite challenging due to the steep crevasse. The trek is led by the Qararsha tribe of Wadi Feiran.

The mountain has several basins that lie between breathtaking pinnacles with greenery enclosures, wildlife, and water sources. Once at the summit, hikers can enjoy breathtaking views of the coast on one side, and outstanding scenes over the Gulf of Suez and Wadi Firaan on the other.

Jebel Serbal is also considered a sacred mountain with cultural significance. It is one of the seven famous Sinai summits, and early Christians mistook it for Mount Sinai (also known as Mount Moses). The mountain range is also said to have been a divine location where pre-Islamic Bedouin tribes gathered to worship the ancient deity Baal.

Despite its religious history, Jebel Serbal is now appreciated for its immense beauty and tranquility. The hiking trail to the summit offers stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape and the Red Sea, and the area is also home to ancient monasteries and ruins. The trek typically concludes in three days and is worth the effort for an unforgettable hiking trip in Egypt.

Blue Lagoon, Dahab: A Coastal Hike with Stunning Ocean Views

Located approximately 16 kilometers from Dahab, the Blue Lagoon trail is one of Egypt's most scenic hiking trails. The trail gets its name from the large, natural pond that is often referred to as "paradise." Although there is limited academic research on the area, there are plenty of anecdotal resources that describe the beauty of this location. Here is what you can expect when you hike the Blue Lagoon trail:

A Coastal Hike with Stunning Ocean Views

  • The hike to the Blue Lagoon, or Ras Abu Galoum, is an adventure in itself. There are no roads leading up to it, so you can either hike or take a speedboat from Dahab.

  • The trail is easy and suitable for all fitness levels. You can expect to see stunning views of the turquoise lagoon and surrounding mountains along the way.

  • Once you reach the lagoon, the crystal-clear water is perfect for swimming and snorkeling. You can even rent snorkeling gear in Dahab if you don't have your own.

If you're looking for a beautiful, easy hike with stunning ocean views, the Blue Lagoon trail in Dahab is definitely worth a visit.

The Valley of the Whales, Fayoum: A Unique Hike Through Ancient Fossils and Scenery

The Valley of the Whales, Fayoum, is a unique hiking trail that offers a glimpse into the ancient marine biodiversity of Egypt. Located in the Fayoum Oasis, the valley is home to the fossilized remains of whales that roamed the area over 50 million years ago. Here's what you can expect on your hike:

  • Fossil formations: The fossils are arranged in large formations, resembling the whales they once belonged to. This is a fascinating sight to behold and offers a glimpse into the ancient marine life of Egypt.

  • Hiking trail: The trail winds through the desert landscape for about 60 kilometers, giving hikers a chance to experience the unique scenery of the valley.

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site: The Valley of the Whales is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognized for its important contribution to our understanding of the evolution of whales.

  • Cultural significance: In addition to its scientific importance, the valley also holds cultural significance for the local community, who have a long history in the area.

  • Guided tours: To get the most out of your visit, consider taking a guided tour. Local guides can provide insight into the fossils and the history of the area, making your experience even more enriching.

Overall, the Valley of the Whales, Fayoum, is a must-see destination for anyone interested in natural history and ancient marine life. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or a casual explorer, this unique hiking trail offers something for everyone.

Wadi Degla Protectorate, Cairo: A Nature Escape Just Outside the City Limits

Wadi Degla Protectorate, Cairo is a nature lover's paradise situated just outside the bustling city limits. The area is a protected wilderness with several hiking trails that offer visitors an opportunity to explore its rocky terrain, spot wildlife, and uncover ancient ruins. Here are some of the key highlights of this beautiful nature escape:

  • Protected Area: Wadi Degla Protectorate is a protected area spanning over 60 square kilometers that is managed by the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency. It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna and serves as an important natural habitat for many species of birds, mammals, and reptiles.

  • Hiking Trails: The hiking trails in Wadi Degla are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. They range from easy walks to more challenging hikes that wind through the rocky terrain. The trails offer stunning views of the desert landscape and are an excellent opportunity to spot desert wildlife such as foxes, desert hares, and lizards.

  • History and Archaeology: Wadi Degla has a rich history dating back to ancient times. Along the hiking trails, visitors can spot ancient tombs, ruins, and artifacts that serve as a reminder of the area's past. The area was also a significant source of limestone for the construction of many historic buildings in Cairo.

  • Environmental Education: Wadi Degla Protectorate is not only a beautiful natural area but also a center for environmental education and research. Visitors can learn about the importance of protecting the environment and how they can play a role in preserving it for future generations.

Wadi Degla Protectorate, Cairo is a hidden gem just outside the city limits that offers visitors a unique opportunity to connect with nature, explore ancient ruins, and learn about environmental conservation. It is a must-visit for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Cairo and experience the beauty of Egypt's natural landscape.

Mount Moses, Sinai: A Spiritual Journey to Witness a Mesmerizing Sunrise

Located in the Sinai Peninsula, Mount Moses is a sacred mountain that offers a spiritual journey for hikers seeking a memorable experience. Here are some of the key highlights of hiking Mount Moses:

Mount Moses Sinai White Desert

  • Mesmerizing Sunrise: One of the main draws of hiking Mount Moses is the opportunity to witness a breathtaking sunrise from the summit. The ascent is typically timed to reach the summit just in time for the sunrise, which offers stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape.

  • Historical Significance: The mountain is believed to be the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God, and as such, it holds immense historical and religious significance for Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike. Visitors can explore the nearby St. Catherine's Monastery, which is believed to be the oldest continually inhabited Christian monastery in the world.

  • Hiking Trail: The hiking trail to the summit is challenging but well-marked, and takes hikers through stunning desert landscapes and past ancient monasteries. It typically takes around 3-4 hours to reach the summit, and hikers are advised to bring plenty of water and warm clothing, as temperatures can drop dramatically at higher altitudes.

  • Religious Pilgrimage: Many visitors undertake the hike as a religious pilgrimage, and there are often organized groups making the ascent together. The experience of hiking Mount Moses is said to be both physically and spiritually rewarding, with the journey representing a personal challenge and a connection to a higher power.

  • Tourist Facilities: While the hike itself is challenging, there are several tourist facilities available at the base of the mountain to make the experience more comfortable. These include restaurants, hotels, and souvenir shops, as well as guides and tour operators who can provide additional support and information about the hike.

Overall, hiking Mount Moses is a must-do experience for anyone visiting the Sinai Peninsula, offering a unique combination of natural beauty, historical significance, and spiritual connection.

Giza Trail: Hiking Alongside the Pyramids for a One-of-a-Kind Experience

The Giza Trail offers a unique and unforgettable hiking experience with the iconic pyramids as the backdrop. Instead of just a traditional camel ride around the pyramids, you can explore the desert behind them. The best time to embark on this adventure is just before sunrise or sunset to witness the grandeur of the pyramids and the Call to Prayer rising from the surrounding mosques.

To make the experience even more exciting, take a camel ride through the desert and arrive at the center of the Great Pyramid. You can opt for a 2-hour camel ride either at dawn or dusk, and experience the breathtaking view of the pyramids during the sunrise or sunset.

This hiking trail provides an incredible opportunity to explore Egypt's ancient history and natural beauty at the same time. The vast desert landscape and the world-renowned pyramids are a must-see for anyone visiting Egypt.

White Desert: Exploring Egypt's Surreal Landscape of White Rocks and Sand

The White Desert is an awe-inspiring landscape of white rocks and sand that offers an unforgettable experience for those who visit. This surreal destination is located in the Farfara depression of the Sahara Desert and is known for its unique rock formations and white sand dunes. Here are some important things to know about exploring the White Desert in Egypt:

  • The White Desert is a popular trekking destination in Egypt, and visitors have the chance to observe what look like snow-covered routes among the sand dunes.

  • The area is also home to enormous surrealist rock figures that have been shaped by years of extreme weathering, creating a truly otherworldly experience.

  • Visitors can explore the White Desert on foot and camp under the stars. Along the way, they can also visit nearby towns, old archaeological sites, and lush oases.

  • The White Desert National Park covers an area of 115.8 square miles (300 kilometers squared) and is laced with pure, bone-white sand.

  • Visitors are required to have a guide accompany them throughout the hike to ensure their safety, much like other popular hiking destinations in Egypt.

  • The White Desert is part of the Farfara depression and is home to a number of famous oases, sites, fauna, and precious crystals.
  • The white sand accumulates in dunes scattered across the landscape, with white stone structures accentuating the horizon.

  • Visitors can either stay in lodges or go camping to enjoy the dramatic desert trek, soak in the strong local culture, encounter wildlife, and indulge in dune bashing.

Overall, the White Desert offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience for visitors to Egypt who are looking for an adventure in the stunning landscapes of the Sahara Desert.

Red Sea Mountain Trail: Hiking Across Egypt's Eastern Desert with Coastal Views

The Red Sea Mountain Trail is a must-do for hiking enthusiasts visiting Egypt. This 170km-long trail offers stunning coastal views and a chance to explore the less-known rugged mountainous landscapes outside the resort town of Hurghada. As the first long-distance hiking trail in Egypt, it is a unique experience to trek through the pristine terrain.

The trail is owned by the local Maaza tribe, who have created this community tourism project with the aim to preserve their Bedouin culture and create job opportunities for the local community. Visitors are encouraged to respect the local culture and traditions while enjoying their hike.

It is important to note that there are no accommodations or settlements along the trail, so hikers must prepare well in advance and carry their own camping gear and supplies. The best time to hike the trail is during the winter months (November to March) when the temperatures are cooler.

Hiking the Red Sea Mountain Trail is a fantastic way to explore Egypt's natural beauty and support the local community at the same time. Don't forget to pack plenty of water and sunscreen, and be prepared for an adventure of a lifetime.

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