mountains 2017-10-30T23:38:30+00:00

            Mountains

The High Mountain Region, home to the Jabaleya Bedouin, is around the town of St. Katherine. The town itself lies at about 1600 meters from sea level, and many of the surrounding mountains are above 2000 meters, with Mt. Katherine the tallest at 2642 meters. The high ranges continue on towards the coast in the west and south, with some of the most impressive mountains, such as Jebel Umm Shaumar and Jebel Serbal, offering magnificent views on the big sandy floodplain at El Tur city and the Gulf of Suez. The area, little known for most Westerners, is a unique trekkers’ paradise.

Mt. Katherina

Mt. Katharina is the highest mountain in Egypt at 2642 metres, with a small Orthodox church on the summit. According to tradition this is the place where monks, after a dream, found the missing body of the martyred St. Katherina. Jebel Musa (Mt. Sinai) is below, and the views onto it and the whole high mountain area are stunning. It is a tough 3-4 hours climb, but very worth the effort. Mt. Katharina is usually approached from Wadi Arbain and it could be climbed in one single day, but several other routes exist and doing it overnight is recommended.

Jebel Umm Shaumar

The second highest mountain in Egypt, standing on the perimeter of the rugged mountainous interior, with long wadis and smaller ranges running towards the sandy plain of El Qaa and the coast at El Tur city. You can see the Gulf of Suez and across it the mountain ranges in mainland Egypt. It is a tough climb, but worth the effort. A car can drive out to Wadi Zawatina from where the trek starts.

Jebel Mileihis

An impressive flat-topped mountain just off Wadi Ghazala, close to Ras Ghazala on the St. Katherine road, it offers stunning views on the desert and even a bit      of the sea. The climb is not difficult, although the terrain is not the best as it is loose rocks. At the base of the mountain, the springs of Moyat Mileihis are a magical spot. Keep in mind that if you visit the springs, you will have to climb back the steep pass (unless you continue on to the Ein Furtaga). The area is connected to Ein Furtaga, Ein Khudra, Ras Ghazala or, via Wadi Samqi, to Nuweiba or the Abu Galum Protectorate.

Other names/spellings: Jabal, Gebel, Gabal, Djebel, Djabal –  Mleihis

Jebel Matamir

An impressive flat-topped mountain just off Wadi Ghazala, close to Ras Ghazala on the St. Katherine road, it offers stunning views on the desert and even a bit of the sea. The climb is not difficult, although the terrain is not the best as it is loose rocks. At the base of the mountain, the springs of Moyat Mileihis are a magical spot. Keep in mind that if you visit the springs, you will have to climb back the steep pass (unless you continue on to the Ein Furtaga). The area is connected to Ein Furtaga, Ein Khudra, Ras Ghazala or, via Wadi Samqi, to Nuweiba or the Abu Galum Protectorate.

Other names/spellings: Jabal, Gebel, Gabal, Djebel, Djabal –  Mleihis

 

Jebel Abbas Basha

Approachable on foot from the town of St. Katherine, Jebel Abbas Basha is located in the centre of the high mountains with stunning views all around, to the mountain ranges, the lowlands and to the town of St. Katherine with Mt. Sinai (Jebel Musa).

Bab el Donya

Bab el Donya and Jebel Bab are two peaks of the same range, on the perimeter of the high mountains. To the west you get spectacular views of lower ranges running towards the Gulf of Suez and in clear weather you can see across the sea. The spring of Ein Najila, at the foot of Bab el Donya, drips from the mountain to a stone fountain. The overflowing water forms a little creek running through a series of shallow granite pools and disappearing in the sandy wadi floor.

Wadi Tinya, Abu Tuweita and Wadi Sagar

Wadi Tinya is a major wadi, wide at the beginning then getting narrower, which leads down from the pass below Jebel Abbas Pasha and ends before the pools of Kharazet el Shaq. Abu Tuweita can be reached via a pass from the upper part of Wadi Tinya, while the canyon of Wadi Sagar, a dramatic sight, connects the two via a crack in the mountain.

Wadi Mathar, Wadi Shaq and Wadi Zawatin

Wadi Mathar, Wadi Shaq and Wadi Zawatin are adjoining locations in the high mountain wadis, accessible from town directly via the Abu Jeefa pass. There are many lush Bedouin gardens, a small canyon with a waterpool, 1000-year old mulberry and olive trees and Byzantine ruins.

Galt el Azraq

Located 2 days walk from the town of St. Katherine, Galt el Azraq is the largest natural water pool in the High Mountain Region, and probably in the whole of Sinai. It is full all year round, being fed by underground streams. It is in Wadi Talla Kibira, a long, steep and green valley starting at Farsh Rumana and leading from the high mountains to lower wadis. Galt el Azraq is about halfway down.