Excursions - Mount Sinai & ST. Catherine monastery


Mount Sinai, traditionally known as Jabal Musa is a mountain on the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. It is possibly the same location as the biblical Mount Sinai, the place where, according to the Bible and the Quran, Moses received the Ten Commandments.

It is a 2,285-metre (7,497 ft), moderately high mountain near the city of Saint Catherine in the region known today as the Sinai Peninsula. It is surrounded on all sides by higher peaks in the mountain range of which it is a part. For example, it lies next to Mount Catherine which, at 2,629 m or 8,625 ft, is the highest peak in Egypt.



Mount Sinai’s rocks were formed during the late stage of the evolution of the Arabian-Nubian Shield. Mount Sinai displays a ring complex that consists of alkaline granites intruded into diverse rock types, including volcanics. The granites range in composition from syenogranite to alkali feldspar granite. The volcanic rocks are alkaline to peralkaline, and they are represented by subaerial flows and eruptions and subvolcanic porphyry. Generally, the nature of the exposed rocks in Mount Sinai indicates that they were formed at different depths from one another.
Immediately north of the mountain is the 6th-century Saint Catherine’s Monastery. The summit has a mosque that is still used by Muslims, and a Greek Orthodox chapel, constructed in 1934 on the ruins of a 16th-century church, that is not open to the public. The chapel encloses the rock which is considered to be the source for the biblical Tablets of Stone. At the summit also is “Moses’ cave”, where Moses was said to have waited to receive the Ten Commandments.

The monastery is controlled by the autonomous Church of Sinai, part of the wider Greek Orthodox Church, and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002 for its unique importance in the traditions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The Saint Catherine monastery is located in the shadow of a group of three mountains; Ras Sufsafeh (possibly “Mount Horeb” c.1 km west), Jebel Arrenziyeb and Jebel Musa, the “Biblical Mount Sinai” (peak c.2 km south).

Built between 548 and 565, the monastery is one of the oldest working Christian monasteries in the world. The site contains the world’s oldest continually operating library, possessing many unique books such as the Codex Sinaiticus until 1859, of which recently new folios have come to light, including the Syriac Sinaiticus.



The price includes :

  •  entrance tickets
  •  breakfast
  •  Services of English-speaking guide-historian
  • *transfer, insurance
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