Sinai peninsula travel guide | What to do in Sinai
You planning on visiting Sinai and you are asking yourself what to do in Sinai? Here is our Sinai peninsula travel guide, we hope it will come in handy.
Between the Mediterranean sea and the Red Sea lays the magical desert peninsula of Egypt – Sinai. More then 250 km of amazing untouched beaches and a big variety of accommodation options, everyone can find their special spot in this place of heaven.
The sea is perfect for snorkeling or scuba diving, the coral reefs of Sinai are considered one of the best in the world. If you want to explore more, take a 4×4 jeep ride in the desert or even hike with locals. You won’t get bored, that’s for sure!
Otherwise its all about relaxation, the perfect place to put a stop to your busy lifestyle, and just to connect to yourself and nature.
You are thinking about visiting Sinai? Then the Sinai peninsula travel guide is perfect for you!
How to get from Israel to Sinai – Sinai peninsula travel guide
To get to the Taba border, you will first have to go to Eilat city (south of Israel), you can do it by plane from Tel Aviv or by a bus. Because we didn’t want to lose the day, we took the night bus from Tel Aviv central station to Eilat, it was around 80 ILS – Israeli Shekels (20,9€;23,1$) per ticket (one way), the last bus leaves at midnight.
Once you come to the city center, you can take a taxi which will cost around 50 ILS (13€;14,4$) or you can take a bus (line 15, comes every 30-45 min) straight to the Taba border. The border is open 24/7 seven days a week except for few days in the year (check before on the internet) and it is quite easy and fast to cross. Just take into consideration that it can get crowded on Israeli holidays, which means you could be stuck there for several hours.
On the Israeli side you will have to pay an exit fee of 107 ILS (28€;31$), but if you are staying in one of the hotels near the border its free of charge, just show your bill – booking confirmation is not enough.
On the Egypt side you will have to fill up a form with your details and destination, and give it to the passport control, they will stamp your passport and you are officially in Sinai.
You don’t need to apply for a visa, if your visit won’t be longer than 14 days, you get it at the border. If you plan to stay more or visit other parts of Egypt you have to fill a request for a visa on the Egyptian embassy.
You will also need to pay the entry fee on the Egypt side, it costs around 400 EGP – Egyptian pound (22,7€;25,2$), someone will approach you on the exit from the border (you can pay only with local cash, credit card won’t be accepted). There are two ATMs at the border, you also have money exchange.
If you are coming from Egypt to Israel, you can read our Israel travel tips.
Transportation in Sinai – Sinai peninsula travel guide
The main transportation is by a private car or by minivan taxies. When you will exit the border area, you will be surrounded by taxi drivers offering their service. It’s advisable to bargain with them cause they will want to overcharge you.
If you see other travelers, ask them to share the ride with you, it will be much cheaper. We shared a minivan taxi to Nueba area and paid about 230 EGP (13€;14,5$) per person.
Where to stay in Sinai peninsula
Sinai is divided into different areas, and each area has its uniqueness. Here are the most popular ones:
A small town with picturesque beaches, just next to the border with Israel. Here you can find fancy hotels (4-5 stars) at cheap prices. You can also find vacation resorts, casinos, and restaurants. If you love luxury, this area will be perfect for you.
Also called ‘the pearl of Akaba bay’. Here you will find untouched sandy beaches, diving reef spots and endless peace of mind. In Nueba most of the accommodation options are Bedouin (nomadic desert people) style and we recommend it to feel the true spirit of Sinai.
You will find a big variety of Bedouin camps, usually, they have a big main tent right in front of the sea, pillows, and mattress on which you can lay or relax, shesh-besh game boards and a restaurant where you can order authentic Bedouin tea or coffee and some traditional food.
For sleeping, you usually get a ‘hoosha’ a simple hut made out of bamboo or clay, which include a bed and a mosquito net, the bathroom is shared and that’s basically it. Who needs more when the sparkling Red Sea is just a footstep from your door.
We stayed at a camp called ‘Kum Kum 3’ and we really recommended it, its one of the oldest camps in the area, and we had a great time there. For a night with breakfast included, we paid around 230 EGP (13€;14,5$) each.
Ras Abu Galum and the Blue lagoon
This hidden gem is probably the most beautiful place in Sinai, the ride there is quite off-road and you will feel very adventures. Half of the way you go with a taxi as long as the road lets you, but eventually, you will switch to some kind od 4X4 vehicle, and then the real fun starts. You will pass inside a long rocky canyon, the whole ride feels like you are alone far far away from civilization.
At some point in the ride, you will slowly start to see sparky blue turquoise color lagoon picking at you behind the rocks, this first view will sure stay in your memory forever. Once you arrive you can pick from one of the few camps that are scattered along the coast, we went to a camp called ‘Moon Blue lagoon’ and paid about 275 EGP (15,6€;17,5$) for a night with breakfast.
The accommodation here is very simple, be prepared to come to a place with a real solitude vibe, away from the world (electricity doesn’t work all the time and internet wifi is hard to get).
If you are into extreme sports, this place is perfect for it! The Blue Lagoon is famous for its kite surfing and you can get a course for 3 – 4 days (equipment is included) for around 6200 EGP (350€;390$) – bargain for a discount to get a better price.
Snorkeling is also a very popular activity, Ras Abu Galum area is one of the most beautiful areas to do it, just be careful not to damage the reefs.
Weather in Sinai peninsula
It’s possible to visit Sinai all year long. In the winter months, its a bit chilly in the nights but besides that most of the time is warm. The best months to go are from March to June and September to November, On this months the temperatures are perfect, not too hot and not too cold.
We went in December and during the day we wore summer clothes, we were warm. The only problem was the water, it was a bit too cold to swim in it. In the night a simple jacket or a hoodie kept us warm from the wind.
Why we love Sinai peninsula
The mix of desert, beaches, affordable prices and Bedouin culture makes Sinai very unique. We can only say good things about this enchanting area. The breathtaking views, the warm hospitality of the Bedouin people, but what we love the most is the peacefull serenity you get while you are here.