Early morning departure crossing from Eilat through Taba to Sinai. Three hour journey to Saint Catherine Monastery and Mount Sinai. Visit monastery. After lunch, on return to Taba, free time on the beach, time permitting. Cross to Eilat.
Early morning transfer from hotels to Taba where we cross the border into Sinai. After travelling southwards along the Red Sea we turn westwards and climb two thousand five hundred meters to the Saint Catherine Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai where traditionally Moses received the tablets of the law, the Torah.
The Chapel of the Burning Bush was ordered built in the fourth century by Queen Helena and the monastery itself was built by the Emperor Justinian in the 6th century and dedicated to a third century martyr. Because of an early Moslem tradition that Mohammed may have visited the monastery, unlike most monasteries built during that period, St Catherine was never destroyed.
The wooden doors to the beautifully preserved Byzantine church are 1,400 years old; the doors to the narthex are Crusader. Only a small number of the 2,000 priceless icons are on display in the church and in a special gallery.
Entrance to the library is limited to those with academic credentials as the library houses unique manuscripts from as early as the 5th century and books from the first decades after the invention of printing.
As it was difficult to dig deep graves in the stony ground the bones of deceased monks were disinterred from shallow graves, separated and preserved in the Charnel House where one can view all the skulls together with the complete and fully dressed skeleton of Stephanos, a sixth century monk.
After lunch, on the return journey to Taba, if time permits there may be free time on the shores of the Red Sea.
Rates include pick-up and drop-off, meeting and assistance at border crossing in both
directions, transport, tour guides, lunch.
Rates do not cover anything else, including $62 cash for border fees, subject to valid
currency exchange rate and local revisions, gratuities, personal
insurance,entrance fee to the monastery (about $6 per person).
Valid passport and landing card required.
50% cancellation fee for cancellations within 24 hours of departure. No refund on no-
show or cancellation less than 24 hours in advance.
Monastery closed for visitors on Fridays & Sundays
Visa and voucher are usually issued at border crossing but certain passports require
advance issue of visa.
Visa, voucher, tax and tips payable in cash only, $US, GB pound, Euro and Israeli shekels.
Good walking shoes, head covering and cool clothing in summer.