Covering 550km and taking 54 days to complete, the Sinai Trail was created by guide book writer, adventurer and Sinai obsessive Ben Hoffler.
Initially covering the land of three tribes in 2014, it now passes through land belonging to all eight tribes of South Sinai, giving a unique insight into a part of Egypt that is often overlooked and misunderstood by outsiders.
Sinai has suffered greatly from the plunge in tourist numbers since the revolutions that took place in Egypt between 2011 and 2013. But this path, through an under-explored region where Africa and Asia meet, offers the opportunity to scale mountains and cross deserts that few, if any, tourists ever visit.
- Essential reading: The best treks in the world
The route can be completed as one or in sections, depending on how much time you have available. It follows ancient trading routes which local tribespeople helped Hoffler develop into a modern hiking trail.
The original, shorter route stretches from Beer Sweir on the Red Sea coast deep into the heart of Sinai, finishing at Mount Katherine, the highest peak in Egypt. On the way, it passes through dusty, remote plains and across dry riverbeds, without a signpost in sight.
That’s because the routes are all remembered by the Bedouin tribes who guide visitors through their homeland.
Hikers won’t just get to know about the nature and past of this seemingly empty and arid corner of the world, but gain a deep insight into Bedouin tradition, learning about how routes are passed down between generations and the slower, less frenetic pace of life which makes life here so special.
The Sinai Trail is an entirely grassroots setup and won a prestigious British Guild of Travel Writers Award in 2017 for best new tourism project. It’s possible to hike it in sections, always in a group, with departure dates varying.
Where to fly into
There are no direct flights to the Sinai Peninsula from the UK. Instead, you can fly to Sharm El Sheikh via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines or Cairo with Air Egypt. However, you can also fly into Cairo and join a minibus to the start point of the hike, which varies depending on which section you choose to walk and when guided treks depart.
The next hike along the 180km stretch from Ein Kid to St Katherine leaves on 23 October, taking 12 days. It costs 22,200 Egyptian Pounds (£1,100). Prices include transfers to Ein Kid and back to Cairo from St Katherine, camping accommodation, three meals a day, permission fees for Sinai, camels and guides.
To find out more about the Sinai Trail trek click here.