Aqaba to Sharm-el-Sheikh in One Day
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Feb 29, 2012 4:14 AM Last Post By: latitude
Feb 25, 2012 2:03 AM
The operator of the Wadi Rum desert camp that I've booked has already arranged for a taxi to transport my travel partner and I from Wadi Rum to Aqaba in the early morning. I had been planning on taking the "fast ferry" to Nuweiba, but I see that this ferry may no longer be running or may take too long to eventually get there. So now I'm thinking it would be better to go via Eilat, Israel.
But apparently I'll have to get a visa in advance at the consulate in Aqaba, since visas for mainland Egypt (our eventual destination) are not available at the Taba border crossing. If anyone has done this, how long will that process take? Then I would have to take a Jordanian taxi to the Wadi Arava border crossing, an Israeli taxi through Eilat to the Taba border crossing, and finally an Egyptian taxi to the Taba bus station. I doubt there will be any buses to Sharm at this time (the only one listed on the bus company's timetable departs early in the morning), so we'll probably have to take a service taxi for the 4 or 5 hour trip. Can anyone verify the duration of the journey, and how much this would cost?
Most importantly, is this whole trip feasible in one day, and is it safe if we don't end up arriving in Sharm until after dark? If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know. Thanks.
Feb 25, 2012 5:02 AM
1No need to worry about timing. Your trip is easily done in the day. I don't know all the costs, but I doubt it will end up as expensive, or much more, than it would have cost taking the fast ferry.
First, leave your Wadi Rum camp around 9am and have the taxi driver take you directly to the Aqaba / Eilat border crossing. On the Israeli side of the border you can catch another taxi directly to the Taba border crossing. It takes around a half-hour. You'll then pass through Israeli immigrations where you'll have to pay a 105NIS exit fee.
In Egypt immigrations hall you can get a free Sinai Peninsula only visa. Once in Sharm you can visit the government offices and get a new all Egypt visa for the remaining parts of your trip.
Once you clear Egypt Immigration Hall you can get a shared taxi directly to Sharm.
It's not very difficult.
Feb 25, 2012 10:28 AM
2Fast ferry is running from Aqaba to Nuweiba at 6pm. Slow ferry runs at 2am. The problem is fast ferry has few people onboard and so Egyptian custom officers sometimes are not present on the board. As you can't get a Egypt stamp on the ferry, you will be asked to get on the slow ferry when Egyptian officers work. This is what happened to me 2 weeks ago. I got to Aqaba from Wadi Rum at noon time but couldn't reach Dahab until noon time the next day. So DO take the road route.
Feb 26, 2012 1:07 AM
3Thank you for your advice. I will take the road route through Eilat into Egypt.
I do have one more question. Since I will be leaving Sharm by air (to Cairo), can I get an all-Egypt visa at the Sharm airport before my departing flight? I understand I would have to go down to the arrivals hall to do so, but since I have an Egyptair ticket maybe that wouldn't be a problem? Or would I have to show the visa at check-in before being allowed further into the airport?
I could always go into town and get the visa at the government office there, but I would prefer to avoid the bureaucracy if possible, as the airport would be much more convenient.
Feb 26, 2012 4:29 AM
4You will need a full Egyptian visa if as stated you wish to continue onward to Cairo,
you can only get one in Sharm is if you arrive at the airport on an incoming flight
from outside the country.There are no government offices issuing said visas in
Sharm.My advice would be arrive early in Aqaba go to the Egyptian consulate
there and get one, you will need a picture or photo copy of the information page
of your passport a pen and cash.It's a relatively quick and painless process.
There is also an Egyptian consulate in Eilat.If you arrive there by 9:00 A.M.
you will be out of there not long after visa in hand.
There is a bus from Taba to Sharm leaving the bus station in Taba at 3:00 P.M.
getting into Sharm around 8:00 P.M.
That said there are taxis available 24/7 at the Taba border crossing willing to
take anywhere you wish to go in Egypt.
Good luck and have a good trip.
Feb 26, 2012 4:57 AM
5It has been reported several times, by several posters on this branch that an all Egypt visa is available in Sharm at the branch offices of the Ministry of Interior. Either they are all wrong or #4 is wrong.
Take your pick.
Feb 26, 2012 6:18 PM
6I got the full visa at the Sharm airport, but it's a hassle...and expensive. But it can be done and will cost $100. The guys at the information booth as you enter helped me out a bunch. There's a tour agent there, hopefully, who basically has to guarantee your not a terrorist...or won't cause any problems...something like that. It has to do with an agreement the Egyptian government made with the Israelis a number of years ago regarding the Taba border crossing.
If you do the road route, go early from WR. I've heard the visa office in Eilat closes at 11am? And the last bus on the other side is around 4PM. I just missed it the other day and waited almost 2 hours for enough travelers to partially fill a van. Wasn't expensive, something like 80-100EP for us to Dahab. Or 5-600EP for the whole bus. Few travelers now, so it's hard to guess what your luck will be. Taxis are waiting at the border with Jordan and getting one in Eilat is very easy, both are relatively cheap.
Also, I believe, the ferry was canceled for several days due to bad weather on the day I traveled. And the seas were ROUGH when we got to Dahab.
Feb 27, 2012 3:56 AM
7The government seat and offices of South Sinai are located in E Tor,100 kilometers
from Sharm on the Suez road.This is the only place where visas and other government
business are issued and changed.The poster that paid $100 at the airport is an anomoly,
it is not common nor wholly legal,most of that $100 being either an informal or
formal form of bakshesh.The only legal way to get a visa in Sharm is to
arrive at the airport on a flight from outside the country.
In other words if you want to risk not getting a visa in Sharm listen to the hearsay
of laketraveler,or the bakshesh route of craig3365, or get a legal one as I described
in post #4.
Good luck and safe travels.
Feb 27, 2012 5:00 AM
8Admittedly it is considered hearsy when one has no personal experience and repeats what someone, or what many others, have reported.
But the continued, multiple posts of various travlers all having the same experience carry more weight than one single poster who has had very few contributions and offers no proof as to know anything more than anyone else.
Like I stated previously OP, #7 may be correct (in spirit only because he / she has already been wrong according to craig), but has no proven track record here to prove it and if #7 is correct then many others are wrong.
Feb 27, 2012 7:09 AM
9I have to agree with #7. To a certain point. This is a corrupt thing that is going on. Immigration is in on this and are getting a cut of the deal. I know as I met the head of immigration and he could care less what I was paying for the visa nor what problems I was dealing with. He just didn't care.
BUT! It happens all the time. I saw another couple do this right before me. I just didn't want to pay $100 in "bribes". Eventually, I got it down to $50. But it took 2 hours. No fun.
as per #7, get a visa the legal route. My route was NO FUN! Not worth the hassles and one day, you might not be able to do this. It's underhanded and I'm sure illegal.
Next time, which will never happen for me, I'll get the visa in Eilat. Or get a multi entry visa while in Cairo. Unfortunately, you don't get warned about this while you are in Egypt.
Feb 28, 2012 4:31 AM
10Laketraveler,I have lived and worked in the middle east for more than two decades,
traveling extensively through the region over the years.Your pathetically pedantic
attack on my credibility is bewildering,while I'm sure you feel your experiece as
a traveler in the region offers an insight that can assist others,and I applaud your
endevours.Your attempt to discredit my experiences is insulting,what I offered
the op was factual while you offer hearsay.If you consider responding,attack the
information not the poster,after all this is travel forum.
To the original poster good luck and happy travels plus I stand
100% behind what I posted.
Feb 29, 2012 4:14 AM
11laketraveler you are the one with limited comprehension issues.Read the
posts #1 through #11.The only LEGAL way to acquire a visa in Sharm are as
I stated,confirmed by Craig in post #9,you on the hand relying solely on rather
dubious sources not first hand experience state emphatically "I read it
somewhere therefore it must be so".As I have said previously this a travel
forum where we all try to help other travelers with the answers to questions
they have based on our experieces along the way.Attacking me and questioning
my credability and my language skills are just not on in my book.If you cannot
offer an apology please stop posting on things you apparently know little to
To the original poster I am sorry for derailing your question.as I am sure you
already know there are a lot of questions that need answering when traveling
in new areas.I have tried to answer yours based on my own experiences I hope
I have helped.
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