Tel Aviv to Mt. Sinai
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jan 29, 2013 2:35 AM Last Post By: mishmish
Jan 22, 2013 6:00 AM
Tel Aviv to Mt. SinaiHi -I will be flying from Cyprus into Tel Aviv in the late evening on Mon., April 8 (the only reasonable flight time/price available.) The next destination is Mt. Sinai/St. Catherine's. I originally thought I could fly into Tel Aviv early enough to catch a flight to Eilat the same day. Since I can't, I will have to find a place to stay in Tel Aviv for the night and then fly to Eilat early the next day (Tuesday). Rather than stay in Eilat, I'd like to continue on to Dahab to a Red Sea resort, using the next day to travel to Mt. Sinai and Catherines - either staying in a St. Catherine's hotel or returning to the Dahab resort if there is enough time. I'd rather make Dahab my base, if possible. By Thursday, April 4, I'd like to be in Petra for at least a half-day of exploration (followed by a full day there.) I'm wondering if this is workable. Mostly I'm needing advice on how to manage transportation to Dahab from Eilat (shared taxi? How does that work?) Or is it reasonable for me to just go right to St. Catherine's from the border and do everything from there instead of using Dahab as a home base for the region. Any advice is welcome!! Thank you.
Jan 22, 2013 6:36 AM
1Egypt). You need to cross the border at Taba on foot, and once you're across you'll get transport from there. Sorry I can't help on the specifics of that.
There is an hourly bus, route 15, from the Eilat central bus station to the border crossing.
Jan 22, 2013 12:11 PM
2If you prefer to use public transport: Take the Israeli local bus as Shuffulff has recommended, to the Taba border. Walk across the land border and walk to Taba’s local bus station (700m on your left)) and take the local bus to Dahab. Admittedly that takes you way past the turn off to St Catherine, but from Dahab you can hook up with the Bedouin Bus http://www.bedouinbus.com/ and their bus to St Catherine.
Thorn Tree’s top tip # 57, apply for your visa in advance if you are heading onto Cairo.
Jan 22, 2013 4:20 PM
3Thanks. We're actually not going to Cairo, just Mt.Sina/Dahab. I know we need a limited visa and I'm still uncertain where to get that. Can we get it at the border? If not, how is it attained?
Jan 22, 2013 10:21 PM
Jan 23, 2013 9:41 PM
5Hi there. I did a sort of similar trip in reverse a couple of years ago but with no time limit. But to and from Dahab to the border with Israel at Taba there is a bus. Then you cross on foot and take a taxi or bus, I can't remember but I actually think I took a bus, to/from Eilat. So in reverse, Tel Aviv (which by the way, I thought I wasn't even going to visit as it was just a "modern city" turned out to be one of my favourite cities....definitely modern but amazing food, great people, and Shabbat starts friday afternoon through Sunday where the whole city goes into one big huge flea market/party....if you arrive on a Friday, STAY THE WEEKEND before heading out...otherwise at least give yourself two days...the beaches are really nice and its a really GOOD city to visit...though MEGA expensive...I spent more in Israel than in Europe). To Eilat by bus, taxi to Taba, cross by foot, bus to Dahab. I highly recommend using it as a base but beware if you are on a timeline....despite huffing and puffing that it is too "touristy" and "backpackery" now (which it is, definitely), you will still find yourself lazing around the beach, the pools, the restaurants, the holes, and uninspired to go much of anywhere else for at least a few days. :) Enjoy it! Snorkling at the Blue hole in the Red sea is a must do half day trip, and from any hotel/resort/hostel in Dahab you can organize the trek up to Mt. Sinai and St. Catherines. The most popular trip is in the middle of the night, which is what I did. You leave at midnight or so, and trek up with torches and hundreds of other people to the top of Mt. Sinai, arriving shortly before sunrise, then back down, have a few hours at St. Catherines, then the bus back to Dahab. Look, I'm a solo traveler and usually dislike organized tours, but there are some that are must do's. The snorkeling trip to the red sea and Mt. Sinai/St. Catherine's for sunrise is another. You can spend 2 very very busy days but I would suggest giving yourself a week if you have it. If not, four days will suffice. Backtracking then, bus back to Taba, taxi or bus to Eilat, from there, the bus station will have a bus to the border crossing for Jordan. Sorry, I was solo and this was my favourite border crossing in the world, on the Jordanian side. :) So friendly and laid back! Anyway though, you HAVE to take a taxi wherever you want to go from there. No busses. I got stuck on my own and paid alot of money...Jordan is probably one of my 2 favourite countries in the world and not uber expensive but transport is. If you can find someone to share teh ride, do it. Otherswise, you are looking at $50 to $100 US for a few hour drive from the border to Petra. I loved Petra. Again, its touristy, but the site is amazing and the locals that still live there are so much fun. Best thing about Jordan are the people...wicked senses of humour and totally without a mean bone! I spent four days in Petra but one and a half should defnitely be enough to see the sites if you are particular about your choices. If you have an extra three days, you can organize a trip to Wadi Rum from here. Again, one of my best experiences and usually hate tours! Three of us with a funny as guide 4-wheeling through the desert and stayed at a Bedoin camp. We were the only guests so it was fantastic, played music and ate amazing food cooked in the sand, dragged our little beds out so we slept under the stars. I loved it.
It has been three years since this trip and I know much changes in the middle east in that time, but I must say this area you are going to visit is one of my favourite places in the world, I felt nothing but safe and excited to be there, and some of the nicest people in the world with great food and exciting adventures. ENJOY EVERY SECOND OF IT. Any questions please email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jan 24, 2013 1:08 AM
6From Eilat you must take a bus or a taxi to the border. Take cash with you to pay for the Israeli exit fee.You can get a "free Sinai pass" which is valid for 15 days at the Egyptian border - someone said you cannot go to Mount Sinai with it, personally I'd expect Egyptian authorities to be flexible as long as you do not live Sinai but maybe worth checking first. Once in Taba you can either walk to the bus station and wait for a bu to Dahab, or hire a taxi, some are waiting directly at the border.
I'd head to Dahab, it has a lovely vibe (I'd suggest you do not waste time in Eilat). I'd leave my stuff in one of the small hotels (Penguin is my fave) and go to Mount Sinai from there.
Jan 29, 2013 2:35 AM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$134.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$101.20 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$171.47 per night