Explore on a thrilling journey as we invite you to explore hiking routes in Egypt, a tapestry of adventure weaving through Bedouin trails and historic pilgrimage paths.

Step into diverse landscapes, embraced by Bedouin trails and sacred pilgrim paths. Beyond exertion, these hiking routes in Egypt unveil a rich tapestry of history, blending cultural immersion with natural beauty.

Traverse the same paths that have been trodden for centuries, connecting with the storied past of this mesmerizing land. Join us on a hiking routes in Egypt expedition that transcends the ordinary, unveiling not only the breathtaking vistas but also the ancient wonders that have shaped the very fabric of hiking routes in  Egypt diverse and compelling narrative.

Summit of Mount Sinai (Gebel Musa)

The best simple summit

Round-trip distance of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers), duration of 4-5 hours, easy to moderate

Hiking to Mount Sinai’s (Gebel Musa) 2285m (7496ft) top is particularly popular among outdoor enthusiasts and pilgrimage travelers. According to believers, Moses received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai.

The Camel Trail, a wide, well-defined switchback trail up the furrowed slope that ascends at a steady gradient to Elijah’s Basin, is the most direct approach. The trailhead lies directly in front of St Katherine’s Monastery at the mountain’s base. The path is gravelly underfoot, especially in the higher portions, but it is otherwise a simple stroll.

The Steps of Repentance

The second trail on Mount Sinai is the Steps of Repentance, which begins behind the monastery. This steeper, more direct route of 3750 rough-cut stone steps was built as an act of penance by one of St Katherine’s monks.

The arduous stairs are worth it for the panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and, if you’re lucky, a glimpse of a mountain ibex along the route. If your knees aren’t up to it, go up the Camel Trail and then down the Steps of Repentance.

The Wadi Arbain Trail

The Wadi Arbain Trail is a less basic third alternative. This journey begins in the spring-fed wadi (valley) below St Katherine hamlet, passing the Forty Martyrs Monastery (Deir Arbain) and the massive boulder known as the Rock of Moses, where, according to local legend, Moses hit with his staff to produce water.

From here, follow a narrow, stony-underfoot path up the nearby slope of Gebel Safsafa, past early Christian hermit cells, until it joins with the Camel Trail’s final switchback.

All three routes meet in Elijah’s Basin, a small plateau believed to be where the Prophet Elijah waited for God. Everyone then climbs the remaining 750 steps of the Steps of Repentance to Mount Sinai’s peak. On all Mount Sinai routes, guides are required. This gives St Katherine’s Jabaliyya Bedouin tribe much-needed work.

Blue Hole to Ras Abu Gallum hike

The best simple seaside trek

5 miles (8 kilometers) one trip, 1.5 hours, easy

This trek follows the narrow shoreline from Dahab’s Blue Hole bay into Ras Abu Gallum National Park. Despite the lack of signage or way-marking, it can easily climbed on your own and no navigation skills are required. You’re only following the small ribbon of coast that runs between the jagged cliffs to the west and the Red Sea to the east. The trail is rough beneath your feet, but it is largely flat and well-defined.

Several Bedouin beach-camps are spread along the sand at the hike’s northern end, within Ras Abu Gallum, up to the curved bay of the Blue Lagoon. If you choose to remain the night before hiking back, the camps provide meals and simple, back-to-nature hoosha (palm-thatch) hut accommodation.

The Sinai Trail

The Sinai Trail is a network of four interconnected trails that form a rough triangle and follow centuries-old routes used by Bedouin pilgrims, traders, and smugglers. The Path is a community tourism project run by eight Bedouin tribes on the peninsula, who arrange and guide all tours, giving hikers a rare opportunity to experience traditional Bedouin culture while simultaneously providing fair-paying work and possibilities for Bedouin communities.

The original 12-day, 130-mile (210-kilometer) Ras Shetan to St Katherine stretch is a moderately difficult journey. You must be physically active and have stamina to hike long distances over sand (tough on the feet) and over rocky terrain.

Over the first portion of the trek, you’ll traverse stark coastal plains speckled with tiny spring-fed oases and hike through the orange and pink swirled walls of South Sinai’s Colored Canyon.

Further into the highlands, the terrain gets rougher, following deep gorges and wide desert passes punctured by vast rock outcrops, into the High Mountains. On the trek’s last two days, hikers summit Mount Sinai and Gebel Katarina for views of rolling waves of jagged-edged peaks stretching out below.

Local knowledge and support are essential for trekking Sinai Trail routes and hikes. Cameleers and camels accompany visitors to transport larger bags, camping equipment, food, and water.

Red Sea Mountain Trail

Best isolated day-hiking 105-mile (170-kilometer) long-distance circuit, 10-days, moderate-difficulty

The Red Sea Mountain Trail (RSMT), inaugurated in 2019, weaves through the coastal mountain range near Hurghada, offering a spectacular journey across the Red Sea shoreline. While, at present, COVID-related restrictions and bureaucratic processes limit trekkers to day hikes, the RSMT, much like its sister trail. The Sinai Trail, is a beacon of sustainable tourism.

Operated by the local Maaza Bedouin tribe members, the trail introduces visitors to the hard yet beautiful territory. Ensuring not only a memorable experience but also contributing to the livelihoods of remote villages. With the anticipation of multi-day treks resuming in 2022. The RSMT promises a deeper immersion into the natural wonders and cultural richness of the region.

Day hikes along the RSMT vary from a leisurely 3-mile stroll to the ancient ruins of the Roman quarry town of Mons Claudianus to a more challenging 10.5-mile journey through the narrow valleys and high mountain passes of the Gebel Abul Hassan massif. Conveniently, most trailheads are within a 90-minute or two-hour drive from Hurghada, making this wilderness adventure easily accessible from the bustling shores of the Red Sea.

Related: Egypt’s Top 20 Attractions & Destinations

Wadi Degla Protectorate

Easy hikes near Cairo

8-13km (5-8mi) round-trip trails, easy, 2-4 hours

Need a respite from Cairo’s urban bustle? Head to Wadi Degla Protectorate, just 6 miles from the Maadi metro station. This desert valley spans over 22 miles, flanked by weathered limestone cliffs shaped by millions of years of wind and water erosion. Popular among Cairene outdoor enthusiasts, Wadi Degla offers well-marked routes for hiking, running, and mountain biking.

Visitors can also picnic in designated camping areas, making it a go-to destination for those seeking a nature escape. Despite its proximity to bustling Cairo, Wadi Degla’s red foxes, cape hare, and deer thrive in this oasis. To experience a serene trek, visit on a weekday when the crowds are thinner.

The Wadi Degla Loop trek takes you up from the valley basin to traverse the clifftops, providing spectacular views of the rocky expanse below. For a more tranquil experience, connect to the Wadi Degla Deep Loop, a 2.5-mile level ramble along the valley bottom. This natural haven offers a peaceful contrast to the urban energy of Cairo, inviting locals and visitors alike to immerse themselves in the scenic beauty and outdoor activities it generously provides.

Hiking routes in Eygpt Tips

-Hiking is generally viable in Egypt from September to May.

-Mid-February to mid-March and mid-October through November are peak times to visit. In spring, the desert floor blooms into life. Fall is when the light is at its softest.

-If tackling multi-day routes in the Sinai and along the Red Sea coast, gear up before arrival. A good-quality sleeping bag and mat are essential. Most hikers will also want to bring a lightweight tent to protect against mosquitos, scorpions, rain, and cold. Camels will carry these as you hike.

-Both the Sinai Trail and the RSMT (when it opens for multi-day hiking) organize group treks along their trails which are a great option for solo travelers.

Check their Facebook pages for the latest dates.

-St Katherine, in the Sinai, is Egypt’s hiking hub. Plenty of day-hike and multi-day trekking options can be arranged with the Bedouin trekking operators there.