Ride Arabian Horses, famed for their beauty and endurance across the deserts of Egypt, retracing the historical steps of Moses across the desert and Mount Sinai.
This is a fast pace trail, covering Egypt’s spectacular desert scenery littered with the monuments of another era and is a journey through history.
This is a vast, silent place, timeless and starkly beautiful, visiting the great sights of St Catherine’s where you will retrace the footsteps of Moses when he climbed Mt. Sinai to receive the 10 Commandments. Our riding days will be spent across the fascinating Double Canyon of Al Arada, the El Gunna Mountains, Gebel Barqa, Matamir Sand Dunes and the Bir el Safra Water Wells and then visiting the Red Sea.
Your first day is spent exploring the amazing coastlines of South Sinai before turning inland towards the desert and mountains, heading to St Catherine’s. The following six days are spent exploring the desert on horseback. The terrain varies from deep sand on high dunes, to stony desert and the hard packed sand of dry oases. The pace varies with the terrain. As you journey you may meet Bedouin families living in traditional nomadic camps. A vehicle carries all your luggage and the camp equipment and you usually move camp every night.
The perfect end to a day on horseback is to watch the sand turn from pink to deep orange as the sun sets, whilst eating delicious local dishes prepared over an open fire. Tents are provided but on warm evenings you may prefer just a mattress under the stars. You will rarely see a sky so black or stars so bright.
Moses Mountain is the biblical mount upon which Moses was summoned by God to receive the laws for all of mankind in the form of two stone tablets. A sacred place for Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, climbing Mount Sinai isn’t a pastime solely for the devout.
Although both Israel and Saudi Arabia also purport to have found the sacred mountain within their respective borders, it’s Egypt’s Mount Sinai which draws the masses every single night, literally in their thousands.
There are abundant relics of faith throughout the eons. Ancient chapels and structures honouring saints, and the Virgin Mary appear all along the main route, called Sikket Saydna Musa (“The Path of Moses”), including a stone-hewn arch where, long ago, a monk once sat and heard confession from the pilgrims.
Nearing the summit, one encounters the natural amphitheatre where the 70 wise men waited while God spoke with Moses, then finally a small chapel and mosque at the top.
Your first and last nights are spent at the stunning 5 star luxury hotel the Jaz Mirabel Club (All Inclusive). Jaz Mirabel offers stunning views of the Red Sea in a luxurious but relaxed family-friendly setting for the perfect Egypt holiday. Jaz Mirabel Beach lies on the shores of a lagoon in Nabq Bay, a ten-minute drive from Sharm El Sheikh International Airport. The distinctive style of the Jaz Mirabel Beach blends contemporary Tuscan architecture with warm Egyptian service to deliver genuine five–star luxury.
Nights away are spent at Bedouin Villages sleeping in quaint private beach cabins by the sea or in traditional Bedouin Tents under the stars. Your camp in the desert is a simple camp and is generally moved every day, but if you have found a particularly nice spot or the weather dictates, then you may stay two nights in the same camp. Mattresses and sleeping bags are provided for you, although on a warm evening many people choose to sleep out under the stars, which is an unforgettable experience.
The outline itinerary is as follows. Please note that the actual riding itinerary and route is subject to local conditions, the weather and the composition of the group. You should expect to see all of the famous sites mentioned at some point during the week, but not necessarily in this order.
Day 2 – At 9am your bus will collect you to travel to our facilities. There will be a welcome meeting with Emma and Guenda (the English and Italian owners) and the rest of the team, and you will be introduced to the horses. After some delicious tea you ride to the Blue Lagoon as an introductory ride, allowing you to get to know your horse.
Later in the afternoon once everyone is happy with their horses, we shall head inland towards the mountains and desert whilst enjoying the panoramic views of the Red Sea. In the evening, we will have dinner in the mountains and sleep at a Bedouin style camp for the night. Dinner of fresh fish, chicken, rice and handmade Bedouin breads will be cooked over a fire in the desert.
Days 3 to 8 – After breakfast, we will set off towards St Catherine’s. It is difficult to dictate the exact route, as it is dependent on the pace through Egypt’s spectacular desert scenery visiting Double Canyon of Al Arada, the El Gunna Mountains, Gebel Barqa, Matamir Sand Dunes and the Bir el Safra Water Wells. There is a wide range of terrains here, covering mountain and hard sand deserts, and plenty of opportunity to stretch out for canters and the occasional gallop. We will aim to reach St Catherine’s for mid afternoon.
Moses Mountain and St Catherine’s Monastery Tour – On arrival at St Catherine’s Monastery, with your own personal guide, you will be introduced to the history and religious significance of the monastery and its surrounds.
Situated at the base of the mountain where Moses received the Ten Commandments, St Catherine’s Monastery is one of the most famous in the world. Built between 527 and 565 AD, it is believed to be built around Moses’ Burning Bush. Something about following a candle lit line of pilgrims as they snake their way up the mountain trails under a star filled night time sky is pretty inspiring even for the most ardent non-believer.
We will aim to travel up in the early evening and then sleep on the summit of the mountain and rise early to watch the sunrise over the mountains. After breakfast we will descend the mountains for a tour of the stunning Greek Orthodox Church, the icons of worship and the famous Mosaic of Transfiguration. Late afternoon we shall start our ride home.
Ride back across the deserts and mountains. The varied terrain makes for an exhilarating ride with plenty of opportunities for long canter. Any places of interest not covered on our ride to St Catherine’s will be visited on the way back. You will arrive back at the Jaz Mirabel mid afternoon for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 9 – Breakfast and transfer back to the airport for departure.
Experience level: The horses are all Arabians and almost all stallions, although there are one or two geldings/mares. All are fit and familiar with the desert, since not all horses can cope with both the soft sands and rocky surfaces. The horses are forward going with an active walk and can be strong in canter so you need to be a confident rider, able to control a horse at all paces in wide open spaces.
Type of horses: Arab and Arab Crosses (some stallions)
Nature of horses: Forward-going and energetic
Height of horses: Approximately 14.2 – 16hh
Weight limit: 90kg / 14st 2lbs
Tack type: Primarily English tack.
Hours: 5/6 hours day on riding days
Included accommodation: Full board (from dinner on night of arrival to breakfast on last morning); riding and camping equipment.
Single supplement: No single supplement if you are willing to share. Tents are all private so each guest has their own. To have a single room for the first and last night in the hotel is an additional £15 per night.
Payable locally: Alcoholic beverages at the hotel; tips
Nearest airport: Sharm El Sheikh
This holiday will give you the chance to really see the speed and power that Arabian horses have to offer, galloping through the desert, mountains and sea.
Ride Arabian Horses across the deserts of Egypt, retracing the steps of Moses across the desert and Mount Sinai, including a visit to St Catherine’s Monastery
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