World Heritage Sites
A World Heritage Site is any place that can be a mountain, forest, island, monument or building that is considered by UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) as having a special significance be it cultural or physical. So if a place gets this “branding” as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you can be sure that it is of great importance to a specified heritage. It is not easy to be nominated and then given this prestige. The selection process is long and tedious.
Great Destinations in Egypt
Sharm El Sheikh is a great destination holiday spot in Egypt with its warm sunshiny weather, beautiful landscapes, natural coral reefs, marine life, snorkelling and diving. You can enjoy cheap holidays in great weather, while undertaking an international pilgrimage as the place is located on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, between the Red Sea and Mount Sinai, both historically important places and world heritage sites.
How to Reach Sharm El Sheikh
Only EgyptAir flights go to this tourist destination. The Sharm El Sheikh International Airport is the largest airport in the Sinai area and you can choose from of the four daily flights from Cairo and two weekly flights from Luxor. You can also try the sea route — International Fast Ferries Co. operates between Sharm and Hurghada four times a week. Road trips are longer and can take between two and fourteen hours from Cairo, Alexandria, Dahab, Nuweiba, Taba and Luxor. From the airport or any station that you reach, you can hire a taxi or private car. However, it is advisable to haggle and fix the taxi fare, otherwise, you can be taken for a ride.
St. Catherine Monastery
The St. Catherine area is a UNESCO world heritage site, chosen in 2002 for its importance to three religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism as it was on Mount Moses that Moses received the Ten Commandments. The site is close to the top of Mount St. Catherine, the highest peak in Egypt, towering up to 2,641 meters above sea level. The Monastery of St. Catherine is the oldest 6th century monastery that is still in use. It also has one of the largest collections of ancient illuminated manuscripts in the world, second only to the Vatican. The monastery was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2002.
Staying and sightseeing
Many major chain hotels have their properties at Sharm El Sheikh or Na’ama Bay. Or you can stay at one of the many local hotels. It is better to stay near the beach or at a beach hotel to make the most of the sunshine and the sea activities.
If you want to get over-pampered, many hotels have spa amenities to relax you. You can take day trips to the aqua park, view the coral reefs, go snorkelling, diving, parasailing, kite boarding or simply laze at the beach. Both Sharm El Sheikh and Na’ama Bay are vibrant with clubs and bars hosting karaoke nights.
For sightseeing there is Ras Mohammed, a National Park with interesting geological features and an exotic natural habitat for animals and migratory birds. Nabq Park has a natural eco-system with mangroves and many plant species.
Visit a World Heritage Site
It’s good to visit some world heritage sights at least once in your lifetime to get the feel of the importance of why it was given such a prestigious title. You can start with Egypt and all its pharaohs and civilizations. And while you’re there, you can visit the other little-known wonders like those in Sharm El Sheikh.
Ariana Louis is sure that she would love holidays to Sharm El Sheikh as she made friends with the friendly and extroverted Egyptian locals. The thrilling camel ride in the desert was a not to be missed experience that she thoroughly enjoyed, imagining how it must have been a few hundred years ago when only Bedouins lived in the area.