Getting around

East Delta Bus_resultThere are lots of ways to get around the Sinai. Generally, it’s easy on the coasts; harder inland. Buses run up and down the coasts night and day, but only one bus goes into the interior daily. The only real option inland is minibuses. These don’t run daily but if you know when they go and plan ahead, you can still use them to get almost anywhere you need to trek. You should seriously consider taxis too: these are cheap in the Sinai and give a lot of flexibility, especially if you need to get away from remote trailheads at inconvenient times. What’s below is a brief overview. For more detailed information check GATEWAY TOWNS. And for the most comprehensive advice of all, get SINAI: THE TREKKING GUIDE.

PUBLIC BUS The EAST DELTA BUS COMPANY is the main bus firm in the Sinai, with regular buses along both coasts. The most frequent are between Sharm and Dahab, but Nuweiba, Taba and Ras Shaitan have daily buses too. El Tur, Abu Rudeis and Abu Zenima, over on the other coast, have lots of buses too. Only ONE bus goes into the interior: the daily bus between Cairo and St Katherine. This runs down the coast from Suez, turning into the mountains at the town of Abu Rudeis to go to St Katherine: you can use it to travel into St Katherine from Abu Rudeis, or the other way, connecting to new services from Abu Rudeis (e.g. onward buses to Sharm etc).

Minibus, Sinai, Go tell it on the mountain_resultMINIBUS With public buses almost completely absent in the interior, minibuses give the best option for getting around the interior. There are two daily minibuses between St Katherine and El Tur, which you can use to travel either way (but whose schedules it’s best to check locally as they can vary). A tourist-focused minibus called the BEDOUIN BUS goes to the other coast, connecting St Katherine with Dahab and Nuweiba. It runs twice a week to both towns (Tuesdays and Fridays between St Katherine and Dahab; Wednesdays and Sundays between St Katherine and Nuweiba) and you can use this for important DESERT TRAILHEADS like Wadi Arada, the Nawamis village and Ein Hudera.

SERVICE TAXIS These are basically minibuses that run between set places, without set schedules. They wait in designated spots and leave when every seat is taken (or, at least, when someone has lost patience and paid off the remaining fares to get going). They’re very common in mainland Egypt, but not so much in the Sinai. You see them mostly outside the Taba border crossing, where they run south to Nuweiba. Sometimes, they wait outside the Sharm bus station too, going north to Dahab or more often to towns in mainland Egypt.

Taxi, Sinai, Go tell it on the mountain_resultPRIVATE TAXI These are colour-coded cars in bigger towns (e.g. blue and white in Sharm, orange and white in El Tur etc) but in Bedouin areas they’re often just plain cars or minibuses. You can use them for short hops around towns or long-distance travel and they give maximum flexibility. They can be brilliant for getting away from remote desert trailheads when you don’t want to hitch. Taxi drivers are some of the most useful people to know in the Sinai, so collect numbers as you go; once you’ve got a good one try and use him again, as it’ll get you better rates. Read our TOP RECOMMENDATIONS for taxis we suggest.

HITCHING Sometimes, this is the only option. It isn’t always ‘free ride’ type hitching like in the West: sometimes payment will be expected, especially near bigger tourist towns. In other areas, like Wadi Feiran, which is much less touristy, there won’t be such an emphasis on money. Check before you leave to avoid misunderstandings later. Hitching is widely practised by locals and generally safe, but women should hitch ONLY if they’re with a man. To hitch, just stand at the side of the road and wave vehicles down, like you would a bus.