For other places with the same name, see Sinai (disambiguation)
Mount Sinai is said to be the place where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God; indeed, the Arabic name Gebel Musa means "Mount of Moses". While there is very little archaeological evidence to support this assertion, the mountain is still a popular pilgrimage site and home to the Monastery of St. Catherine , a Greek Orthodox monastery founded in the 6th century, one of the longest-running monasteries in the world and itself at the supposed location of the Burning Bush. The small town of al-Minya, outside the entrance to the valley, has sprung up to cater to tourists.
Your only choice of transport is by road. Dahab is 2 hours and 133 kilometers away, Nuweiba is 120km and a similar 2 hours away, while the trip from Sharm el-Sheikh (230km) is closer to 3 hours. Most visitors arrive on tours that arrive at approximately 1am at the foot of the mountain in order to climb Mount Sinai overnight and watch the sunrise. Any guesthouse in Sinai can arrange for you to join a tour. There are also several camps, guesthouses and hotels in St. Catherine that can accommodate tourists and travellers alike.
From Cairo, the East Delta Bus Company  leaves the new Cairo Gateway station daily at 11 AM and takes about 7 hours. The cost is LE 50. To get to/from Dahab or Nuweiba, you can use the Bedouin Bus  running twice weekly services to each destination for LE 50 (Dec 2011).
Busses leave from Al Tor at 2pm LE35 to St Catherine.
A taxi to/from Dahab or Nuweiba can cost around LE 200 (Dec 2011).
You have two choices for getting around and climbing the mountain: on foot, or by camel. See Do for the full scoop.
The Monastery of St. Catherine,  at the foot of the mountain, is the easier of the two destinations here. Looking more like a fortress than a church, access is through a massive iron gate shut for the night and opened in the morning from 9 AM to 12 AM only (daily except Friday and Sunday). Note that the monastery observes the Greek Orthodox rites and is thus also closed for Christmas and Easter as calculated by the Greek Orthodox calendar. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2002.
On Feb 2011, there is only a few parts of the monastery which are accessible to tourists. There is also a small museum mainly about Byzantine icons / tempera on wood. You need to make a 25egp donation as entrance fee but it is worth it.
A guide for the monastery could start at 100egp but you could/must bargain.
A local guide is required despite the fact the trails are well signposted once you get onto them (starting price at the entrance 85egp, feb 2011 but bargain it).
There are two routes to choose from, entrances to which are rather poorly signposted, so choose carefully especially if climbing at night. Both paths lead to natural amphitheater known as Elijah's Hollow or the Seven Elders of Israel, where you'll find a teahouse for a break. From there, it's a final 750 steps (30 minutes) to reach the summit.
Note that it will be much cooler at the summit than on the coast, and in the winter at night subzero temperatures and even snow are not unknown. Dress warmly in layers, a flashlight is also a must. Blankets and mattresses can be rented at the top for circa 10 Egyptian pounds per piece, however, their state of cleanliness may be objectionable.
The intense silence of the mountain as well as its spiritual history makes it a popular spot for yoga and meditation groups. The local 'Gebeliya' Bedouin also run silent retreats for visitors, as well as trekking trips  or  (also offering individual trips in cooperation with Sheik Mousa, German website).
Eat & Drink
St. Catherine has quite a few camps, guesthouses and hotels.
The only way out from Mt. Sinai is to get back to the coast. There are a few options:
By bus to Cairo: East Delta has a daily bus going to Cairo, leaving at 6am from the bus station just behind the mosque.
By minibus to Dahab: Bedouin Bus runs a twice weekly bus service to Dahab on Tuesday and Friday. Buses leave at 11am from the parking next to the bakery (opposite the mosque) and cost 50LE one way. The bus stops in Dahab at Hotel Jowhara (Mashraba street) and Marine Garden Camp (Lighthouse area)
By minibus to Nuweiba: Bedouin Bus runs a twice weekly bus service to Nuweiba on Wednesday and Sunday. Buses leave at 8am from the parking next to the bakery (opposite the mosque) and cost 50LE one way. The bus stops at Nuweiba Port (opposite the East Delta bus station) and at Nuweiba City (at the hospital).
By minibus to El Tor: There are daily mini buses (except Friday) to El Tor, the governorate capital. Buses leave from the parking opposite the mosque in St. Catherine at 7.30 am and 2.30 pm and return at 2.30 and 8.00 pm respectively to St. Catherine.