Most major towns are connected by buses. This includes all towns on the east coast: Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Taba and Nuweiba. The exception is St Katherine, in the interior of South Sinai. This has no public transport connection to the east coast. For hikers, the most important towns are Nuweiba, which is close to the Sinai Trail trailheads at Bir Sweir and Ras Shetan, and St Katherine, where the Sinai Trail ends. A useful mid way point is Ein Hudera: not a town, but a small desert oasis, home to a few Bedouin families. It can be accessed with a 60 minute walk from a main road. There is no public transport between any two destinations on the Sinai Trail. The only option for travelling along the trail is a jeep or private taxi to nearby main roads. Wherever you go in the Sinai, travel with your passport – which must include a full Egyptian tourist visa – or Egyptian ID card. There are regular inspections on roads.
Transport on the Sinai Trail
Nuweiba – the main gateway for the Sinai Trail. The Sinai Trail has two different start points: Bir Sweir, about 25km north of Nuweiba, and Ras Shetan, about 15km north of Nuweiba. Both can be accessed from Nuweiba, by public bus or taxi. Get the public bus from Nuweiba to Taba, telling the driver to stop at either Ras Shetan or Bir Sweir. It is operated by the East Delta Company and goes three times daily, starting in the bus station near Nuweiba port and costing LE25. Private taxis cost around LE120 from Nuweiba to Bir Sweir and LE100 from Nuweiba to Ras Shetan. Nuweiba has daily East Delta Company public buses to Cairo, Dahab and Sharm el Sheikh. It is also connected to Aqaba in Jordan by a daily international ferry.
Ein Hudera – the mid way point on the Sinai Trail. Hikers doing the first half of the Sinai Trail will finish here; they will start here if they are doing the second half of the trail. Many hikers also travel here direct, doing multi day hikes around the oasis. Private taxis can be used to get here; the closest drop off point is a small, disused roadside cafe, known as Cafeteria Jomaa. This is rarely known to taxi drivers from mainland Egypt, so use a Bedouin driver who knows the destination. Private taxis from Nuweiba or St Katherine to Cafeteria Jomaa take around 45 minutes and will cost around LE200. From here it is around a 60 minute walk to the oasis, through the desert, for which a Bedouin guide is fully recommended (see Map 5).
St Katherine this is the first, last, and only, town hikers will reach on the Sinai Trail after Nuweiba. Between Nuweiba and St Katherine, there are no towns whatsoever, nor any public transport. The only option is aprivate taxi: this takes around 90 minutes and costs around LE250. Private taxis can also be used between St Katherine and Cafeteria Jomaa, the drop off point for Ein Hudera. This journey takes around 45 minutes and costs around LE200. A taxi from St Katherine to Dahab costs around LE250: to Sharm el Sheikh around LE500 and to Taba around LE500. St Katherine has daily public transport to Cairo: an East Delta bus runs from St Katherine to Cairo 6am daily; from Cairo to St Katherine, it departs Cairo daily at 11am.