Getting to the Sinai has become increasingly difficult in recent years. For visitors from Europe there are few direct flights. The easiest option is to fly to Cairo and take a domestic Egypt Air flight onwards to Sharm el Sheikh. Another way to Sinai is via Istanbul, with both Pegasus Air and Turkish Airlines offering flights. Once in Sharm el Sheikh, a bus or taxi can be taken to the start of the Sinai Trail. It is also possible to travel to the Sinai by sea: an international ferry sails daily between Aqaba in Jordan and Nuweiba. Another ferry once sailed the Gulf of Suez route between Hurghada, in mainland Egypt, and Sharm el Sheikh; it made a brief return to service but has now stopped again. For travellers approaching by land, there is a border with Israel at Taba: this can be crossed by foot, car and bus. There are buses – run mostly by the East Delta Bus Company – from Cairo to Sharm el Sheikh, Nuweiba and St Katherine.
Arriving in the Sinai from land or sea borders
Crossing from Jordan, via Nuweiba AB Maritime runs one ferry daily from Aqaba to Nuweiba: one slow, one fast. It leaves Aqaba at 4pm and takes around three hours (US$95). There’s a JD10 departure tax. These ferries often run late and timetables can change short notice so call AB Maritime on +962-3-201-3237 or +962-3-201-3240 rather than relying on the website for information: www.abmaritime.com.jo. Full Egyptian visas are available on this approach.
Crossing at the Israeli land border The Eilat/ Taba border is the only crossing between Israel and Egypt. It’s open 24/7 , but slower on religious holidays, and there’s an exit tax of 102NIS from Israel, plus a further exit tax of LE105 to leave Taba on the roads. Full Egyptian tourist visas – requried for walking the Sinai Trail – are not issued at the Taba land border and must be arranged at an Egyptian diplomatic mission in advance: the closest places are the Egyptian consulates in Eilat or Aqaba.