Most nationalities need a visa to visit Egypt and two different types of visa are available for travel in the Sinai. One is a 14 day ‘Sinai-only’ visa, issued as a passport stamp at any international Sinai entry point – e.g. Sharm el Sheikh or Taba airports, Nuweiba or Taba ports – free of charge. The other type of visa is the full Egyptian visa: this costs US$25 and is issued as a floppy sticker to put in a passport. The 14 day ‘Sinai only’ visa permits travel only on the Sinai’s Gulf of Aqaba coast: Taba, Nuweiba, Dahab and Sharm el Sheikh. It is also usually permissible to travel inland to St Katherine on the Sinai-only visa. However, all other parts of the Sinai, plus the entirety of mainland Egypt, remain off-limits. The Sinai-only visa can not be used to hike the Sinai Trail. Beware of this visa issue if you are entering from the Taba land or sea borders: the Sinai only visa is the only visa available to travellers who enter at these points.
How do I get a full Egyptian visa?
Most of the time, full Egyptian visas can be purchased on arrival in Egypt itself. They are available to anybody arriving at an Egyptian airport, whether Sharm el Sheikh, Taba, Cairo, or anywhere else. To buy an Egyptian visa at an airport, go to the foreign exchange bank windows near the passport control points. They can be purchased in US dollars or Egyptian pounds (and often in other currencies such as UK sterling or Euros). Arriving in the Sinai by ferry from Jordan, the full visa is available on arrival at the port in Nuweiba. The only points the full Egyptian visa is not available is the Taba border crossing and the Taba marina: the Sinai-only visas are issued by default here so be careful!
Extending a visa in Egypt
Visas can be renewed at offices in El Tur, the capital of South Sinai or Sharm el Sheikh. These offices are well known to local taxi drivers. Extensions of 3 months are usually issued: to renew, take a photocopy of the passport ID page, plus the original visa issued on entry to Egypt.