North Sinai Travel Guide



North Sinai is one of the governorates of Egypt located in the northern portion of Sinai Peninsula with the Mediterranean Sea to its south and the Egyptian borders with Palestine to its east. This strategic position makes it the eastern fortress for Egypt that most of the invaders of Egypt used it for entering the country. it was the gate from which the Islamic troops headed by Amr Ibn El As entered Egypt and spread Islam in it. On the lands of North Sinai, Napoleon Troops were defeated and ousted from Egypt after signing the Agreement of 1800 in El Arish. Additionally, North Sinai witnessed also the Egyptian defeat in 1976 against the Israeli Troops and the vengeance and landslide victory in 1973. This great history in addition to the great religious value of the land of North Sinai makes it one of the most important governorates. Christians consider Sinai as a holy land because the Holy Family passed by it during their journey to Egypt. Moreover, North Sinai Governorate covers about 27564km² and it regarded one of the least densely populated governorates in Egypt.

The Capital of the governorate is El Arish City and the major part of its inhabitants are nomads. The main economic resources for the city are tourism and some handcrafts such as spinning and weaving of the wool of cattle and manual carpets and other crafts the help people on earning their living. On the Land of Turquoise, North Sinai, one can enjoy incomparable natural beauty and unique weather since it represents the land where the desert and the sea meet together. It is one of the preferable destinations for most of the tourists because of the charm of its golden beaches, crystal clear turquoise water. There are numerous beaches supplied with all means of comfort and entertainment in North Sinai including El Bardawil Beach, El Nakhil Beach, El Sheikh Zuwaid Beach, and El Masaeed Beach. On the land of North Sinai stands El Zaraniq Natural Park where tourists enjoy bird-Watching, Fishing, Safari tours and many other activities. It can be reached by air through El Arish International Airport or Sharm El Sheikh International Airport and then traveling by car using the railroad linking between Sinai and Sharm El Sheikh.

 

El Sheikh Zwaid

El Sheikh Zwaid is one of the cities of North Sinai Governorate that locates about 30km to the north of El Arish and 16km away from Rafah City. It is blessed with its white sand beaches and clear water that attracts many tourists for visiting it.The main economic resources for the city are tourism and exporting some of the vegetables that grow on its lands such as plaum and dates.

Rafah

Rafah is a city in the north-east of the Peninsula of Sinai in North Sinai Governorate. It is locate on the Mediterranean Sea Coast marking the Egyptian borders with Gaza. In fact, the city is divided into two portions: the Egyptian Rafah and the Palestinian Rafah.

El Nakhl City

El Nakhl City is one of the cities of North Sinai Governorate that is called in that name due to the softness of its sands as if it was sieved with a tool called in Arabic" Mankhol". It comprises of a number of small villages and most of its inhabitants are of Arab Pastoral tribes. Nakhl Citadel is one of the major tourist attractions in that area that is usually visited by people who enjoy sfari tours in that area. El Nakhl citadel is renowned for its 36 defense towers the date back to the Mamluk Period and is located about 32km away from El Qantera East.

 El Hassana

El Hassana is one of the cities of North Sinai Governorate that is renowned for its palm tree areas. It was known in the past as Beir El Hassana and most of its inhabitants are Bedouins who work in pasture. It encloses about 20 small villages such as El Gafafa and Beir Bada and other places.

El-Arish

 

El Arish is the capital of North Sinai Governorate, located on the Mediterranean Coast, about 345 km away from Cairo. On its land there are some branches of the Suez Canal University and this doubles the importance of the city. El Arish is a city of a great history dating back to the Ptolemaic period as mentioned in many of their texts. In the Bible, El Arish is known as 'El Sukkot', which means the 'Palm Huts'.   Nowadays El Arish is one of the admirable summer resorts for many visitors whether Egyptians or foreigners because of its marvelous weather, golden beaches and high quality service presented in its hotels and beaches. Moreover, it can be easily reached by air using El Arish International Airport, or Cairo International Airport and then taking buses of East Delta Buses Company, or using Sharm El Sheikh International Airport. The main Economic resources of El Arish are Tourism since it encloses monumental places such as El Arish Citadel, El Nakhl Citadel, and Farma Citadel. Additionally, the city famous for its wide areas of palm trees and dates exportation that participates with a part of the income. El Arish strategic position in the northern entrance of Egypt made it a victim for most of the attacks that have been launched on Egypt including the Crusades attack, Napoleon Troops attack, and the WW1 and 2 and many other wars. It has been occupied by the Israeli troops from 1967 till 1997 and then it was regained after signing the Peace Treaty.  

 

Nekhel Fortress

The An-Nakhl Citadel is one of the most important stop-overs in North Sinai. It rests on a high hill in the city of Nakhel, near the International Road in middle Sinai. It enjoys a strategic location. It was built by the Mamluke Sultan Qansuh El Ghuri in 1516 a few months before his defeat by the Ottoman Turks. In its plan, the fort has a square shape with 5 towers. It was restored in 1594 by the Ottoman Sultan Mourad the Third who inscribed on the fort's main gate "God Bless Our Great Sultan Mourad Khan".

 El-Zaraniq Natural Park

Zaranik Natural Park is one of the most important stop-overs in North Sinai. It is situated at the eastern end of Lake Bardawil on the Mediterranean coast of Sinai. Established in 1985, this protected area extends over 250 Km2 (68% water surface and 32% sand dunes). It is officially managed by the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency. El Zaraniq (Zaranik) hosts thousands of migrating birds that swarm yearly from Europe in winter in search for warmer regions and pass through the reserve during Autumn. It was declared a natural reserve in 1985. It houses 17 species of different plants such as Halocnemon, Strobilaceum, Arthrocnemon glaucum, Juncus subulatus, and Zygophyllom album.In addition, it provides a natural shelter for over 244 species of birds and thousands of migratory birds, such as night herns Nycticorax nyticorox and little slint Calidris minuta.

Rommana Beach

Rommana is one of the villages of North Sinai on the Mediterranean Sea. It is blessed with a beach with turquoise color of water and white sand beach. There are many hotels on its beach providing the visitors with all services that ensure utmost relaxation and comfort for them. This village encloses some gas companies that are located offshore while their facilities can be found onshore. The major economic resources for the village are tourism and industry.

 El Nakhil Beach

On the land of Turquoise stands El Nakhil Beach, a palm lined beach in North Sinai where one can enjoy natural beauty and peace of mind. It locates on Cornish El Arish next to Rafah, El Sheikh Zwaid Beach, El Masaeed Beach, and many other resorts that is provided with all means of amenities and services to ensure comfort and tranquility for visitors.

Bardawail Beach

Bardawail Beach is one of the most attractive beaches overlooking the Mediterranean Coast in North Sinai. It is highly admired for its natural beauty of its turquoise water and white sand beach. It is a part of El Bardawil Lake that locates about 35km away from El Zaraniq Natural Park.  

Masaeed Beach

El Masaeed is one of the cities of North Sinai Governorate within El Arish City. It is called in that name because it is the area where Amr Ibn El As received the letter of Omar Ibn El Khatab that tells him if he has already entered Egypt to continue his approach and he would provide him with support. Thus, it was the starting point of spreading Islam in Egypt.  

 

The Turquoise Mines in Sarabit El-Khadem

 

The site is located on a mount in the north-east of Wadi Firan, in the region of Romanah, north to Abu-Zeneimah. It is the most important Pharaonic Site in Sinai. Ancient Egyptians used to extract stones and minerals from the quarries of Sinai since the Old Kingdom. At the site were found some remains and inscriptions dating back to the Pre-Dynastic Period (8000 BC). The site of Sarabit El-Khadim houses the most important turquoise mines in Sinai, on which great industries have largely depended.

Egyptian Pharaohs had attended to these treasures through organizing military protection to the mining areas, exploring new mines, supplying shelter to the miners, and organizing the transportation process through caravans that carried the minerals to the ships in the Gulf of Suez and then to the Red Sea ports in the mainland of Egypt. In the 19th century, the British tried to reopen the area's mines using explosives, which caused a great deal of damage to the depictions and reliefs there. Nevertheless, there are still many inscriptions and scenes belonging to different periods. Some of the most interesting depictions in the area are those which show the ships that transported the turquoise and those of King Sekhemkhet submitting the enemies of Egypt.






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