Egypt’s rich Christian heritage can be discovered in its early Coptic churches in the heart of Cairo, to far-flung desert monasteries. The origins of Christian monasticism can be found in Egypt’s desert, when fourth-century Christian abbas and ammas (the Desert Fathers and Mothers) were drawn to the wilderness seeking a life of silence, prayer and asceticism. Pioneers amongst these desert hermits were St Anthony and St Paul.
We can explore the monasteries of Wadi Natrun north of Cairo and also visit the great monasteries of St Anthony and St Paul in Egypt’s Eastern Desert near the Red Sea, with their many buildings, chapels and gardens, and significant collection of Coptic wall paintings.
For for first time in 2016 we are offering an exciting new to way to explore Egypt’s ancient wonders on a traditional ‘felucca’ sailing boat. We will spend four days living and sleeping on board, as we gently sail down the River Nile and enjoy the timeless simplicity and simple comfort of a journey relying solely on the wind for power.
Egypt’s Western Desert offers a tremendously exciting experience spent travelling through remote and timeless desert scenes interspersed with palm-fringed oasis towns. On the way we gain an insight into this ancient land and its many civilisations, where iconic figures and great events over the centuries have each left their legacy, from the Pharaohs and Romans, to the emergence of Christianity and Islam. The journey starts in the bustling city of Cairo, venturing into the extraordinarily beautiful White Desert on the edge of the mighty Sahara.
Several recent news items feature South Sinai and the Monastery of St Catherine. These reflect both its enduring appeal and a heartening interest in support for tourism in the region. From our Own Correspondent on BBC Radio 4 delved into the archives at St Catherine; fast forward to 11 minutes...
“The whole trip was AMAZING – thank you so much.”
Francis Burkitt, St Catherine tailor made, August 2017
“We got more out of our little adventure than we had ever hoped for, thanks to a country of huge diversity and historical interest and to a very special guide.”
Cunningham family, Jordan tailor made, April 2017
“So many thoughts about our wonderful trip to St Catherine; the fantastic warmth of welcome from the Egyptians, Fathers Justin and Nilus, and the unique history which we felt privileged to be given access to. In my book, how could one not enjoy and be inspired!”
Julia Palmer, St Catherine Retreat, February 2017
“Huge thanks to all at Wind, Sand & Stars for an amazing trip. John’s passion for Ethiopia fires his erudition and he gave us more insights into the country, past and present, than we could ever have gained from local guides.”
Christine Dunmow, Exploring Ethiopia’s Orthodox History with John Binns 2016
“I am hugely impressed with Wind Sand & Stars’ organisation and their relationship with the Bedouin family who looked after us. These local contacts made the experience especially rich.”
Richard Ames-Lewis, Adventure into Silence, October 2014