Day 1: Arrival
Your guide will meet you at Sharm el Sheik Airport at 5pm, local time, before heading to a 4* hotel in Sharm for a well-earned rest after a day of travelling.
Day 2: Journey to St Catherine’s Monastery
We road trip through the desert towards St Catherine’s Monastery. Stopping along the way, we will view rock inscriptions carved by early pilgrims as they journeyed from Jerusalem to St Catherine. We can take in the stunning view of the nearby oasis of Ayun Khudra as we enjoy Bedouin tea, before we continue into the mountainous interior where this Greek Orthadox Monastery lies at the foot of Mount Sinai – the very place where God appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush.
Built in the 6th century by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, its original towering outer walls, built to protect the monks from marauding tribes, still stand. During the day we will have time for introductions with Rosalind and the team, and orientation before our dinner together in the monastery.
Day 3 and 5: Stitching and making at St Catherine’s Monastery
We will spend the next few days based at the Monastery.
This flexible daily programme will begin with a morning meditation together, or time alone for retreat and reflection or study.
Every day consists of half a day doing structured creative activities and learning from Rosalind in the workshops, and in the other half of the day, there is the option of either continuing your artwork, quiet personal time, or going on optional daily excursions offsite. These include visiting the local village of St Catherine, and walks to some nearby hermitages and viewpoints.
We may be invited to attend afternoon Vespers. The trip allows for plenty of time and space for reflection, contemplation, self-discovery, rest, and dialogue throughout.
Day 6 and 7: Finishing and sharing workshop at St Catherine’s
In the mornings we can visit the magnificent Basilica, with its 6th century mosaic in the apse, and spend time taking inspiration from the rare collections of icons and manuscripts in the museum.
There will also be time dedicated to workshops.
There will be an optional ascent of Mount Sinai one day, a steady uphill walk for 2-3 hours along the traditional camel path (with camels available for hire for the ascent), then up steep Byzantine steps carved into the rocks to the summit. (The camels cannot continue on this final section).
Day 8: Return home
Today we depart St Catherine’s, say our farewells and fly home. The optional extension to Cairo commences.
All activities are optional and the final daily programme will depend on the group’s individual interests, local conditions and to allow for Monastery opening times.
Overnight at St Catherine’s Monastery Guesthouse. Please note accommodation is simple and rooms are shared, though a few single rooms may be possible depending on availability and we always try to secure them when requested. A single supplement is payable.