A new hiking trail just opened in Egypt. The 105-mile Red Sea Mountain Trail will be the first long-distance trail in mainland Egypt, and takes visitors through the remote mountainscapes west of the beachside resort town of Hurghada. Its aim is to give hikers an authentic, rugged Egyptian experience in a part of the Middle East that is largely ignored by tourists, and introduce them to the culture of local Bedouin tribes. The trail is composed of several ancient routes the Bedouin have historically used for trading, traveling, and hunting, and it’s owned by the local Maaza tribe.
One of the trail’s main goals is to create a form of tourism that benefits the Bedouin community and helps preserve Bedouin culture. Ben Hoffler, one of the trail’s founders, told Lonely Planet, “The Red Sea Mountain Trail is about rethinking Hurghada’s tourism and creating an industry in which the Bedouin go from service to leadership roles and which ultimately empowers them to show their homeland and heritage to the world.”
If a 10-day, 105-mile hike is too much for you, there are shorter and easier circuits within the Red Sea Mountain Trail to accommodate every level of fitness. That said, know that the area is mountainous, so there is serious elevation gain along the way and some parts of the trail involve scrambling. Also, note that you cannot hike this trail independently; a local guide is mandatory for you to explore the ancient land of the Maaza tribe.
According to the official website, “From vast, desert plains to deep gorges and high, rugged summits, and from crumbling Roman towns to prehistoric rock art and chapels of Egypt’s early Desert Fathers the Red Sea Mountain Trail shows the best of the region’s inimitable beauty.”
H/T: Lonely Planet