How many times have you driven your car to Sharm El Sheikh? And how many times have you stopped in El Tur?
The administrative capital of South Sinai Governorate is en-route to Sharm, yet seldom do we make a stop there. It gives the casual passer-by the impression of being a rather sleepy town, but is it really entirely dead?
Myth has it the Prophet Moses passed through El Tur at some point. Thirsty, he stopped at a natural spring and asked if he could quench his thirst. The lady by the spring surprisingly refused. Praying for the Almighty, Moses both blessed and cursed the spring’s water.
Whether the story is true or is a figment of someone’s imagination, the facts remain the same: Moses’ Bath is indeed therapeutic due to its high concentration of minerals, yet its water is not potable. For a mere LE 5 ticket, you can enjoy a dip in the naturally warm water of the spring, just stop by any shop in Tur and ask for direction to Moses Natural Spa Bath.
The Monastery of Raithu is less than a five-minute drive from the Bath, still in the heart of El Tur. Byzantine emperor Justinian (527-565 AD) had decreed the building of the Greek Orthodox Monastery. In its heyday, it played an important role as supplies were disembarked from ships in the Old Port of El Tur, handed to the monks of the Monastery of Raithu and later taken off to the Monastery of St. Catherine. The Monastery is open for visitors; just ask the guards.
El Tur also offers an almost perfect spot for avid windsurfers. With amiable weather conditions all year round, it is a windsurfer’s dream destination, whether you re looking for flat water, wave riding, jumping or even wave-sailing.
But that’s not all for water sports’ addicts. Bring your mask and fins, and be ready for at least a couple of hours of exuberant snorkelling in the two local reefs. And if you’re getting a little bored with the classic snorkelling why not try the new hit in town – See-doo scooters. These are underwater propelling craft that run smoothly at 3 mph, thus allowing you a unique opportunity to enjoy the majestic underwater scenery without exerting much effort.
For all you sun worshipers out there who want to lazily lie on the beach and relax, El Tur offers a unique opportunity, away from the maddening crowds of bustling Sharm El-Sheikh.
If you are tempted by these various attractions into spending the night, Moses Bay Hotel would be a good option to consider, with its 52 rooms, all with a sea view over either the Red Sea or Moses Bay.
Though it offers open-buffet dinner, the option of going to downtown Tur and trying one of its few local restaurants is also available. Based on personal experience, I would very much recommend Golden Fish, they’ve got the best calamari I’ve ever had.
Some helpful contacts: Oceansource El Tur runs the windsurfing facility within Moses Bay Hotel. Email: [email protected]; and Moses Bay Hotel, tel: +2 (0)69 3774343