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Written by Savi, 23 Comments

After a week of exploring the Pyramids of Giza and the overwhelming temples of Egypt, we booked ourselves a fabulous hotel in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt so we could do “nothing” for a while. But after a few languorous days at the beach, we were compelled to scratch the travel itch once again 🙂


We hopped over to the local market and booked ourselves on an excursion of The Coloured Canyon in Egypt. We hadn’t heard of this natural wonder before booking our holiday to Sharm-El-Sheikh, but a cursory mention by our hotel’s reception got us curious. Early next morning, a rugged jeep picked us up for the drive to The Coloured Canyon. I vividly remember the drive – the 4X4 drove through endless stretches of arid desert. There was nothing and no one around. Every twenty kilometres, we would see a lone bedouin raise his hand to wish us a good day. We got accustomed to this rather quickly, almost entranced by the monotony of the parched landscape. 


coloured canyon day trip
The drive to The Coloured Canyon


coloured canyon day trip
The inevitable peril of empty roads 😉


coloured canyon day trip sharm el sheikh egypt
Arid yet spectacular landscape


coloured canyon day trip sharm el sheikh egypt
Cafe anyone? Don’t be fooled by the “Lavazza” sign, goat’s milk and shisha were the only things on the menu 😉


Over 150 kilometres later, we reached our first stop – St. Catherine’s Monastery, where Moses received the 10 Commandments . The imposing structure is located at the foot of Mt. Sinai and is impressive in every sense of the word. Take a look


coloured canyon day trip sharm el sheikh egypt
The imposing St. Catherine’s Monastery


coloured canyon day trip sharm el sheikh egypt
Vid and I at St. Catherine’s Monastery


We spent a long time examining religious artefacts at the Monastery but soon it was time to take to the road again. We picked up a Bedouin guide on the way and found ourselves at The Coloured Canyon in no time.


Here steep valleys of limestone, sandstone, and granite have acquired surreal colours due to unique geological changes. As we went deeper and deeper into The Coloured Canyon, we saw intricate swirls of flaming red intertwined with stark yellows, glistening golds, and deep purples. The stunning rock formations are a reminder of the fact that sometimes nature is really the greatest artist out there. With the help of our Bedouin guide, we climbed over walls and crawled into crevices. We spent over two hours at The Coloured Canyon with the sun beating down on us, but it was worth it. The sights were spectacular but it was the sounds (or the lack of them!) that made the place truly spellbinding.


coloured canyon day trip sharm el sheikh egypt
Surreal rock formations at The Coloured Canyon


coloured canyon day trip sharm el sheikh egypt
Our Bedouin guide, Salim, made the experience so much fun for us 🙂


coloured canyon day trip sharm el sheikh egypt
Exciting crevices and mazes at The Coloured Canyon, Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt


coloured canyon day trip sharm el sheikh egypt
Salim, our Bedouin guide, taught me the “correct” way of sliding on sand-dunes – what fun!


coloured canyon day trip sharm el sheikh egypt
Vid spent a long time contemplating the panoramas


coloured canyon day trip sharm el sheikh egypt
Our friend Eli and I on our jeep – that’s how we roll!


coloured canyon day trip sharm el sheikh egypt
Vid and I with our guides 🙂


coloured canyon day trip sharm el sheikh egypt
The excursion ended with a hearty meal at a local restaurant





  • It’s possible to book the excursion online but for the best price, wait to get to Sharm-El-Sheikh. Book the excursion at one of the kiosks in the local market. Make sure you bargain like there’s no tomorrow. The day-long excursion costs around £40 (as of May 2014)
  • This is a really long day trip – you will be away from your hotel for over 12 hours. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes
  • It’s best to visit The Coloured Canyon on an organised excursion. We’re road-trip enthusiasts but even we wouldn’t risk driving to The Coloured Canyon. It requires a lot of off-roading
  • Make sure you have a Bedouin to guide you at The Coloured Canyon – it is labyrinthine and it’s very easy to get lost there


Looking for more day trips from Sharm-El-Sheikh. Make sure you go Quad Biking in the Desert

Looking for travel fashion inspiration? Our Guide On Packing For Conservative Countries might come in handy 🙂


23 thoughts on “Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt – A Day Trip to the Coloured Canyon

  1. This looks super fun! I visited the Sinai peninsula in late 2011 when I also visited Syria, but didn’t get to this place – I was mostly just on the beach at Nuweiba and Dahab! Strangely, it actually reminds me of a place I visited with my partner in northern Argentina near Cafayate – the rock formations are strikingly similar.

    1. Sam your tales from South America make us so jealous. I hope the two of us make our way to that part of the world super soon 🙂

  2. The places you write about are the less commercial more beautiful ones. The first thing which comes to our mid about Egypt is Pyramid & mummies..This one is a totally unknown information. Awesome post…

    1. The little known gems are often the best ones Laks. We enjoyed the Pyramids and mummies but there were too many people around to make the experience memorable!!

  3. Beautiful place! One of the reasons I love reading your blog is because last week I was reading about snow adventures and this week its the desert. You guys visit so many cool places and I really love reading about them. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hey Jen, read your comment while putting together 2 posts (on Cambodia and Iceland respectively). Love alternating b/w destinations, glad to know there’s someone out there who appreciates it 🙂 Yay

  4. The pictures look amazing. I just stumbled on your blog and I’m glad I did!! I’ve juts been exploring SE Asia for a while but can’t wait to travel the west, definitely bookmarking this 🙂 Have fun!

    1. Hey Shruti, I hope Bruised Passports inspired you into travelling to at least one new country this year 🙂

  5. After reading the post i am feeling very amazing and curious to visit Sharm EI Sheikh.The natural scenery of EGYPT is very amazing.I really want to visit the whole Egypt including Sharm EI sheikh.:)

  6. Wow! This looks incredible! I’ve never really seen any canyons in the world and I must admit that I never realised there would be much else to do in and around Sharm apart from resorts – it’s such an easy place to plan an easy beach break that it’s nice to know what else could be done to keep us busy if we went there!

    1. Shikha we went to Sharm just to chill as well but we were surprised by how much there is to “do” in the area 🙂

  7. Aah.. we gave this a miss during our visit to Egypt. This is beautiful. But ya, would like to share, do take a excursion next time to top of Mount Moses to view the mind numbing sunrise. I can bet you would not have seen a more beautiful sunrise. It is little exhausting though but worth it ! Love your blogs…

    1. Thanks Sumaira – will definitely take you up on that suggestion and make a trip there when we are in Egypt next 😀

  8. Hi guys, planning a trip to Egypt in Jan. Could you give some tips on the itinerary. Didn’t come across that in your Egypt posts. Pls help

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