The monasteries of St. Anthony and St. Paul are the oldest Christian monasteries; they both date back to the 4th century AD, when monks began to settle at the foot of the Red Sea mountain of Galala Al-Qibliya, in hidden cliffs and caves. Both monasteries are considered as the holiest sites of the Coptic Church in Egypt. Located off the Zafarana Road leading to Beni Suef, some 70 km south from Ain Sukhna, 45 km from Hurghada City, the Monastery of St Anthony is a large complex encircled by high walls, including churches, chapels, a bakery, a garden and a spring, celebrating the father of monasticism, Saint Anthony. Things have evolved drastically from the time when back in the 4th century, there were only a few hermits hiding in these cliffs . After a hike through the cliffs and plateaus of the Galala Al-Qibliya Mountain, you can reach the monastery of St Paul, which was built in the 4th century by hermits who had chosen to isolate themselves from the material world at the very same location where Saint Paul had chosen to live in a cave for 90 years. Both monasteries are worth a visit, even if you’re not interested in the spiritual aspect of the experience. The beauty of the view you’ll catch from up above will make this an unforgettable trip.Daytrips to St Anthony and St Paul Monasteries can be arranged through any travel agent in Hurghada, or with the help of your hotel. The tour operator you’ll choose will arrange your pick-up from your hotel in the early morning and drop-back at the same location in the late afternoon.