There are now four active monasteries in Wadi Natrun: Deir Anba Bishoi, Deir al-Sourian, Deir Anba Baramus, and Deir Abu Maqar. Deir Abu Maqar has long been one of the most important Christian institutions in Egypt; as a result, permission to visit is rarely granted without a very compelling devotional reason—even Copts find it almost impossible to get in. The monasteries are administered by the Coptic Patriarchate of Cairo. The first three are open to visitors—mostly Coptic pilgrims come here to pay their respects or to baptize children. It isn't necessary, as it has been in the past, to get advance permission from the patriarchate in Cairo; however, it is still worth calling ahead to verify opening hours, because they vary based on the fasting schedule (devout Copts fast the majority of the year).
02-682–5374; 02-682–5375; 02-682–5376-for information from the patriarchate