Day 1: Arrival at Sana’a and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Sana’a.
Day 2: Tour of Sana’a, visit to the National Museum, walk in old Sana’a through its mosques, suqs and stunning buildings. Overnight in Sana’a.
Day 3: Leaving for Southern Mountains, visit to the ancient buildings of the old city of Ibb, built on the mountain of Jabal Ba’adan, overlooking a lush green countryside. Visit to the small, quiet village of Jiblah, the seat of power of Queen Arwa, one of Yemen’s greatest and most fondly remembered rulers. Visit to the old city of Taiz with its lovely suqs specialized in delicious cheese, dried fish and silver jewelery. Overnight in Taiz.
Day 4: Taiz. Visit to the Al-Ashrafiyyah Mosque, one of the few mosques in Yemen that tourist are permitted to enter. Visit to the Cairo Castle, a large fortification that is currently being renovated using river stones and original building techniques. Panoramic view from Jabel Sabir Mountain. Departure for Aden. Tour of Crater area, the old town. Overnight in Aden.
Day 5: Aden. Visit to the ancient tanks, a water storage system dating back to the 1st century, to the Mosque of Abu Bakr Al-‘Aydarus, to the Zoroastrian tower. From Aden we reach Al-Khawkha travelling along the Red Sea coast, going through a striking landscape. Overnight in Al-Khawkha.
Day 6: Departure from Al-Khawkha in the direction of Zabid, a town with a glorious past, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Visit to the old Turkish citadel, the Al-Ashair and Great Mosque and the decorated house once used by the Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini in his film “The flower of the 1001 Arabian Nights”. From Zabid we reach Hudeyda, the biggest and most important port in Yemen after Aden. Overnight in Hudeyda.
Day 7: Hudeyda. Visit to Fish Market, where it is possible to see an astonishing variety of fishes. Traveling through Wadi Surdud we reach the fortified village of Al-Hajjarah, offering a scenic view of mountains and valleys. Overnight in Manakha, which serves as a great base for hiking and trekking in the region.
Day 8: Visit to town of Manakha and Al Hutayb, the center of Ismaili Islam. Travelling through Wadi Sara we arrive to Al-Mahweet, a village built on the mountain side and only pedestrians may traverse its streets, where it is possible to see a great number of house doors in the old woodcarving style. Overnight in Al-Mahweet.
Day 9: Panoramic view in Al-Ryaedi. Departure from Al-Mahweet in the direction of Kowkaban. We visit Al-Taweela, a small town on the scope of Jabal al-Qarani’, with a fortress on the top of the mountain. Then we drive along a road windings through mountainsides and valleys in a truly impressive view and scenery. Visit to the, to the village of Bakour (altitude over 3000 meters) and the Zakatin fortress. Overnight in Kawkaban.
Day 10: Visit to the fortress of Kawkaban, built on the Jabal ad-Dila’, overlooking the towns of Shibam and Thula and the plains beyond. Kawkaban is connected to Shibam by a twisting path and stone stair walkway (45 minutes walk) or by a paved road. After going round Shibam, we drive to attractive village of Hababa and then to Wadi Dhahr, where we visit the five-stored palace of Dar al-Hajar (the Palace of the Rock): it was built in the 1930s as a summer retreat for Imam Yahya and it is constructed atop a large boulder dominating the amazing sorrounding scenery. Return to Sana’a. Afternoon free time. Overnight in Sana’a.
* Hadhramaut Extension:
Day 11: Flight to Seiyun and visit to the provincial capital of the Hadhramaut: Sultan’s Palace, Handicrafts Market. Overnight in Seyun.
Day 12: Visit to Tarim, seat of the kings of the region in the past and so far centre of scholarship and Muslim faith: Al-Ahqaf Library, located in the al-Jam’a Mosque,; al-Mihdar Mosque and al-Kaf Palace. Then we drive to Shibam, called the “Manhattan of the Desert”, because of its monolithic buildings jutting heavenward in the isolation of the sorrounding countryside: a spectacular view. Overnight in Seyun.
Day 13: Departure to Wadi Do’an. Visit to the picturesque villages and overnight in Hied al-Gazeel.
Day 14: Drive in direction to the charming town of Mukalla: visit to the Husn al Guayzi Fortress, the museum and the old town. Overnight in Mukalla.
Day 15: From Mukalla, going through an amazing volcanic landscape. We drive (if we are allowed by the touristic police) to reach Birali beach, where it is possible to enjoy aquamarine water and white sand. Flight to Sana’a from Mukalla.
Day 16: Departure from Sana’a. Transfer to airport.
Note: Possibility of camping in the beach or in the mountains.
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