YEMEN 22 DAYS NORTH & SOUTH CASUAL
First Day - EUROPE / SANA’A
Departure with line-flight. Arrival, customs formalities dispatch, transfer to the hotel and settlement.
Second Day - SANA’A
Breakfast. . The whole day is dedicated to the wonderful capital of Yemen, one of the oldest towns of the world, which maintains the look of a medieval village, with its mud walls, its wonderful stone and bricks building, its windows decorated with arabesques and white stuccoes, with coloured glasses or ancient alabaster, through which a magical light gleams. The whole town, its people wearing typical clothes, its veiled women, the thousands scent of the souk seem a great open air picture. Visit to the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, to the old town and to the souk.
Third Day - SANA’A / MAREB
Breakfast. Departure towards the desert region, the kingdom of the Queen of Saba. Visit to BARAQUISH, (subject to agreement of the local tourist authorities). BARAQUISH is an ancient fortified town in a desert region. Continuation toward MAREB and visit to the ruins of the temples dedicated to the sun and to the moon, to the ancient dam, great architectural work ordered by the Queen of Saba. In the afternoon visit to the fascinating old mud town of MAREB, which is now almost completely abandoned. Overnight stay in MAREB.
Fourth Day - MAREB / desert / SEYUN
Breakfast. Departure at dawn and whole day crossing the desert, among splendid and great gold sand dunes, enormous silence, wonderful landscapes, with the fascination of the desert. Break along the way for a picnic and continuation, through SHIBAM, towards SEYUN, plunged in a big oasis. Arrival in the evening. Settlement, and overnight stay in the hotel.
Fifth Day - SEYUN / SHIBAM / SEYUN
Breakfast. In the morning visit to SEYUN. It is one of the most important town in Hadramout, plunged in a great oasis, where are said to be one million palms; it is the last town in the south. Hadramout in this part is hundreds metres large, but the contrast among the colour of the earth, the mountain, the blue sky and green palms is amazing. In almost every town in the south, the most used colours, which can be found on buildings or on domes, are the natural colours of the landscape (green, blue and earth). A splendid and unique example of mud architecture, covered with white plaster is the big Sultan Palace. At present it houses two museums: an ethnographic one, interesting to observe costumes, jewels, arms, tools that are still in use, and an archaeological one, with important pieces found 100 kilometres away from Seyun by Russian and Yemenite missions. Very interesting are cemeteries that, differently from Arabian ones, where only stones are to be found, have little mausoleums, and graves similar to ours. Visit to the Souk and to the small market of local handicraft. Afternoon dedicated to SHIBAM, a wonderful town enclosed among walls, a block of 500 mud skyscrapers that seem to scrape the sky. Also the inlaid doors are wonderful.
Sixth Day - SEYUN / TARIM / INAT / SEYUN
Breakfast. Among landscapes with oasis and palms, with women wearing the traditional hats with a tip while cultivating fields, visit to the grave of Bin Isa. Continuation towards TARIM, dominated by the white great mosque with its very high square minaret and with its big and beautiful buildings with Indonesian architectural influence. Continuation towards INAT, through oasis, lime ovens, cultivated gardens, mud castles. It is an interesting small town with beautiful houses and holy yards with Marabut. Return to SEYUN, overnight stay.
Seventh Day - SEYUN / AL HAJJARIN / WADI DOAN / MUKALLA
Breakfast. In the morning departure towards AL HAJJARIN, a mud town located on two hills in the middle of the desert, called “the little Shibam” for its small tower houses rising towards the cobalt blue sky. Continuation along the WADI DOAN, on a track running over the WADI bed, among date-palm oasis, steep mountains, incredible landscapes where nature creates numberless natural pictures, among canyons, villages plunged in the green, with houses covered by a thin whitewash and decorated with sweet colours and naïf pictures. Crossing of the villages of Sif, Bada, Rashid. The show goes on for many kilometres up to ARHAB. Continuation towards MUKALLA. Arrival and settlement in the hotel. Overnight
Eighth Day - MUKALLA / BIR ALI
Breakfast. . In the morning visit to the museum, to the town with big buildings facing the sea and with the typical Indian architecture. Along desert shores arrival in BIR ALI, the ancient harbour of QANA, the first harbour in Yemen, built in 1000 b.C., where spices from India arrived and starting point of the convoys to Palestine. Overnight stay in a tent on the wonderful shore.
Ninth Day - BIR ALI / HABBAN / ADEN
Breakfast. . Along the Indian Ocean, among sand dunes, desert areas, and cultivation arrival in HABBAN, interesting village with its traditional 4/5 floors houses made with mud bricks, immersed in an oasis and surrounded by magnificent mountains running sideways. Situated in WADI HABBAN, the village was known for the Hebrew craftsmen, masterful silver workers. ADEN. Settlement in hotel.
Tenth Day - ADEN
Breakfast. In the morning visit to the area of Crater, to the tanks and to the Archaeological Museum. Return to the hotel and time to relax at the seaside. Overnight stay.
Eleventh Day - ADEN / TAIZ
Breakfast. In the morning departure towards to TAIZ, stopping on the way in AL JANAD, with its beautiful mosque. This town northern of TAIZ was built at the time of the Prophet Maomet, but it went under a quantity of rearrangements in the following periods. It is the first mosque built in Yemen and founded by Ma’ad Ibn Jebel, messenger of the Prophet. Just like the Great Mosque in Sana’a, also this one is built by an open central square, surrounded at the four sides by a colonnade arcade. Blocks of stones on which are carved the verses of the Koran are inserted in the internal wall of the mosque. The pond for ablutions (on the right in front of the entrance) and the minaret are the most ancient parts of the mosque. Arrival in TAIZ, very lively town, situated at a high of 1400 metres. Visit to the mosque of Al Asharafya, and to the very coloured souk of handicraft work, silver, coral, jambie, typical Yemenite dagger, all of them very cheap. Settlement in Hotel.
Twelfth Day - TAIZ / JIBLA / IBB / AL KHOKA
Breakfast. In the morning visit to the curious Museum of the Imam. Departure towards JIBLA, ancient royal residence, where P.P. Pasolini filmed part of his movie “The Flower of The Thousand and One Night”, one of the most beautiful Yemenite towns, with wonderful mosques and minarets in coloured brickwork. Continuation towards IBB, town of the XIII century, ancient trade centre, situated in a very cultivated area, upon two hills. Continuation towards the Red Sea. Settlement in the hotel and overnight stay in AL KHOKA.
Thirteenth Day - AL KHOKA
Breakfast. Full day to relax by the seaside.
Fourteenth Day - AL KHOKHA / ZADIB / BEIT AL FAGIH / HODEIDA
Breakfast. Along the shore of the Red Sea, visit to ZABID, the Holy City, where algebra was discovered. Wonderful mosques, houses embroidered with thousands white laces. BEIT AL FAGIH, another town with a beautiful architecture. Continuation and overnight stay in HODEIDA.
Fifteenth Day - HODEIDA / TIHAMA / HAJJA
Breakfast. In the morning visit to the fish market and continuation towards the area of TIHAMA, covered by typical villages of African tukul. Beginning of the mountains and arrival to HAJJA, situated in an area of wonderful terraces and cultivation. It was an important centre during the period of Imam and in its underground prisons political opponents were shut up. In the last centuries HAJJA was considered a stronghold of the zaidite power and in 1948 the son of the last Imam Yahia, Ahmed, concentrated and gathered in this region his last supporters to organise the fight against the opposition, that had organised a coup d’état to dethrone the Imam. Settlement in hotel and overnight stay.
Sixteenth Day - HAJJA / SHAHARA
Breakfast. Departure towards north, visit to KOHALAN, clung over a rock and arrival to AL GABAI, among desert landscapes. Departure by pick up toward SHAHARA, the impregnable town: an incomparable landscape, among slow vaulting of eagles and hawks. Visit to the famous bridge and to the wonderful water tanks. Settlement in fonduk.
Seventeenth Day - SHAHARA / HUTH / SADAH
Breakfast. In the morning last visit to SHAHARA, to the famous tanks, where in the morning and in the evening, a queue of women in black, with coloured plastic buckets, catch water. In the morning descent towards AL GABAI. Continuation by Toyota towards SADAH, at the border with Saudi Arabia. SADAH is a beautiful town, completely built in mud, with houses without edges, closed by the ancient mud walls, where it is possible to walk admiring the typical and particular architecture in raw, without stones. The walls are built by 60 centimetres thick sheeting of earth and straw, kneaded with water, lead one upon the other, with round edges and heightened to give more steadiness to the building. Only the three gates of the city and the religious buildings are built with stones and mud. In the great central square is the Palace of the Government, a fortress on top of a hill. The Hebrew quarter is surrounded by wall with narrow lanes and small houses. The importance of SADAH dates back to the X century a.D., when it was declared capital by the Imam A-Hadi Yaia bin Hussayn, founder of Zaidism in Yemen. Its grave is conserved in the great Mosque. Dinner and overnight stay in SADAH.
Eighteenth Day - SADAH / HUTH / AMRAN / WADI DHAR / KOWAKABAN
Breakfast. In the morning last visit to SADAH, with its characteristic souk, where capable Hebrew goldsmiths expose in small shops beautiful silver jewels, whose manufacture has been handed on for generations. departure towards the south, with stop in AMRAN, characteristic pre-Islamic village, with clay bricks houses, leaning against the other. Along the way back, visit to WADI DHAR and visit to the famous “Palace on the rocks”, ex-summer residence of the Imam, wonderful example of Yemenite architecture. Arrival in KOWAKABAN. Settlement in fonduk.
Nineteenth Day - KOWAKABAN / THULA / HABABA / AT TIWILAH / AL MAHWIT
Breakfast. In the morning visit to KOWAKABAN, a fortress city that commands SHIBAM and the surrounding mountains. Continuation towards THULA, Very interesting architecture, the splendid water basins, the glasses in alabaster. A few kilometres away is HABABA, the town where the high stone houses are around a great water cistern, in which they are reflected. Through a wonderful road along the Wadi AL AHJER, with cultivation of qat, arrival in AT TAWILAH, set close to the mountains, with a Turk fortress that controlled the whole valley. Continuation towards AL MIHWIT. Settlement in hotel. Overnight stay.
Twentieth Day - AL MAHWIT / MANALA / AL HAJJARA
Breakfast. In the morning visit to the old town of AL MAHWIT, situated in a commanding position, and surrounded by terraces. Departure towards MANAKA through the canyon formed by Wadi Saraah, that wings among cultivation of exotic fruit, mango, bananas and flower trees with an intense scent. Arrival on the asphalted road and continuation to MANAKA. Among the valleys and the canyons of the mountain of Haraz visit to two dry stone villages with 5-6 floors high buildings. From Manaka, through a non-asphalted road, arrival to Hajjara, small stronghold in miniature, placed sheer on a mountain, with small lanes that can be gone only on foot, and with the high tower houses. Hajjara is characterised by high tower houses in dry stone, that seem to challenge nature. It is surrounded by imposing mountains and majestic landscapes with green valleys. Overnight stay in fonduk in MANAKA
Twenty First Day - MANAKA / HOTEIP / SANA’A
Breakfast and half day to visit the mountain HARAZ and HOTEIP, where the grave of a Santon, venerated among Indian Muslims is to be found. The road runs among beautiful landscapes and fortified villages. Continuation and arrival in the evening in SANA’A. Settlement in fonduk and in the late evening transfer to the airport and departure with a line flight to EUROPE.
Twenty Second Day - SANA’A / EUROPE
Arrival in the late morning