YEMEN 9 DAYS NORTH
First Day - EUROPE / SANA’A
Departure with line-flight. Arrival, customs formalities dispatch, transfer to the hotel and settlement.
Second Day - SANA’A
Full board. 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 / MANAKA / HAJJARA / HOTEIP / HODEIDA
Full board. 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. Return to Manaka, lunch in a fonduk, typical Yemenite hotel. Manak is located in a land where a very good quality of coffee is cultivated. In the XVII century it was an important centre for the trade of this product, that was then exported through the harbour of Moka. Among beautiful landscapes and fortified villages. Continuation to Hoteip, where the grave of a Santon, venerated among Indian Muslims is to be found. In the evening arrival in Hodeida, the most important Yemenite harbour; settlement, dinner and overnight stay in the hotel.
Fourth Day - HODEIDA / BEIT AL FAQIH / ZABID / AL KHOKHA / TAIZ
Full board. In the morning visit to the lively fish market, with the typical coloured boats and departure towards BEIT AL FAQIH, small town with interesting whitewashed houses, enriched by thousands laces. Visit to the town, to the souk and continuation towards ZABID, the Holy City, where algebra was discovered, with a wonderful mosque, wonderful houses architecture, with ceilings in painted wood. Continuation towards AL KHOKHA, on the shore of the Red Sea. Brief break for lunch and for a bath in the warm waters. In the afternoon departure toward TAIZ, situated in a wonderful position, visit to the lively souk where it is possible to buy silver jewels and coral of the Red Sea. Settlement, dinner and overnight stay in the hotel.
Fifth Day - TAIZ / JIBLA /IBB / SANA’A
Full board. In the morning visit to the mosque of Al Asraffiya, with two minarets and interesting flats. In the end departure among beautiful valleys toward SANA’A, visit to JIBLA and IBB. JIBLA, set in a green valley, reign of the queen Arwa, fascinated P.P. Pasolini who filmed many scenes of his movie “The Flower of The Thousand and One Night” in its flats. With its steep lanes, important mosques with Koran schools, interesting architectures, JIBLA seems to be steady in time. It is one of the most beautiful towns of the country. IBB, set on two hills among green cultivated fields, is interesting for its dry stone architecture. Continuation towards SANA’A, among mountain passes at a high of 2800 m. with wonderful landscapes.
Sixth Day - SANA’A / BARAQUISH / MAREB / SANA’A
Full board. 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. Return to SANA'A, dinner and overnight stay.
Seventh Day - SANA’A / AMRAN / KOHALAN / HAJJA / SANA’A
Half board. Departure towards the north, with stop and visit to AMRAN, characteristic preislamic town, with clay bricks houses, leaning one against the other; continuation towards KOHALAN, small town on a mountain covered with Indian figs, connected to HAJJA from a panoramic road, that wings along mountains and peaks. The town of HAJJA 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 the last faithful to organise the fight against the opposition, that had organised a coup d’état to dethrone the Imam. Return to SANA’A. Dinner and overnight stay
Eighth Day - SANA’A/WADI DHAR / THULA / HABABA / KOWAKABAN / SHIBAM / SANA’A
Full board. Visit to the famous “Palace on the Rocks” in WADI DHAR, ex-residence of the Imam. Recently restored, it is situated on a 50 meters high great rock and it is the utmost expression of Yemenite architecture and of fantasy. Continuation towards THULA, town of the small dry stone skyscrapers. 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 arrival to KOWAKABAN, a fortress city that commands SHIBAM and the surrounding mountains. Lunch in a fonduk. In the late afternoon return to SANA’A, passing through SHIBAM. Arrival and spare time for the souk. Dinner in the late evening transfer to the airport and departure with a line flight to Europe.
Ninth Day - SANA’A / EUROPE
Arrival in the late morning