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Sana'a, Marib, Ramlat Al-Sab'atayn, Shabwa, Al-Qtan, Shibam, Seyun, Tarim, Mukalla, Bir Ali, Al-Rawdha, Habban, Wadi Yashbum, Al-Baydha, Rada'a, Ibb, Jibla, Taiz, Khawkha, Zabid, Beit Al-Faqih, Hajjarah, Manakha, Kahil, Hoteib, Wadi Surdud, Mahwit, Tawilla, Kawkaban, Shibam, Thula, & Wadi Dhar

18 Days / 17 Nights

Included in the tour:

  • 11 nights accommodation in hotels, 5 nights camping & 1 night in huts.
  • Entrance fees.
  • Multilingual escort throughout tour.
  • Air-conditioned 4x4 vehicle throughout (4 pax per vehicle).
  • Desert guide (Bedouin escort) Marib/desert/Seyun


DAY 1 Sunday: Arrival

Arrive into the medieval city of Sana'a, the capital of Yemen, considered to be the birthplace of Arab nationhood, at the airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel for a two-night stay.

DAY 2 Monday: Sana'a

A full day exploration of Sana'a, including a visit to the National Museum, Haddah and the ancient quarter of this fascinating Arabian city with its intricately decorated mosques and unique multi-storyed houses. [B]

DAY 3 Tuesday: Sana'a, Marib

Traveling east to Marib, the legendary capital of the kingdom of Sheba. See the surviving stonework of the famous dam on which the prosperity of the kingdom of Sheba depended for more than a thousand years, the new dam that replaced it hundreds of years later and the ancient city of Marib. Overnight at your hotel in Marib. [B]

DAY 4 Wednesday: Marib, The Incense Road & Old Shabwa (camp)

Marib, one of the key centers of the trade routes of the region, was one of the largest and most prosperous cities in the Sabaean kingdom and the site of some of the world's earliest civil construction projects. In the morning visit the remains of the Temple of the Moon God (Awan Temple) and the Throne of Bilquis (Bar'an Temple). Depart Marib (accompanied by a desert guide) & travel the “incense road” across the undulating deserts of the Empty Quarter (Ramlat Al-Sab'atayn), known for its stark and uncluttered beauty, is one of the most exciting, interesting and imaginable trips. Continue on to the 3000-year old city of Shabwa where we will stay overnight (camping). [B][D]

DAY 5 Thursday: Wadi Hadramaut, Al-Qtan, Shibam & Seyun..

Depart Shabwa for Wadi Hadramaut, a huge, fertile depression that drains towards the east and is fed by a complex system of smaller Wadis. See intensely cultivated fields shaded by laden palm trees and tendered largely by women wearing curiously tall straw hats. In the afternoon we stop to marvel at the "desert Manhattan" Shibam an awe inspiring town of ancient sky-scrapers soaring out of the desert which UNESCO has declared a protected world monument. Continue on to Seyun for overnight at your hotel. [B]

DAY 6 Friday: Seyun, Tarim & Mukalla

This morning you will have the opportunity to explore Seyun, the former capital of Kathiri Sultanate. You will see the 17th century Great Mosque, the Palace of Sultan Al-Kathiri built of clay & brick and decorated with gypsum. You can then wander around the traditional "Suq" with its handicrafts and home-ground produce. Depart Seyun to visit Tarim the capital of Kinda Kings. You will be taken around Al-Kaff Palace (Tarim Museum), Al-Muhdar Mosque & Bin Yahya Palace. In the afternoon depart Wadi Hadramaut crossing the high plateau of the Djol, before dropping sharply down to the Indian Ocean to the provincial capital Mukalla for overnight at your hotel. [B]

DAY 7 Saturday: Mukalla & Bir Ali (camp)

Explore Mukalla, the former capital of Quaiti Sultanate. See Husn Al-Ghuwayzi built in (1884 AD), Ma'in Palace built by Sultan Omer Bin Awadh Al-Quaiti, currently Mukalla Museum occupies a large part of it. Depart Mukalla and drive along the spectacular coast road to Bir Ali, surrounded by white sand dunes, green rocky mountains and black lava deposits. Spend your afternoon swimming or relaxing on a white sand beach in Bir Ali where we will spend overnight (camping). [B][D]

DAY 8 Sunday: Bir Ali, Al-Rawda, Habban & Wadi Yashbum (camp)

Early morning you will visit the old port of Qana, under the brooding cliffs of Husn Al-Ghurab, where the incense from Dhofar was landed for transshipment to the camel caravans. Following the coast through a mixture of volcanic landscape and occasional patches of sand dune, we turn inland to Wadi Mayfa’a then pass over a wide plain to reach Al-Rawda, where it may be possible to visit a weaving factory. Continue on to Wadi Yashbum via Habban, another town with more fantastic examples of tall-tower houses constructed from mud, overnight (camping) in Wadi Yashbum. [B][D]

DAY 9 Monday: Wadi Yashbum, Al-Baydha & Rada'a

After the contrasts of desert and coast, we are back in an area similar to Wadi Hadramaut. This morning we walk through the picturesque canyon-like Wadi Yashbum. The villages here were established in the third century when the Sabaeans of Marib drove out the inhabitants of the trading city of Shabwa. From the wide plain of Lawdar, the road climbs dizzily up the escarpment in a series of tight hairpin bends giving dramatic aerial views of Lawdar below. Continue on to Rada’a via the towns of Mukayras & Al-Baydha, overnight at your hotel in Rada’a. [B]

DAY 10 Tuesday: Rada'a, Ibb & Jibla (camp)

Depart Rada'a & drive to Jibla via the spectacular Sumara pass (2,700 m) with spectacular views out over mountains & valleys covered with verdant terraces. Its warm, sunny disposition and plentiful rainfall allow as many as four harvests to take place each year! Drive to visit the old town of Ibb before continuing on to Jibla where we will stay overnight (camping). [B][D]

DAY 11 Wednesday: Jibla & Taiz

Explore Jibla, this picturesque village was the capital of Queen Arwa Bint Ahmed in the 11th century. Here you can see the great mosque with its column prayer hall, and the finely decorated tomb of the Queen. Depart Jibla for Taiz, the medieval capital of Yemen under the Rasulid Dynasty. Visit the fine Ashraffiya Mosque with its twin minarets, the Muddhaffariya Mosque, and the old Palace of Imam Ahmed, (if opened) now a museum preserving his curious lifestyle. Walk through the old Suq, with its exotic wares, overnight at your hotel in Taiz. [B]

DAY 12 Thursday: Taiz, Yafrus, Wadi Al-Dhabab & Khawkha (camp/hut)

Depart Taiz and drive to Yafrus, a village famed for it’s 500-year-old mosque and Wadi Al-Dhabab, where we stop to visit one of the holiest shrines in Yemen, a fine 16th century mosque dedicated to local saint Ahmed bin Alwan. Continue on to Khawkha, a fishing village on the Red Sea, where you can enjoy your time swimming or relaxing on the Red Sea side. Overnight in the traditional beds of the region – made of fine rope, woven over a wooden frame. (Camping – rustic huts with minimal communal facilities) [B][D]

DAY 13 Friday: Zabid, Beit Al-Faqih & Hajjarah

The Tihama is the name given to the sultry coastal plain whose rich soils generate over half of Yemen’s agriculture output. Depart Khawkha for Hajjarah via Zabid, an important early Islamic center of learning, where algebra is said to have been invented. In Zabid, see the finely decorated old houses and the 10th century mosque. Drive to visit the Friday traditional market of Beit Al-Faqih, which is considered one of the biggest and most important traditional markets in the country. Continue on to Haraz region, an area of high mountain ranges where villages and coffee plantations cling to steep slopes, overnight at your hotel in Hajjarah, an old fortified village where houses are built directly onto rock. [B][D]

DAY 14 Saturday: Walking in the highlands, Kahil & Hoteib (camp)

An abundance of fresh air and wonderful mountain vistas provide us with some exhilarating walking in the isolated hill-top villages around Manakha, a large market town full of narrow alleys, Suqs and attractive four-story houses. For a glimpse into medieval times we make a steep 300-meter climb to a cluster of houses atop a spur of rock, the village of Kahil. Continuing by Al-Jabel, we eventually descend to the Ismaili sanctuary of Al-Hoteib, a center of pilgrimage of Ismailis from all over the world. Overnight (camping) in this overwhelming landscape beside fields of Qat & coffee. [B][D]

DAY 15 Sunday: Wadi Surdud, Mahwit, Tawilla & Kawkaban

Depart Haraz & drive on rough gravel roads across Wadi Surdud & the mountains of Al-Mahwit to Tawilla. The town is dwarfed by a large rocky outcrop of weathered sandstone whose peaks are surrounded with fortifications and whose lower slopes are littered with a jumble of giant boulders. In some cases houses have been partially excavated from the solid rock. Continue on to the cliff-top settlement of Kawkaban for an overnight stay. Dawn and dusk are particularly impressive from lofty viewpoint, and the remaining large stone-built houses interspersed with patches of rubble make for an unusually atmospheric overnight stop. The funduq in which we stay is one of these large traditional houses. [B][D]

DAY 16 Monday: Shibam, Thula, Wadi Dhar & Sana'a

The hour-long walk down the steep rocky path from Kawkaban to its twin town Shibam makes a pleasant start to the day. After a brief look at Shibam we drive to visit Thula a fortress town with its original walls, a prime example of Arabs use of stone, as a building material is nearly intact. Drive to visit Dar Al-Hajjar, the summer palace of Imam Yahya, perched on the top of a rocky pinnacle at Wadi Dhar before continuing on to Sana’a for a two-night stay at your hotel. [B]

DAY 17 Tuesday: Sana'a

Free day, spend your time at leisure, wondering around the old town – a great place to relax in a teahouse and soak up the atmosphere or shopping. [B]

DAY 18 Wednesday: Departure.

Transfer to Sana'a airport & departure [B]


Future Tours Industries - FTI

Al-Qiada Street

P.O.Box: 1203

Sana’a - Republic of Yemen

Tel.: (+967-1) 253216 / 225062

Fax: (+967-1) 282901 / 227196

E-Mail: info@ftiyemen.com