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The Highlands

Sana’a, the capital is the port of entry and exit to the country. The old city of Sana’a, still encircled by its wall of mud, presents unique, lively, and perfectly preserved traditional architecture. Walking around between the high decorated plastered facades, the slender white minarets, and the harmony is a true delight to the senses.At the heart of the old city extends the lays the vast and lively traditional market, where one can find all Yemeni handcrafts. Sana’a possesses several museums; the National museum displays important archeological collections (Aden’s and Seyoun’s museum as well).


Twelve kilometers west of Sana’a, in the fertile valley, stands the palace of Imam Yahya, built in the early 1920’s. Build into the rock, this unique structure defies time and gravity. This is but a small sampling of the skill and architecture of Yemeni builders. Every Friday several hundred people gather to celebrate weddings as they dance on Wadi Dhahr.

Sana’a is also the starting point to discover the fortified villages of Masana’a plateau, at about 50 kilometers from the capital city such as Thula, a small city encircled by a XVIII wall. This village is without doubt the best example of the rock architecture of the high plateaus. Thula managed to conserve its perfect unity. The decorations’ finesse and the beautiful ochre color of stone deserve one’s precious assessment.

Kawkaban’s walls melt with the plateau. At 3000 meters of altitude, the landscape is focused on pad cultures and the Djebel Nabi Sh’aib, the highest culminant point of Yemen, at 3700 meters in altitude.

Also near are the tiny village of Zakatin and Bokour. They are fortified villages, today abandoned in which the houses were constructed within the side of the cliff, incrusted in the rock. Further west, we can find the villages of Tawila and Mahweet

At about a hundred kilometers of the capital rises the most spectacular mass mountainous area carved by thousand of cultivated terraces. It is the most breathtaking scenery of the country. The Djebel Harraz, around the city of Manakha. This dominant mountain, where the Ishmaelite, a dissident community of Islam took refuge, is a true natural fortress.

In the south, at 200 kilometers, the terrain is softer: the altitude is lower, the vegetation and farming are abundant, and the colors are brighter. At the heart of “green Yemen” we can come across the beautiful small city of DJibla, built on the side of a rock. 

Then comes Taiz, the 3rd largest city in the country. Taiz was the capital of the Rassoulid dynastie (1229-1454). They were remarkable builders who embellished their capital city. One can still admire several mosques and the citadel of this era. The city site itself is magnificent due to the imposing mass of Djebel Saber.

Getting to Yemen
AirportsVisitors may enter Yemen via any one of its international airports in Sana'a, Aden, or Taiz
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