Sana'a is a portal to many fascinating day trips located within its surrounding wadis and mountains. Unfortunately a permit and hired car are required for many of these. However, these are not difficult to obtain. Perhaps the most popular and easily accessible of these destinations is the Dar al-Hajar, or better known as the 'rock palace'. Located in the nearby Wadi Dhahr, the rock palace, which spirals majestically several stories high from a conveniently placed rock is one of Yemen's most treasured attractions. It is also not necessary to obtain a permit in order to travel to Wadi Dhahr from Sana'a.
Further northwest from Sana'a are a trio of picturesque villages; Thilla, Shibam and Kawkaban. Thilla sports a mountaintop fortress, Husn Thula - from which spectacular views of the surrounding environs can be seen. Shibam is located at the base of a cliffside with the village of Kawkaban perked spectacularly at the top. After visiting all three of these, my driver and I made our way to Manakhah, another village located in the mountains about 100 km southwest of Sana'a where we overnighted at the animated Al-Hajjarah Tourist Hotel. A night's stay included dinner; however, this was only the appetizer to the entertainment that was later offered. The next we hiked from Manakhah through the mountains to the nearby village of Al-Hajjarah.
To see more photos from this collection, check here: