Considered by all travelers a destination taken from a fairy tale, Yemen is the Mecca for intrepid adventurers, the one destination that awes all visitors for its rawness and untouched culture combined with jaw-dropping architecture and mesmerizing valleys.
Don’t forget to check my travel guide to Yemen.
need to know for traveling in Yemen
Population: 30.9 million (48th)
Area: 555,000km² (49th largest country)
You must hire a local fixer to do all the paperwork for you and book a tour with him. The visa takes around one full month to process.
There is a flight from Cairo to Seiyun twice a week via Yemenia Air.
Alternatively, you can also cross from Oman (Salalah), but due to its remoteness, not all fixers will agree to pick you up from there.
Because of the sanctions, most travel insurance companies don’t cover travel in Yemen, but IATI Insurance does:
5% discount if booking here:
Best time to visit
Avoid coming here from May to the end of September, when temperatures average around 45ºC.
Tours for Yemen
Against the Compass runs tours into Yemen. The next one is scheduled on:
November 23rd to 28th (2023)
Which places can you visit in Yemen?
Today, the only stable and safe place you can visit in Yemen mainland is the eastern region of Hadramut.
Highlights in Hadramut include the UNESCO site of Shibam, and Mukalla, Wadi Doa’n and plenty of rural villages.
You can also visit the island of Socotra but that required a different visa.
Nowadays, you can’t visit Sanaa.
Top experiences in Yemen
Visiting mud-made towns like Shibam
And I specify towns because this isn’t like the tiny mud village you may find in Mali or Sudan but they are actual towns built in the past as caravan cities.
Shopping in a khat market
In addition to sparing one day for chewing khat, visiting one of the many khat markets with tens of stalls selling all sorts of types and quality of khat is a real highlight.
Meeting Yemeni people
With their daggers, traditional clothes, smiles and hospitality, meeting Yemenis are an essential part of any trip to Yemen.
Trekking around Wadi Doa’n
This canyon-shaped valley offers plenty of trekking opportunities through unspoiled villages and spectacular views.
Check our Yemen travel guide
tips for Yemen
The only safe region in Yemen mainland is Hadramut, but safety is relative. You must travel with armed escorts and an expert fixer.
Socotra on the other hand, is completely safe.
It’s not allowed to travel independently in Yemen mainland, but you must book a tour and be with a local guide/fixer at all times.
Since independent travel is not allowed, you can only move around in a private car.