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Best Hiking Trails in Yemen

Overview

Yemen is in a civil war at the moment, but this country on the bottom of the Arabian peninsula has stunning mountain landscapes on the mainland and on Socatra Island.  There are also hundreds of islands in the Red Sea that belong to Yemen. The main areas for hiking are in the Haraz Mountains, in the western part of the country and where the capital Sana’a is located; the Hajhir Mountains on Socatra Island, and the Eastern Highlands. The best months to hike in Yemen are October to April, but this varies depending on the region. Read on for more information on where and when to hike in Yemen. 

 

Capital: Sana’a

When To Hike in Yemen?

October – April: October – March are the best months for mainland Yemen (least hot and least rain) and October – November; February – April for Socotra
Varies
May – September: Rainiest time; hottest time

Climate: Subtropical hot dry desert climate for most of the country but in the plateau and mountains it is mild and moderately rainy; western side of plateau is more rainy than eastern.  Rainier during the summer months. 

 

Yemen Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Hard: There is an ongoing war so travel there not recommended; in normal times it is a Medium.  Hiking independently is difficult but there are tour companies offering hiking tours. 

Transportation required: Sturdy vehicle

Where to stay in Yemen for hiking:

  • Manakha
  • Taiz
  • Ibb
  • Al Hajjarah
  • Al Mahwit
  • Hadibo
  • Al Mukalla

Top Places to Hike in Yemen

The main hiking areas are on the western side of the country, in the Haraz Mountains (an extension of the Sarawat Mountains from Saudi Arabia). As well, the island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea has the Hajhir Mountains which can be hiked. Highest Mountain: Jabal an Nabi Shu’ayb (3666m).

Filter out hiking places of Yemen by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Socotra

  • Feb – Apr; Oct – Nov; could be fine to go year round
  • Beautiful island in the Gulf of Aden/Arabian Sea; one of the top destinations in Yemen
  • Hajhir Mountains, highest point is Mashanig (1500m) 
  • Hadibo is a good base 
  • Dragon’s Blood Trees

Eastern Highlands

  • Oct – Mar
  • Mountains along the southern coast, lower altitude compared to western range
  • Al Mukalla

Haraz Mountains

  • Oct – Mar
  • Along the western side of the country
  • Sana’a is the capital and main city of this region, sits at a high altitude 
  • Taizz, Ibb, Manakha; Al-Hajjarah are all good bases in this region

Yemen's Long Distance Trails

  • Many of the hikes are multi-day treks.

Yemen's Walking & Hiking Resources

Yemen Hiking Books: 

  • Yemen: The Haraz Mountains: A Hiking and Trekking Guide, by Max Kasparek, 2007, Kasparek Verlag
  • Lonely Planet Oman, UAE, and Arabian Peninsula, by Lauren Keith and Jessica Lee, 2019, Lonely Planet Publications

 

Best Hiking Trails in Yemen:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices:

  • Jabal Maswar
  • Jabal Kawkaban
  • Jabal Shahara
  • Jabal Raymah
  • Jabal an Nabi Shu’ayb
  • Mashanig

Easy Hiking Trails in Yemen:

  • Dragon’s Blood Trees trails

 

Yemen Hiking Websites:

 

Yemen Weather Website:

 

Yemen Official Tourism Site:  

 

Yemen Hiking Apps: 

 

Yemen Hiking Maps:

What Else To Do

  • Architecture
  • Mosques
  • Beaches
  • Castles

Other Important Points

  • LGBT activities are not looked upon favourably 
  • Drug offences are punished severely
  • Watch any internet searches
  • Sits on an active fault line, therefore earthquake risk