Bucket List Worthy
This is the ancient land of the Queen of Sheba, where the medieval magic of 1001 Arabian nights surrounds you. Tucked into the southwest corner of the Arabian peninsula, Yemen is a small rectangle of a country, with the Red Sea caressing its western shoreline, the Arabian Sea its southern. These two spectacular oceans offer an array of sailing, diving, and boating activities—and Red Sea diving ranks up there with the world’s best—but the country’s interior offers Yemen’s richest tourist gems.
Explore well-preserved ancient cities and palaces, isolated mountain villages, traditional medieval architecture, geographical wonders such as delightful wadis (fertile valleys) and of course the Rub al-Khali desert, with the UNESCO World Heritage City of Shibam, nicknamed “The Manhattan of the Desert” because of its mud and clay buildings, some 9 storeys high—“skyscrapers” by desert standards. Shop in a “suq” (an Arabic market that today is not much different than it was hundreds of years ago). Visit some of the oldest and most impressive mosques in the world. Marvel at historic feats of engineering like the bridge of Sheharah and the dam of Marib. And let Arab culture embrace you as you sample traditional Yemeni cuisine, like the national dish, saltah, a flavorful meat stew.
You can fly to Yemen on Yemenia, from London, Paris, Frankfurt, and Rome. And Lufthansa offers four flights a week from Frankfurt to Yemen. If you crave fascinating, off-the-beaten-path destinations that are nothing like the modern, western world, Yemen belongs right at the top of your “places to see” list.