Al Hajjarah Village – Hiking the Haraz Mountains in Yemen

Envisage a scene from the Arabian Nights – the tallest tale in a fantastical dream.

Amid waves of weird mountains and cloud, a cluster of stone-tower houses guards a crag.

Al Hajjarah village in the Haraz Mountains of yemen
The 11th century Al Hajjarah village in the Haraz Mountains of Yemen.

It’s a 5 km hike to Al Hajjarah village from Manakhah

Simply walk up to the town center and swing right thru the market and keep going out along the mountainside road (as seen below).

scenes at Manakhah market haraz mountains of yemen
Manakhah market day.

CAUTION: I was in Yemen in 2005. But in 2022, civil war and a humanitarian crisis grips much of Yemen; and I assume the Haraz Mountains are inaccessible to most travelers. Check first for the latest updates for Yemen.

Transport on route from Manakhah market day haraz mountains in Yemen
Overcrowded Toyota 4WD – public transport on route from the Manakhah market day in the Haraz Mountains.

Staying in Manakhah

Manakhah is an excellent base to explore the Haraz Mountains, with a regional market, reasonable transport links to Sanaa and the Red Sea coast.

There are very few other accommodation choices.

yemeni tradition food in manakha haraz mountains
Range of excellent small dishes that was my dinner at my guesthouse: Manakha Tourist Hotel.

ROOMS: Manakha Tourist Hotel comes with a mattress on the floor with shared bathroom and views of mountains and villages. It’s on route to the market on the main road into Manakhah.

The price also includes decent meals in a family-run atmosphere.

village perched on Haraz mountains of Yemen
Lush fields surround a village on a hike in the Haraz mountains.

ALSO POSSIBLE: Staying in a guesthouse in Al Hajjarah village.

Hiking the Haraz Mountains in Manakhah & Al Hajjarah

LEFT: Shy girl carrying bushes on route. RIGHT: Local boy shows me the Jewish Star of David carved over house door in Al Hajjarah village; these families left Yemen.
Old man in traditional clothes at Harjjarah village in Haraz Mountains 
 of Yemen
Old man in traditional Yemeni clothes, including a ceremonial dagger, at Al Harjjarah village in the Haraz Mountains of Yemen.

How to Get to Manakhah and Al Hajjarah village

Shared taxis from Sanaa to Manakhah take about 2.5 hours (or get one going to Al-Hudayda – but jump out at the nearby turnoff town of Al-Maghraba).

From Manakhah, getting to Al Hajjarah village is an easy 5 km hike following a scenic, unsealed mountain road.

Al Hajjarah stone tower village and high walls
I entered ancient Al Hajjarah village thru a narrow gate within its high walls that are the foundations of the tower houses.

ANOTHER TRAVEL TIPS: Take plenty of rials & cash dollars – no banks; exchange with market vendors.

And take some warm clothes, too.

village on route from manakah hiking haraz mountains  panorama yemen
Another village on the hike between Al Hajjarah and Manakhah.
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Travels in Yemen – 2005

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