Al Hajjarah Village – Hiking the Haraz Mountains in Yemen

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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-towers stand guard on a crag.

Awake, Al Hajjarah!

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

From Manakhah, it’s an easy 5 km walk to Al Hajjarah village

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

Use Manakhah as base

Manakhah is a good base to explore the Haraz Mountains, with a regional market, reasonable transport links and a few hotels.

haraz mountain children yemen
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
Transport on route from Manakhah market day, Yemen
Overcrowded public transport on route from the Manakhah market day in Haraz Mountains.
haraz mountain village panorama yemen
Another village on the walk between Al Hajjarah and Manakhah.
Old man in traditional clothes at Harjjarah village in Haraz Mountains, Yemen
Old man in traditional Yemeni clothes, including ceremonial dagger, at Al Harjjarah village in the Haraz Mountains of Yemen.

Al Hajjarah village walls.

Travel Advice for Manakhah & Al Hajjarah

CAUTION: I was in Yemen in 2005. But now in 2020, civil war and a humanitarian crisis grips much of Yemen; and I assume the Haraz Mountains are inaccessible to travelers. Check first for the latest updates.

ROOMS: Manakha Tourist Hotel – simple mattress on floor with shared bathroom and amazing views of mountains and villages. It is located on route to the market on the main road to Manakhah.

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

yemeni meal in haraz mountains
Dinner at my guesthouse.

There are very few other accommodation choices. ALSO POSSIBLE: staying in a guesthouse in Al Hajjarah.

How to get to Manakhah + Al Hajjarah

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

From Manakhah, getting to Al Hajjarah is a nice 5 km walk.

manakhah market day
Manakhah market day.

ANOTHER TIPS: Take plenty of rial & cash dollars – no banks; exchange with market vendors. And take some warm clothes, too.

manakhah market day
Like a fairytale land – Haraz Mountain Vista. MRP ART 2017

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