Swimming in Yemen
We didn't have time to try the beaches and the sea but some of the hotel pools are good.
Most of the better class hotels have swimming pools and it is acceptable for women to swim in these wearing a normal one piece costume. Most have changing rooms by the poolside so you don’t have the problem of having to walk through the hotel in your swimming gear. Towels are also provided.
These are the hotels I stayed in with swimming pools. The problem in the highlands is the temperature drops at night and the pools are quite cold to start off with so you will feel the chill when you get out! All these pools were well maintained and clean.
Sana’a Movenpick Hotel. 5 star. Outdoor pool which is cold and very big and an indoor pool in the fitness centre which is an acceptable size and nice and warm. Both are big enough to do laps, although the indoor pool is for leisure and can get quite busy.
Sofitel Taiz. 4 star. A lovely pool on the terrace overlooking the mountains. The temperature is just about bearable early evening. Take your camera for the view of the sunset over the mountains.
Holiday Inn Mukalla. 4 star. I didn’t try this one due to lack of time but it looked very nice.
Al Hawta Palace, Seiyun. An outdoor pool located in the gardens and as Seiyun is in Hadramaut which is warmer than the Highlands, a very pleasant and reasonably warm pool. This is a tourist hotel with practically no local people staying so dress code around the pool is a bit more relaxed with some (Italian) guests sunbathing in bikinis.Related to:
- Historical Travel
For those motoring enthusiasts: go by your own car or rent one! This is definitely one of the best countries to be behind the wheel: perfect main roads network; great off-road (rock and sand) driving; plains and mountain passes; no pesky policemen or gatsometers. Just anticipate to the max so as not to get involved in an accident. Alternative to Yemen: Syria.
Riding a motor cycle would be at least as great. The risks are naturally higher.Related to:
- Road Trip
Sports in Yemen
Hiking is the first physical activity that springs to mind. Anthing from an hours walk to a weeks-long trek through the Central Highlands will be a rewarding experience. For the longer treks you'll want a guide. Swimming would be in the sea or in a pool. There are lots of beautiful beaches everywhere, but women will not feel at ease everywhere (even though there is certainly no threat). Beaches (from northwest to southeast) where also women will feel comfortable swimming include Kamaran Island (off Hodeidah), Al-Khokha, Aden (Sheraton and Elephant Bay Beach Resort), Bir Ali (white sand, often rated as Yemen's most beautiful beach; accomodation there very basic), Mukallah hotels, Socotra archipelago. Public pools can be found in Sana'a, Sey'un and Ataq (Shabwah capital) among other places; hotels with pools include Movenpick, Sheraton, Taj Sheba and Shahran in Sana'a, Sofitel in Taiz, Sheraton in Aden, Bilqis in Marib, Al Hawta Palace Hotel in Wadi Hadramawt and Holiday Inn in Mukallah.
There is some horse-riding in Sana'a (on Taiz Road in southeast Sana'a near the Porsche workshop), it is possible to arrange skydiving and hanggliding, scuba diving in Mukallah and Kamaran, snorkeling, riding water scooters in Aden.
Equipment: Camping and cooking gear can be rented locally and on a trek either carried by yourself or on donkeys.Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Hiking and Walking
To expensive for the price and not 5 star - 3 is more realistic. Rooms are nice but the street is...more
I didn't stay there, but went there in early afternoon hoping for a cup of tea. But they don't have...more
Al Hawta Palace Hotel is situated on the outskirts of Say'un and is set in lovely landscaped...more
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