great beaches, great landscapes, no big hotels
hard to get to.
The paradise island
It would be a great pitty not to walk in charming Socotri mountains. You can choose from a wide range of treks accoring to your stamina. We went for a three day trek to cross Haghier Mountains: started in wadi Deneghen where we loaded our stuff on a camel. That mae it easier for us to walk and take photos on the way. First night camping in Adho...more
Shouab is a long white sand beach on the western coast of Socotra island. It's a wonderful place with turqoise water, cliffs full of birds, empty clean beach, and unique mangroves. There is no other way to get to Shouab than by a fishermen's boat from Qalansiya. It takes around one hour to reach there. On the way, our fisherman stopped the boat to...more
I can't pick just one thing about this island. But at the top of the list is just to explore it from one end to the other, and if you've a mind, scuba dive along the way, big game fish for world record Marlin, Dolphin, Swordfish, Tuna, or take a camel trek across the island, climb the Hagier Mountains (1500 M) for a view that will take your breath...more
No doubt the best restaurant on Socotra island is in Adeeb's Eco-lodge. Abdalla Adeeb went for a cooking course in Mercure Hotel in Aden and from his puffy figure you can tell that he loves food. He serves food in palm leaf shelters in his eco-lodge compound located on the beach just outside Hadibo. You don't need to be accommodated there, just...more
There is not much to do on Socotra in the night. Locals go to bed after the last prayer because they wake up for the morning prayer at 4 am. However there is an attractive night activity for you from end of April to September: watching turtles coming to Socotri beaches to lay eggs. The best place to spot them is Qadamah beach. Get ready for a long romantic walk on the beach and if you're lucky enough you come across a huge Loggerhead turtle crawling from the sea and looking for the best spot to lay her eggs. It's a magic experience! Even if you don't see any turtle, walking in the sand with millions of bright stars over your head is just perfect.
Dress Code: Take flip flops and take them off for walking in the sand. Bare foot walking in the sand is much less exhausting than when wearing any kind of shoes.
It is absolutely necessary to hire a 4WD with a local driver/guide. While the tar road that surrounds the island is in a good condition, if you want to reach the more remote areas like Diksam a 4WD is a must. It is pretty cheap to hire a driver: 10.000 Yemeni Rial per day (less than 50 €). If you do longer hikes in the mountains, you can arrange to...more
Yemenia from Sana'a (or Aden or Mukalla) is the only viable way to go to Socotra. They usually operate two flights a week, but in summer they will usually have one only. They may have taken bookings for a return on the second weekly flight already, before they decide to change their schedule back to once-a-week-only. Difficult to predict, but from...more
As of June 1999 one can now fly to Socotra, they even call it an international airport. Keeping in mind that going to Socotra is what I would call adventure travel - so, consider even the flight on Yemenia is a high adventure. In fact the 2 internal flights to Socotra were very nice with a warm kind crew who told me were the best seats were to...more
There are many rules regarding meeting people on Socotra. When two local men meet, they grab each other's hand and touch noses three times. Nowadays, they often stick just with modern hand shake. Shake hands with them if offered a hand shake. Some traditional men from the mountains will prefer not to touch a foreign woman. They will put their right...more
Exploring Socotra island, I met a wonderful old man, more than 45 years of living in a small cave.To see and talk to people like him, you need to deviate from the standard tourist programs and walk inland.The old man in the photo lives in an amazing location next to the uninhabited village, located in one of the canyons on the plateau Mumi.more
Not a voluntary tourist trap, but one we set for ourselves. When we arrived at the gorgeous Arher Beach, we instantly made camp and were happy to have this deserted beach all for ourselves. Then we wondered about the significance of the little sand pyramids dotted all over the beach. A faint memory of a National Geographic documentary lead to the conclusion that these might be crab dens. With sunset, we saw hundreds of hand-size crabs heading for the sea. As we couldn`t put every item we had into our tents, we were virtually under siege during the night: crabs climbing into cooking pots and making noise, crabs gnawing at backpacks, clothing and towels, and the sinister "click-click-click"-sounds of fast-moving crabs accompanied us throughout the night. Needless to say that I didn`t get much sleep then.
Luggage and bags:
large & small backpack
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: stout hiking boots
lots of longsleeved t-shirts
hat or headscarf
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: toilet paper
malaria medicine (like Malarone) - just in case
Photo Equipment: lots of charged batteries (rare possibilities to recharge)
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: waterproof/mosqito-proof tent
beachgear (preferably longer beach baggie trousers to avoid sunburn)
provisions (tuna, bread, salami etc.)
vitamin, calcium and magnesium tablets
In Qalansiya, tourists usually go to charming Ditwah Bay, some of them take a boat to Shouab. But not far from the village, a real gem is hidden under the rising sandstone cliffs. Qiso Oasis is a large garden of date palm trees where it's lovely to take a rest and have a picnic in the shade of palms. There is a fresh water spring so even the...more
Socotra is a perfect place for those who like trekking.All our programs offer trekking routes that allow you to get to know better the island’s nature and inhabitants. We adjust our programs to the time of your coming. If you come after a monsoon season we would recommend you to walk through wadis full of natural water pools. In the hottest time of...more
Underwater hunting on Socotra is strictly prohibited by law. But nobody has anything against free diving and spinning.For free diving we would recommend the whole northern coast of Socotra where it is quite easy to enter the sea. Here, the sea floor is made of volcanic rocks covered with coral features. The visibility is average. Sea currents are...more
The best time for diving on Socotra is the period from September to October and from March to May, when wind falls and the sea calms down.We have pleasure in organizing diving tours for you on Socotra. We offer you to take advantage of professional knowledge of Fouad Naseeb, the only certified dive-master on the island, who has been studying the...more
Favorite thing: Surprisingly, Socotra was much cleaner than the rest of Yemen where wild rubbish dumps are common. As a traveller, you should try to keep it that way and take care that you do not leave your rubbish at the wonderful places where you`re staying. To bring some plastic bags for collecting your personal waste at the campgrounds would be a sensible idea.