Socotra Island Tours
2023 / 2024
Unlike anywhere else on earth. Socotra has to be seen to be believed. We run both scheduled tours and private tours to Socotra every week from September to May.
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Socotra has a total population of around 60,000 people who speak their own native Socotri language. Apart from the main town of Hadiboh, little infrastructure exists on the island. The island is so remote that one third of its plant life can only be found there. Socotra is a remarkable place for camping, walking, hiking, wildlife spotting & cultural immersion. It’s for anyone who wants to experience a natural world like no other.
We now have seven scheduled and confirmed group tours per year in February, March, April, October, November & December. All groups are capped at 10 people.
Dates don’t work? No worries, check out our sample itinerary below, get in touch and we’ll give you a quote for a private Socotra tour on your preferred dates.
Covid - 19 Update
All tours are operating as normal with no restrictions in place.
Abu Dhabi – Socotra – Abu Dhabi.
With just a scan of your passport, we will apply for the Socotra visa on your behalf. You then collect it on arrival. The visa fee is $150 USD extra.
Where better to ring in the new year in style!
Escape the northern winter blues and head for sunny Socotra!
Come visit the iconic bottle trees in full bloom!
It’s our classic Socotra tour itinerary over the feast of Eid al-Fitr.
It’s your last chance to visit paradise this season!
It’s your first chance to visit Socotra after the long windy season!
Escape the northern winter and head for paradise on earth!
Where better to ring in the new year in style!
Day 1 - Abu Dhabi | Hadibo | Qalansiya
- Take the early morning flight from Abu Dhabi to Socotra.
- Arrival in Habido, Socotra. We’ll be greeted by our local Socotri guide who will accompany us for the trip.
- Drive to Qalansiya, the second largest town on the island.
- On the way stopping at some abandoned Soviet tanks.
- See the incredible view of Detwah Lagoon from the highest point on the beach before trekking down to the beach. Relax and take a dip in the ocean!
- Walk around the lagoon to our camp site for a big lunch.
- Climb up a nearby hill which will give us a 360 degree view of Qalansiyah and Detwah at sunset.
- Dinner and overnight camping at Detwah Eco-campsite – complete with shower and toilet!
Day 2 - Shoub Beach | Detwah Lagoon
- Take an early morning boat trip to Shoub beach – passing by stunning rock formations and plenty of native birdlife along the way. There’s a high likelihood we’ll come across numerous dolphins on the way here too!
- Arrive at Shoub – Relax & swim at the most beautiful beach on the island.
- Make our way back to Qalansiya by boat.
- After lunch, trek along the shores to visit the cave of Abdullah Alloi – known as the “caveman” Abdullah was born here and spends his time fishing the lagoon. We’ll have more fresh seafood here washed down with tea!
- He’ll take us a quick tour of the lagoon (if he’s home…!). We’ll see pufferfish, sea cucumber, squid, starfish, sea urchin and more.
- Camping at Detwah Eco-campsite.
Day 3 - Diksam Plateau
- Up early to drive 2 hours to Diksam Plateau – home of the Dragon’s Blood Trees.
- Walk through endless Trees to the viewpoint overlooking Wadi Dirhar – an incredible canyon that splits Diksam and the Firmihin forest in half.
- Lunch under the shade of a Dragon’s Blood Tree.
- Go for a post-lunch dip at one of the many fresh water creeks in the Wadi Dirhar.
- Off road 4×4 drive to Firmihin forest and do a sunset hike to the top of the forest for one spectacular view overlooking thousands of Dragon’s Blood Trees.
- Set up camp at Diksam, Dinner and overnight.
Day 4 - Dixsam | Amak | Dihamri
- Start the morning with a walk to the nearby Dragon’s Blood Tree nursery
- Drive towards the South coast towards the epic sand dunes that line the coast. Drive across the sand dunes and stop for plenty of photo opportunities.
- Visit the cave of Dagub (If there’s time)
- Swim at the nearby Amak Beach.
- Lunch surrounded by a forest of palm date trees next to the beach.
- 2 hour drive north to our campsite at Dihamri Marine Sanctuary – the perfect time to try out some sunset/nighttime snorkelling!
- Dinner and overnight.
Day 5 - Dihamri Marine Protected Area | Killisan Pools
- Spend the morning scuba diving and snorkelling! (extra cost).
- Drive inland and south towards the Killisan canyon and pools. It’s an off-road drive and a 45 minute trek to get here but it’s well worth it. Swim in the turquoise pools and jump from the ledges into the crystal clear water.
- Picnic Lunch.
- Drive to Arher Beach campsite. This is the spot where you can climb the massive sand dune!
- You are free to walk around the area on your own. Those capable can climb the 300m-high dune! (Top tip – do it for sunrise instead!)
- Dinner and overnight camping with a fire.
Day 6 - Homhil National Park | Raw Ersil | Arher
- After breakfast head straight to Homhil National Park. The Park is famous for its supply of the famous Dragon blood trees. Lots of bottle trees and cucumber plants can also be found here. After walking for 30 minutes, we’ll reach an incredible crystal-clear pool complete with views over the whole southern part of the island.
- Swim and relax at the “infinity pool” before making our way back upstream for a picnic lunch under the palms.
- Drive back towards Arher beach.
- Stop at the Socotra folklore museum on the way.
- Drive to Raw Erisel, the meeting point of the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. This is the point where freshwater and saltwater meet creating a natural phenomenon.
- Dinner and overnight in Arher.
Day 7 - Arher | Hoq’s Cave | Delisha Beach | Hadibo
- Wake up next to the ocean and climb the sand dune (again..!) before sunrise if you dare. Cool off in the sea and rinse off in the freshwater streams.
- Start our hike to Hoq’s Cave (3 hours return. Medium fitness required)
- Lunch at Delisha Beach! A beautiful white beach complete with a shipwreck.
- Visit the Yemeni Foundation & development for Socotra. Learn how the foundation is doing great work educating the youth of the island in conservation, foreign languages and computer skills.
- Check into the newly opened Heathrow Hotel (Yep, it’s near the airport) – now the only hotel on the island with functioning AC & Wifi!
- Freshen up and get rid of all the sand before our last dinner together.
- Dinner and overnight in Hadibo.
Day 8 - Habido – Abu Dhabi
- Quick city tour of Hadibo. Check out the local fish and meat market.
- Any last minute shopping requests will be taken care of here!
- Transfer to the airport for your departure to Abu Dhabi.
- Arrive in Abu Dhabi around 17:00 local time.
- End of Socotra Tour.
Get in touch for more info on camel trekking, hiking and fishing tours. You name it and we can arrange it!
Socotra Tours - FAQs
Most frequent questions and answers for our tours to Socotra.
Socotra is and has always been conflict free. The civil war never came close to the island. Socotra is very autonomous from the rest of Yemen.
Socotra experiences a cyclone season that makes conditions quite difficult from June to September. The best time to visit Socotra is from October to May.
Currently the only flight option to Socotra is the charter direct route from Abu Dhabi.
USD cash is king on the island. You can change it on the black market to Yemani Rial once in Hadibo.
There are no ATMs on the island and credit cards are not accepted anywhere.
Group size will be no more than 10 travelers.
We’ll be a convoy of 4 cars. This allows each 4×4 car to have only 3 people each for maximum comfort. Everyone gets a window seat.
Travel insurance is a must. We have teamed up with IATI Travel Insurance because they provide cover for all our destinations. You’ll also automatically receive a 5% discount with them as a Rocky Road Travel customer.
Mostly camping! The only guesthouses are in Hadibo town. Around the island we will mostly be camping in the wild. A couple of camps will have no running water – so be prepared!
Our advice is to bring an external battery pack – preferably solar powered. Sometimes there will be a generator at the camp and sometimes not. You can also charge devices in the car while driving.
Not at all! We can cater to all diets on the island.