Due to its remarkable biodiversity, with over a third of the local plant species found nowhere else, Socotra has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With over 40,000 inhabitants, though, it's not just a nature reserve.
The Island is new to tourism, so if you are looking for a luxurious vacation this is not the right destination. However, Socotra is a perfect destination for the adventurous and nature loving travelers. Socotra takes pride in their eco-tourism and values their spectacular plant and wildlife that may sometimes be only found on this island. Although the lodging and facilities may not be the same as more modern and developed locations, Socotra is a beautiful and magnificent destination choice. Great care is shown to both guests and the environment.
Socotra is an eco-tourism system with limited infrastructure and new to the international tourist market, and therefore the hotel accommodations are not quite like other destinations. However there are four hotels in Hadibo: Taj Socotra Hotel, Hafijj Hotel, Socotra Hotel, and Summer land Hotel. There is also another hotel at the airport and also multiple guest houses around the island. There are two campsites that allow tourists to barbeque on the beach with beautiful mountain views in the background.
A runway that provides fairly regular airline transportation was only constructed in 1999. Like everything else, infrastructure and transportation has only just begun in recent years. There are also plans for new harbor facilities that will allow fisherman to sell and catch more easily and make importing food and fuel simpler.
In addition, there are also two information centers located at the airport and Hadibo.
When to go: Climate is an important consideration. And this depends on your interest. Nature enthusiasts should go from early October to late April. The monsoon occurs in July till mid-August (during July in the south east and south west of the island, wind surfing activity can be arranged). Generally, wildlife and natural viewing is best from the end of January through May.
Yemania Airlines offers two flights per week on Friday and Monday:
From Sana’a to Socotra Island (Friday departure time 5:00 am) From Aden to Socotra Island (Monday departure 9:00 am)
Felix is a new airline and is about to take over all flights to Socotra, providing flights once a day to and from the island.
There is no public transport, but car rental is available.
The Dragon’s Blood Tree “dracaena cinnabara” exists only on Socotra and nowhere else on the Earth. The tree got its’ name because if any damage is made to the bark then a dark red liquid oozes out.
Camel back ride: For a less active adventure
Surf: Socotra has excellent conditions for surfing. Since the winds and be very rough it is recommended that only experienced surfers participate.
Scuba dive/ Snorkel: Dive into the tropical warm weather filled with coral reefs. Enjoy swimming among the hundreds of species of fish and marine life such as barracudas, monkfish, dolphins, rays and even mantas. Diving for all ages and levels.
Bird watching tours: This is for anyone who has an interest in birds. Excellent way to view nature and the highly diverse bird population while avoiding harming any wildlife.
Remarkable volcanic caves
Hiking: For even those who are less athletic.
Socotra is a remote island and therefore their cuisine is limited and simple. Local restaurants often serve fresh fish, chicken, goat, rice, and potatoes. The fish is highly recommended and all meals are typically served with flat Arabic bread.
Oranges, bananas, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, bottled water, and soft drinks can all be bought at shops in town. Vegetables can be bought also but they are more expensive because they must be shipped over.
Since Yemen is an Islamic country, there are no alcoholic beverages provided except at five star hotels in the big cities mainland. It is suggested for tourists to bring their own alcohol if desired. Bottled water and soft drinks can be purchased at shops in town.