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travelling to socotra places in socotra plateaus things to do

Places in Socotra


Hadibo is the capital of Socotra and the main city. Actually there isn’t that much to see in Hadibo, but here are where most hotels and restaurants located. The airport is about 15 minutes from Hadibo by car. 

Dixam Plateau

Dixam Plateau is located in the central part of Socotra. You can go there by a good asphalt road which can lead you to get to Noged (the south coast of the Island).
When you leave the main road, you will drive by a small village where you can buy Dragon’s blood. It is the name used for a red resin obtained from Dragon Trees. It is a good immunostimulant and wound-healthing remedy.
After passing by the village you have an option to turn to the left to reach the verge of Socotra’s most beautiful canyon (Wadi Dirhur). The late afternoon would be the best time to come here, the soft evening light makes surrounding views look fantastic. Visitors often use this place for camping. But it may be cold and windy at night. There is a near camping spot which would be more comfortable.
If you would like you could walk down to the brink of the canyon and discover some caves that are still inhabited by mountain shepherds.
Do the next stop near the wood of Dragon Trees.



It is one of the best beaches on Socotra. Erissel is a viewpoint for the meeting point of the Arabian sea and the Indian Ocean at the end of the Island. If you come here at sunrise, you’ll be rewarded by excellent photos



Qalansia is the second administrative town on Socotra island and it is about 1 and a half hours from Hadibo, with a paved road the entire way, Qalansia town is a charming and picturesque fishing village with its traditional houses and narrow alleyways. It has a few stores and a place to eat, but is mainly just a residential coastal village with access to the sea and people spending their days fishing and grazing animals. Just north of the village, beyond large sand dunes and some cliffs you can see many fishing boats and  from there you can go to Shuab Bay by boat.


Shauab Beach

You can get to Shauab Beach by boat from Qalansia village. It takes about an hour and a half then you will arrive to a marvelous and unbelievable isolated place of the island.
There is a wonderful underwater world here which is a perfect spot for snorkeling.
When your boat continues its way you will find yourself on a breath-taking sand beach, with its turquoise water, it is one of the best places on Socotra island


Detwah Lagoon

Detwah Lagoon is definitely one of the most impressive places on the island’s coast. There is a camping spot with toilet and shower rooms, where visitors can stay overnight. Fresh water is also available for your use.
Qalansia is the best start point for seeing the lagoon. After driving through the village, your car goes up a low hill where you will be able to enjoy an incredible overall view of the lagoon. You have an option to go down to walk along the lagoon shore, a slow walk at the seaside takes about 3 hours. Please, remember to protect yourself against the sun and take drinking water.



Aomak is located in the south coast of Socotra, you can use the chance and stay overnight in Aomak camping spot located in a small cove. It is very nice atmosphere when enjoying food with gorgeous views of this place.
Please keep to the left to avoid seaweeds when you take a swim in the ocean. You could also walk to the right to see old boathouses and log canoes driven ashore by tsunami waves several years ago.


Hoq Cave

Hoq cave is almost easily accessible. It takes about 1 hour and a half to climb to its entrance from the village. Better to take a local guide. The route is not difficult, but tiresome. Visitors usually follow it in the full blaze of the sun. So, remember to take a couple of water bottles.
The cave is rather easy to enter. It stretches for about 3-4 km along the cliff. It is relative cool inside. The ground of the cave is water-free, there are only terraced plots filled with water at the end of it. The pathway inside the cave is marked by a reflective tape, so It is not possible to lose your way inside but remember to take a personal flashlight.
It usually takes fourty minutes to reach the end of the cave



Noged is the central part of the south coast of Socotra. You can reach here by the asphalt road that goes through Dixam Plateau. You can visit Stero place to see a lot of gorgeous sand dunes.
Use the chance and take a walk into the depth of sands. If you come here before sunset, a soft evening lighting will make this place to look much more charming.
There is also a more beautiful place with white sands on the other side of the camp.


Di Hamri

Di Hamri is located in the north eastern coast of Socotra, the marine protected area of Di Hamari is one of the best diving and snorkeling spots and also it is a home to one of the richest coral reefs of the archipelago. There are many marine animals to be seen while swimming and snorkeling, Parrotfish, Moray eel Rays, Sea urchins, etc. In addition the Marine environments of Di Hamri are diversified, there are some kinds of Acropora palifera and Rhincodon fishes which are rare at world level and only found in Socotra.



In Skand you will get astonished by a jungle of huge plants, also it has the highest peak in the island which reaches to 1525 m above sea level, it also has many endemic plants and trees. You can reach here by the same road that goes through Dixam. You can take a walk to the edge of vertical cliffs to see many ruins of ancient constructions. If you go a shade down you will find a few local houses where friendly and cheery people live.



Arher is located on the north-east shore of Socotra. It takes about 1 and a half hours by car from Hadibo to Arher.
Arher is a popular camping spot being between two big dunes. Visitors usually go to Erissel beach for swimming before coming here. It is also possible to bathe near the camp, but in this case you will have to go about 500 m to the right or to the left to avoid walking along rocky sea bottom opposite the stream, or put on special swimming slippers.
The camping site has fresh water but a lack of shower and toilet rooms. So, you can take a natural bath in a fresh water stream. You can make bonfires by burning wood fuel brought with you and grill fish and potatoes if you would like.
Those who possess great physical strength and endurance may climb one of the dunes. Most tourists prefer climbing the right dune. But if you scramble up the second one you will be rewarded with a great unusual view. If you take cameras remember the risk of it being exposed to sand. And do not forget to take water because the route is much more difficult and longer than it seems to be.
Arher is famous for its eel swarms. So, if you explore grassed verges of the stream you will definitely see some eels, which are up to 1,5 m long. Better not catch them, they are too bony and tasteless.
Please remember to leave the place cleaner than it was before your coming, so make sure to burn all combustible refuse or collect it and take it with you to Hadibo.


Mumi Plateau

Mumi Plateau is far away from standard tourist routes, but you can find very beautiful and unusual places here.


Homhil Plateau

Homhil Plateau is located over Mumi highlands northeast of Socotra island. It attracts visitors primarily by a combination of various kinds of trees growing at one place. About 156 kinds of plant species are present in the reserve, Number of plant species present in the reserve is 156, 86 are of endemic kinds.  20 kinds of birds are registered, 4 of them are endemic on the island. This area is rich with animals including  reptiles, insects and others. The protected area is covered with trees  of Dragon’s Blood Trees, bottle trees, Frankincense trees and Maryah trees, as well as with beautiful landscape to the side of the sea . In addition you can enjoy a breathtaking panorama view over the ocean. There is no a camping site here. You can drink a cup of tea and drive back to Hadibo

Ayaft Canyon

Ayaft canyon is the greenest place of Socotra. Its unique moisture-retaining microclimate is created by numerous springs and streams. The canyon is protected from summer monsoons by Skand Mountains. That is why its vegetation remains lush the year round.
It looks like a fairy world filled with wondrous birds, fantastic trees and real mountain Socotrans. Ayaft Canyon National park is one of the most attractive and important place of interest. Ayaft is considered as a natural nursery due to its large abundance of endemic trees, plants and birds  ,There are many big trees around the canyon. The landscape of the canyon is really beautiful as well as you’ll find large fresh water pools and there is a possibility to swim in this pools.
It is the right place where frankincense trees grow. With a thin smooth body and long branches with small narrow leaves the tree is not much to look at. It is rather difficult to find it – you need someone to show it to you. But this is the tree that made Socotra famous in the ancient world.
Frankincense, also called olibanum (Arabic language: لبان, lubban), is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia by slashing the bark and allowing the exuded resins to bleed out and harden. These hardened resins are called tears. With special skill it is quite possible to harvest a handful of frankincense for an hour. If you lived 2100 years ago, you would get hold of a vast wealth as Socotra’s frankincense was valued above gold and other incenses.



It takes only 30 minutes to get to Delisha beach from Hadibo. Visitors usually come here directly from the airport to have a swim and to walk along a big sand-dune.
Delisha is now actively divided into parts and gradually starts turning into a construction site.
You have an option to drive to the end of the road and walk through a confluent tributary. Here it is rather clean and quite possible to find a solitary piece of the sand beach


Between June and July, you can meet here many turtles crawling onto beach at night .