Socotra Island Adventures (Yemen)

Socotra Island Adventures (Yemen) 2280 , 8 Days
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Discover the paradise of Socotra! 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. The Island is re-opening for tourism, but 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 species and wildlife that may sometimes be found only 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.
The Socotra archipelago consists of the main island of Socotra (3,665 sq. km), the three smaller islands of Abd al Kuri, Samhah and Darsa and some small rock outcrops. The archipelago was once part of the supercontinent of Gondwana and is often described as the most alien-looking place on Earth with almost 700 endemic species. Socotra Island is a part of Yemen, however, it is far removed from anything happening on the mainland. The culture is different, the language is different and unlike the mainland, where the war still countinue, life on Socotra has remained as peaceful and quiet as can be.

Highlights:
♦ Homhil and Dixsam plateau - home of the famous Dragoon blood trees. Homhil has a landscape as from a prehostoric movie, while Dixsam is framed with the breathtaking mountain range of Hagier.
♦ Detwah lagoon - one of the most charming places on Socotra with its turquoise water, strong waves and beautiful sand dunes.
♦ Firhmin Forest 
- the last woodland comprised of Dragon's Blood trees.


Day 1. Abu Dhabi -  Hadibo - Ayhaft canyon - Delisha sandy beach – Hadibo
Early morning flight from Abu Dhabi to Socotra. Upon arrival at Socotra airport, we will be met by our local representative and transferred to the hotel. After lunch and a short break, we will be heading to Ayhaft Canyon National Park.In the canyon (valley), you will enjoy large fresh water-pools where you can swim. All around you, there will be variety of endemic plants like Dessert Rose, Tamarind trees, Cucumber trees and a wide variety of birds such as Socotra Sparrow, Socotra Sunbird and both Socotri and Somali Starlings. After swimming, we will drive to Delisha beach which consists of pristine white sands full of crabs. You will relax while swimming both in the sea and in a freshwater lagoon. If you are full of energy you can climb a huge sand dune overseeing the beach. There is also a possibility of watching a fabulous sunset from Delisha.
Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel in Hadibo. -/L/D

Day 2. Hadibo - Homhil National Park – Arher Beach
After breakfast we are driving north to the protected area of Homhil which is home to many endemic plants like Dragon’s Blood Tree, Frankincense Tree and Desert Rose. Here we will walk along a selection of trails, one of which will take us to an amazing viewpoint with a natural swimming pool. Here we will take a short break to enjoy a swim with a breathtaking panorama view over the Arabian Sea. On the way we will come across local children selling dragon blood resin and frankincense from the nearby village. After lunch we will drive to Arher - a spectacular camping spot on the beach in the far northeast of the island. You can spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach around the creek, swim in the sea, or if you feel up for it you can climb a huge 100+ metre sand dune located nearby, from where you can get a fantastic view over this charming spot, and again enjoy an amazing sunset. If you’re lucky, we can see the bright blue bioluminescence plankton illuminating the ocean at night (common February-May). In the late evening, we’ll drive to the quaint fishing village of Ras Irisseyl, located in the easternmost point of Socotra where the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea meet. We will also visit the “crab city” - a local beach, home to thousands of sand crabs who build small castle-like structures above their holes during low tide. Dinner and ovenight in a camping at Arher beach. B/L/D

Day 3. Arher Beach - Hoq Cave – Dihamri Marine Protected Area
Today we start our day early with a drive to the base of Hoq Cave in Terbak village. Before the sun gets too strong, we will hike up to the entrance of the cave. The cave itself is more than three kilometres long, with a water pool at the end. Inside, we will see stalactites, stalagmites and crystalline formations, with wide chambers resembling an ancient cathedral. After lunch, we will drive to the island’s north-east coast to explore the surreal snorkeling site of Dihammri. Here you can swim, snorkel and dive in one of the richest coral reefs on the archipelago. Dihammri is blessed with more than 200 fish species and 4 coral species. This reef is shallow enough to let even inexperienced snorkelers enjoy its beauty. Among the many marine creatures that can be seen underwater are parrotfish, moray eel, rays, turtles, etc. Diving/snorkeling gear can be hired from Dihammri Diving Center. Dinner and overnight in a camping in Dihamri Marine Protected Area.B/L/D

Day 4. Dihamri Marine P.A. – Daburk Waterfall – Wadi Kalisan – Momi Plateau – Wadi Defarhu – Omak beach - Dagub Cave
Today we drive through a series of dirt roads to the far south-east of the island. We will do a short stop at the impressive waterfall at Daburk, where you can take pictures and swim in the pool. Our next stop is the water wadi of Kalisan, made up of numerous waterfalls and swimming pools. The hike down to the wadi takes about 45 minutes and passes through alien-looking Bottle Trees along the way. Here we will also meet a local hermit, living in a cave nearby. He will tell us more about his unique way of life and demonstrate how he takes care of his goats. Our next stop is Momi Plateau, known for its large number of Frankincense trees, cucumber trees, and bottle trees and amazing views over the sea. Afterwards, we are heading to Defarhu Valley, passing through some picturesque traditional villages.We will stop by the impressive sand dunes of Hayf and Zahek, also known as "the sea of sand". After lunch, we continue our drive towards Omak beach, where you can swim and relax by the clear waters of the Indian ocean. Our last stop for the day is the Dagub cave, where we will explore its numerous stalactites, stalagmites and water pools. Dinner and overnight in a camping near Omak beach. B/L/D

Day 5. Dixam Plateau – Firhmin Forest – Wadi Derhur – Omak Beach – Zahek and Hayaf Sand
Dunes – Dixam Plateau

After breakfast, we will trek to the Firhmin Forest - the last woodland comprised of Dragon's Blood trees. Nowhere else in the world can one find Dragon's Blood trees in such density. Here we will meet a local goat herder,who will show us the traditional way to collect the precious red resin of the tree. We will continue hiking down into the Derhur canyon and explore its unusual rock formations. Here we can enjoy a picnic lunch with a breathtaking view and swim in freshwater pools. In the late afternoon we are going back to the sand dunes of Hayf and Zahek. We will be there just in time for sunset, which will turn wandering around this incredible landscape into an even more magical experience. If you are lucky, you can even find pieces of ancient pottery. They are not uncommon here, since much of this area was under the sea not too long ago. Dinner and overnight in a camping in Dixam. B/L/D

Day 6. Dixam Plateau – Detwah Lagoon
After breakfast in Dixam, we’ll visit the Dragon’s Blood Tree nursery where young trees have been growing since 2006. Since goats were introduced to the island, many of the young trees have been destroyed by the goats when their leaves are still soft, so it’s essential to grow new trees in protected environments. We will then visit the Dixam middle and high school, where we will visit classrooms, meet teachers and students, and if you’d like, volunteer to teach an English class. Following our visit to the school, we will drive to the northwest of the island to Detwah lagoon - a marine protected area renowned for its magical landscape and incredible coastline  for swimming. You’ll be charmed by a white sandy peninsula jutting out into the sea surrounded by turquoise waters, where you can swim. There is also an array of sea birds and marine wildlife to be seen in the lagoon. There, you’ll meet Abdullah the Caveman and he’ll take you exploring for marine wildlife from his cave over the lagoon. Dinner and overnight in a camping at Detwah beach. B/L/D

Day 7. Detwah lagoon – Sha’ab Beach – Qualansiah Village - Hadibo
After breakfast, we will drive to the city of Qalansiah - the second largest settlement on Socotra, a mere 10 minutes away. From there, we will hire local fishing boats to take us to see spinner dolphins and go snorkelling in the warm turquoise waters off Sha’ab beach on the west coast of the island. You’ll relax on the beach for a while, and head back to Detwah for lunch. After lunch there is still time to relax and enjoy this amazing part of the island, before moving  to Hadibo, the only “city” in Socotra. Here you will have some free time for shopping and can get some local clothes and products. Dinner and overnight in a hotel in Hadibo. B/L/D

Day 8. Departure
After breakfast, you’ll drive to Socotra Airport a flight back to Abu Dhabi. B/-/-

Practical information:
♦ Visa: included in the price, we need to have in advance a PDF copy of passport.
♦ Accommodation: Doube/Twin rooms in hotels; Two people in a tent
♦ There is a mandatory tourist tax to be paid on arrival at the airport in Socotra: 100 USD per person
♦ Additional activities: During the tour, travellers will have the opportunity to trek and hike mountains and wadis and go swimming and snorkeling. Diving can be arranged with local diving center on request. Special trips for fishing GT (anglers) are available on request.
♦ PCR test: You will likely be requested a PCR upon departure, in Hadibo hospital: the cost is around 40 USD
♦ Flights: Flight from Abu Dhabi to Socotra are included in the price. International flights to/from Abu Dhabi are not included in the tour package.


Price Includes:
flight ticket Abu Dhabi - Socotra - Abu Dhabi
transfer from and to Socotra airport
transportation by air-conditioned 4x4car (Toyota land cruiser)
accommodation (2 nights in a standard hotel and 5 nights at campsites)
camping facilities: tents,mattress,pillows,chairs,tables,cooking gears,umbrellas,lights
food according to the description (B- breakfast,L- lunch,D - dinner)
soft drinks and water
English speaking guide
tour leader from Penguin Travel at min. 8 travellers
fees and permits at a local level
Yemeni visa

Not Included:
international flights to/from Abu Dhabi
food not mentioned in the itinerary
tips to drivers/guides
personal expenses
PCR test before departure

Additional Services:
Tourist tax payable in Hadibo upon arrival: 100 USD


Gallery


Socotra Island Adventures (Yemen) (Rated 4.8 / 5 Based on 71 Reviews.)
Price
2280 EUR
Duration
8 Days
Single Supplement
90 EUR
Status
Open for booking
Price
2280 EUR
Duration
8 Days
Single Supplement
90 EUR
Status
Open for booking

Currency fluctuations might cause correction of price at any time.

 All walks are easy but if you are not fit and would choose not to take part in them it is possible to stay with the vehicles and rest of the luggage 

Group Size
min. 2 people
Reservation System Code
Socotra
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