The remote island of Socotra has until recently been out of bounds to travellers. Having developed in near total isolation from the rest of the world, it is a unique place to visit. With a wealth of endemic plants and wildlife, miles of unspoilt coastline and its intriguing rugged landscapes, Socotra is one of Yemen’s hidden treasures and a delight to explore.

Our Yemen holidays take us through beautiful national parks, lush green wadis and historic caves. There are fantastic opportunities to see Socotra’s exotic plants and birds, many of which can only be found here. We pass though traditional villages and small fishing towns catching a glimpse of local life and discovering the island’s past. At the coast climb magnificent dunes and snorkel in pristine coral waters, searching for stunning marine life.

On our Socotra tours you can discover a different side of Yemen, a peaceful and otherworldly place where old traditions are very much alive. Socotra is an ecological paradise, and for those who like their travel untamed, the ‘Dragon’s Blood Island’ is unique.

Top highlights on our Yemen holidays and tour to Socotra

  • Search for endemic flora and fauna, including the iconic dragon’s blood tree
  • Snorkel in pristine coral waters and look out for turtles
  • Spot spinner dolphins in the Arabian Sea
  • Climb the magnificent white dunes of Delisha beach
  • Visit Detwah Lagoon and its turquoise waters

Culture

Yemen’s main language is Arabic, and spoken by almost everyone. However you will find that English is fairly widely spoken, especially in larger towns and cities. In addition to Arabic, villagers on the island of Socotra speak the unwritten language of Socotri, which is unknown to anyone else.

The country’s population is predominantly Muslim, split between the Sunni and Shi’a faiths with approximately 80% Sunni Muslims. There are also tiny Christian and Jewish populations.

Due to its isolated location, Socotra has received little influence from the outside world and the people here live very traditional lifestyles. Meals are cooked over fires and evenings are spent singing and reciting poetry. It is common for residents of the island not to know their age, and the elderly still recall days when money did not exist. The people of Socotra utilise the island’s natural resources, such as the resin harvested from dragon’s blood trees for medicinal uses, which was once believed to have magical properties.

When to go on holiday to Yemen

The best time to visit Yemen is from October to April – temperatures are generally at their coolest throughout the country. However Yemen does experience regional variations – in the highlands during this period it can get quite cold in the evenings. The coastal plain is hot throughout the year.

Socotra experiences a tropical, semi-desert climate with little annual rainfall and is warm all year round. The best months to visit are from October to May, avoiding the hottest time of year and providing more opportunities to see wildlife.

Start planning your Yemen tour

Check out our small group tour to Socotra: Socotra Discoverer. While many of our trips are small group adventures with set departures, as a bespoke operator, we can design and create trips to suit any traveller, from solos to larger group. If you would like to find out more about tailor-made Yemen holidays or our group tours, call us on 01473 328546 or email us via our contact page. We’d love to hear from you.

Yemen

Good for:Nature, Stunning Landscapes & Relaxing