How do you travel to Socotra?

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Our ultimate guide on travelling to Socotra

The island of Socotra is high on the bucket list for many adventurous travellers. And rightly so, nature is unprecedented. A third of the flora and fauna is native to Socotra. But how do you get to Socotra? The easiest way to travel to Socotra is by plane. You can also travel by boat, but then you will have to find a cargo ship in the Omani coastal town of Salalah that you can sail on. There is no scheduled sailing route for passengers to Socotra.

Where is Socotra?

The island of Socotra (also known as Soqotra ) is part of the Socotra Archipelago. The archipelago is located about 300 km off the coast of Yemen and Somalia , near the Horn of Africa. The archipelago consists of the main island of Socotra and the smaller islands of Abd Al Kuri, Samha and Darsa. However, the vast majority of people live on Socotra. 

How do you fly to Socotra?

Let’s be clear: the island of Socotra is not easy to reach. Although the island has attracted adventure travelers for years, Socotra’s potential has never been fully exploited. It has had successful years, but due to the civil war in Yemen, tourism has also  collapsed. The remoteness and the small number of tourists is the attraction for many people. Because of the beautiful flora and fauna and the isolation, you really have the feeling being on a unique piece of earth, far away from everything.

The old flight route: with Yemen Airways Cairo – Socotra

At the end of 2018, a commercial flight to Socotra appeared for the first time in years. Yemen Airways launched that year the route Cairo (Egypt) – Seiyun – Socotra. The flight departed Cairo in the middle of the night, arriving in the early morning in Seiyun, a town in Yemen’s Hadramout province. The flight then continued onward to Socotra, where it would arrive several hours later. The weekly flight would depart from Cairo in the night from Tuesday to Wednesday. After arriving on Socotra, the aircraft then returned with passengers via Seiyun back to Cairo, for an afternoon arrival. 

End 2020 – Felix Airways

At the end of 2020 the arrangement suddenly changed. Yemen’s second airline, Felix Airways, took over the route and flew from Dubai directly to Socotra. In the beginning on Mondays and Thursdays, and later only on Monday. The Yemen Airways flight was split and was no longer direct. On Tuesday, there were flights between Cairo and Seiyun and on Wednesday between Seiyun and Socotra.

Travel to Socotra in 2021 and 2022: from Abu Dhabi with Air Arabia

In the spring of 2021, the route changed again. Air Arabia took over the route from Felix Airways and started flying between Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) and Socotra. A direct flight departs every Monday morning at 10:00 AM, with arrival on the island of Socotra at 11:30 AM (local time). The return flight departs at 1:00 PM on Monday and returns to Abu Dhabi at 4:00 PM (local time).

Air Arabia ‘s flight departs from Abu Dhabi all year round. However, keep in mind that between May and September it is hurricane season. Due to bad weather, the flight may suddenly be cancelled or delayed. We therefore recommend traveling to Socotra between October and April.

Do you want to travel to Socotra? Take a look at our independent tours or group tours to Socotra. Do you need more information? Get in touch with us now.