Western Socotra features Socotra's second-largest town on the island of Qalansiya. A fishing village with colorful doors and a welcoming population. Just over the hill from Qalansiya sits the ethereal Detwah Lagoon famed for its stunning beach. Qalansiya also serves as a jumping-off point to destinations further afield including Shua'ab, Neet, and the Outer Islands of the archipelago.
See all of our departures that feature sites from Western Socotra.
Hadiboh , Yemen
April 8 - 20 2024
The Best of Yemen & Socotra
Hadiboh , Yemen
August 12 - 19 2024
Kiteboard one of the most unique islands in the world- Socotra
One of the most iconic views of Socotra is, of course, the ethereal bands of white sands interrupted by ribbons of blue sea at Detwah Lagoon.
A protected nature sanctuary, Detwah Lagoon features a plethora of marine life within its crystal clear blue waters where a man named Eliya, better known by his nickname Abdullah the Caveman, will usually more than happily give you a tour of the lagoon wildlife.
Eliya has a fascinating life story that he loves to share with passersby, as well as many hilarious stories from his encounters with tourists over the years. You can usually expect an invite into his family cave that overlooks Detwah Lagoon.
If marine life isn’t your calling, the beach at Detwah is lovely for relaxing and swimming.
Detwah features a simple campsite with a block of concrete toilets and showers.
For the best views of Detwah, head to Qalansiya first and drive up the hill that separates the city from the lagoon area. From there you can hike the rest of the way down and the cars can meet you at the main camp.
The village of Ghoba located just west of Hadiboh features not only a sinkhole but also a salt mine.
On the periphery of the village find Ghoba Sinkhole, it’s impossible to miss as you’ll likely be met by the kids of the village who will want to show you their flashy jumps and backflips into this pool.
Legend has it that the Ghoba Sinkhole was created by a meteorite strike, but in reality, it is more than likely just a sinkhole in the rocky landscape.
Not too far away there is also the Ghoba Salt Mine, another not as water-filled but nonetheless larger sinkhole believed to be a meteor strike that serves as a salt mine.
There are small pans from which salt is collected inside the sinkhole that you can easily spot from above.
About a one-hour boat ride from the village of Shua’ab is the seasonal fishing village of Neet.
Isolated in located in a somewhat hellish place, Neet is nothing more than a scattering of simple structures on a white sand beach flanked by mangrove forest and a barren cliffside.
Dhow-style fishing boats can be chartered from Shua’ab with advance notice for a trip to Neet, a venture best done in the early morning before the seas get too rough to get back out from Neet.
Just before you reach Neet, watch the coastline to see a shipwreck sitting on the coast.
Socotra’s second-largest city of Qalansiya sits on the island’s northwest coast and serves as a great jumping-off point for adventures further afield.
As with Hadiboh, you can expect to find a warm and inquisitive welcome here. Keep an eye out for the city’s beautiful and colorful doors.
Qalansiya was once a traditional fishing village and still very much so is, but it does have a more affluent feel to it compared to Hadiboh.
Those wanting to visit other locations such as the outer islands of the Socotra Archipelago of Abd al Kuri, Samha, and Darsa, the seas stacks of Sabuniya and Kal Firun, or the pristine beaches of Shua’ab will board fishing boats here in Qalansiya- make sure to discuss the desire to charter boats to these destinations we in advance to that we can make arrangements for you.
Arguably one of Socotra’s most beautiful beaches, Shua’ab is most definitely worth the boat trip over from Qalansiya to visit.
With a pristine band of white sands that extend along a wide sweeping bay of water that morphs from a brilliant aquamarine to turquoise and eventually to emerald and fades into sapphire, flanked by cliffs, Shua’ab is photogenic, to say the least.
Boat trips to Shua’ab should be done in the morning before the seas get too rough and even then there are certain times of the year and certain days where it might be too turbulent to reach by boat.
There is a village by the name of Shua’ab at the southern end of the bay, accessible by road.