How to Get To Socotra Island?

Socotra Island is a must visit if you love unique, stunning natural sights and beach adventures and this guide will help you navigate the route like a pro!

6/19/20244 min read

How to Get To Socotra Island?
How to Get To Socotra Island?

Traveling to Socotra is one of the most unique experiences courtesy of its dragon blood trees and incredible white sand beaches. That being said, a big part of your trip is to know how to get to Socotra Island—and how to make the journey back. When making a plan to visit Socotra, consider the safest and hassle-free route for you. This guide will help you figure out the basics of Socotra travel, including the to-dos and don’ts of the trip!

Borders, Boarding, and More: How To Travel To Socotra Island

Getting to Socotra in the beginning of the last decade was a bit tricky owing to political and social issues. Though, no worries, these are mostly limited to some parts of mainland Yemen. Luckily if you have unique natural sights in Socotra on your wishlist, Yemenia restarted flights from Cairo to Socotra.

Additionally, Air Arabia also resumed their flights to Socotra at the beginning of 2021, which you can board from Abu Dhabi. The connection from UAE to the Yemeni Island is especially reliable, though both Egypt and Abu Dhabi flights are great contenders when you are debating how to get to Socotra Island.

Acquiring a Visa for Travelling to Socotra

Most nationalities need a Yemeni visa to travel to Socotra Island. Most importantly, contacting a local Socotra operator is a necessary step, as you cannot get the visa via a consulate/embassy. Here are some things you should know:

  • A reliable tour group can handle part of the paperwork you need to seamlessly enter Socotra.

  • This applies to either route of entry, whether you're traveling from Cairo or Abu Dhabi.

  • Your visa cost will depend on your tour operator. Compare rates to match your budget.

  • They will send your visa’s digital copy, and you will need 2 paper copies with you during transit.

  • For a trip to Socotra, you will get a visa that is valid for 30 days after your arrival.

Additionally, visas with a stamp marking entrance/exit from Israel are exempted from entry into Yemen. As for other aspects that may get you barred from entry into Yemen, you can get a detailed Socotra travel guide from tour companies.

Getting A Flight To Socotra – Which Route Is Ideal?

Wondering how to get to Socotra Island in a smooth and enjoyable way? You can take a flight to the Socotra International Airport—best arranged via a knowledgeable and flexible tour operator. Not only can they customize your trip according to your purpose of travel—but also ensure comfort. Whether you are traveling solo, or with friends/family, they’ll cater to your distinct needs and expectations.

When it comes to flights to Socotra, you have two options. Read ahead and decide which is more convenient for you.

Option 1: How to Travel to Socotra Island with an Air Arabia Flight (From Abu Dhabi)

If you are looking for a fast and less costly way to get to Socotra, a direct flight operates from Abu Dhabi to Socotra twice a week (Tuesdays and Fridays). The flight is an exclusive governmental charter, which is why you can’t book it online. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Book your ticket (via Abu Dhabi) through a leading Socotra tour operator at the Air Arabia office in Hadiboh. Alternatively, you can contact an Air Arabia office in the UAE for assistance.

  2. You will need to provide a copy of a valid Yemeni visa to Air Arabia before booking your ticket. The company will also need an invitation letter from the tour operator, and your passport when reserving your spot on the flight

  3. If you're booking on your own, pay via wire transfer for ease. Once your ticket to Socotra is confirmed, Air Arabia will issue it in your name and you’ll get your copy.

Traveling via Abu Dhabi airports is fairly efficient, not to mention easy. UAE airports have fewer travel restrictions than the second option you have for getting to Socotra Island. Plus, you'll find that flights for the Abu Dhabi to Socotra route may be cheaper—and a no-stops trip is a definite plus!

Option 2: How to Travel to Socotra Island with a Yemenia Flight (From Cairo)

Another way to get to Socotra Island is a flight that departs from Cairo in Egypt, with a stopover at Aden in Yemen, before finally continuing on to Socotra Island. Previously, the flight had a short stopover in Seiyun before reaching Socotra. A few facts to note before you make that booking:

  1. Like with the flight from Abu Dhabi to Socotra, you cannot make an online booking for this flight.

  2. To book your ticket, either visit the Yemenia office in Cairo yourself or reach out to a tour operator to handle it on your behalf.

  3. Use cash or a bank wire transfer to reserve your flight, and provide a copy of your Yemeni visa, invitation letter (you’ll get this from the tour operator), and a copy of your passport.

  4. It is mandatory to obtain permission from the Yemeni Ministry of Interior as it passes through Aden. Your tour operator can manage this part of the process as well.

  5. Yemenia will issue an e-ticket in your name once you have an all-clear on the ticket. Use the e-ticket number during check-in at Cairo International Airport.

Don’t forget you check up on any dos and don’ts of travelling via Cairo airport. For instance, if you want to bring a drone to get some amazing footage in Socotra Island, taking one through Egypt is an issue. Read The Ultimate Packing Guide for Socotra Island to find out more). Also, the flight from Cairo to Egypt can be costly, as the airline is the only one offering this trip—and the Cairo-Socotra flight takes place only once a week (Sundays).

Complete Visas, Flight Bookings, Sightseeing Tours & More with Us!

At Socotra Specialty Tours, not only can we guide you on how to get to Socotra Island, but you can also leave all the heavy lifting for us and simply pack for your Socotra adventure!

Reach out to us and plan a trip to the breathtaking Socotra Island today!