The sea and the beaches in Socotra: Qalansiya, Detwah and Shouab

28 February and 1 March 2014 

Have you ever wondered where it might be the most beautiful beach in the world? It is not always easy to give an exact answer because each beach can be beautiful for different features, but Qalansiya in Socotra is particularly special because of the vastness, the fine sand and the beautiful sea that surrounds it. On this page you will find many photos and information about the sea and the best beaches of Socotra, where you can relax away from the places affected by mass tourism.

The beautiful beach of Qalansiya in Socotra with the adjoining Detwah lagoon, seen from a hill behind.
Beach in Socotra Beaches in Socotra
World's most beautiful beach Deserted beach
Qalansiya beach in Socotra is a huge expanse of fine white sand almost completely deserted. If you dream a deserted beach that can be virtually yours for a day, here in Socotra you could easily find it! (At least accordingly to the situation found in 2014)
Qalansiya beach
If you're looking for the most beautiful beach in the world, then Qalansiya beach in Socotra may be a possible candidate not only for the beauty of the landscape, for the miles of sand as fine as talcum powder, or for the colors of the sea, but also because the place is almost completely deserted.
Beaches of Socotra Socotra
Pictures of Socotran beach.
A black heron walking on the shore.
Sea in Socotra
Socotra island Arabian Sea
Qalansiya Socotra

More pictures of Qalansiya beach in Socotra.

The slow arrival of the high tide sees the formation of thin veils of crystal clear water along the shore.
The beach ends with some big sand dunes that are built by wind at the foot of some hills.
Big shell
A large shell waits for the arrival of the high tide.

The lagoon Detwah near the beach in Socotra Qalansiya sees the formation of long channels filled with water at high tide and surrounded by vast expanses of fine sand.
After a long walk on the beach, I headed to the campsite in Qalansiya at the end of this stretch of sand.
Fisherman boats Excursion by boat
The next morning I take a ride in a small boat normally used by the locals to go fishing.
Spinning dolphin Dolphins
Dolphins in Socotra

The waters of Socotra are known for having many dolphins and, soon after leaving the port, I immediately encounter this large group where some individuals are having fun jumping out of the water.
Birds in Socotra
Some birds instead are quiet on a rock.
Rugged coastline

The boat tours in Socotra continues turning around the coastline, showing rugged cliffs unreachable by land. The blue of the water is reflected on the white walls of the rocks.
Fishing cormorants
Meanwhile, in the distance towards the open sea, a flock of cormorants is busy on fishing.
Shouab Shouab beach
Shouab in Socotra Boat in the paradise

After less than an hour by boat, I get to the wonderful Shouab beach, once again deserted, where I enjoy a long hike on the shore.
It's now time to go back to Qalansiya beach, when the boat crosses once again these picturesque cliffs that often conceal small sandy beaches.
Detwah Detwah lagoon
Lagoon in Socotra

The Detwah lagoon, adjacent to Qalansiya beach, is connected to the Arabian Sea only through a narrow pass in the distance not visible in these pictures.
Cave Lagoon in Socotra

Within a short walk, I reach this cave that constitutes the "office", with a beautiful view over the lagoon, of a nice fisherman.
Hiking in the lagoon
During low tide, it is possible to hike into Detwah lagoon for miles and miles. Under the supervision of a fisherman, I'm going to explore the unique ecosystem and its creatures that characterizes the lagoon.
Sea cucumber Squid
Baloon fish

Some of the inhabitants (fixed or temporary depending on the tide) that can be observed during a walk in the Detwah lagoon in Socotra. In the above left picture, a sea cucumber. In the above picture, a cute squid. On the left picture, two baloon fish (then released, because everything that is not eaten, is immediately returned to its environment)
Sting ray
In this case, however, the dinner may be served...
... and the afternoon snack too! Indeed, there are some locals who live almost exclusively on seafood and fish that can be catched by bare hands directly in the lagoon, without even needing to go to sea by boat.
Sunset on the sea
A beautiful sunset over the Detwah lagoon in Socotra.

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