Old Portuguese Fortress, Suq, Shiq, Socotra, Yemen


Just a couple of miles east of Hadiboh, Shiq was Socotra’s original capital, though these days its a lively village that is more or less a suburb of Hadiboh.

Shiq likely served as the capital due to its better-accessible harbor area.

Shiq’s main claims to fame are all relics left behind by the Portuguese, who would have spent much of their time in Socotra during the early 16th century.

The Portuguese originally arrived in Socotra in 1507 under the command of Tristan da Cunha, along with 16 battleships. A fierce battle with the Arabs on the island was quickly underway with the Portuguese claiming victory.

The easiest to reach the ruins left behind by the Portuguese are the old Portuguese Church and the Portuguese Fortress.

The church is little more than a scattering of pillar bases in the middle of Shiq, while the Portuguese Fortress is located a short uphill hike from the main road cutting east across Socotra with little remaining aside from a couple of walls.

In the end, the Portuguese left Socotra in 1511.

The main attraction in Shiq though is Adeeb’s Nursery, which was established by local man Adeeb Hadid. 

Here at Adeeb’s, you can see several of Socotra’s famed endemic saplings to be later transplanted in other locations on Socotra. 

Another site to see is the Deda’aneten Petroglyphs which are 350 meters south of Shiq.

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