Draped with mesmerising, powdery shores, on this island beach retreat the pace of life is dictated by nothing but gently lapping waters and the warm ocean breeze. We love Zanzibar for its hassle-free, no-rush vibe. Leave the rest of the world behind and focus on what really matters, like just how vibrant the turquoise of the Indian Ocean really is and how soft the sand feels between your toes.
Zanzibar is edged by reefs so blessed with coral and marine life you could be in an aquarium. Go under the water to swim with schools of fish in every colour of the rainbow, graceful gliding turtles, and gentle but giant whale sharks. The shallow waters are great for snorkelling and various dive centres run PADI scuba diving courses; there could not be a better place to learn.
Those teal-blue waters will tempt you at every turn, as will the softly-billowing sails of the dhow boats drifting across the reef. Join an excursion on a hand-crafted wooden dhow and set sail for a seafood feast on a sand bank, a boat-side swim, or a romantic evening cruise silhouetted against the sunset.
Beautiful Zanzibar is the perfect backdrop to a meal, and its fine seafood restaurants more than live up to their surroundings. The island's rich trading history has brought Arabic and Indian influences to its cuisine, making it a delicious blend of cultures, freshly caught fish, and locally grown coconuts and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.
Seafront Stone Town is the island's heartbeat, with its cobbled alleyways, coral stone houses, sultan's palaces, mosques, and courtyards. At the centre of the spice and slave trades in the 19th century, its architecture reflects Swahili, Indian, Arabic, and European cultures. Explore the narrow streets to discover street vendors, singing schoolchildren, and bustling bazaars.