Zanzibar, also known as The Spice Island is a beautiful island on the East African coast. Bursting with culture and history, combined with its world-famous white-sandy beaches dotted with palms swaying lazily in the sea breeze make the island a magical place to explore as well to relax and unwind.
Zanzibar is the semi-autonomous part of Tanzania. It is composed of the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 25–50 kilometers off the coast of the mainland, it consists of many small islands and two large ones: Unguja (the main island, referred to informally as Zanzibar) and Pemba. The capital is Zanzibar City, located on the island of Unguja. Its historic center is Stone Town, which is a World Heritage Site.
Portuguese invasion and control of the Swahili Coast in the late 16th century ended the golden age of the archipelago, although the Omani Arabs returned to power less than a century later. Today, many of the winding streets and high townhouses of old Stone Town remain unchanged and visitors can walk between the sultan’s palace, the House of Wonders, the Portuguese fort and gardens, the merchant’s houses, and the Turkish baths of the old city. Day-long spice tours to working plantations offer visitors the chance to observe the cultivation of cloves, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices that have made the island famous.
Zanzibar’s coastline offers some of the best beaches in the world. On the east coast, waves break over coral reefs and sand bars offshore, low tide reveals small pools of starfish, small minnows, and anemones. Up north, ocean swimming is much less susceptible to the tides, and smooth beaches and white sand make for dazzling days in the sun.