The Island of Mozambique (Ilha de Moçambique) lies off the coast of northern Mozambique and is part of Nampula Province. The island and its natural harbour were used by Arab merchants as a maritime trading centre from the 10th to the late 15th century. Prior to 1898, it was the capital of colonial Portuguese East Africa. Nowadays it is a World Heritage site rich in history and culture, and is fast becoming one of Mozambique’s top destinations. It has a permanent population of approximately 14,000 people and is served by nearby Lumbo Airport on the Nampula mainland.
Where to Stay
Villa Sands is a new boutique hotel formed from three old warehouses, to give it a classic architectural look, unique to the island. Accommodation is offered overlooking the seafront in 8 double en-suite rooms; while one flight up is the exclusive Rooftop Suite with a further three double rooms, its own private pool and terraces.
More about Villa Sands here.
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Terraco das Quintandas
The rich architecture and interior decorations of this guesthouse are a fusion of Asian and European influences. The guesthouse features six spacious suites that offer modern comforts such as en suite facilities and air conditioning. There are various peaceful areas throughout the guesthouse where you can relax – such as the reading room, balconies and an inner private courtyard. The terrace is an excellent vantage point from which to observe the island or breathtaking sunsets.
More about Terraco das Quintandas here.
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Things to Do
For the Colourful Mixtures
Discover the Mozambique Island on a historical tour. The many hidden corners and small pathway streets were build by Arab, Indian and Portuguese settlers. Many stories and tales circulate around the islands history and Stone town, which was mainly built by slaves. The ancient secrets can be discovered behind handcrafted doorways and archways. The island hosts several Portuguese forts and several antique churches, mosques, as well as a Hindu temple. Mozambique Island is a real journey in time, where a visitor can get lost and will feel as if they have been catapulted back through the centuries. The colourful and friendly African population of the island lives mainly in Macuti town, an amazing part of the island, built mainly out of natural materials. A truly breath taking experience. The unique culinary is a mix of African, Portuguese, Arab and international flavours, served in several simple, as well as fancy street cafes and restaurants of the island.
On a Dhow Tour around the island, one can discover the different satellite islands of Ilha de Mozambique and discover the amazing sailing style of these ancient artistic boats. Overall one can easily just stroll around the island for several days, visit the several museums, the wonderful forts with the special rainwater cistern systems, Stone town + Macuti town and get lost in time on Ilha de Mozambique.
Did you Know?
The name Mozambique is derived from Musa Al Big, an Arab trader who first visited the island and then later lived there. The name was then later taken to the mainland which is modern day Republic of Mozambique.