Zanzibar, rich hinterland and enchanting beaches

    Zanzibar, rich hinterland and enchanting beachesJourney through the wonders of Zanzibar, where you will fall in love with the architectural curiosities and animals that populate the forests and crystal clear waters.

    Just arrived in the Zanzibar archipelago, on the enchanting island of Unguja, take a minibus and reach the capital Stone Town. Your week-long holiday on this wonderful island in the Indian Ocean, administratively dependent on Tanzania, will begin with a visit to the Arab fort, one of the monuments of greatest historical importance, and then touch its forests and its crystalline sea.

    On the first day of your trip to Zanzibar, reach the Stone Town fort, built around the 17th century, which was the first construction in the area. The four sumptuous stone walls surround an open space where you can buy some typical products in the colorful and tasty markets of the island. Once outside the walls, you will notice a square that houses a large and fascinating arena. For about twenty years now the fort has hosted the ZIFF, Zanzibar International Film Festival (Festival of the Dhow Countries), an interesting cinematographic event in the land of Africa.

    Next we recommend you visit the Sultan's Palace, next to the fort. This fairy-tale palace, which will fascinate you with its white color and arabesque arches, was the sultan's royal residence; you will be able to access the internal museum which collects furnishings typical of the royal era: one of the floors, the upper one, is dedicated to Sultan Khalifa bin Harub; the lower one, however, to Princess Salme.

    Another characteristic of Zanzibar is the atmosphere full of perfumes. About 600 meters from the building, one of the markets most famous on the island will welcome you among the bright colors of the fabrics and the intense aromas of the spices. Let yourself be tempted by the numerous culinary attractions: you are in fact in one of the busiest spice trading places in the world. Cinnamon, turmeric, but above all cloves, for which the islanders are among the top producers ever. For all music lovers: don't forget to stop by the house of Freddie Mercury, born in Stone Town.

    The second day can be dedicated to some cultural and sacred places in Zanzibar. Head back to the Arab fort area to visit the fairytale Palace of Wonders. Here too you will come into contact with Swahili culture and in particular with that of the last years of the 19th century, the city's period of greatest flourishing. Many attractions of this visit will strike you, but one in particular can be found in the center of the palace: the mtepe, the typical boat made of wood assembled with resistant coconut fibres.

    Of particular interest are the Persian baths of Hamamni, a few minutes' walk from the Palace of Wonders. Born at the beginning of the century as public baths, it was frequented by the richest people in Zanzibar who could find many types of comfort here, from showers to bathrooms and even a restaurant. We recommend that you then complete the daily visit by heading to cathedral of San Giuseppe, symbol of the city: you will recognize it by the tall spiers on the sides of the facade. But about ten minutes' walk away there is also the symbolic place of the city's Islamic culture: the mosque of Malindi, small but ancient, with its characteristic conical-shaped minaret.

    The next day dedicate it to nature: green and blue, forest and ocean are the perfect combination for those staying in Zanzibar. One of the most adventurous excursions is certainly the one near the Jozani forest. It is about 40 kilometers from the capital and is in the middle of the island. Dedicate half a day to discovering the treasures of the forest. The forest guides will show you the enormous variety of plants and cute animals, first of all the red monkey, the undisputed mascot of the forest. End the day with an evening stop on the beaches of Paje.

    Dedicate your fourth day of holiday to the coastal area of ​​Zanzibar, among its beautiful and enormous beaches and its deep and rich seabed. About 8 kilometers south of Paje you will find the endless Jambiani beach, where you can dedicate yourself to relaxation and activities such as snorkelling. The Indian Ocean, which washes the beaches of Zanzibar, is populated by fish of considerable size such as sharks, but also by sweet and friendly dolphins (the optimal point to see the latter is the Kizimkazi area, south of the island) ; scorpion fish, stone fish, but also barracudas, groupers and long-lived turtles are also visible.

    The next day visit the beaches north of the island of Zanzibar. You are spoiled for choice, between the sand of the quieter Matemwe and the starfish and turtles of Kendwa. However, one of the most enchanting is certainly the beach of Nugwi. Here, as in other coastal areas, you will notice the phenomenon of the tides which will leave you space to walk on the cool and suggestive sand dunes formed by the lowering of the water. Don't miss the tasty cocktails on the beach together with some good coconut.

    You still have a couple of days to visit thePemba island, the second largest island in the archipelago. To reach it, it is best to go to Abeid Amani Karume airport in Unguja and fly to Karume airport in Pemba. Spend your first day in the Ngezi Forest Reserve, in the island's rich rainforest. You will spot numerous species of animals including mongooses and dik-dik antelopes. But Zanzibar hides other curiosities: among the most characteristic animals there are undoubtedly flying foxes and the curious Pemba scops owl.

    To spend your last day in peace, go to one of the beaches on the western side, such as the beautiful one Fundu Lagoon, a sandy cove among thick mangrove forests. Also observe the rich marine flora of Zanzibar on this island and take a trip in their typical canoes. Don't miss the opportunity to spend a romantic evening in the beach clubs, among soft lights and fresh and typical food: for example the boku-boku, based on turmeric widely used here, and the characteristic pilau rice.

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