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The Spice Islands: an Overview

Enjoy miles of unspoilt white sand beaches and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, on a holiday on the Tanzanian Coast and neighbouring Spice Islands. Here you'll find a handful of idyllic beach retreats where barefoot luxury and total relaxation are the order of the day. The Tanzanian Coast offers a multitude of beach options for those looking for a pre- or post-safari break, whether it's for some R&R on the beach, or time to explore the vibrant reefs and marine life under the waves.

The fabulous archipelago of Spice Islands - namely Pemba, Zanzibar and Mafia Island - are all different from each other but equally fantastic. If you don't fancy island life, keep to the mainland where we can recommend some great sandy hideaways.

Just south of Zanzibar is Mafia Island. Home to some of the richest coral reefs in the world and to Tanzania's first Marine Park, it has great snorkelling and diving. With only a handful of hotels, including one of our favourite's Pole Pole, and less than 1000 visitors each year, it is one of those well kept secrets we want to keep to ourselves. Luckily for everyone else, we're not that selfish.

For the ultimate Robinson Crusoe experience, Pemba Island is the place to go. Fundu Lagoon is one of just three hotels. A constant favourite with honeymooners, there is little chance of distraction.

The mainland coast hides some stunning white sand beaches, many of which are pretty low key, and less developed than the more popular Zanzibar island. Pangani beach was voted one of the worlds best by the Sunday Times, or for a quick chill before you fly home, head to a beach that lies just 20 minutes south of the capital, but that feels worlds away.

For those feeling a little more energetic, the waters around the Spice Islands archipelago host a rich variety of marine life, with whaleshark sightings virtually guaranteed off of the coast of Mafia island from October to February each year.

Other watersports available include fishing, kayaking, windsurfing and waterskiing.

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When to go
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When to go
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Spice Islands & the Tanzanian Coast
Spice Islands & the Tanzanian Coast
Best time
Low season
Off season
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A Note on Price

All of our holidays are completely tailor-made and prices will vary based on things like when in the year you will be travelling, how far in advance you book, the class of flights included and the level of accommodation you choose. The guide prices shown across this website are designed to provide you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your trip.

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