After flying under the radar for far too long, the Quirimbas Archipelago is quickly turning into one of the most sought-after seaside hideouts on the continent. If you find Bazaruto a bit passé and would prefer to venture even further off Mozambique’s not-yet-beaten track, this is the place for you. In Quirimbas, you’ll be met by the unspoilt beauty of powder-white beaches, palm trees, and turquoise waters—minus the swarms of tourists.
The Archipelago is made up of over 30 coral reef islands, strung together by sand bars and mangrove swamps and stretching some 400 kilometres from Pemba to the Tanzanian border. Each one of these islands has a story to tell: Ibo boasts centuries-old architecture, Matemo is the largest, Vamizi is the most remote, tiny Medjumbe is touted as an ideal honeymoon destination, and Azura Quilalea is the most exclusive and eco-chic of the batch.
Hop from one island to the next on a lazy dhow cruise or—if you’re feeling adventurous—go scuba diving or snorkelling among the coral reefs. The warm waters are home to turtles, dolphins, and whales. If game-fishing is your sport, venture further out to sea in search of bonefish, marlin, mackerel, sailfish, and dogtooth tuna.
- Over 30 coral reef islands stretching some 400 kilometres from Pemba to the Tanzanian border
- Island experiences ranging from adrenaline-pumping adventures to intimate romantic hideouts
- A paradise for scuba divers and snorkelling enthusiasts
- The islands once served as Arab and Portuguese trading posts, resulting in an eclectic mix of culture and architecture
- Off-the-beaten-track and not yet taken over by throngs of tourists