One of you needs naps beneath a palm tree between meals; the other wants to plunge into the water, pull dinner from the ocean and take the windsurfer for a spin. Do all this and more on the Quirimbas Archipelago, one of the few parts of the earth where the marine environment remains largely untouched by human hands. Lying just off the coast of Mozambique, the archipelago consists of 12 major islands, about 20 smaller outcrops and any number of sandbar beaches.
One of the cultural gems is Ibo Island, with its strong Arab and Portuguese influences. Stay at Ibo Island Lodge, where there are just 14 rooms and a private sandbar beach for complete separation from the rest of the world – if only for a few hours. For divers, this is a must-visit. Shallow sites swarming with tropical life are suitable for newcomers, while those with a few stamps in their logbooks will want to hit the staggeringly beautiful drop-offs. One popular spot is the southern tip of Matemo Island, where you can see dolphins, turtles, groupers and stingrays in the drift.
Flights land at Pemba International Airport, the gateway to the islands. From there, transfers to the islands are by boat or small aircraft.
Rooms at Ibo Island Lodge start at US$335 a night.
Thanks to Ibo Island Lodge for the images.