Despite being so small and remote, there’s a cosmopolitan feeling to Ilha de Moҫambique. This three-kilometre-long island is 2000km north of the capital of Maputo, and a two hour drive from the nearest big town of Nampula. Yet, it attracts travellers from Denmark, Sweden, Australia, Britain, Italy and Portugal, many of whom are buying places here; and is home to architects, historians, style queens and escapists. This is not your average Seffrican prawns and beer holiday; Ilha de Moҫambique is about style, soul, history and architecture. Here’s what you need to know:
THE WOW FACTOR The architecture and history of Stone Town. Think narrow corridors and alleyways, ancient double volume buildings with interior courtyards. Stone Town here is like Zanzibar Lite and without the crowds. Many of the buildings are still in disrepair, which lends its own strange charm, but increasing numbers are being restored and refurbished. A meander through Stone Town is fascinating. The island is wrought from explorers and pirates, from colonialism, slavery and civil war. There is a dark edge to these timeworn passages, a deep resonance to footfall on its ancient stones.