Beautiful beaches with sparkling blue waters and golden sand are a dime a dozen in Mozambique– but you’ll rarely see another person on them. Since Mozambique is not a mass-tourism destination yet, it’s the perfect place to chill out and become a beach bum, without spending a lot of money. You really are spoilt for choice, with dozens of stunning beaches to choose from up and down the Mozambican coastline and on its pristine islands. Here are 15 of our favorite beaches in Mozambique.
Wimbi Beach, Pemba
Along the far northern coastline of Mozambique, you will find the bustling town of Pemba, a place full of life and character. A few kilometres out of the town you will find Wimbi beach, where most of the accommodation and hotels are based in the area, ranging from five star luxury to down to earth backpackers. Wimbi is 12km of beach, sprinkled with people from all walks of life all looking for the same thing – relaxation in pure beauty.
Tofo Beach, Inhambane Province
Tofo is a small beach town 17km east of Inhambane where you will find stretches of world-class beaches. It’s a haven for sunbathers and those who are just looking to chill out. With broad bays, sheltered lagoons, and wide deserted expanses, you will be able to find the perfect spot to settle down in. Long, hot days filled with nothing but peace and quiet is the recipe that makes this beach one of the best in the country.
Vamizi Island, Quirimbas Archipelago
If you are looking to escape civilisation and step into the wild, then Vamizi Island should be on your destination list. Known as one of the wildest places on earth, Vamizi Island offers you kilometres of deserted beaches to walk away any stresses on your mind. The silent, wave-free ocean sets the perfect atmosphere to still your mind and relax your soul.
Benguerra Island, Bazaruto Archipelago
The Bazaruto Archipelago consists of five idyllic islands. Benguerra Island is the second largest of the bunch and well-known for its unspoilt beaches and coral reefs. With a habitat comprised of forest, savanna, freshwater lakes and wetland eco-systems, you will definitely feel an appreciation for nature after a visit.
Xai Xai Beach
Xai Xai Beach, also known as Praia do Xai Xai, is about 12km from the city of, you guessed it, Xai Xai. Here you will find a long stretch of beach that was once a bustling holiday destination in the 1960s and1970s, only to be abandoned during the war days. Nowadays the area is still relatively quiet, but it’s starting to pick up again with more hotels and backpackers popping up. Go soak up the quiet of the beach before all the tourists pick up on its return in popularity.
Situated about 25km north of the Kosi Bay Border from South Africa, Ponte Mamoli is a relatively close destination for travellers coming from South Africa. The beach is seemingly reserved for only the lucky holiday makers in the resorts that dot the area, but anybody is free to enjoy it. Feel free to bring a book, relax on a deck chair, or take a leisurely swim in the warm Indian Ocean.
A mere 1 km long and 350m wide at high tide, this remote private island is the ultimate hideaway spot. As one of the many islands making up the Quirimbas Archipelago in Northern Mozambique, Medjumbe is singularly spectacular, with breathtakingly beautiful beaches on every side of the island. If you want to spend some time in solitude or some intimate time with a loved one, this island fits the bill.
Praia de Zalala
After venturing a long, tarred road for about 45km from Quelimane and passing through endless coconut trees and forest, you will find Zalala beach. If you are after good food, basic living and endless white sand then this is just the place for you. Occupied by local fisherman, some of the biggest prawns in the country are scooped up close to shore, which can be savoured at the humble beach-side restaurant, the best place to mix with locals.
The Island of Mozambique (Ilha de Mozambique) lies off the northern Mozambique mainland, between the Mozambique Channel and Mossuril Bay. Only 3km in length and 500m at its widest section, this island is yours to explore without the worry of getting too lost. Part of the island is alive with a fishing community, while the other part is a slight ghost town. The distinctly yin and yang counterbalance is fascinating to explore.
This 1km-long private island in the Quirimbas is the perfect place to go completely off the grid and feel the sand between your toes at one of the many small but beautiful beaches. Teeming with fish, sea turtles and aquatic birds, you can recharge and rejuvenate here between stints in the blissful spa, restaurant and pool at the Azura-branded resort, the only one on the island.
A popular stop for luxury cruise ships to stop for the day on trips from Durban, South Africa, Bazaruto is very secluded island with not much else to do but sit back and enjoy yourself. Bazaruto is the largest island of the Bazaruto Archipelago located approximately 80 kilometres southeast of the mouth of the Save River, Mozambique.
Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary
If you are looking for a quiet and secluded spot with a bit more to offer than long beautiful beaches, Vilanculos Coastal Wildlife Sanctuary, about 600km North of Maputo, is the place to head. There are several resorts dotted along the coastline within the reserve that offer the best of both worlds – tropical forest and coastal beauty.
Magaruque Island Beach
You can reach this 1.6km long piece of heavenly beach with a quick ten minute flight from the mainland. Magaruque Island is the third largest in the Bazaruto archipelago and the closest to Vilanculos. Another one of Mozambiques’ tropical paradises – private, secluded and truly beautiful. You will feel like you’re a million miles from home.
Located in the far north of Mozambique, Nacala’s remoteness means miles of empty, gorgeous beaches flanked by mangroves and tropical bush. Stay in a simple beach cottage and forget the outside world exists. When you feel up to it, try exploring one of the offshore reefs or barely-explored shipwrecks.
Inhaca is a great option for those who don’t have time to stray far from Maputo. It’s just a short ferry ride away, but miles apart in atmosphere and scenery. There are numerous beaches to explore and a wealth of wildlife, from sea turtles to tropical birds.
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This article was originally published on June 3, 2014.