Discover the Top Tours of Spice Island

  • pink sunset over the ocean

  • Big blue doors to Zanzibar

  • Rooftop view of Stone Town

  • Sail boat full of people

  • Wide doorway, wooden door, yellow sign

  • Beachfront in Zanzibar

  • Stone gazebo in a park

  • Shopping Market at dusk

  • Street Food at a night market

  • alleyway with cobbled streets

  • White Double Tree Hotel in Stone Town

I’ve traveled to so many countries over the years, but Zanzibar has truly captured my imagination. Perhaps it’s the alleys of its capital or the different paces of life. Locals in Zanzibar have a laid-back attitude, you can hear them saying, “Pole Pole,” which means: Take it slow.

I’m not sure what attracts me to Zanzibar. It might be the incredible people I’ve met, or the food and culture or the serenity of the beaches. Whatever it is, this powerful mix keeps me longing to go back!

Besides spice exports, the island’s economy depends heavily on tourism which is visible through the welcoming and hospitable nature of the local Zanzibaris.  If you’re looking to explore Zanzibar, I suggest you start with Stone Town.

This atmospheric and mystical town is the cultural and historical heart of Zanzibar. Stone Town, famed for its iconic, heavy wooden doors, is rich with Arabic and Indian architecture, historic narrow streets and an abundance of tropical fruit and spices.

Local tours of exotic locations on the island are very popular and highly recommended. Soak up the rich history and culture of this spectacular island.

  • Stone Town walking tours with Zanzibar Guide Tours is the perfect way to explore hidden gems in the city. Guided tours are available in English, French, German and Italian.
  • Prison Island is located 30-minutes from the city and is home to hundreds of endangered giant tortoises.
  • The Spice Tour will show you exactly why Zanzibar is known as the “Spice Island”. The highlight of the tour is watching a local, “Mr. Butterfly,” climb a coconut tree while singing Swahili songs.
  • Jozani Forest is home to an abundance of indigenous wildlife and florae and it is very popular with visitors.
  • Safari Blue is the ultimate day tour, spend a magical day exploring the clear blue waters. Swim in an offshore lagoon, Jet Ski from the sandbank, snorkel around a coral reef surrounded by colorful fish. The final destination on this tour is Kwale Island, where guests indulge in a seafood barbeque and tropical fruit and even get time to buy some souvenirs from the beach stalls.

Nungwi and Kendwa are two areas on the island known for their luxurious resorts and pristine white sandy beaches. But Stone Town has a flair for history, cuisine, breath-taking sunsets, and a fascinating night market located on the oceanfront.

Other highlights include Gizenga Street, which is packed with shops and its claim to fame is the house where Freddie Mercury was born in 1946.

Insider’s Tip: Visit Memories of Zanzibar, a gift shop located on Kenyatta Road, for an assortment of souvenirs and spices.

I suggest exploring Stone Town by foot, it is the easiest way to navigate through the street alleys and you will discover hidden gems in the heart of this historic town. In the early mornings, the streets transform into a souvenir mecca as vendors and small shops open their doors to the public. Learn all about the local lifestyle in Stone Town while you walk through this amazing city, take in the fresh ocean air and experience Zanzibar for yourself.

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Driaan J. Are you interested in traveling to Stone Town? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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