Zanzibar has been an important trading base for more than 2,000 years. The Portuguese, British and Omani Arabs have all left their mark on the so-called Spice Island over the years and as a result Zanzibar is a wonderfully colourful and captivating place.
Arabic dhows sail the Zanzibar Channel and the sound of the muezzin's call to prayer rings across the rooftops of Stone Town. Also known as Zanzibar Town, Stone Town is a delightful maze of shops, mosques, alleyways and local landmarks such as the House of Wonders, Forodhani Gardens and the 236 Hurumzi hotel - or Emerson & Green as many still know it. Among the alleys, you'll also find imposing houses with large, brass-studded front doors, built during the 19th century slave trade as a demonstration of their owner's wealth and status.
Nungwi, a fishing village and dhow-building centre at the northernmost tip of the island, is another Zanzibar highlight. Here are some of the island's best beaches, as well as a choice of luxury resorts overlooking the ocean. The east coast, too, is just as divine - with clear white sand and swaying palms extending in both directions from Chwaka Bay. Wherever you choose to relax, it's well worth fitting in a tour of the spice plantations during your Zanzibar holiday.