Highlights and main attractions of Ilha de Moçambique
Despite its small size, reaching barely two miles in length and a few hundred metres in width, the small crescent-shaped island of Ilha de Moçambique is a hidden gem that is bursting with a vibrant history and culture. Located in the northern province of Nampula, the island is connected to the mainland by a narrow 3km bridge and in 1991 was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
For four centuries Ilha de Moçambique acted as the capital of Portuguese East Africa, but it had long been an important trading port along the Swahili coast. The resulting blend of European, Arab and Indian cultures is evident in the islands faded colonial architecture and eclectic mix of churches, mosques and Hindu temples. The island is now broadly divided into the historic Portuguese Stone Town in the north and Macuti Town in the south, a haphazard collection of colourful thatched houses and busy street markets.
Colonial churches sit alongside ornate mosques and fortresses, surrounded by the azure waters of the Indian Ocean.