Ilha de Moçambique is never wider than 600 metres and is just barely 3 kilometres long, a puny little place by most people’s standards. In fact, even the name has been reduced to match its size; Mozambicans just call it “Ilha”.
But don’t be fooled, little Ilha packs a considerable punch – this place is unique. With its unique blend of Arabian, African, Indian and European influences, Ilha is a destination rich in history and culture, as well as amazing activities you won’t find elsewhere.
For over 350 years Ilha de Moçambique was the focal point of Portuguese East Africa. This changed in 1898, when the island started to fall into benevolent neglect.
What makes this island so extraordinary is that modernisation passed it by for nearly 100 years until 1990, when Ilha de Moçambique was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The uninterrupted use of the same building techniques, materials and decorative principles lends Ilha the outstanding architectural harmony for which the UNESCO status was granted. Many of its historical buildings of Stone Town endure the test of time. Did you know that Fortaleza de São Sebastião, the island’s largest structure, is also one of the southern hemisphere’s oldest?