If you're looking to escape the daily grind, five days in a tropical paradise like Zanzibar might be what the doctor ordered. More than inviting white-sand beaches and crystalline waters, the island of Zanzibar is also home to a rich culture and fascinating medieval history. You'll experience it all, plus have your pick of various optional activities—including a romantic sunset cruise.


  • Laze on Zanzibar's famous white-sand beaches
  • Tour the historic center of Stone Town
  • Go snorkeling and kayaking in crystal clear waters 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Zanzibar, Walking Tour Stone Town Zanzibar
Day 2 Beach Day & Spice Tour Zanzibar Beach
Days 3-4 Beach Day, Optional Activities Zanzibar Beach
Day 5 Depart Zanzibar  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Zanzibar, Walking Tour

Aerial view of Stone Town

Welcome to Zanzibar! Nestled in the sapphire waters of the Indian Ocean, this archipelago is the most beautiful island locale in East Africa. Upon arrival at the airport on the main island, a personal driver will be waiting to drive you to your hotel in Stone Town, the city's historic heart. After checking in, you'll have some time to relax and unwind. 

Then you'll head out and explore this medieval enclave on a guided walking tour. Stone Town is a lively mix of Arabic, African, Indian, and European cultures, all living side by side on its labyrinthine streets. This warren of alleyways, shops, bazaars, and mosques is home to some of Zanzibar's oldest and most historic buildings. One standout you'll visit is the Arab Fort, a defensive fortification built in the 17th century. You'll also see the 19th-century Sultan's Palace and Anglican Cathedral and the solemn site of a former slave market.

Day 2: Beach Day & Spice Tour

Enjoy Zanzibar's beaches

After breakfast, a personal driver will pick you up, and you'll travel to the northwestern end of Zanzibar. Here, sitting on the powdery white sands of Nungwi Beach, is the luxurious 5-star resort where you'll spend the next couple of days.

Along the way, you'll stop at a countryside spice farm. This island has a long history of spice production dating to the 16th century, when it was a strategic trading post between Arabia and India. Zanzibar built massive wealth in the 19th century as a major producer of cloves (harvested by enslaved people) and today retains its nickname "Spice Island." On a farm tour, you'll sample cloves and other aromatics like cinnamon and nutmeg. You'll also learn about the traditional uses of these spices, which are found in everything from incense to perfume. Then sit down to a farm-fresh lunch.  

Once you've checked in to your hotel, you can spend the remainder of the day as you like. Feel free to arrange any tours you want with the front desk or head out on your own. The town of Nungwi has a party atmosphere and no shortage of beach clubs, or you can head south to the more isolated and tranquil Michamvi Kae. Other fun activities include cycling around the island, caving, yoga sessions on the beach, taking a Swahili cooking class, surfing, and many others.

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Days 3-4: Beach Day, Optional Activities

Take a sunset cruise

The day is yours to enjoy however you like. There are quite a few activities and sightseeing excursions you can embark on, or you can relax on the beach with a good book.

If you are feeling active, then scuba diving is one unforgettable experience. The clear waters and coral reefs around Zanzibar make this a top diving destination. You can take scuba classes from seasoned professionals or head out on a more casual snorkeling trip, even if you're a beginner. Whatever you decide, you'll be treated to an underwater paradise teeming with exotic marine life that includes rays, turtles, puffers, clownfish, and even whale sharks. You may even get lucky and be able to swim alongside a pod of dolphins. 

Kayaking is another great way to explore Zanzibar's coast. Hop in a one or two-person kayak and paddle leisurely along the stunning white beaches. Or get on a stand-up paddleboard and traverse the waters with an expert guide alongside you. This area is also great for fishing. The nearby Pemba Channel is home to six different types of billfish, plus you can reel in trophies such as yellowfin tuna, wahoo, king mackerel, barracuda, and marlin.

There's also the option for a sunset cruise, which is a great activity whether you're traveling solo or with that special someone. Hop in a traditional dhow (wooden sailboat) in the late afternoon and sail around the tranquil waters with a glass of champagne as you enjoy the gorgeous vermillion sunset. Often, these tours stop at idyllic little islands where you can go ashore and stroll the white-sand beaches amid ancient baobab trees. Be on the lookout for dolphins swimming alongside the boat! 

Day 5: Depart Zanzibar

A traditional dhow sailboat in Zanzibar

After breakfast, head out and enjoy one last morning on the beach. Later in the afternoon, you'll transfer to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

More Great Tanzania Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your Tanzania trip? Check out these other Tanzania itineraries, with outdoor adventures, beach vacations, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of Zanzibar Beach Holiday - 5 Days
Map of Zanzibar Beach Holiday - 5 Days