Mozambique's 2,500 km of Indian Ocean coastline is mainly made up of empty, palm-fringed, sandy beaches where luxury hotels and lodges in Mozambique cater for the most discerning traveller. Here are details of just some of the mainland's best beaches.
Although Inhaca Island may be considered the major attraction, the mainland also has a number of fine beaches in Mozambique. Surfers, in particular, will be drawn to the big waves of Praia da Macaneta which can be reached by boat from Maputo. The 117km journey to the golden sands of Ponta do Ouro requires a 4x4 vehicle while just 5 km north from there is the beautiful beach of Ponta Malongane.
The massive reef running parallel to the Mozambique beach at Xai-Xai provides natural protection against the strong waves at high tide and forms several small pools at low tide, when the locals gather shellfish. Bilene lies on the fine white sand shores of a 27 km long lagoon, The sea can be reached by crossing the lagoon by boat. Other popular beaches are Zongoene, at the mouth of the Limpopo River, Chidenguele and Chizavane.
In addition to the islands of the Bazaruto Archipelago, this province also boasts many other superb beaches in Mozambique, amongst them Praia de Zavala, Praia de Závora, Guinjata Bay and Baía dos Cocos or Coconut Bay (south of Inhambane); Praia do Tofo, Praia da Barra and Ponta da Linga Linga (east of Inhambane); and Pomene (174 km to the north).
Beira's best beaches in Mozambique are found between the Club Náutico and the Macuti lighthouse. Some 10 km inland from the centre of Beira, 'Six Miles' is a beautiful tropical resort consisting of an artificial lagoon, dotted with islands, where visitors can swim or hire pedal boats.
A wonderful beach of endless white sand, Praia de Zalala is reached from Quelimane by 45 km of good road. The beach is lined by dense and leafy casuarina trees. Praia de Pebane is another white sand beach north of Quelimane.
Mozambique Island is the main draw but the province has several other attractive beaches. Praia das Chocas, on the mainland near Mozambique Island, is a very popular Praia de Fernao Veloso, a favourite of the local people, is located near Nacala.
The palm-lined beach of Praia do Wimbe is noted for its white sand and clear blue waters. On holiday in Mozambique visitors can walk along Wimbe beach to reach the lighthouse and nearby Praia do Farol beach. Mecufi and Mocímboa da Praia beaches are also recommended. Ibo Island and the Quirimbas Archipelago may be reached by boat from Pemba.
Although not on the coast, this province is bordered by Lake Niassa/Malawi with its numerous sandy beaches in Mozambique. The best known are Praia de Meponda, Praia de Metangula and Praia de Cobué.