Nothing epitomises the Arabic influence on Zanzibar more than the presence of the graceful dhow on its surrounding sea. The area around Nungwi on the Northern Coast is the dhow-building capital of the island, but dhow cruises may also be taken from other locations.
A visit to Prison Island by dhow, described elsewhere, can be followed by a trip down to Mangapwani Beach for lunch and an opportunity to visit the caves originally built there to house slaves prior to transport out.
Alternatively you could take lunch on an untouched sandbank about an hours' sail away, enjoying a five-star meal prepared by a leading hotel's talented chefs. A sunset cruise back to Stone Town then completes a most magical day, accompanied by cool refreshments and romantic music.
An alternative destination by dhow is Menai Bay, home to Green and Hawksbill sea turtles, and occasionally dolphins. Here you can explore this delightful marine environment, by snorkelling. [cont.]
A particular feature here is the 'Safari Blue' full day trip, adding a 'desert island' stop for a delicious lunch to the sort of snorkelling trip described above. The day concludes, inevitably, with a leisurely sunset cruise back to your port of departure.
Instead of a sunset cruise, you might prefer to take a sunrise cruise by dhow, watching the local fishermen set off for the day's catch, followed, as elsewhere, by snorkelling or just relaxing on the powder-white sands of the sandbanks exposed at low tide.
Then honeymooners can book a private sunset cruise by dhow - the perfect start to a romantic evening. Departing late afternoon, you will be served canapes and a refreshing drink by your own private butler, to a background of traditional Swahili love music provided by an on-board troupe of musicians.
Mafia Island is an unspoilt destination noted in particular for the watersport activities and deep-sea fishing that it hosts.
With just one exclusive hotel, Mnemba Island is almost your own private retreat - and has been described as one of the world's top three most romantic beach locations.
Pemba Island remains a largely undeveloped agricultural destination, with voodoo healing and professional level watersports among its attractions.
If it's a largely tourist-free beach location that you're after, just wanting relaxation, then the various resorts on Zanzibar's East Coast will give you this.