Villa Santorini Vilanculos Mozambique
Why we love it
We stumbled across this dramatic villa while on holiday in the exotic town of Vilanculos, across the bay from the Benguerra Archipelago, a chain of islands making up a marine reserve, renown for snorkeling, inland lakes and idyllic sandy beaches. Every day we packed our bags to continue our travels but then would find ourselves at a little beach bar watching fishermen bring in their catch, kids playing happily on the beach and we felt a part of this little town and the rhythm of its people. This gorgeous Greek-style home has the cool openess and far-reaching views that make for a perfect family holiday. We think it offers the Swahili flavours of Mozambique mainland (markets, artists, fishmen on the beach, Portuguese bakeries), while still giving quick easy access to the island's wilderness.
What to expect
Barefoot beach-style sophistication.The villa caters for a maximum of 14 guests in 5 en suite bedrooms. The kids bedroom has bunk beds that can take extra kids. There are numerous living areas and outside decks and two swimming pools. There is a full time management couple on call and 24 hour security.The chef is a legend, producing fresh seafood caught just hours before, as well as his famous pizzas at the pool-side pizza oven. There is air-conditioning throughout, as well as wifi in some areas. Spa treatments can be arranged in the house.
What to do
Apart from tthe obvious relaxation that comes from sitting and looking out over azure water and the slow pace of the place, you can also call up the boat with skipper to take you over to the islands to set up a picnic under shade on a sandy beach and spend the day snorkeling amongst amazing sea life, including dolphins and whale sharks. You can visit the art centre and markets in the town in the villa's 4x4, watch young kids catching crabs in the shallows or just wallow in your pool with a local 2M beer in hand.
Kids: With warm water, snorkelling, kayaking, canoeing and shell collecting, long beaches, soccer games with the local kids, star gazing and fishing there are plenty of wonderful activities for kids. Read our story of travelling with Kids in Mozambique
When to go
Apil to September is wonderfully mild in Mozambique but you can be assured of warm weather at any time of the year. In winter from July to October humpbacked whales frequent the coastline. Monsoon season is between February and April. November to March can be very hot and humid.
How to get there: There are daily flights (2 hours) from Johannesburg. Transfer from the aiport to the villa is fifteen minutes.