10. Mount Ntingui
The highest mountain on the island of Anjouan stands some 5,250 feet high. Its peak is often covered in cloud, but if you make it to the summit on a clear day, you’ll be able to see the entire length of the Comoros Islands. The hike to the top is also utterly stunning – it’s through a lush, green forest that’s home to numerous exotic bird species.
Although this settlement is small, it’s something of a commercial center on the island of Mayotte. It has a picturesque little harbor, and is, without doubt, the best place for shopping and dining out on the French-ruled island.
8. Petite Terre
Just two villages can be found on this island, namely L’Abattoir and Pamandzi. The volcanic crater of Dziani Dzaha, the rock of Dzaoudzi and an archeological site known as Bagamayo (it dates back to the 10th century) are all well worth a visit. In addition, the island is known for its amazing French cuisine. Crab and frog legs, anyone?
This island is arguably the most touristic of all the Comoros Islands, and it’s actually still governed by France (it’s the subject of a territorial dispute). Although many think that Mayotte is out of sync with the remote paradise feel that the rest of the Comoros Islands have, there’s still plenty of beauty to discover. The ocean surrounding it is pristine and turquoise, and there are snorkeling, sailing, and diving to enjoy. A large expatriate community lives on the densely populated island.
The capital city of the Comoros Islands has a distinctly romantic, Arabian atmosphere about it, and it feels like you’re in a completely different world to the rest of the destinations throughout the Comoros Islands as a result. It’s filled with narrow streets that are lined with quaint shops and cafes, and many of the locals wear traditional dress. The Volvo market is a great place to pick up souvenirs, spices, and handicrafts made by local artisans. Although traditional tourist attractions are lacking, there’s plenty of scenic beauty in the city to make up for it.
5. Mount Karthala
Behold – the world’s largest active volcano. It towers some 7,500 feet above Grande Comore, the Comoros Islands’ main island. It has erupted every 11 years on average since the beginning of the 19th century. The last eruption took place in 2005 and lasted no less than 14 days. Needless to say that it did quite a bit of damage, but the country has bounced back nicely in the years since. If you fancy a hike to the summit, be warned – it’s a treacherous two-day trek to get there.
4. Grande Comore
This island only measures 37 miles long by 12 miles wide, but that’s enough to make it the largest one in the Comoros Islands. It’s also the most developed island in the archipelago. The capital city of the Comoros Islands, Moroni, can also be found here. Traveling throughout the island will allow you to see solidified lava everywhere. This contrasts with pristine white sand beaches for a landscape beautiful enough to make your jaw drop. In fact, the island is very popular with honeymooners or couples and couples just seeking a getaway. The west coast is home to vanilla, coconut, banana and cassava plantations.
Nicknamed “The Pearl of the Comoros” thanks to its Robinson Crusoe-like qualities, this Comorian island is the stuff that dreams are made of. Remote, unspoiled and just plain beautiful, there are old Arab plantations to wander through, not to mention the picture-perfect beaches. What’s more is that there’s the scent of cloves and ylang-ylang on every breeze. The locals are intensely proud of their little island. If the weather is a little too hot for you on the coast, head inland to the highlands for cooler air and watch mists roll over the lush rainforests.
Fomboni is the third-largest city in the Comoros Islands, but it’s still only home to just 19,000 people. It’s a quiet and unassuming little place, featuring a nameless main street through its center, a market, and a beautiful waterfront. Although the locals tend to be rather reserved, you’ll undoubtedly receive a warm welcome on your arrival. It’s a great place to see what life is really like on the island of Mohéli.
Despite it being the smallest island in Comoros, this is certainly the most fascinating of the lot. Mohéli is inhabited by very few people, and it’s largely undeveloped and mostly wild as a result. It’s home to the country’s only national park, the Parc Marin de Mohéli. If you love nature, you’ll want to check out the craggy islets that surround the island, because they’re great places to spot marine life such as turtles, whales, and dolphins. The pristine beauty of Moheli will make you overlook the lack of modern amenities, and the island is considered by many to be the jewel in the Comoros Islands’ crown.