Beach + Island

Car-Free Destinations for Your Big Summer Trip

by Marisa Lascala

Lamu Island
Kenya

Lamu isn't just a singular island, it's a collection of them in an archipelago off the Northeastern coast of Kenya. The port settlement has been around since the 12th century, and it's still a bustling collection of markets, shops, and restaurants. Lamu Old Town is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site for being the "oldest and best preserved example of Swahili settlement in East Africa." Its history can further be explored from the Lamu Museum, situated in a fort that dates back to 1821. But, if you're seeking solitude, there's no better than a nearly 7.5-mile strip of white-sand beaches that caters to upscale tourists.

Getting Around: If you're staying on land, you'll be traveling by foot. But if you want to head out onto the water and go island-hopping, try taking a sail on the dhow, the traditional sailboats of the region.

Getting There: The best way in is by air, via the Manda Airport on the island next door. Airkenya, Sarfarilink, Fly540, and Mombasa Air Safari are some of the airlines that make the trip.

FYI: As you browse, keep an eye on the doors of the buildings you pass—Lamu is famous for the its intricate wood carvings, especially evident on doors.

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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