Concierge.com's insider take:
In the 19th century, when Zanzibar was at the height of its economic prominence, its sprawling plantations dominated the global spice market—as well as the islands' economy. Cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla are still grown in abundance around Zanzibar; during the harvest, when villagers lay out blankets of freshly picked cloves on the roadside to dry in the sun, the pungent smell stings the nostrils. Spice tours are offered as popular half-day trips from Stone Town, typically including a visit to a plantation, spice tastings, and a traditional Zanzibari lunch, often wrapping up with some beach time before returning to town. All of the island's upmarket hotels offer tours, or you can book through independent operators such as Zan Tours (Malawi Rd.; 255-24-223-3116; www.zantours.com).