Malindi © Mr Mainuu
Situated on the beach 60 miles (40km) north of Mombasa is the lazy and unashamedly hedonistic holiday resort of Malindi, its dazzling white beaches lining the shore. But for the more adventurous, excellent fishing trips in Malindi leave early before the heat of the day sets in, in search of barracuda, tuna and marlin. One of the few authentic Portuguese relics left on the coast can be found on the cliffs near Malindi Harbour, with the cross of Vasco da Gama commemorating his arrival here in 1498. South of Malindi are the Watamu and Malindi Marine National Parks, protected areas of white coral beaches and stunning, crystal-clear blue lagoons attracting many snorkelers and scuba divers. Between the two marine parks is the abandoned 15th century Swahili town of Gedi, where visitors can wander the ruins of the palace, market place, houses, mosques and pillared tombs.