This peaceful town, known as San Martino in the days of Portuguese Mozambique, is situated on a hill overlooking the sprawling waters of the Uembje Lagoon. It's a massive stretch of water which is 8 km wide and 27 km long, plunging up to depths of 50 metres, but so shallow near the shores that it's perfect for children. Although the white sands and clear lagoon make you feel as if you are in Greece, this is real Africa with rolling sand dunes, lush vegetation and just a boat ride away, the powerful breakers of the Indian Ocean. Large numbers of flamingos and other water birds flock here in summer to pluck the spoils from the shallow fringes of the saline water. For the rest of the year, Bilene is all about sailing, diving, fishing, swimming and snorkelling. Bilene is about 180km from Maputo and offers a good beach destination for those a bit jaded by life in the ever-growing capital.