The Sultanate of Tidore was, like next-door Ternate, an important trade center for spices during the Age of Discovery and as such one of the places the European colonial powers fought over. This was where Magellan's round the world expedition (Magellan was dead by then) traded spices before sailing back to Spain.
Tidore is in many ways similar to Ternate; the islands are about equally big, are both volcanoes rising up from the sea, were the once only places where cloves grew, and sultanates on their own. Nevertless, Tidore is less developed and touristy compared to its northwestern "twin", and as such more off the beaten path.
Ferries are the only way for getting in. Probably most visitors come in from Ternate, just a few kilometres away, which has an airport with flights from Jakarta and other Indonesian cities. The speedboat crossing from Ternate takes about 20 minutes. There is also a slower ferry that will take motorbikes.
There are also ferries from Sofifi on Halmahera island.
- 1 Tahula Fort. Former 17th century Spanish fort.
- 2 Tore Fort. Smaller fort towering above the royal cemetery.
- 3 New Palace. A recreation of the original sultan's palace, at the same place.
- 4 Sultan's Memorial Museum. On the premises of the sultan's palace. May not be open for visits.
- 5 Royal Port. The sultan's jetty and unlike in the heyday of the sultanate, it's nowadays used by local fishermen at most.
- 6 Royal Mosque. Heavily restored.
- 7 Royal tombs. The tombs of the Tidorese royal family are just north of the palace.
- Magellan monument. At the southern edge of Rum, there's a monument to Magellan's round the world expedition who reached the island in 1521.
- Clove harvesting. The clove harvest season corresponds to the Northern Hemisphere summer. During that time, locals climb up trees to pick the buds of the clove trees, which are then laid out along roads to dry, giving off a pleasant smell.
- 1 Hot Springs beach (Pantai Akesahu). The island's most popular beach, busy at the weekends. Next to it, there's a hot spring you can bathe in.
- 2 Kiematabu. Like many Indonesian islands, Tidore is a volcano. There is a path up to the caldera summit, Gunung Kiematabu, 1730 m above sea level. The path starts from the village of Gura-bunga, on the way between Rum and Soadara and the path isn't well marked so you probably want to have a guide. You'll walk up through forest for about two hours with great views over the island along the route before reaching the crater rim. The volcano has been inactive for a while, so the caldera is overgrown to the extent that it blocks the sight at some places. The path continues to the concrete marker that marks the highest point on the rim (ie. the summit). Unless it's cloudy, there are splendid views to the neighbouring islands.
Local souvenirs (though they are not manufactured as souvenirs but for use) are baskets and pottery. These are sold on the Soasio market on market days.
You can find plenty of food stalls, especially around in the harbour of Rum and around the market in Soasio. There are even more options available on market days.
There are a few simple guesthouses on the island, in the villages of Soasio and Rum.
- Back to Ternate