East of Wallace Tours
Adventures in East Indonesia

Spice Island of Tidore

Spice plantations, traditions & hidden mountain villages

It was in 1519 when Ferdinand Magellan set sail westward on behalf of the Spanish King to search for the place of origin of nutmeg and clove in the race for domination of the extremely profitable spice trade. Magellan didn’t survive the long voyage of discovery, but his helmsman, Juan Sebastian Elcano, who took over accomplished the near impossible mission to circumnavigate the earth. In addition to finally proving that the earth was a sphere, he reached the Spice Islands, anchoring off the island of Tidore on November 8, 1521.

Tidore shares many similarities with the island of Ternate, its immediate neighbour. Here, too, visitors can find spice plantations, old fortifications and a picturesque volcano which shapes the landscape of this rather compact 127 km² small island. The history of the two islands, the region of origin of the clove tree, is closely interwoven, although in the past they seldom shared the same ‘wavelength’. Similar to Ternate, also Tidore is a Sultanate and can be counted as one of the oldest in the world. But compared to its ‘noisy neighbour’, Tidore has retained a quiet, leisurely, some would say sleepy, ambience which gives it a special appeal.


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The TOP Attractions on Tidore

What you should see on Tidore:

  1. Tidores fortifications: Are you a fan of earlier times? Then you can discover a lot on Tidore. Tidore's most important forts are located within sight of each other. Originally in a strategically important location, they each offer a wonderful view of the sea and towards Halmahera from their walls.
  2. Tidore's pretty island capital Soasio: Tidore's island capital Soasio is a pretty, sleepy-looking little town that can be overlooked from one of the nearby forts. The best way to discover the beautifully decorated houses is on foot and then relax in one of the many local restaurants with a delicious meal and a cool drink.
  3. Only 2 ways lead to Tidore: As an island, Tidore has an almost perfectly round shape. However, access to the island is not arbitrary. You can only enter the island via two public harbors, which are located on the north or south side of the island depending on your place of origin. Only the Sultan has the privilege of a separate pier.
  4. The Palace and Sultanate of Tidore: The Sultanate of Tidore is considered one of the oldest in Indonesia, along with that of Ternate. Sultan Husain Syah has been 'in office' since 2012.
  5. Tidore's Royal Tomb: On your tour of Tidore, you will also visit Makam Sultan Nuku' with the tombs of the royal family, particularly that of Sultan Nuku (1738-1805). He is very revered on the island, as he is said to have been largely responsible for freeing Tidore from the influence of the Dutch colonial power in the late 18th century - temporarily, as it turned out.
  6. Traditional mountain villages on Tidore: Are you more interested in nature and tradition? There are a few small mountain villages remote on the slopes of Kie Matubu, which have a very pleasant climate due to their altitude. There are also one or two traditional villages here, which can be recognized, among other things, by the architectural style of the houses and the special cultivation of traditions. On your tour of the island, you can visit the small villages and get to know their friendly visitors.
  7. Island panoramas on Tidore: For all photographers or for those who simply take pictures into their hearts. Away from the main route and up to Kie Matubu, between nutmeg and clove trees, there are always wonderful views that, when the sky is clear, also reveal the peaks of the neighboring inselbergs.
  8. Spice island Tidore: A delight for the senses and of course it's not just the nose that is pampered. Tidore's cuisine, in which healthy local spices are not neglected, is characterized by fragrant and tasty dishes. Depending on the season and weather conditions, whatever Mother Nature is currently producing can be found along the way; Nutmeg, cloves, cocoa or the bark of the 'Kayu Manis' tree, from which - once dried - cinnamon sticks are made. Welcome to the world of the Spice Islands!
  9. Encounter with Tidore's islanders: It will be easy for you to come into contact with the people on Tidore. Like so many Indonesian islands, Tidore can only be reached by boat, which limits the flow of visitors. The islanders' curiosity is correspondingly great when a foreign face appears.
  10. Terminus Tidore: Tidore is the final resting place of the Spaniard Juan Sebastian Elcano. Originally used as Magellan's navigator, he was honored as his successor after Magellan died during his circumnavigation (1519-1522). Elcano is considered the first seafarer to sail around the world. He died in 1527 on his return journey from Tidore to Spain.


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Experience the events and festivals on the island of Tidore!

Events on Tidore

A mystical story from Tidore

A well-known legend from Tidore is the story of “Kie Matubu”. This legend tells of a young man named Kie Matubu, a boy known for his extraordinary abilities and courage.

Kie Matubu came from an unknown island. When he came to Tidore, his personality captured the hearts of the locals and Kie Matubu soon became a hero, protecting the island from threats.

Legend tells of his adventures, including courageous battles against demons and overcoming trials imposed by gods. Kie Matubu is often seen as a symbol of bravery, intelligence and the victory of good over evil.

This legend is told in different forms on Tidore and the traditions mostly only exist orally. Therefore, details vary from village to village. But it is always about courage, bravery and intelligence, which have managed to defeat evil in the past and now.

Journey to Tidore

By plane:

  • Singapur – Manado (Sulawesi) – Ternate –> Scoot 4 hrs. + u.a. Garuda, Wings 45 min.

  • Jakarta (Java) – Ternate –> Garuda, Wings, LionAir, Batik 4 hrs.

By ship:

  • Mangga Dua (Ternate) – Rum (Tidore) —> ca. 10 min.

  • Sofifi (Halmahera) – Soasio (Tidore) —>  ca. 45 min.