An atmosphere of peace, tranquillity and pure natural beauty prevails on this tropical island, which, despite being one of the most popular beach spots Madagascar has to offer, has managed to avoid a commercial resort-like feel.
Once a haven for pirates, this slender island is covered in lush vegetation that is interspersed with quaint villages, and fringed by beautiful sandy beaches, and secluded bays and coves. While the coast south of Ambodifotatra is fairly developed, the east coast is spectacular, rugged, and untouched, with stunning beaches. If you really want to escape the crowds, head to the magnificent Ampanihy Peninsula, separated from main island by the azure Baie d'Ampanihy, where you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more beautiful setting in which to relax.
While an idyllic sun-bathing and beach-bumming locale, the island’s interior is ideal for hiking, cycling and motorbiking, so grab a bicycle and explore. Take a traditional dug-out canoe known as a ‘pirogue’ and spend a day exploring the hidden waterways and shady groves along the island’s shoreline.
The translucent waters and coral reefs offshore promise excellent snorkelling and scuba diving, where you can immerse yourself into the colourful world of the shark-free reef to see huge groupers, morays, lobsters, sea turtles, and skates. Watch pods of migrating humpback whales between July and September, which is an unforgettable sight.