Ile Sainte Marie, Madagascar

Ile Sainte Marie – a very long and very thin strip of tropical beach and turquoise sea paradise in the heart of the Indian Ocean. The former pirate’s hideout is 7km wide and 58km in length – and between June and September, visited by humpback whales. Its soft beaches are lined with coconut palms, coral reefs for snorkelling and diving, inland waterfalls and basalt rock formations; an invitation for exploration. 

Known locally as ‘Nosy Boraha’, the island also boasts forests with characteristic lemur species as well as sand dunes and mangroves. Fishing villages exhibit local tradition, complete with a pirate cemetery fulfilling one’s cultural curiosity! 

A variety of accommodation choices will satisfy a range of budget options. Most of the hotels are dotted on the coast south of Ambodifotatra. The north west of the island is more quiet but less accessible. The east coast is relatively rugged and, until recently, undeveloped, maintaining the natural authenticity of this treasure chest.

Rain can be expected all year around on Ile Sainte Marie but it is less wet from late August to late November. Cyclones occur between December and March.