With an area of 321 km2, Nosy Be (‘Big Island’) is the largest of Madagascar’s offshore islands. It’s often billed in tourist brochures as the ‘Ile aux Parfums’ and, like the nearby Comoros islands, is a centre for the production of perfume essence from the ylang-ylang tree. Other island products include sugar cane, coffee, vanilla, pepper, saffron and other spices – making the markets in Nosy Be fantastic and rich with bargains!
Nosy Be is a relaxed place where you could easily spend the entire day simply watching the changing hues of the blue in the sea and the sky. Although it is Madagascar’s most popular resort destination, the tourist industry is nowhere near as developed here as, for example, on Mauritius – which actually adds to the charm of Nosy Be. In July and August Nosy Be gets very busy, but otherwise it is relatively quiet. In addition to its attractive beaches, the island’s assets include luxuriant foliage, friendly people and a relaxed ambience.