This large island in the Indian Ocean can be explored in many different ways, depending on your time allowance and inclinations. That’s where our Madagascar travel guide comes on handy. Rule one: don’t stay too long in ‘Tana’ (short for Antananarivo), the sprawling capital, there is so much to see elsewhere. Head north, towards Antsinarana (Diego Suarez) to discover the turquoise lagoon of the Emerald Sea, In the centre of the island, Isalo National Park dates from the time of the dinosaurs: make like Indiana Jones exploring canyons, caves and natural pools in the hollows of eroded rocks. To the west there is Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park, its incredible mineral formations sculpted by water and time.
On the coast, towards Morondava, you can see the famous alley of baobabs, these giant trees centuries old. In the north-east, visit the so-called Vanilla Coast, for a long time inaccessible, and the centre of the island’s vanilla trade as the name suggests. Walkers, take a guide to immerse yourself in the great green of Madagascar’s forest. For the more adventurous, the great south can be explored by 4x4 to discover deserted beaches and superb panoramas. Finally, don’t forget to go to this island’s own islands: Nosy Be, ‘the island of perfumes’, and its satellites to the west, Sainte-Marie, ‘the island of women’ and its little sisters in the East, where balletic whale breach sightings take place from July to September.