Ile Sainte Marie (Nosy Boraha), a tropical island next to Madagascar’s east coast.
It is well known is one of its incredible beaches and as a backpackers paradise.
White sandy beaches, coconut trees, and turquoise water.
Strange, but this island still hasn't experienced mass tourism so it is perfect getaway for those who search for a quite and peaceful beach-time.
Getting to Ile Sainte Marie is a challenge itself.
Just to get there will take some patients, time, and will be an adventure.
Most people chose to fly to Sainte Marie from Antananarivo with Air Madagascar.
Prices are expensive (240Eu one way), so many people chose to travel with bus, car or taxi to Tamatave (Toamasina), and then to the ferry terminal at Soanierana-Ivongo.
It will take you the all night and half of the next morning to get to the ferry from airport
- In the airport, you can book overnight bus to Tamatave.
- From there, get into the crowded bus to Soanierana Ivongo for another 3 hours to reach the last coastal city on the main island of Madagascar.
- Ferry boats leave between 10-11am
There are a few ferry companies
The price is about 75,000 Ar (30Eu) for a one way ferry ride
Boat ride to the island will take 2 hours.
- The final stage - get a rickshaw ride to your hotel.
Best time to visit Ile Sainte Marie is between July and September
What to do in Ile Sainte Marie
- See Whales! Sainte-Marie has an excellent infrastructure to receive and direct tourists who are interested in whale watching.
- mountain biking
- rent a scooter or motorcycle and travel around the island, but consider that the roads are not in very good condition. The prices start from around 25,000Ar for 1 day (10Eu)
- diving - prices start from 220,000Ar for 2 dives (90Eu)
- snorkeling are offered by most hotels in Sainte-Marie
- Sainte-Marie is known for its fish and delicious seafood
Where to stay
There are many hotels on Ile Sainte Marie of all price ranges, but the most of them are targeted for the backpacker crowd, under 100,000 Ar a night (~40EUR)