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Sainte Marie

Sainte Marie Island, located off the eastern coast of Madagascar, 35 km from Soanierana-Ivongo, is one of the most beautiful destinations on the Big Island. This piece of land is a true paradise, a must of tourism in Madagascar with its beaches, forests and historic sites.

Sainte Marie Island, located off the eastern coast of Madagascar, 35 km from Soanierana-Ivongo, is one of the most beautiful destinations on the Big Island. This piece of land is a true paradise, a must of tourism in Madagascar with its beaches, forests and historic sites.
Sainte Marie is a historic island full of legend. It is located on two important trade routes of the seventeenth century: that of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Also known under the Malagasy name of "Nosy Boraha Boraha Boraha Boraha", it owes its name to the arrival of a Jewish merchant. At the beginning of the 16th century, the Portuguese who discovered it baptized it Santa Maria, by its present name. In the course of the seventeenth century, the island served as a haven for many pirates like John Avery, Thomas Tew, William Kidd, ... Moreover, some vestiges of the occupation of the territory by pirates are scattered in the region.

The island is surrounded by a few islets that can be visited: the island with mats, the island Madame and the island aux Forbans. The island with mats is a small paradise for those looking for calm and serenity. It recalls a small piece of desert land, worthy of the legend of Robinson Crusoe. A walk through the beautiful sandy beaches is very pleasant. The island rises in the middle of a beautiful turquoise and translucent sea. Lovers of history will not fail to visit the island Madame or still sits the former residence of governors and administrators, dating from 1871.

Pirate's Island

The island of Forbans was the main area occupied by pirates. The site still houses under its waters authentic pirate ships. Opposite the island is a promontory where the cemetery of pirates is erected. It is indeed the burial of pirates, outlaws and foreign convicts. At the entrance to the cemetery, you can observe on a tombstone the famous emblem of the pirates: two shins topped by a skull. You can also discover the tombs of sailors dating for most of the 18th century.

Whale watching

The observation of humpback whales or mégapteres is the specific attraction of the island of Sainte Marie. From July to September, the sea bordering the island becomes the paradise of the whales. They come here to mate and procreate because the water is hot. Visitors are treated to a rather unusual show: hump windings, pectoral fins, caudal flippers, and jumps are on the program during the mating season. A reservation of a few months in advance is desirable during this high season period.
The arrival of whales off the eastern coast is the subject of a great event in Sainte Marie: the Whale Festival. Many distractions are proposed for the happiness of the visitors: animations, concerts, sports and cultural events, ... A whole program to celebrate the island. Safaris on the high seas are also organized to observe the whales more closely.

The distractions are not lacking in Sainte Marie. Hiking or biking are particularly enjoyable to visit the island. Those wishing to go on an underwater exploration will be delighted. A kayak ride and diving sessions are offered to appreciate the beauty of the landscape off the coast. The dive sites of the island are among the most beautiful in Madagascar. The discovery of colorful bottoms of the lagoon bordering the island will transport you into a spectacular universe. The lagoon is indeed very rich in wildlife: multicolored fish, dolphins, dugongs, parrot fish, sea eagles, red snappers, barracudas, soft corals, lobsters, crocodile fish, shells, napoleon fish, lions fish, sea turtles, groupers , rays, ... You will have the opportunity to contemplate them during a dive in the turquoise waters of Sainte Marie.

The island is one of Madagascar's leading destinations for a stay in a natural and authentic setting. The beauty of Sainte Marie and the diversity of entertainment offered make it an ideal destination for a family holiday or to relax.

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