Millot Plantations

Northern Madagascar

This beautiful plantation, established in 1904, is a leading producer of organic cocoa, spices and essential oils, and a visit to this little slice of paradise is not only highly informative but a true festival of the senses. The tour can be topped off with lunch in the beautiful old farmhouse. However, some readers report that the welcome here is less than gracious.

Against a backdrop of stunning scenery, the formidable Mado, your guide, will invite you to taste or smell every plant on the farm, from the lychee-like raw cocoa beans straight out of their husk, to potent green peppercorns soaking in brine and vinegar. You’ll also poke your nose in the distillery, where ylang-ylang essential oils or freshly picked vetiver roots will fight for your olfactory attention. During your visit, you’ll see how each plant is grown, picked and processed (the distillery for perfume plants, and preparation areas for cocoa and spices). Millot employs more than 800 people, the majority of them women. The plantation also supports the village school, which most of the employees’ children attend.

Lunch includes dishes prepared with products from the plantation, including a wondrous chocolate cake with vanilla cream. Make sure you try Mado’s exquisite chocolate-flavoured rum (made with the plantation’s cocoa, of course). You can also sleep at the farmhouse, where there are three simple and atmospheric rooms (per person Ar200,000 including dinner).

Because the plantation spreads over 15 sq km, you’ll need a vehicle. If you don’t have your own, you can hire the plantation’s for the length of your visit (maximum three people Ar90,000).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Madagascar attractions

1. Cyril Plantation

1.76 MILES

This place, 7km north of Ambanja, is easy to miss: there's just an 'I' for Information sign outside. But it's worth meeting Cyril for a wander through his…

2. Lemur Park

13.17 MILES

In this small park, the black lemurs are wild, but locals feed them bananas so that the animals will eat off your hand or jump on your shoulder for that…

3. Parc National Marin de Nosy Tanikely

16.03 MILES

Nosy Tanikely is a protected marine reserve 10km south of Nosy Be. It's one of the best snorkelling sites in the area, with coral, numerous fish and sea…

4. Lemuria Land

17.89 MILES

This is a truly beautiful plantation full of ylang-ylang trees climbing up the hillsides, with mangroves along the river. The entrance fee includes the…

5. Sacred Banyan Tree

18.57 MILES

On the coast beyond tiny Mahatsinjo village, there's an enormous sacred banyan tree planted by the Queen of the Sakalava tribe in 1836. Nowadays, the…

6. Ambondrona


On a small bay just north of Madirokely, Ambondrona is more tranquil than its southern neighbours, with lovely views of the mainland hills across the sea.

7. Mont Passot

24.43 MILES

Mt Passot (329m), Nosy Be’s loftiest point, lies about 15km northwest of Hell-Ville (two-hour drive). It’s a good spot for admiring sunsets and the…

8. Andilana

29.9 MILES

Far and away Nosy Be’s best beach, Andilana, at the island’s northwest tip, is a long stretch of pearly white sand, with water that’s true azure and clear…