Cimetière des Pirates

Île Sainte Marie

This is a fascinating spot from which to contemplate the history of the island. The cemetery overlooks the Baie de Forbans just south of Ambodifotatra, the perfect pirate hang-out. Missionaries, and colonial and marine officers are also buried here, but you can clearly see the skull and crossbones on the grave of one English pirate. The crumbling piers used for ship repairs are visible from here, as is the small island of Île aux Forbans, where many pirates lived.

Access is via an isolated foot track, which crosses several tidal creeks and slippery logs about 10 minutes south of the causeway. 'Guides' have erected a hut at the start to collect a fee and do a guided tour (Ar15,000). They're not sanctioned by the local tourist office, however, and their actual knowledge and English is limited so we strongly recommend that you come here with someone who knows the history of the area. The tourist office and other local operators can arrange this. It’s completely unique and worth the effort.