Piscines Naturelles d'Ambodiatafana

Top choice in Île Sainte Marie

In the north of Sainte Marie, near Ambodiatafana village, these natural pools are separated from the Indian Ocean by a granitic gate of about 100m. During each tide, the sea fills these natural basins by crashing against the rocks. The ocean is too rough to swim there from June to September but they're absolutely idyllic in spring and summer (October to February). There are phenomenal panoramic views of the island from the sand dunes at the back of the beach.

The beach and pools are sacred and there are many fadys (taboos) to respect so a guide is compulsory.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Île Sainte Marie attractions

1. Ambodiriana Forest

18.6 MILES

Rare species flourish in this protected humid forest, including the mouse lemur, the candy cane palm (Dypsis paludosa) and a parasitic orchid (Gastrodia…

2. Cimetière des Pirates

22.39 MILES

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,…

3. Maison Blanche

29.44 MILES

No stay on the island would be complete without a sundowner at Maison Blanche: this atypical house has a rooftop terrace with 360-degree views of the…