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Nosy Be

Madagascar’s number-one beach destination, the island of Nosy Be has all the ingredients you'd expect: soft white sand, turquoise waters and wonderful seafood. A paradise for water-based activities with its sunny climate most of the year, diving is the top draw, and there is plenty of swimming, snorkelling, sailing and fishing. Operators offer excursions to the surrounding islands with their beautiful beaches and great diving opportunities.

Once you’ve had enough of seascapes, head for the rolling landscapes of the little-explored hinterland: as well as the brilliant Parc National Lokobe, there are ylang-ylang and vanilla plantations, crater lakes and waterfalls, and miles of dirt tracks accessible only by foot or quad bike.

Nosy Be is the most expensive destination in Madagascar, but many visitors find the lack of major development and relaxed, mora mora (slowly, slowly) lifestyle worth the extra money.