Nosy Be & Islands

This ‘Perfumed Isle’ offers lovely sandy beaches and a lush interior alive with the smells of vanilla, ylang-ylang and coffee.


Nosy Be holidays & hotels

Nosy Be is the largest and best known of several beautiful, seductive islands off the north-west coast of Madagascar. This ‘Perfumed Isle’, as Nosy Be is known, offers lovely sandy beaches and a lush interior. Everywhere there is a pervading smell of vanilla, ylang-ylang and coffee. Many people add on a holiday in Nosy Be,  enjoying a few days of beach, at the end of their Madagascar safari. The climate is excellent – with warm temperatures throughout the year. (January to March tend to be humid with a small risk of cyclonic storms.)

Though Nosy Be is one of the more developed parts of Madagascar for tourism, this is all relative. It remains a friendly laid back sort of place. The north of the island is wilder and more secluded with some of the best beaches and resorts. However the southern beaches are also attractive. And they are close to local villages for a choice of restaurants and locally made crafts.

Nosy Iranja beach

The shallow beaches of Nosy Be are not ideal for serious swimming or snorkelling as the water stays shallow far out to sea. However snorkelling and diving excursions are easy to arrange. You head to smaller islands with wonderful coral life such as Nosy Tanikely and Nosy Sakatia.

The Nosy Be hotels vary in style. There are mid-sized resorts in the more popular south-west, with its wide stretches of beach. Or there are some quieter ”standalone” beach lodges in the north and east of the island.

Excursions in and from Nosy Be

  • Nosy Komba for lemurs & Nosy Tanikely for diving
  • Lemurs on Lokobe reserve by pirogue boat
  • Learn to dive in the warm waters of Nosy Be
  • Swim in a sacred pool with a wonderful waterfall
  • Mount Passot for a panoramic view of the island

Diving from Nosy Be

There is superb diving on offer from Nosy Be’s small islands such as Nosy Tanikely, Nosy Sakatia and Nosy Mitsio. Think warm, translucent waters brimming with dramatic corals and colourful reef fish. In short they’re a diving paradise.

Visibility around Nosy Be varies enormously according to the tides and the weather but it’s usually around 20-30 metres. October to December is probably the best time for diving, with April and May also excellent. Try to avoid the rainy season which is generally January until March. See Madagascar diving for more info.

Northern Islands off Nosy Be

As well as Nosy Be, there are several stunning islands with sandy beaches, forested interiors, some with a rich coral life such as Nosy Komba, Nosy Tsarabanjina or Nosy Sakatia. Here you experience tropical island living at its best, superb diving opportunities and unspoilt natural beauty…

Check out the luxury boutque hotels of Constance Tsarabanjina or Tsara Komba

Also see Ankarana in Northern Madagascar

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