Experience the tropical charms of northwestern Nosy Be on this half-day tour of its key destinations.
Begin by boarding a coach in Hell Ville, the colonial capital of Nosy Be. The town's curious name pays homage to the 19th century French admiral Louis de Hell, who also served as governor of nearby Réunion Island. You'll soon see one of Hell Ville's liveliest spots, the market place, where locally grown vegetables, colorful fruits and exotic spices are all on display. Many of the merchants are Sakalava, the island's first inhabitants and most prevalent ethnic group.
From here, it's a drive through the luxuriant countryside, passing Malagasy villages and plantations. During brief stops in the fields, you will likely smell the aromas of the lush crops, which may include coffee, pepper and the coveted ylang-ylang, a tree whose flowers yield fragrant oil that is used in the making of perfumes. Ylang-ylang is so abundant that Nosy Be is often referred to as the Island of Perfumes.
Driving further into the countryside, you will see the unusual, balloon-shaped homes in Dzamandzar, the second largest city in Nosy Be. For a different perspective of the island, you'll stop at Mont Passot, an elevated area known for its stunning views of the Amparihibe crater lakes and the surrounding plantations.
Next, it's on to Andilana Beach, considered one of the best on the island. If you like, you might take a quick dip in the turquoise waters, and then enjoy a beverage at the LouLou Belvedere restaurant. As an added treat, the local children will entertain you with a folkloric performance.
Finally, you will make your way back to Hell Ville, where you may shop for Malagasy handicrafts, perfumes and embroidered tablecloths before returning to the ship.
Please note: This tour includes a limited amount of walking, mainly at the guests' discretion during stops. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Light weight, casual clothing; a hat; sunglasses; sunscreen; insect repellant and flat, comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Those who wish to swim should wear a swimsuit under their clothing and bring a towel. Any guests who participate in water activities may do so at their own risk and responsibility. Guests should bring along small denominations of Euros or U.S. dollars for any purchases they may wish to make. The transportation used is the best available in this destination; however, it may not be up to the same standards as found in other parts of the world.