Toamasina (Tamatave)


A tempting transit in Toamasina


 

With its wide, palm tree-lined avenues and picturesque beaches, there is something about Toamasina that is reminiscent of Miami. Madagascar’s chief seaport lies northeast of the capital and is full of bustling markets and streets overrun with colourful pousse-pousse rickshaws that take visitors from their high-end hotels or backpackers to a fine-dining restaurant or trendy nightclub. Toamasina is a diverting stopover for those travelling between Antananarivo and St Mary’s Island.

Remnants of French colonial occupation can be seen in the architecture of the buildings along the waterfront. The city’s markets, particularly Bazary Be, are bustling hubs of activity and intrigue. Travellers can buy anything from vanilla pods and syrup, to fresh litchis, shells, and local crafts. There are also a number of different museums dotted around Toamasina that are ideal for whiling away a few hours. Numerous bars, beach clubs, and restaurants come alive at night to entertain locals and foreigners alike.

The city’s numerous rickshaws ensure that tourists will find it easy to make their way around. It is also serviced by Toamasina airport, while well-tarred roads connect Toamasina to other major hubs on the island. This port city is the ideal transit point for those travelling around Madagascar, particularly between the capital and St Mary’s Island.

 

Highlights

  • This town is the country’s chief seaport and only a 45min flight from the capital
  • Ideal stopover for those travelling around the country – especially between Antananarivo and St Mary’s Island 
  • Flights to the area arrive at Toamasina Airport 
  • Number of museums, restaurants, pubs, and markets around town to keep travellers entertained 
  • Known for its picturesque beaches, colourful rickshaws, and usefulness as a transit point 

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