Welcome to Africa’s largest island nation, Madagascar. This incredible country sits in the Indian Ocean and is famous for its tropical forests and rare wildlife. 

But Madagascar is also home to an incredible selection of spectacular beaches, each a unique slice of paradise. From the sublime shores of Nosy Be to the pristine sands of Ifaty, the island is full of sandy, tropical treasures for you to uncover.

Madagascar’s beaches are a favorite of adventurers, nature lovers, and anyone looking for a tranquil escape. Try sunbathing on the powdery white sands of Anakao or exploring the hidden coves of Ile Sainte Marie. Madagascar has the perfect beach experience for every side of you, and we’re going to discover them all.

Madagascar Beaches

Each of these blissful beaches offers something special – some are even their own little islands – or ‘nosy’ in Malagasy. Whether you’re looking for adventure, marine life, or just a perfect spot to soak up the sun, you’re going to want to visit all of these.

1. Nosy Be (‘Big Island’ in English)Nosy Be Beach in Madagascar

This is Madagascar’s most popular bit of heaven and is actually its own little archipelago off Mad’s northwest coast. Nicknamed Nosy Manitra (scented Island), it’s famous for its aroma, filled with the scents of ylang-ylang, vanilla, and jasmine. Sunny weather nearly all year round makes it perfect for beach-goers and anyone looking to soak up some tropical sun. 

There are a few different areas to visit on Nosy Be, and they’re all stunning, with soft white sands and clear waters. If you’re into snorkeling or diving, the coral reefs around Nosy Be are for you, teeming with colorful marine life.

You can also explore lush forests, spot lemurs, or check out local markets full of spices and crafts. Nosy Be is a sweet mix of natural beauty and cultural richness, making it a top spot for a memorable getaway.

You can also find beachfront cafes where you can enjoy a cocktail with your toes in the sand. Or a gourmet meal in an elegant restaurant. 

2. Nosy Sakatia

Just off the northwest coast of Madagascar near Nosy Be, Nosy Sakatia is known as the “Orchid Island” for all of its wild orchids. It’s another hidden gem, quieter and less developed; a peaceful spot rich in foliage and blissful beaches. The atmosphere here is laid-back, perfect if you’re looking to unwind in the sun.

You’ll find soft sands, calm, clear waters and coral reefs just offshore. The reefs are teeming with marine life, and snorkeling and diving are popular activities. The waters around Nosy Sakatia are especially known for their sea turtles. You can have the unique opportunity to swim alongside these gentle creatures.

Aside from the water sports, you can explore the Nosy Sakatia on foot on one of several trails that lead through the tropical forest. You have a chance to discover the island’s flora, including its famous orchids, and enjoy views of Nosy Be and the surrounding waters.

Kayaking and paddleboarding are great ways to explore Nosy Sakatia’s coastline from the water. It’s a great way to see the area from a new perspective.

The island has a few small lodges and guesthouses that typically include restaurants or dining areas. Relax with a cold beer and fresh seafood.


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3. Nosy Tanikely

This small island serves as a Marine Reserve and offers some of the best snorkeling and diving in Madagascar. Its beach is a scenic launching point into the underwater world of colorful coral and marine life. You can see turtles and a huge variety of fish species in this underwater paradise.

The beach itself is gorgeous, with fine white sand and crystal-clear waters, trimmed by tropical vegetation. It’s not a large beach, either, but its beauty and the wealth of marine life make it a popular destination for day-trippers from Nosy Be and beyond.

The island can get busy, especially during peak tourist seasons, as it’s a favorite spot for snorkeling and diving. Visitors flock here to explore the coral reefs that are teeming with colorful fish, sea turtles, and a variety of marine species. The beach is a perfect starting point for your underwater adventures.

Nosy Tanikely’s main attraction is its snorkeling and diving. The protected marine park has some of the best underwater experiences in Madagascar. 

And once you come out of the water, you can enjoy sunbathing, picnicking on the beach, and exploring the island. There is a lighthouse where you’ll have panoramic views of the surrounding sea and islands.

As for amenities, Nosy Tanikely is relatively undeveloped, preserving its natural beauty. There are no permanent restaurants or bars on the island itself. Many visitors come as part of organized tours from Nosy Be, which typically include lunch and refreshments as part of the package. 

If you’re visiting independently, it’s a good idea to bring your own water, snacks, or a packed lunch to enjoy during your trip. 


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4. Nosy Komba

Nosy Komba is found between Madagascar’s mainland and the larger island of Nosy Be. It’s a little spot that’s big on charm. Known also as “Lemur Island,” it’s a place where nature and wildlife are the main events. Without roads and cars, the island is a genuine getaway where the pace of life is dictated by the sun and the sea.

Nosy Komba’s beaches are a mix of secluded spots and busier ones, especially near the main landing points or close to hotels and resorts. It generally has a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere compared to the busier Nosy Be. 

The beaches are known for being picturesque and tranquil, with beautiful views, clear waters, and volcanic rocks and lush greenery along the beach.

It will feel like your personal paradise for sunbathing, swimming, and just taking it easy. Snorkeling is great here, too, with healthy coral and colorful fish.

But if you get tired of the beach, you can go meet the lemurs. These friendly creatures are used to human visitors and might even hop onto your shoulder for a closer look. Even beyond lemurs, you’ll love Nosy Komba if you have any interest in nature and culture.

The small villages dotted around Nosy Komba are a window into the Malagasy way of life. The markets provide an interesting local scene. And along the beaches, especially those near the villages or tourist areas, you’ll find restaurants and bars serving a variety of food and beverages. 

5. Nosy IranjaNosy Iranja beach

Nosy Iranja is a breathtakingly beautiful pair of islands connected by a slender strip of sand that appears and disappears with the tide. Located about 50 kilometers southwest of Nosy Be, these islands are a fairly secluded retreat. Their remote location contributes to the peaceful atmosphere. 

When the tide is low, you can walk between the two islands. This unique experience will make you feel like you’re walking on water. Often referred to as the Turtle Islands, Nosy Iranja is a nesting site for Hawksbill and Green turtles.

If you love the underwater world, snorkeling and diving around Nosy Iranja are fantastic. The coral reefs are home to many different species of marine life. 

If you’re up for a trek, here’s a lighthouse on the larger island designed by Gustave Eiffel. The view from the top is a stunning panorama of the surrounding ocean and islands. It’s a bit of a hike, but absolutely worth it for the views alone.

There are even a few spots on Nosy Iranja where you can grab a drink or have a meal. These mainly cater to the day-trippers and guests of the few accommodation options available on the island. They feature different local Malagasy dishes and seafood, along with basic refreshments. Of course, wherever you go will have spectacular ocean views.

6. Ifaty

Ifaty is Madagascar’s gem on the southwest coast. This spot is all about the laid-back beach life. It’s an ideal place to lounge on beautiful white sands by the clear blue waters. 

Ifaty is known for its beautiful, coral-rich waters and the spiny forest ecosystem. Like much of Madagascar, it’s home to unique flora and fauna, including several species of baobabs and some endemic bird species. 

It also attracts visitors interested in its unique ecosystem and traditional Vezo fishing culture. Anyone looking to experience Madagascar’s natural beauty away from the more crowded tourist spots will love it.

You’ll find a range of activities at Ifaty, from snorkeling and diving in the coral reef to exploring the spiny forests for wildlife. Yet despite its attractions, Ifaty has kept its casual atmosphere.

The beach bars and restaurants in Ifaty are known for their relaxed atmosphere, as well. You get stunning views of the Mozambique Channel, especially at sunset. Many of these places are part of hotels or resorts but are open to outside guests as well.


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7. Anakaosunset at Anakao Beach

Anakao is a quiet beach on the southern coast of Madagascar. It’s known for its beautiful, long sandy beach and clear waters, making it a fantastic spot for swimming, snorkeling, and surfing. It’s a bit off the beaten path and accessible mainly by boat, which adds to its secluded feel. 

This spot is a hit for those looking to escape the more crowded tourist spots and enjoy some peace and quiet under the sun.

What stands out about Anakao is not just its beauty, but also the variety of activities it offers. The water here is ideal for surfing, with waves that cater to both beginners and experienced surfers. 

Snorkeling and diving are also fantastic, thanks to the rich marine life and the nearby Tsimanampetsotsa National Park. Here you can explore Mad’s unique wildlife, go cave diving, and witness some pretty incredible landscapes.

You can enjoy a bit of local culture, too, in the nearby Vezo fishing community. Spending time with them will give you some insight into their traditional way of life, especially their fishing techniques and daily routines. 

8. Libanona Beach

In the city of Fort Dauphin (Tolagnaro), Libanona Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the south. It features golden sands framed by rolling hills and jungle-like vegetation. People love it for its scenic views and surfing opportunities.

The beach itself is not exceptionally large, but it’s big enough for you to relax and enjoy without feeling overcrowded. This can be a concern, especially during weekends and holidays, but it generally maintains a peaceful feel. 

It’s popular with both tourists and residents for its stunning sunrise and sunset views, making it a favorite spot for early morning and late evening visits.

The waves of Libanona Beach can be suitable for surfing. The beach’s natural beauty also makes it a perfect setting for picnics and photography.

Libanona Beach itself is fairly undeveloped in terms of commercial businesses. But the proximity to Fort Dauphin means that you’ll have access to several restaurants, bars, and amenities just a short distance away.


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9. Mahavelona (Foulpointe)

Known for the protective coral reef that creates a lagoon that’s safe for swimming and snorkeling, Mahavelona is popular with both locals and tourists.

Mahavelona, also called Foulpointe, is a coastal town on the east coast of Madagascar and is known for its beach. This one is especially popular with domestic tourists and residents of Madagascar. 

The beach at Mahavelona has particularly calm waters thanks to the protective coral reef. It’s a perfect spot for swimming and relaxing in the sea without the worry of strong currents or waves.

The beach can get busy, especially on weekends and during holidays. Many local families and groups from nearby cities, like Toamasina (Tamatave), come to enjoy the sun and sea. Despite this, Mahavelona’s beach is long enough that you can often find quieter spots away from the main crowds.

Snorkeling, boat tours, and beach sports like volleyball and football are popular. See what it’s like to be a local, and join in a game!

Along the beachfront and in the town, you’ll find restaurants and bars with everything from quick snacks and traditional Malagasy dishes to seafood and international cuisine. Many of these places have terraces or beachfront areas where you can dine with a view of the sea.

10. Ile Aux Nattes

Ile Aux Nattes is a small island just south of Nosy Boraha, off the east coast of Madagascar. This spot has a more untouched, tranquil environment compared to its larger neighbor. With no cars and barely any roads, Ile Aux Nattes feels like stepping back into a simpler world.

The beaches here are covered in powdery white sand, with turquoise waters that seem almost too good to be true. The surrounding reefs keep the water calm and ideal for swimming and snorkeling. 

Marine life, including sea turtles, is everywhere around the island. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to spot colorful fish and coral formations. Humpback whales are often seen, too, breaching just off the coast. 

Kayaking and sailing around the island will give you a different perspective on its beauty, and let you discover your own secluded spots. Walking around Ile Aux Nattes is also a treat, with paths winding through vegetation, leading to heart-stopping views and hidden beaches.

And for a taste of local life, visit the small villages on the island. Enjoy a drink at one of the low-key bars or cafes or a simple meal with those ocean views.



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11. Ile Sainte Marie (aka. Nosy Boraha)

Nosy Boraha, as it’s known locally, is an island off the east coast of Madagascar with several idyllic beaches. Each one has a different vibe, from secluded coves to busier areas near hotels and villages. 

The beach near the lighthouse (yes, that’s what it’s called) in particular is known for its beauty and seclusion. There are also many coves around the island’s coast, so be sure to set aside some time to explore a few of them.

This is a popular destination, especially in peak season (July to September), due to whale-watching opportunities. But it rarely feels overcrowded like some mainstream tourist spots. It maintains a relaxed, easygoing, and friendly atmosphere.

You can enjoy a variety of watersports while on Nosy Boraha. Kayaking, paddleboarding, kite surfing, as well as snorkeling and diving are all outstanding here.

For a bit of adventure, kayaking along the coast or through mangroves gets you up close to the island’s beauty. And if you’re interested in history, the local pirate cemetery will give you a fun glimpse into Ile Sainte Marie’s swashbuckling past.

Beach bars and casual eateries are scattered along the coast, too. Perfect if you’re looking to enjoy a sunset drink or a leisurely lunch with views of the turquoise waters. 


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Summing it Up: Madagascar Beaches

Madagascar’s beaches are a testament to the island’s extraordinary natural beauty and diversity. From the energy of Nosy Be’s shores to the tranquil sands of Ifaty, and the underwater wonders of Nosy Tanikely Marine Park, there’s a slice of paradise for every type of traveler. 

Whether you’re looking for adventure beneath the waves, a ride on the water, or a peaceful seaside retreat, Madagascar’s coastlines will provide you with the experience of a lifetime. 

With their unique blend of natural beauty, wildlife, and warm Malagasy hospitality, these beaches are not just destinations. They’re the starting points for countless unforgettable journeys.

Guest Author: Deb Hendricks an insatiable traveler with many years of exploration under her belt, and she’s never found a place that didn’t fascinate her. She’s been exploring Africa since 2000, seeking out authentic experiences and immersing herself in the local way of life.

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