Ile St Marie is one of the last truly unspoilt island paradises to be found on the planet. The tropical island with crystal clear waters that was once a pirate haven now boasts deserted palm-fringed beaches, impressive whale watching, and pure bliss. This hidden gem off the east coast of Madagascar has the perfect mix of ingredients for the perfect island holiday: lush tropical forest filled with exotic wildlife, secluded white sand beaches, an offshore reef, rustic villages with thatched roofs, and even a pirate cemetery!
The stunning beaches of Ile St Marie are the perfect haven for true relaxation. If you are so inclined you could spend hours lazing on the beach, reading a book, nibbling on fresh fruit, and wading into the crystal clear waters for a refreshing dip. Listen to the lapping of the waves and the soft chorus of animal sounds from the jungle while contemplating how you can make life in paradise last forever.
The coral reefs located slightly off shore of Ile St Marie offer the perfect playground for scuba diving and snorkelling. Its waters are rich with tropical fish, moray eels, dolphins, marine turtles, groupers, lobsters and grey sharks. Boasting a unique and beautiful array of ocean wildlife, as well as a couple of fascinating pirate shipwrecks and, in the Soanambo reef, the beautiful black coral, the waters around Ile St Marie provide a memorable diving destination for anyone who loves the ocean.
Ile St Marie is also one of the world’s top whale watching destinations. From June to September humpback whales migrate up from the cold waters of the Antarctic to breed and calve in the warmer waters of Madagascar, specifically the narrow canal between Ile St Marie and Madagascar. The whales really take this opportunity to put on a show, breaching regularly and flapping their tails, a magnificent performance that can easily be observed from the shore. However, it is possible to go out by boat and experience the majestic creatures up close and learn more about their habits.
Nature lovers who want a break from lazing on the beach can also explore the rich green forests and granite hills of the island on a hiking excursion. Search for pirate treasure or even just some local lemurs in the thick undergrowth. Quad bike or mountain bike adventures are also a thrilling alternative.
For those fascinated by history, or perhaps swashbuckling tales of adventure, Ile St Marie provides fascination as a former pirate haven. In the 17th and 18th Centuries, it’s said that up to 1000 pirates called the island their home – including the infamous and widely-feared William Kidd and Thomas Tew. The island’s safe and secluded bays were regularly frequented by pirate ships returning treasure-laden from their pillaging trips in the East Indies. As a result of this colourful past, Ile St Marie is proud to lay claim to one of the world’s only legitimate pirate cemeteries, which, set atop a hill, features crumbling headstones with worn-away engravings that hint at the island’s existence as a paradise for shifty sailors.
This island paradise truly has everything the discerning traveller could wish for, to experience the magic for yourself book your trip today. We recommend either the Ile St Marie Classic Beach Package or the East Madagascar Package. See you in paradise!