As the fifth-largest city, Fianarantsoa, lies at the heart of one of Madagascar’s most fertile agricultural areas. Founded in 1830, it was set up as an intermediate capital between Antananarivo and the remote southern provinces by Queen Ranavalona. The area is renowned for its production of wine and tea.
Markets – and consequently, the bargains that you can acquire – are endless. Fianarantsoa is the place to experience Madagascar in its authentic, chaotic and raw beauty. Its hillside location is chilly due to its high location. West of the city lies Mt Kianjasoa at 1374 m.
There are some good walking routes from Fianarantsoa. An easy route goes north-west past the Ambozontany cathedral, following the edge of the hill through villages with charming views over the countryside.
Wander through the old town’s narrow streets, visit markets or vendors, and stop for a drink at the hotel. Explore the town’s surrounding nature and relax in its beauty.