Madagascar is fringed with a number of smaller tropical islands. Holidays to Madagascar, so dominated by trekking and wildlife watching, always benefit from a few lazy days on a beach, toes dipped into the clear and warm waters.
Nosy Be in the northwest is the country's best-known beach resort. The beaches are spectacular, the water inviting. The diving too is excellent here, with large schools of tropical fish frequenting the abundant corals, alongside larger marine species such as whale sharks. On the other side of Madagascar is Île Sainte-Marie, an altogether sleepier affair, with few hotels and small fishing settlements. One of the highlights here is whale watching, as humpback whales travel through the channel separating Île Sainte-Marie from mainland Madagascar.
Ifaty, on the southwest coast of Madagascar and overlooking the Mozambique Channel, is a quiet fishing village with a small selection of hotels. There's an excellent beach and it's also one of the country's best spots for diving with sharks.