Discover Diego Suarez in Madagascar
Antsiranana, also called Diego Suarez, is the largest city in northern Madagascar and the third largest port on the Big Island. It is the capital of the province of Diego and the Diana region (northern region).
Geography and History
Situated near the Ambrer Cap with the Mozambique Channel to the west and the Indian Ocean to the east, it is sheltered by the bay of Diego Suarez (156 km of coastline) which is one of the most beautiful bays in the world and the second largest after Rio de Janeiro’s bay in Brazil.
The bay of Diego Suarez is actually composed of 4 bays :
- The Thunder Bay
- Bay of White Pebbles
- The Welsh Cul de Sac
- French Bay
Colonized by the French from 1885 to 1960, the city has kept its colonial remains from that time, making it an open-air museum.
Walking through the streets, we have the impression of taking a trip back in time to a period when Diego Suarez was prosperous and nicknamed the little Paris.
This city has a crazy charm and you will feel good as soon as you arrive. Far from the commercial tourist destinations, you will find here an authenticity and a regenerating sweetness of life.
How to get there?
The Diego Suarez airport is unfortunately not yet served by the long haul flights, so you will have to transit through Antananarivo (Tana), Nosy Be or Mayotte.
The tourist visa for Madagascar is currently 30 € for 1 month of stay with the possibility to stay up to 3 months maximum.
From metropolitan Franc :
- Air Madagascar
- Air France
- Air Austral
- Air Mauritius
- Air Seychelles
- Ethiopian Airlines
- Kenya Airways
- Turkish Airlines
Then you can reach the northern region by plane or bush taxi.
By Bush Taxi
From Tana count approximately 24 hours of road. The trip is long and uncomfortable, but it is a good way to see the country and travel at a lower cost. There are daily bush taxis to Diego at the Tana North Bus Station. Count about 80 000 Ariary (23 €). From Nosy-Be, it is about 6 hours drive. You are closer to Diego Suarez and the island is really beautiful. Count about 20 000 Ariary (7 €).
Where to go out ?
At nightfall, Diego Suarez becomes a party place that has made its reputation.
The Malagasy are a peaceful people who love to party and have fun.
The Taxi Be
The place to be for Diegolaises parties! A stage and concerts every evening, an outdoor terrace to cool off from the (hot) mafana atmosphere and an excellent atmosphere.The ideal place to meet the Malagasy people, all in a good mood and relaxed.
Not far from the Taxi Be, the Vahiné also offers concerts very regularly and its very large terrace allows you to have a drink while being on the edge of the Colbert street.
The Black Star
In the heart of the city, the Black Star has recently been completely renovated and offers two rooms for two different atmospheres. One side is the bar open on Colbert Street and the other, huge, is the nightclub where concerts are regularly organised.
Le Nouvel Hotel
Diego Suarez's mythical nightclub. Its very hot nights have made its reputation for more than forty years now and it remains a reference place to go out at night.
Night bar where the very local atmosphere allows him to fill up with party people during the weekend. Right next to the Black Star and the Nouvel Hôtel, its three establishments side by side will allow you to the Grand Dukes tour very easily by just crossing the street.
Where to eat?
Many restaurants of all categories are scattered throughout the city.
They will delight lovers of lobster and other seafood delicacies. You will also taste the delicious zebu meat and enjoy the many tropical fruits of the island. We are fortunate to have excellent restaurants here at very interesting prices…
Chez Béa, Le Melville, Le Mexicoco, Le Tsara Be, La Bodega, etc.
In addition to the various French establishments, you can also eat in Malagasy gargotes where you can try the traditional local specialties with the flavors of the gastronomy of the islands.
The Romazava, the Ravitoto, the Brèdes mafana, the coconut rice, etc…
You then have the opportunity to eat in the street, as is done a lot here. Sellers set up their mobile kitchens and tables and then offer a wide variety of different things. It goes from pasta to vegetables and grilled fish, not to mention famous zebu skewers.