Madagascar: Cycling Holiday from the Highlands to the Coast | 16 Days

  • Tour Overview

    Tour Highlights:

    • Sight-seeing tour through Antananarivo
    • Cycle tour to the crater Lake Tritiva
    • Visit of a tree farm and a pottery
    • Ride through the highlands of Madagascar past many rice plantations
    • Visit of a Zafirmaniry wood carving workshop which is part of UNESCO Cultural Heritage
    • Cycling tour between granite rocks and fertile farms in beautiful Vohipasa valley
    • On a hike through Ranomafana National Park looking for lemurs and chameleons
    • Bike tour to Sahambavy Tea Farm
    • Cycle to Ambalavao and visit of a workshop manufacturing Antaimoro paper
    • Ride to Anja communal park, a center for the catta lemurs
    • Hike through impressive granite rocks in Andringitra Mountains
    • Cycle past the “Bishops Hat” to Isalo National Park
    • Hiking tour to the “Piscine Naturelle” and strange sandstone formations in Isalo National Park
    • Visit the burial grounds of the Mahafaly and Antandroy people
    • Cycle near the ocean from Toliara to Ifaty
    • Swim in the warm Indian Ocean
  • Itinerary

    Group Size: 2-16 participants

    km = kilometer & am = altitude meter

     

    Day 1              Arrival in Antanarivo

    Upon arrival in Antananarivo, you are met by your tour manager and transferred to the Orchid Hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Antananarivo, shortened to Tana, means “one thousand warriors” and refers to an historical event in Malagasy history when King Andrianjaka had his royal palace and stronghold here. (-)

    Orchid Hotel 3

    Distance by bus 3 km, duration 0.25 h

     

    Day 2              Bike Fitting in Antsirabe

    Transfer by vehicle via a gravel road to Antsirabe, which lies at an ideal altitude of 1370 m above sea level in the Highlands. Antsirabe was a favorite place of recuperation site for the Europeans during the French occupation of Madagascar. In the afternoon, the bikes are fitted, and a short bike ride undertaken. Stay at a charming Hotel. (B,L,D)

    Des Thermes 3* / Hotel H1 Antsirabe 3*

    Distance by bike 16 km, 100 am, tar

    Distance by bus 160 km, duration 4 h

     

    Day 3              A Round Trip from Antsirabe to Lake Tritriv Sadonsonia

    Initially, you cycle to Lake Andraikkiba, where previous queens of the Merina tribe once bathed. You pass a few typical Highland villages while cycling on secluded tracks in the direction of the volcanic Lake Tritiva, from where one is afforded wonderful vistas across the rolling Highlands. In the afternoon, visit a local craft shop where the most remarkable miniature bicycles are made. (B,L,D)

    Des Thermes 3* / Hotel H1 Antsirabe 3*

    Distance by bike 59 km, 300 am, 20 km tarred surface

    Distance by bus 3 km, duration 0.25 h

     

    Day 4              Bike Tour: From Antsirabe to Ambositra

    Departing from Antsirabe after breakfast, you cycle further southwards on the hilly road to Ambositra, passing many rice terraces en route. Zamimaniry carving has its origins in Ambositra, and it is here that local carpenters await visitors. Accommodation is at a pretty hotel. (B,L,D)

    La Piscine Escapade 3*

    Distance by 95 km, 550 am, tar

    Distance by bus 0 km, duration 0 h

     

    Day 5              Bike Tour: From Vohiposa to the Ranomafana National Park

    Vehicular transfer to Camp Robin (1 hour) from where you cycle on a rural track which leads through a very beautiful valley lying below towering granite boulders to Ambohimahasoa. After 2 ascents on the short-tarred section, the route leads you through villages and eucalyptus forests to the Ranomafana National Park Rain Forest. The last few kilometers en route to your accommodation are downhill. Accommodation for 2 consecutive nights is at the comfortable Hotel Cristo 3*. (B,L,D)

    Hotel Cristo 3*

    Distance by bike 70 km, 1000 am, 12 km tarred surface

    Distance by bus 90 km, duration 3 h

     

    Day 6              A Hike in the Ranomafana National Park

    You take a break from cycling today and discover the Ranomafana National Park on foot. While hiking through the damp tropical national park, discover the interesting endemic fauna and flora more closely. One’s attention is also drawn to the rare birds and the many species of lemur. In the evening, embark on a short walk in the Ranomafana National Park and see nocturnal animals such as the mouse lemur, a species discovered only 20 years ago. (B,L,D)

    Hotel Cristo 3*

    Walking time 4-6 h

    Distance by bus 18 km, duration 0.5 h

     

    Day 7              Bike Tour: From Ranomafana to Sahambavy

    After breakfast, vehicular transfer back to Andovoka from where the cycling tour recommences. En route while cycling, you can observe the local citizens going about their daily work routines. The hotel accommodation this evening is in the center of a tea growing region and can be reached via a good gravel road. It may be possible to visit the Sahambavy Tea Estate, the only tea plantation in Madagascar, which was founded in 1970. Overnight accommodation is in the Lac Hotel 3* overlooking a lake. (B,L,D)

    Lac Hotel 3*

    Distance by bike 64 km, 800 am, 20 km tarred surface

    Distance by bus 22 km, duration 0.75 h

     

    Day 8              Bike Tour: From Talata Ampano to Ambalavao

    After breakfast, one transfers by shuttle to Tala Ampano (1 hour) and thereafter mount one’s bike again and cycles on peaceful roads through many small valleys, bypassing rice and cassava farms en route as well as an open pit mine, where local inhabitants search for tourmalines. Ambalavao is the wine region of Madagascar. Overnight accommodation is in the Hotel Aux Bougainvillées 3*. Attached to this lodge is a craft shop, where the well-known Antaimoro paper is produced. (B,L,D)

    Hotel Aux Bougainvillées 3*

    Distance by bike 75 km, 500 am, 60 km tarred surface

    Distance by bus 0 km, duration 0 h

     

    Day 9              Bike Tour: From Ambalavao to Tsaranoro

    Depart from the busy little town of Ambalavao and head further southwards. The landscape transforms into open grassland savannah dotted with enormous granite mountains. One leaves the road leading into the Andrangita Mountains upon entering the Tsaranoro Valley. In the afternoon, you can hike to a nearby natural pool. The overnight accommodation is at the Tsara Camp 2* for two nights. (B,L,D)

    Tsara Camp 2* / Camp Catta 2*

    Distance by bike 56 km, 600 am, 36 km tarred surface

    Distance by bus 0 km, duration 0 h

     

    Day 10             A Hike into the Andringita Mountains

    Today’s hike commences at the edge of the Andringitra Massif, a large granite outcrop. This area is well known for its many types of lemur, one such example being the lively Catta lemur. Upon reaching Chameleon Peak, you are able to appreciate spectacular vistas over this ancient landscape. (B,L,D)

    Tsara Camp 2* / Camp Catta 2*

    Distance by bus 0 km, duration 0 h

     

    Day 11             Bike Tour across the Horombe Plateau to Ranohira

    Today, you cycle back to the tarred road leading to Ankaramena, well known for its delicious mango and papaya fruits. After having loaded the bikes, one transfers by shuttle to Ihosy, crossing the vast Horombe plateau in the direction of Ranohira in the afternoon. You have the opportunity to cycle the last 16 km to the charming lodge lying at the border of the I‘salo National Park. Stay for two nights. (B,L,D)

    Hotel Orchidée Isalo 3* / Hotel H1 Isalo 3*

    Distance by bike 60 km, 140 am, 40 km tarred surface

    Distance by bus 120 km, duration 3 h

     

    Day 12             Hike and Bike Tour through the I‘salo National Park

    While cycling, you discover some of the many bizarre rock formations and interesting flora of the I‘salo National Park, e. g. the pachypodium and euphorbia. In the afternoon, you undertake a hike in the company of your tour guide (4 hours) through the I‘salo Canyon to the Lemur Forest. Experience the beauty of deep gorges with crystal clear waters, the well-known, piscine naturelle,‘ and the unique rocky mountains. (B,L,D)

    Hotel Orchidée Isalo 3* / Hotel H1 Isalo 3*

    Distance by bike 32 km, 350 am, 12 km tarred surface

    Distance by bus 8 km, duration 0.5 h

     

    Day 13             Drive to the Coast & Bike Tour Toliara-Ifaty

    After breakfast, the journey continues to Toliara, the most important trade center in southern Madagascar and home to the Vezo, a well-known maritime people. After lunch you cycle though the small fishing villages of Madiorano and Ambohimailaka to Ifaty. Accommodation for the next 3 consecutive nights is in the village of Ifaty in the nice Hotel Belle Vue 3*, lying directly at the edge of the sea. After dinner, the tour guide bids you goodbye. (B,L,D)

    Hotel Belle Vue 3*

    Distance by bike 38 km, 50 am, all on dirt road

    Distance by bus 240 km, duration 5 h

     

    Day 14 & 15    Swimming and Relaxing

    These days are at leisure. The warm Indian Ocean temperature lies around 25 °C and is ideal for swimming and relaxing at the end of this tour. You could go snorkeling and discover colorful plants growing and fish swimming around the coral reef or perhaps take a walk in the Reniala Nature Reserve, known for its variety of didierraceae, euphorbias, adansonia gregoriï, and the baobab trees adansonia digitata, and view more of this unique plant life. (B)

    Hotel Belle Vue 3*

    Distance by bus 0 km, duration 0 h

     

    Day 16             Return Journey

    Shuttle transfer to Tulear Airport. Check-in and board your return flight to Tana. Please note that most international flights depart in the evenings. (B)

    Distance by bus 45 km, duration 2 h

     

    Accommodation subject to availability

  • Rates & Dates

    Dates Price Status Available Spots
    11.03.2021 - 26.03.2021$2,695.00bookable16 spotsselect
    27.03.2021 - 11.04.2021$2,695.00bookable16 spotsselect
    13.04.2021 - 28.04.2021$2,695.00bookable15 spotsselect
    29.04.2021 - 14.05.2021$2,695.00bookable16 spotsselect
    15.05.2021 - 30.05.2021$2,695.00bookable16 spotsselect
    01.06.2021 - 16.06.2021$2,695.00bookable16 spotsselect
    17.06.2021 - 02.07.2021$2,695.00bookable14 spotsselect
    03.07.2021 - 18.07.2021$2,695.00bookable13 spotsselect
    20.07.2021 - 04.08.2021$2,695.00bookable16 spotsselect
    05.08.2021 - 20.08.2021$2,695.00bookable16 spotsselect
    21.08.2021 - 05.09.2021$2,695.00bookable16 spotsselect
    07.09.2021 - 22.09.2021$2,695.00bookable11 spotsselect
    23.09.2021 - 08.10.2021$2,695.00bookable16 spotsselect
    09.10.2021 - 24.10.2021$2,695.00bookable14 spotsselect
    26.10.2021 - 10.11.2021$2,695.00bookable14 spotsselect
    11.11.2021 - 26.11.2021$2,695.00bookable14 spotsselect
    27.11.2021 - 12.12.2021$2,695.00bookable16 spotsselect
    11.12.2021 – 26.12.2021$2,695.00bookable16 spotsselect

     

    Additional Service:

    Single Room Surcharge $460.00

  • Services


    Included:

    • English speaking tour guide day 1-13 on bicycle
    • 15x nights in hotels, guest houses and chalets with private bathroom as per itinerary
    • 15x breakfast, 12x lunch, 12x dinner
    • Air-conditioned vehicle backup as well as transport for bikes
    • All entrance fees as stated in the itinerary
    • Banana and energy bars during bike rides and hikes
    • Mineral water while cycling


    Not Included:

    • Flights to and from Madagascar, Flight Toliara (Túlear) – Antananarivo
    • Tips for guides, porters and waiters
    • Meals not mentioned in this itinerary
    • Beverages and mineral water on non-cycling days
    • Personal expenses e.g. laundry at accommodation, telephone and internet services etc.
    • MTB hire bike
  • Rental Bikes



    MTB Hardtail 27/30 Speed
    Price: $250.00


    Bottle holder included
  • Travel Hints

    It is essential that you get a malaria prophylaxis, should you wish to travel to Madagascar. Please refer to your medical practitioner for additional information in this regard. A degree of openness and flexibility are desired and are prerequisites for this trip. Even after careful planning, nature can be temperamental. Paths and roads could soften with the smallest amount of rain, or electricity could fail. It is the dry season within the stated time frame of this tour, and daytime temperatures generally lie between 20 °C and 30 °C.


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