Fianarantsoa, closer to the Betsileo culture
In the south of Madagascar is the City Fianarantsoa. Built on the top of the hill Ivoenana, the Capital of the Betsileo tribe is located about 400 km from Antananarivo The translation of the place name would be: Fianarantsoa, the city where good is taught. An exploration of this region of the island will allow you to discover the historical treasures that are the pride of the present city. Fianarantsoa is also ideal for culinary excursions and offers you many surprises, the rich gastronomy of the city will allow you to discover traditional and typical dishes of the southern region.
Features of the city
Located on the high hills, the city is divided into three levels. You can start your exploration in the lower town. There you will meet a smiling and friendly local population. A walk through the streets of this part of Fianarantsoa will allow you to get a little closer to the local traditions. The markets and stores are very lively. In addition, local products such as red rice and many "laoka" or "kabaka" side dishes are offered. The small restaurants will offer you a wide variety of dishes, a promise of a true gastronomic festival.
The third level of Fianarantsoa, called the Upper Town, on the other hand, is the sanctuary of the remains of the past and the history of the city. In this part of the city you can admire the architecture of the buildings that make up the diversity of the religious culture of Fianarantsoa. The "Vatican de Fianarantsoa" is the cathedral that belongs to the wealth of the province and is proudly located in the upper part of the city. A visit to this part of the city will also make you visit the Great Mosque. It is clear that the landscape of the upper town of Fianarantsoa is very contrasting. Your progress through the streets will be interrupted by a varied discovery that will surely add charm to the city.
What the city has in store for you
It should be noted that the town of Fianarantsoa is known for its wine production. In addition, the Betsileo region is the only wine producer in Madagascar. Most Malagasy wines such as Coteaux d'Ambalavao, Lazan'i Bestsileo, Château Orchard and many others come from the wine growing centers of the Fianarantsoa region.
Wine lovers can take excursions along the Madagascar Wine Route and discover the famous vineyards in the Bestileo regions, but truly drinkable wines are an absolute rarity.
Interesting tours in the capital of the Betsileo
Fianarantsoa is full of vineyards, Ambohimalaza could attract some interest.
Clos Malaza Andoaranomaitso covers an area of about 30 hectares. The estate produces almost 80 tons of grapes per year and contributes to the growth of the economy in the region. If you want to visit this huge estate, you will have to cover almost 11 km of paved road southwest of Fianarantsoa before passing a dirt road that stretches for almost 20 km. If you have covered this distance you can enjoy the beauty of the valleys of the Bestileo region. Rocks and greenery blend together to create a picture that perfectly reflects the uniqueness of southern Madagascar. During this crossing you will also have the opportunity to pass through the smaller villages of the Betsileo. The encounter with the people of the south can only be enriching in terms of culture, but also and especially in terms of human contact.
Once in Clos Malaza, you can discover the local production of Malagasy wine. It should be noted that Clos Malaza is not only a wine producer, but also an ideal place to relax and enjoy your vacation. You will find good facilities ready to welcome you. Many activities like Canoeing or hiking are also offered.
The studio of the known Photographers Pierrot Men can also be visited in Fianarantsoa.
This city is the starting point for the Railroad line to the Indian Ocean. If you are looking for an all natural experience, the visit of Ranomafana National Park is the activity you should not miss. The discovery of Ranomafana allows you to experience an adventure as close to nature as possible. The hike can last from a few hours to a few days and you will have to find the best guide to reveal all the secrets of a mountain cloud forest. On this hike you will also have the pleasure, with a little luck, to see Lemurs and many other animals, whether nocturnal or diurnal.
Lemurs are also found in the Anja Park at Ambalavao, which is located about 60 km south of Fianarantsoa. The Lac Hotel in Sahambavy with its lovingly landscaped gardens is the ideal hotel in the area, it is located about 23km northeast of Fianarantsoa and is the starting point for visiting the only tea factory that exists in Madagascar. Directly opposite the Lac Hotel is the Sahambavy station where you can comfortably get into the Train to Manakara can get in.