Cycle in a small group or take an individual arrangement. We propose small cycle groups starting in Antananarivo on 7 and 19 March, 4 and 23 April, 12 and 28 May, 6, 16 and 25 June, 4, 14 and 23 July, 1, 11 and 27 August, 5, 15, and 24 September, 3, 13, 22 and 31 October 5 and 14 November 2020. 11 and 27 March 13 and 29 April 2021
Cycling from the Malagasy highlands to the coast is one unforgettable experience to discover the fourth biggest island in the world. From Antsirabe to Ifaty beach we will cover about 580 km of cycling. This trip gives all cyclists a good chance to meet local people, learn about their culture and customs, explore fauna and flora and of course cycle through villages and different landscapes. This itinerary is a well-balanced tour, not only the accommodation and highlights but as well the mixing of tarmac road and off road. Experience this really special bike ride. It is fantastic.
Our stages on this journey: Around Antsirabe, about 63 km
Cycling tour from Antsirabe to Ambositra, about 95 km
Cycling tour from Ambositra to Ranomafana, about 64 km
Cycling tour from Ranomafana to Sahambavy, about 44 km
Cycling tour from Sahambavy to Ambalavao, about 85 km
Cycling tour from Ambalavao to Andringitra, about 54 km
Cycling tour from Andringitra direction Ranohira, about 95 km
Toliara to Ifaty about 54 km
Single room surcharge 390 Euro
Domestic flight Toliara – Antananarivo on request
Bike Rental 200 Euro
From / to Antananarivo
Duration of the tour: 16 days / 15 nights Cycling: 8 days
Distance: approx. 560 km with approximate 165 km dirt road
Support car: available
National parks: Visit in Ranomafana (hiking) and Isalo NP (hiking)
Private Park: Anja, villagers Park, (hiking) Region: Vakinankaratra region around Antsirabe and Andringitra massif and region (hiking)
Beach: Two days
You should be a good cyclist and have teamgeist
Typically, you will be sharing your experiences with likeminded bikers and you’ll have a cycling tour manager with you. Whether you are travelling alone or with friends its good value and a great way to meet new people. Although the itinerary is scheduled, there is some flexibility according to your needs. This trip will appeal to travellers of all ages who enjoy meeting new people as well as experiencing new cultures. If you prefer an individual tour, please ask for an offer.
Stevens Mira Stevens Applebee,
Rock Machine Torrent 70 and Cube Attention, 29“ or 27,5“
frame, 30 gears, Shimano Deore or higher, fork
100 mm Rock Shox or SR Suntour
Don’t forget: You’re on holidays. We are flexible in distances and timings. If you need to do some extra miles, we will be happy to arrange this for you. If you think a bit less is fine, the support car is often very near.
Madagascar is a third world country that is not fully geared up to tourism. Therefore be prepared to expect changes to the itinerary or accommodation right up the last minute. Due to weather conditions, (rain or cyclones) whole areas can be flooded or bridges may be destroyed. Aircrafts may not fly; trains are not always on time – sometimes not at all. The standard of roads and accommodation is not the same as in Europe or other developed countries.
Please bring a sense of adventure when travelling to Madagascar. It is a developing destination and we will be cycling through remote areas where hotels, infrastructure and travel services are often basic. Be prepared to go outside your usual comfort zone and you will be richly rewarded. Discovering the real Madagascar at close hand is what this challenge is all about.
Cycling about 580 km from the capital of Antananarivo to the south coast of Madagascar
– Antsirabe Region
– Antsirabe Tritriva lake
– Ranomafana National park
– Anja villagers Park
– Andringitra massif and region
– Isalo NP, massif and region
– Ifaty forest and beach
Towns: Antananarivo – Antsirabe – Ambositra – Fianarantsoa – Ihosy – Ranohira – Toliara (Tuléar)
Touching down in Antananarivo, 'town of thousands'
Flight with …
Today is an arrival day. You are free to arrive at any time. Upon arrival in Antananarivo you will be greeted by your tour manager and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Antananarivo, mostly shortened to Tana, takes its name from an episode in Malagasy history. King Andrianjaka had his royal palace and stronghold here. The name of the town means ‘one thousand warriors’. He quartered them at the palace and called this city Antananarivo.
Antananarivo – Antsirabe – bike fitting, bus transfer and about 16 km cycling
On the way to Antsirabe, we reach the fertile highlands. In addition to the typical rice terraces, we also see many fruit and vegetable plants. We stop here and there to talk to people or to observe the rural life. The surrounding area of Antsirabe is worth exploring. Here and in Betafo the agricultural products of the area are cultivated. From here, most of the fruit and vegetables are transported to Tana and sold all over the country. In the afternoon we meet our bikes. A first small ride is on the agenda, to get used to the bikes and the traffic.
Bike tour Antsirabe – Lake Andraikiba – Lake Tritriva – Betafo
– Antsirabe, about 63 km including 30 km dirt road
The lakes should not be missed when you pass through Antsirabe, the two most known crater lakes are Andraikiba and Tritriva. On the way, we have the chance to enjoy the typical landscape of the Merina ethnic group, we pass first Andraikiba 10 km from the city. Of a circumference of nearly
5 km, one can easily cycle around it by just following the little path surrounding it. Formerly, this
lake was an important centre for water sport activities. After we continue the fun with our mountain bike, we will follow a track to reach another lake, more spectacular, and full of myth: the lake Tritriva. Before even reaching it, we can see the Mount Tritriva emerging from the village of Belazao. This crater lake with its volcanic landscape is formed by deep and impressive drops. Nested at an altitude of about 1880m in the hollow of a small mountain, we enjoy our picnic lunch. After we are back to Antsirabe you may enjoy a cyclist’s massage. We incorporate a variety of modalities into your massage session to fit your needs.
Bike tour Antsirabe – Ambositra, about 95 km tarmac
After breakfast, we cycle further south on the hilly road to Ambositra, passing many rice terraces of farmers who can harvest up to three times a year. Today we face couple of good climbs, steady but not too steep. Ambositra is the home of the Zafimaniry woodcarving. We will stay at a nice hotel at the entrance of the town.
Ambositra – Ranomafana, about 64 km including 21 km dirt road, two hour bus transfer
A short visit to the woodcarvers before we transfer by our vehicle to Ialatsara camp. From there we start cycling. At a rural village we ride in a very beautiful valley below towering granite boulders to Ambohimahasoa. After two climbs on the short tar section, we ride again on the off road through villages and eucalyptus forests until we reach the rain forest of Ranomafana National Park. The last few miles are downhill to our lodge where we spend the night.
Hike in Ranomafana National Park
We will embark on a trek in the Ranomafana rainforest. We will probably find lots of birds, frogs, lemurs and other species. We hope to see Red-bellied lemurs, Red- fronted lemurs, and Diadema Sifaka although nowadays the Golden bamboo Lemur and the Broad-nosed gentle Lemur are more difficult to find. The park is also rich with orchids, tree ferns with floras, palms
mosses, trumpet flowers and trees of giant bamboo.
Ranomafana – Sahambavy, about 44 km, including 20 km dirt road
After breakfast we drive back up again to Vohiparara, and from here we start to cycle. During the trip we see locals selling piles of sand, gained from the nearby river as well as women weaving baskets. On a good gravel road we reach our hotel right in the centre of a tea growing area. We will potentially visit the Sahambavy Tea Estate, the only tea plantation in Madagascar. The tea estate created in 1970, set in a pretty valley beside Lake Sahambavy, produces large quantities of tea for both export to Mombasa in Kenya and for local consumption. We will stay overnight in charming bungalows overlooking a lake.
Sahambavy – Ambalavao, about 80 km mostly tarmac, alternatively 63 km dirt road
We cycle to Fianarantsoa, the former spiritual centre of the country. This is the second biggest town of Madagascar and the capital of Haute Matsiatra Region. It was built in the early 19th century as the administrative centre. From here we continue cycling mostly downhill to Ambalavao. The ride is very scenic, with views of the valleys. Only shortly before arrival there are some long uphills. Alternatively, we can cycle from the hotel to Ambalavao for 44km on mostly undulating dirt road. The car cannot follow here. We cross several small valleys with rice and cassava plantations and some eucalyptus forests. It is an adventure, because the former road has become a footpath. Tourists do not come here; the children have rarely seen light-coloured people and are curious about us.
Bike tour Ambalavao – Anja villagers Park – Tsaranoro, about 54 km, including 20 km dirt road
In Ambalavao we visit the traditional Antaimoro papermaking. The origin of the copper-coloured
paper that feels like fine, silky wallpaper is far back into the past. We leave the busy little town heading further south. The landscape changes into open grassland savannah dotted with enormous granite mountains. Bizarre landscapes of towering cliffs await us in the small nature reserve of Anja with superb scenery, plants, Betsileo history, caves, tombs and ring-tailed lemurs. We take a short walk into the park before we leave the
road entering the Tsaranoro Valley leading into the Andringitra Mountains. We stay over at a rustic camp for two nights.
Hike into Andringitra massif
Today we take a hike in the Andringitra massif with the ascent to the ‘chameleon’ mountain. we can recognize the shape of a chameleon in the rock. After villages, rice fields and hills we reach some forests. Maybe we’ll see lemurs. The mountains with its steep cliffs are of volcanic origin and probably very suddenly emerged. They consist of highly fissured granite. The height can be between 650 and 2600 meters. Andringitra Park extends over a length of 100 km. We enjoy spectacular views over this ancient landscape.
Tsaranoro – Ranohira, about 95 km including 20 km dirt road
We ride back over a badly tarmacked road to meet the National road 7. We continue by car to Ankaramena. The place is well known for its delicious mango and papaya fruits. Then we drive to Ihosy and from there we continue to the plateau of Horombe. Up on the plateau we will have lunch. To get a better impression of this amazing landscape, we get back on the saddle for the last 75 km to our lodge on the edge of the Isalo National Park and in the middle of the little village of Ranohira.
Hiking in the Isalo NP
This park is fiercely beautiful with golden plains surrounded by craggy pinnacles of terracotta rock, valleys, canyons and waterfalls. The Isalo National Park covers the entire stretch of the Isalo massif. This huge mountain range is spectacular with its eroded sandstone mountains. Our adventure begins with a short uphill to the plateau and viewpoint. In this surreal park we trek through landscapes formed by centuries of erosion. We walk into a canyon where we will see various types of lemurs. We can refresh ourselves at a waterfall or the natural pools in the canyon.
Ranohira – Toliara, bike tour Toliara – Ifaty – Madiorano – Ambolimailaka, about 54 km
We drive by bus in the southern direction to Toliara (Tuléar), the end of the national road 7. On the way we will see impressive Baobab trees. We also stop at the tombs of the ethnic groups of the Mahafaly and Antandroy. The area around Toliara is the home area of the ethnic group of the Vezo. They earn their living by fishing. On a nice viewpoint before reaching Toliara we get on our bikes for the last leg of our trip. We cycle to Ifaty, Madiorano and
Ambohimailaka, all small fishing villages. Here the warm Indian Ocean invites us for a swim. In the evening we forget all the hardship and celebrate the end of our bike tour. After dinner your tour manager says ‘Good bye’.
Swimming and relaxing
We relax and swim in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. At the coral reef discover colourful plants and fish life while snorkelling. If you like to see more of the unique plant life take a walk to a nearby Nature Reserve, this park is known for the variety of Baobab trees.
Ifaty – Toliara – Antananarivo Return journey home
Flight with Tsaradia
Transfer to the Toliara airport. – End of services. –
The proposed hotels, lodges and guesthouses:
The information comes usually from the hotel or a third party).
The hotels are upper middle class hotels, boutique hotels, fine 3-star hotels or comfortable lodges with a special flair. Alternatively, we give up the comforts of the great and noble hotels and live in smaller, simpler hotels, guesthouses and lodges. In remote areas, electricity is often only available on an hourly basis. The standard of accommodation is not the same as in Europe.
City or town, short description of the place
Antananarivo, Orchid Hotel is ideally situated five minutes from Ivato airport making it a perfect hotel for one night stays or early morning departures. Built on two floors with elevator access, the rooms is spacious with has a/c, modern bathrooms, mini bar, TV, telephone, Wi-Fi, safe. Most of the rooms have impressive views over the rice paddies. Restaurant and a large terrace with great views and a huge moon shaped swimming pool. Adjacent to the pool is a gym.
Antsirabe, Des Thermes, a haven of peace in the centre of the city … A colonial-style historical monument nestled in the middle of a magnificent park.
Antsirabe, H1, komfortables Hotel in Antsirabe. Wir profitieren von modern eingerichteten Zimmern mit Satelliten TV. Von hier aus kann man mit wenigen Schritten oder per Pousse Pousse in die Innenstadt gelangen. Aber auch der lebendige nördliche Teil der Stadt lädt zum bummeln ein.
Ambositra, La Piscine Escapade. The city is known for the Zafimaniry carving. There is something in the outlying are hotel several bungalows and the main building with restaurant, bar and rooms, to the swimming pool and a gallery.
Ranomafana, Cristo. The hotel is situated on the hill of Manerinerina directly on Namorona river that flows through the National Park. The bungalows and rooms are well furnished. You will find everything you need for a pleasant stay.
Sahambavy, Lac Hotel. The hotel is beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Sahambavy, approximately in the middle of Madagascar, at the foot of a hill. Comfortable rooms and charming bungalows, some of them scattered on stilts, in a tropical garden. Most of the served food in the restaurant is grown in their own garden.
Ambalavao, Aux Bougainvillées, A good choice for those seeking for some comfort. Nice, clean rooms with a good restaurant. The hotel shares the same grounds as the Antaimoro paper factory so you can enjoy watching at the manufacturing of the traditional art.
Tsaranoro, Tsara Camp To accommodate the travellers there are spacious tents. Each tent is equipped with two beds and a bedside table. There is also the possibility to hang his clothes. Behind each tent there is a small bathroom with an outdoor shower and camping facilities. There are lanterns and candles in the evening for the necessary lighting. Centre of the place is the restaurant with a bar and a corner to relax. Typical of the region flora and fauna can be explored near the camp.
Ranohira, the Orchidée de l’Isalo is perfectly located in the centre of Ranohira. Massive stonewalls, marble floors and original decoration give the rooms their comfort and character. You will feel like sleeping in a medieval castle. The nearby restaurant Le Zebu is affiliated.
Toliara-Ifaty, Belle Vue. Located right in the dunes, the well-appointed hotel enchants its guests with a breath-taking view over the lagoon of Ifaty. It has bungalows type, Waterfront ‘, with the typical architecture with thatched roofs. The bungalows have a private terrace and are right on the beach. There are also rooms in the main building.