Nestled off the coast of Madagascar, the small island of Île aux Nattes, also known less commonly as Nosy Nato, is a hidden gem celebrated for its stunning beach and absence of roads. Picture sweeping white beaches, swaying palms, a turquoise sea with waves crashing over the reef, a gentle breeze, and a lush green interior. Located just off the Southern Part of Ile Sante Marie, separated only by a narrow but deep channel. No cars have reached this island yet, and the only way to cross is by pirogue, a dugout canoe. When you arrive, sandy beach paths are there to welcome guests, inviting them to explore at their own pace.
Despite its small size, Île aux Nattes offers a tranquil and picturesque escape with beautiful beaches, clear waters, and a laid-back atmosphere. The small island, covering just 3 km², is linked by a network of trails that weave around, connecting the local villages and settlements scattered across the area. The island is small enough to explore on foot or by bicycle. Rent a bike or take leisurely walks along the coastal paths, discovering hidden gems, and enjoying the tranquility of the island.
When to Travel to Île aux Nattes
From late August to late November, the island experiences reduced rainfall, making it perfect for outdoor activities. This “drier season” is ideal for those who prefer sunny days and clear skies to explore the natural beauty of the island.
From December to March, cyclone season brings heavy rains and strong winds, potentially impacting travel plans. Despite disruptions, the lush vegetation benefits from the rains, creating even more vibrant landscapes once the storms pass.
The island is surrounded by reefs, and the cool part is you don’t need a boat to reach them. Just walk in from the white sandy beaches. Grab some snorkeling gear, walk about 50 meters into the ocean, put on your mask and fins, and get ready to see lots of fish! The crystal-clear waters around Île aux Nattes offer an unforgettable underwater adventure for everyone.
Whale watching is a popular activity here during the month of September. During the season from June through September, humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to this region to calve and mate before heading back to the cold waters. A number of companies offer whale-watching tours at affordable prices letting you see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat.