Madagascar’s highland town, Fianarantsoa extends over three floors. With its traditional houses, its many churches and its wine culture, there are many things to visit ! True crossroads, it is located on the RN7 at 400 km from Tananarive in the heart of the South-East region.
Built in 1830 on the heights of the Ivoenana hill, Fianarantsoa city is only 400 km from the capital. The city is full of treasures of the past, it was for a long time the city of instruction and education (hence its name “the city where the good is learned”. Indeed, many intellectuals live there, you won’t miss the many schools, bookstores as well as a multitude of religious edifices. There are about fifty churches, a faculty of Lutheran theology, and a Catholic and Presbyterian seminary. Besides the cultural and religious aspect, the city is also known for its gastronomy. There are numerous vineyards (Isandra and Famoriana), and you can also visit the tea plantations of Sahambavy or taste the cheeses of Ivoamba. A trip to the Southern doors of Madagascar that you won’t forget.
Famous for the quality of its wine production, Fianarantsoa is the only producer of wine from Madagascar.
“Lazan’i Betsileo”, “Château Verger”, “Coteaux d’Ambalavao” are some of the labels that you’ll find on all restaurants tables.
Numerous wine tours take you through the vineyards of Famoriana and Isandra where you can also visit the wineries and taste the wines (white, red, rosé, gray).
Sahambavavy, also called “the field of women”, owes its name to the particular landscape that takes shape there. Go for a journey in the heart of a tea culture steeped in the traditions of the region. It is the only center of farming and production in Madagascar. You will taste a bold flavored tea, which is similar to the famous English Tea.
The city is divided into three parts. Start with the one below, “the lower town” is a very lively popular area where you find many shops. The “mid-city” is much more modern with its many administrative buildings and banks. Finally, the “upper city” a vestige of the past dating from the 19th century, is the seat of religious buildings of all kinds.
You can’t ignore the famous cathedral called “the Vatican of Fianarantsoa”, or the Great Mosque, adding even more charm to the setting.
The magnificent Ranomafana Park is 60 km from Fianarantsoa. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there is a dense rainforest and many natural hot pools. You’ll also find an exceptional fauna and flora: lemurs, birds, batrachians, as well as many endemic plants, orchids, and waterfalls which sublimate an already incredible setting.
Starting point for many sightseeing tours, you can reach Manakara aboard an authentic Micheline. True rail legend in the world, the line Fianarantsoa-Manakara will make you discover typical and picturesque places. You’ll also have the opportunity to go to Sahambavy, only 25 km away, where is located 400 hectares of tea plantation (the largest of the island).
The area around Fianarantsoa has a fabulous backdrop, reminiscent of the Far West. Until Ikalamavony, you will cross magnificent landscapes, imposing mountains and typical small villages. Fanjakana and its raised stones, or Solila which offers an exceptional setting.