Why an island off Madagascar should be your honeymoon destination on your bucket list

There aren’t many places on this Earth where a couple can feel on board, totally secluded but completely safe, and gazing at a dreamy expanse of water marbled in all shades of blue, with a sky matching above and monumental mountains in the distance. . Where, standing on the smoothest of beaches, they can enjoy every ballet leap of tiny silverfish on the surface of the sea, every call of a bird above their heads and the lapping of the gentle waves. If you can get to the island of Nosy Ankao, off the northeast coast of Madagascar, this is your reality. There, Time + Tide Miavana, the Bucket List Resort to End All Bucket List Complexes, offers newlyweds the most intimate opportunities, in one of the most spectacular parts of the world. .

Madagascar is already remote, but this island is even more remote, requiring the charming Miavana helicopter with aquamarine and white stripes to transport you from the “mainland” – in a splendid expanse of aerial seascapes – known for its incredible endemic biodiversity (many endangered) and an adorable animal that only exists in the wild here: lemurs. It’s part of Africa, but has strong South Asian influences, and looks like an exotic blend of many cultures, with some of the most charming and authentic people in the world.

As much as you might be tempted to just bathe in the sun and the shallows of the Indian Ocean and admire your surreal surroundings, a Miavana honeymoon is much more than that. This helicopter is like a portal to strange new worlds, available for day trips to even more remote areas of dense forest in search of rare lemur species (there are over 100 of them!), In hike through huge caves, toast your new chapter of on top of a mountain, run an ultra marathon on a ridge line or tiptoe over weirdly sharp limestone formations called tsingy. A fleet of boats opens the door to all that is salty. There are fishing trips, discovering yellowfin, Spanish mackerel, bonito, grouper and possibly marlin (the latter is caught and released). While cruising, diving, or snorkeling on a blue safari, you might find hawksbill turtles and olive ridley turtles amidst vibrant hard corals, damselflies, dolphins, manta rays, whales, or even ‘a strange whale shark. Then, enjoy a luxurious tapas lunch for the two of you on an uninhabited island. Athletes have the opportunity to practice kitesurfing (May to October), SUP, wakeboarding, water skiing and jet skiing. There’s yoga, Qigong, CrossFit, a gym with an ocean view, and pretty much anything you could possibly want – here they aim not only to please but in a hyper-personalized and surprising way as well.

The 360 ​​hectare island is also home to half a dozen crowned lemurs which have been relocated with the help of a local NGO from a place where they were threatened here, where they are protected and where their offspring have de better chances of survival and proliferation. You can’t miss the flat hike in search of the gentle tiger striped creatures which are a pleasure to watch. (Honeymooners looking for more diverse wildlife can also combine this property with Time + Tide’s more traditional safari camps in southern Luangwa, Zambia.)

Hop aboard a quad for the most romantic way to savor a 360-degree sunset: snuggle up with champagne atop a disused lighthouse, where the island and ocean stretch out below while that the sky is painted pink all around you. The coolest way to toast the setting sun, however, may be when about twenty Malagasy in traditional costume and makeup (women only) put on a merry dance performance, silhouetted against this unforgettable natural backdrop. For a taste of local life, grab a few (probably hot) Three Horses beers at the village’s only bar-slash-shop of bismarck palm huts, and the cute and curious kids might just start a night of dancing.

Rice is the staple food in this country, but you will find a true assortment of influences in the fine cuisine served in the open-air restaurant, by the main pool, or in your own villa if you wish. There are amazing fresh breads with moringa or maybe baobab butter, tsaky tsaky canapes (treats such as quail lollipops spiced with vadouvan), delicate line-caught mackerel, wood-fired pizzas and hand-made pasta, exquisite sous-vide octopus and tender pork belly, always paired with poured South African wines in elegant stemware, craft cocktails, or fresh tropical juices. The wine cellar is an impeccable place for a private candlelight dinner, as is the ever-expanding Cabinet of Curiosities where you will never run out of fascination to admire, the now extinct elephant bird and pygmy hippo skeletons. to amulets and even a love letter message in a bottle, fallen into the ocean in Indonesia and stranded in Madagascar.

A South African design team created the 14 generously expansive villas, built with traditional influences from locally sourced stone, with high ceilings, durable floors, massive bathrooms (including a delightful outdoor shower and a bathtub with stunning ocean views), Pinterest-style kitchenettes, dining tables, and large oval pools. It’s like mid-century modernity meets island style, and it boils down to furniture and decor that you wish you could take home with you. Each guest also gets a 30-minute head and shoulder massage (from Malagasy and Balinese masseuses on staff), but you’ll probably be so happy you’ll want to book more, for example, a local coconut scrub for two .

An example of the incredibly personalized service from your private butler is that if you take your aqua beach cruiser to the main bar for a pre-dinner cocktail, it will likely be swapped with your personal golf cart so that later you don’t ride. darkness. Then, float in the pool to admire not only the stars, but the planets above as well. Nights can also end with a movie screening on your own beach. As the generous and accommodating staff like to say, “Impossible is nothing. ”

The current coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. As the situation continues to flow, we’ll share tips and stories from industry experts to give you the best advice and help you navigate wedding planning today. For the most recent guidelines and the latest travel restrictions and requirements, check the websites of the CDC and the US Department of State.

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