Diego, its neighbourhoods and histories

Diego is the capital of northern Madagascar. It is 1093 kilometres from the country's capital, Antananarivo. Former French garrison, it carries in its streets with evocative names, traces of its military past.
Diego is the starting point of the colonisation of Madagascar. In 1885, France seized the city and the French navy moved into the port. Even today, stranded and rusty boats in the harbour remind us of this history. A little further on, at the bend of a street, you can see the name of Joffre, French marshal at the controls of the operations at the end of the 19th century. From this time dates the construction of the arsenal and those of flourishing residences. In Joffre Street, a statue and a plaque bearing the inscription "1859-1931 / Marshal of France / Timbuktu 1894 / Diego Suarez 1903 / The Marne 1914", pay homage to him. From this street always, the view is breathtaking on the large bay of Diego, the second largest bay in the world, after Rio.
Not far from the harbour, in this quaint old-fashioned city, there is an old music kiosk from the colonial era. Rue Colbert, another great French reference, is close to the city centre. Diego is a charming mix of faded colonial houses and time-worn buildings. A mixture that is difficult to remain unaffected by. At the end of the street, the former Hôtel de la Marine is today a hostel that still rears its imposing columns to the sky.
Higher up in the city, you can see the military district and the "Icebox". This former residential area of the French Navy was then invested by the Malagasy army. By rejoining the course, we find the old homes of legionaries, Caravelle and Surcouf. The district known as "La Glacière" ends the street. This is where the French officers resided.
Diego is a city steeped in history. It is an open-air museum where it is easy to indulge in a certain nostalgia. It was not until 1972 that the Foreign Legion left the island without taking all the traces of their passage.
This article was featured in Prime Magazine March 2018

Useful Information

When to go

Diego has a very mild climate. The sun is present during most of the year, especially from December to February when it is up to 30 ° C. The climate is very pleasant from April to October.

How to get there

A regular flight serves Diego from the capital, and the airport is only 11 kilometres from the centre. Nice road that allows you to enjoy the folksy landscapes of the north of the Big Island.

Where to stay

Luxury hotels are aptly named in Diego. Whether at the Allamanda Hotel, the Colbert, the Hotel de la Poste or the Grand Hotel. Decor and perfect service, it"s up to you!

Where to eat

The restaurants of your hotels are at the height of their stars. If you want to discover the Malagasy cuisine, the restaurant R'art Vato will surprise you with its dishes with typical flavours of the island.

What to see

The city is rich in its historical past and you have to get lost in its streets and look up at the architecture. But Diégo is also a tropical atmosphere to explore at night, around a drink or a night out clubbing, like at the Salegy.