"There's more to Tulear than meets the eye" Toliara by CatherineReichardt
Toliara Travel Guide: 9 reviews and 35 photos
Let's face it, Toliara (more commonly known by its colonial name of Tulear) is not a first division tourist destination, and we only ended up there because we had made the road trip from the stunning Isalo massif and were en route for the rather less wonderful Anakao (more on that elsewhere).
Nontheless, we had part of a day to kill in Tulear on our return from Anakao before catching our connecting flight to Fort Dauphin, which gave us time to explore a town that the tourist guides gave a rather lukewarm write up. As it turns out, the two tourist attractions that we did visit were utterly wonderful, though frankly the rest of the town was a bit of a dive, and unmercifully hot into the bargain. I was left with the impression that I wasn't overly bothered that we hadn't had more time there, but that we had made the best of the time that we had.
Would I recommend it as a destination? Well - like most places in Madagascar, it's a long way from anywhere, and I'm not sure whether it' justifies the time and effort of getting there just on its own merits. However, if you are going there anyway because you're en route for somewhere else (particularly Isalo), then it's worth taking a day or so to recharge your batteries, restock your supplies/provisions (since it is by far the biggest town in the region) and enjoy what it has to offer.
Oh, and if you do make it to the wonderful arboretum, raise a glass of chilled baobab juice in my honour as you order the cheese salad!
- Pros:The arboretum and the ichthyology museum are unexpected gems!
- Cons:A dessicatingly hot town of limited charm on the edge of the world
- In a nutshell:By all means go because it's on the way somewhere interesting, but hesitate to visit on the basis of its own virtues
We spotted this facility just off the main road to Tulear, but couldn't quite work out what it might be. "Fuel storage?"... more travel advice
I unexpectedly encountered my best meal in Madagascar in the arboretum outside Tulear. The restaurant provides welcome... more travel advice
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