The town straddles a long ridge between two shallow river valleys, with the old town centre and port area sticking out to sea at the end, where the ridge forms a peninsula. The main avenue in town, Rue Colbert, runs in one straight kilometre from Place Foch to the cliffs above the bay. Diego’s main market is the splendidly colourful and welcoming bazary kely – “small market”, a typically Madagascan paradox – while the fine old bazary be (big market) is now a thriving branch of the Alliance Française, the French cultural centre.

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