The Royal Hill of Ambohimanga can be enjoyed on Madagascar holidays
For those embarking on Madagascar holidays from the capital city of Antananarivo, one of the most amazing sites of your trip is likely to be the Royal Hill of Ambohimanga.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site is just a short journey from the country's capital and is one of the first stopping points on the Lost Continent itinerary.
Comprising an ancient royal city and burial site, Ambohimanga is one of Madagascar's most sacred places, and also serves as a source for its national identity.
For these reasons and the sheer majesty of the rising foothills, it has been one of the country's most popular attractions over the past 500 years, attracting tourists and pilgrims alike in equal numbers.
According to the UN's World Heritage Convention, the royal hill is a great example of the 'rovas' (fortified royal enclosures) that came to characterise the ruling classes of Madagascar in the 15th and 16th centuries, when power was shared between a series of local lords.
As well as offering insight into the country's historical and political past, Ambohimanga is also an archaeological marvel, with its forest cover having protected the remains of the royal city.
The fortifications that protected its inhabitants consisted of banks, ditches and stone gateways that can still be seen today.
Once you have taken in Ambohimanga, there are many great walking and trekking opportunities to be enjoyed on your trip to the country.
For people carrying on along the Lost Continent itinerary, there will be chances to enjoy an excursion to Lake Tritriva at Antsirabe and to visit the rice paddies and villages that populate the country's highland areas while on your Madagascar holiday.
Beyond this, you'll be able to make the trip to some of the country's most cherished national parks, including Ranomafana, which is noted for its rainforest hikes and lemur population, and Isalo, known as the "Grand Canyon of Madagascar.