Fort Dauphin, or Taolanaro in the Malagasy language, is Madagascar's oldest town and a popular destination for excursions to the Berenty Reserve and the Spiny Forest. The province of the same name is located in the southeastern part of the enormous island. Tthe French established their first colony here in the 17th century, giving it the name of the Dauphin, later crowned Louis XIV of France. Built on a small peninsula, the town is bordered on three sides by beaches with a backdrop of high green mountains. It boasts a drier climate with much less rain than the rest of Madagascar, but suffers from fierce gales around the middle of the year.
Fort Dauphin has a lively, interesting market that may be worth a visit to observe local color. There are a few shops in the town center that offer a variety of souvenirs. Of particular interest are straw articles.
The local currency is the Malagasy franc.