Diego Suarez, former French garrison town and capital of the north, is the gateway to the northern reserves. The capital of Madagascar's northernmost province, Antsiranana - the name means 'port' - has one of the world's most beautiful deep-water harbors. A ring of mountains surrounds the town, which has a very diverse population of about 80,000 Sakalava, Antakarana, French, Arabs, Chinese and Comoriens. The town is the gateway to Montagne d'Ambre and Ankarana national parks, and many visitors simply pass through Antsiranana, ignorant of its charms. Those with the time to linger and discover the decaying colonial architecture (the old covered market and the former Hotel de la Marine for seafarers are notable examples), the vibrant market and the wealth of crafts workshops will find Diego atmospheric and enjoyable. There is a variety of hotels and restaurants in town, and at Ramena beach, about 18 km to the east. There are baobabs on the route between Diego and Ramena. Almost equidistant between Ramena and Diego is the Montagne des Français. The ascent offers superb views over the bay, and the prospect of good birding and sightings of Sanford's brown lemurs. The cliffs and cave attract rock climbers. At the rock formation known as 'Windsor Castle', visitors will find some tsingy and a variety of drought-resistant endemic plants. From the top, the panorama stretches from Montagne d'Ambre in the south to the remote Cap d'Ambre, the northern tip of Madagascar. East of Ramena is a series of deserted bays: Baie des Dunes, Baie de Sakalava, Baie des Pigeons.