I have visited Mauritius many times and I've even had the privilege of living there for two years. It is a place of incredible beauty, both the culture and the landscape. This is one of the few beaches that is not protected by the coral reef that surrounds the island and it is no less beautiful than the others. I fully recommend that you visit the area.
Mauritius is perfect to relax and stroll through its beautiful places. The beaches are fantastic. The best of the island is the mountain. The image was taken in Chamarel. These red sands are of volcanic origin and spectacular texture.
Belle Mare Beach is located in the east of the island of Mauritius in the Flacq region. It is a very long beach with white sand and black volcanic rocks that offers a beautiful landscape that contrasts with the different shades of blue of the ocean. There are lots of little tidal lagoons where it's not uncommon to find beautiful starfish of every size and shape. The coral reef is a few hundred meters from the shore and you can go snorkel in some of the small boats. There are shady areas full of Casuarina trees which are typical in Mauritius. There are no bars or restaurants, just a few truck peddlers who sell spicy but good Creole food. The beach has several luxurious hotels with umbrellas and chairs but they don't prevent you from always finding a spot!
Le Morne Brabant Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Mauritius. The first thing that stands out is the surrounding environment. The whole isthmus is dominated by the 546-meter tall Le Morne Brabant mountain. The beach is also destination #1 for the thousands of kite and windsurfers who come to the island every year. In fact, you could say that the beach is divided into two sections. The windy southern end has strong waves and is popular among surfers. The northern half, though, is quieter and perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Oh, and the sunsets from the northern end are just breathtaking.
The whole area is like something off of a postcard, but it also has an interesting history. During the 17th and 18th centuries, Le Morne mountain was a hideout for escaped slaves and local folklore has lots of dramatic tales surrounding the area. One of the most tragic tales is of a group of ex-slaves who had built a wooden bridge to a small outcropping from where they could cut the bridge and be totally cut-off from any attackers. Well, when slavery in Maurutius was abolished, a group of locals headed out to Le Morne to tell the fugitives the good news. Thinking they were under attack, the group of ex-slaves threw themselves off the cliffs, preferring death than to return to a live of slavery.
Tragic tales aside, the area really is magical. Planting your feet in the sand and watching the sunset over the coral reefs and giant, still ocean is an experience you'll never forget.
Ile aux Cerfs is located on the eastern side of the island and it’s a kind of semi-wild island that emerges from the sea and swamp. You can get there via a 15-minute motorboat ride from any of the piers in the area. We hopped on a glass-bottom boat and they took us directly to Ile aux Cerfs and we arrived nice and early when the island was almost empty. They welcomed us with a fruit juice and explained some of the local attractions, all available for a small fee, of course. The price of the tour included beach chairs and lunch at an Indian restaurant and since it was the last day of our trip, we decided to just take it easy, sunbathe, and wait for lunch. More and more catamarans began showing up and beach vendors came by hawking their goods.
One thing that made Ile aux Cerfs different was that there’s a hotel so you have lots of amenities like bathrooms, showers, etc. at your disposal. Luckily, the infrastructure is only on the west side of the island the eastern part is still totally wild. The east side is also more open and strong breezes come in off the Indian ocean. The beaches all have a tropical look like something off of a postcard. There are thousands of little beaches and coves scattered around the island so you’ll have no problem finding a spot away from the crowds. Oh, but don’t wander around the entire island…there’s a huge golf course in the middle and you’ll spend an hour there trying to find your way out!
Situated on the north coast of the island we came across this small fishing village. Considering its small size, however, it has everything you need in order to become a popular tourist center, with spectacular villas and small hotels that are being added. Its name translates as Unhappy Cape or Misfortune, due to the number of shipwrecks that have occurred off the coast in this region, and and in memory of the shipwrecks and of the deceased, this beautiful red-roofed church was built, where there is a sunset view that is priceless. You must go to church because it has a carved stone altar which is very interesting, and the holy water fonts are made of mollusk shells. I recommend you also go for a walk on the beach and watch the beautiful sunset before following the path.
The Great Grand Bassin sacred lake can be found in the crater of a volcano and it is a very revered by Hindus of Mauritius ve often come here to worship Shiva. Once a year there is a pilgrimage to the lake to celebrate the night of Shiva. At the entrance of Lake there is a statue of Lord Shiva, the highest of all Mauritius (33m). Inside Grand Basin you will see the offerings made to the gods and the lake. Hindu People leave here candles, food, flowers. This is a place of great peace which you will surely enjoy.
A gem if you like to snorkel. I recommend the hotel Cannonier, good food, good live jazz music. In eighteenth-century old fort which still retains two guns. Three beaches in the same coral barrier which will allow you to dive two metres. Walking from the hotel you can get to beach. Mix with majority population of black Creole a mixture of African and Indian. The women are very pretty and dress in Indian sarees. Many parties on the beach. Bus to port luis. Be sure to visit the port of the island and its market. Essential excursions in catamaran to the island, the land of the seven colors and waterfalls ...
Flic en Flac was a fishing village until recently, when it became the second major tourist spot in Mauritius. But look what happened. Flic en Flac derived its name from the Dutch "Fried Landt Flaak" which literally means "Free and Flat Land." During the 1960s the town was only known for its cemetery, where people from nearby villages buried their dead relatives. There was also some duck and other wild bird hunting but nothing more. Unlike Grand Bay in the north, which undertook a savage development, Flic en Flac was monitored by the authorities. Strict rules were applied to buildings and premises. For example, to avoid turning Flic en Flac into slums, only 40% of a given parcel of land could be used for construction. During the 70's and 80's the economy was oriented towards sugar and textile exports. At this time the authorities were reluctant to develop tourism and licenses were not granted easily to international companies who wanted to open 5 star hotels in Mauritius. The authorities then spoke of "containing" the number of tourists. Suddenly competition increased and the price of sugar on the world market also fell sharply. Hence, the government revised its policy and encouraged expansion of tourism. In this perspective, several 5 star hotels were allowed to be built in the Flic en Flac region. When Flic en Flac became popular, the rich living in Mauritius bought in the area and built bungalows where they intended to stay during their vacation. During their absence they would rent to tourists and rapidly Flic en Flac became known as a holiday destination. This is really an example of what is currently happening in the rest of the island in terms of speculation. The site is really nice and friendly and I recommend sleeping for a few hours at the beach also around the city it has a couple of interesting tidbits, like a huge beachfront cemetery and sugar oven among the trees. All protected by coral reefs.
Grand Baie could be the best example of the cultural and racial integration in Mauritius. We had the opportunity to visit several times. From the bay we had a tour to Isla Gabriel. I say "had" because on the day it had to be cancelled due to high winds at sea, it was too dangerous for the catamarans to take us there. So we went back the next day, and it was worth it as its a lovely place. The bay should be a dream, but the town is a little bit too touristy, even though it retains some Mauritian flavour. One thing we loved is that on the main street there's a beautiful Christian church, a Muslim mosque and a picture that seems to emerge from the sea for the Hindus to pray at. No wonder that the town gets the most tourists in the North, it's not too overwhelmed with hotels or apartments, but there are cafes, restaurants and nightclubs. We went out one night and we integrated perfectly into a nightclub where we were made to feel Mauritian. Definitely a must visit point in the North.
This islet, which is almost touching Ile aux Cerfs, is an enigma. It is easy to reach: just cross a sandbar that at low tide and you're on this little coral island. Here is where we run into the two main mysteries: first, the sand is filled with little holes and molehills, from crabs perhaps? Second, the island is uninhabited but the interior is patrolled my armed men with dogs. I almost felt like James Bond! Enigmas aside, this little island is the easternmost point in Mauritius and its beaches offer amazing views of the endless blue Indian Ocean. The winds also tend to be heavy on Ilot Mangenie so its popular with surfers and kitesurfers. If you're visiting Ile aux Cerfs, I'd suggest making a stop at Ilot Mangenie.
In this place, south of the island, you can enjoy a fascinating spectacle where the waves crash against the cliffs. Some claim that the name refers to black magic ceremonies practiced in this place and witch-like rocks that are in the vicinity. Legends aside, the place is a cross between a garden with gazebos and benches, and a gazebo, from where you can admire a beautiful white sandy beach with vegetation that almost does not touch the sea. There are also many places where you can sample the local cuisine.
We chose a bad time to visit these falls and I will tell you why. To get to the waterfall you have to turn off the road that crosses the center of the island, and into the bush. There is a parking lot where you can leave your car and begin the little walk that is accessible for almost everyone, there is even a souvenir stall. When we arrived at viewpoint from which we supposedly where to see a really spectacular waterfall. but looks like at this time of the visit there was not much water. So the most we could see, was a trickle of water. Although good, with the surrounding landscape one could get an idea of how awesome it would be in full spring. From the viewpoint you can also see the south coast, with the waves breaking against the coral reef and ravines that go from the center of the island down to the sea. On the short walk to the waterfall we entered into the dense semi-tropical forest. The site is very quiet and in summer it should be spectacular.
Visiting Ilot Gabriel was one of the things we were most excited about during our trip to Mauritius. I’d seen photos of the island and it looked like paradise, the kind of place where nature runs free. And it was. As soon as I began to walk around the island I felt like a castaway or Robinson Crusoe or Charles Darwin…it was as close to being on a desert island as I've ever been.
Getting there is simple: every day, several catamarans leave from Grand Baie en route to Gabriel Island. Most tours leave at 9 in the morning and return at 4 in the afternoon and include lunch and drinks. The island itself is around 20km off the coast of Mauritius and is made up of about 40 acres of coral flats and grasslands. It is home to several endemic species and was declared a nature preserve in 1983. As you draw close, you see the color of the sky and sea merge and a small plot of tropical green rise along the horizon. It’s an impressive sight. Afterwards, a smaller boat takes you to the shore.
Once you arrive, the tour guides explain lunch (grilled chicken or fish, salad, rice, and unlimited beer and rum punch) and remind you to be respectful of the natural habitat. Then, it’s time to swim and enjoy the white beaches and good company, all to the tune of a few cold beers, of course. Later, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to explore the island a bit. It took me around 45 minutes to circle the entire island and one of the most interesting things I saw was an endemic plant called “Baume de l Ile Plate.” The southern part of the island is made up of tropical beaches while the northern part is a bit rockier and wilder.
I’d really recommend making a visit because while it is a bit touristy, it’s a great chance to spend a day in a privileged and untouched natural environment.
On the side of Gris Gris, leaving the car in the same parking lot and taking a small path to the left, we entered a path through the trees that leads to this natural curiosity. This curiosity is a rock that juts into the sea and apparently, though I did not see it, creates an effect of a rock that is "crying," as the wave crashes against it and retire during the days of raging waves. However, as much as I examined it, I could not see it. This site is also loved by the locals, because they say that the forces of nature have carved in the rock profile Mauritian poet Robert Edward Hart. What is certain is that the absence of a barrier reef to stop the force of the waves of the Indian Ocean acted as a creator of twisted and rounded shapes, a sculptor of magma and cliffs, leaving a truly spectacular landscape, above all during the hours of dusk.
Next to Gris Gris, leaving the car in the parking lot and taking a small path on the left, there is a path through the trees that leads to this natural curiosity. It's a rock that juts into the sea and supposedly, though I didn't see it, the days when the raging waves makes the rock look likes it's crying as a wave crashes against it and retires. As much as I examined it, I couldn't see the resemblance. It's also loved by the locals, because they say that nature has carved the profile of the Mauritian poet Robert Edward Hart into the rock. What is certain is that the absence of a barrier reef to stop the force of the Indian Sea waves has acted as creator of twisted and rounded shapes. It's like a sculptor of magma and cliffs, leaving a truly spectacular landscape on everything at dusk.
Without doubt this is one of the perfect beaches for those who feel a special weakness for sunsets. This area of the island, which is in the northwest, is much more touristy than the rest, first because the easterly winds are not exactly the most suitable for kitesurfing and windsurfing, which is what seems to be fashionable at the moment, and second because this area was at the time a hippy stronghold and there still is the odd trace. However, this beach is perfect for seeing the day die and for enjoying some beach bars, and they have Creole and Indian specialties at very good prices. After a hard day of sightseeing and being in the car, the relaxation is assured.
The beaches of Baie du Tombeau are among the most beautiful on the island. Far less known and therefore less visited, they are just west of the island, so offer the most spectacular sunsets imaginable. Do not be scared by the name, which actually translates to the Bahia Tombs, due to the large number of shipwrecks such as the East India Company in 1615. Closer to the shore enjoy water that is a little warmer than further out. Keep in mind that, as in the rest of Mauritius, the 5 star resorts have taken many of the best beaches, but between them there is always a "Public Beach" (different length stretches of beach where you can park under the trees and enjoy). As I said before this area has a warm shallows, it seems that there is also more life. And that is clear looking at the shore, which is not as gritty as other coasts but more stony or more like "coralinosa" since the bottom is basically coral. For us it is a bit problematic as coral can cut, so I advise wearing sandals for swimming, as for for wildlife it is a paradise, as you can see in the photos. A little walk shows small eels, little sea stars, and a kind of worm or sea snake in several of the photos. The seabed was filled with these little creatures who simply remained static and at first I mistook them for ropes, but approaching a little, and as you can see, they are not. There was a wedding at a nearby hotel, so I attended the photo shoot a wedding with a Scottish kilt in Mauritius. Sea snakes - would Nessie's relatives be attending the wedding? We'll never know. After sitting in the sand we enjoyed a beautiful sunset.