Mauritius offers a multitude of landscapes ranging from waterfalls to vast coral reefs, with spectacular scenery, stunning forests, white sandy beaches and a wonderful underwater world.
Whether lazing at one of the countless tropical lagoon beaches, or walking through spectacular river gorges with mountain vistas, scuba diving some truly amazing dive-sites or sailing into the sunset; eating in any one of a delicious array of diverse restaurants or sipping a cocktail under the stars – Mauritius has it all and much more besides!
Mauritius can be a shopping paradise. Traditional Mauritian Arts and Crafts products, designer clothes, jewellery and textile products can be found in many shopping arcades. Best shopping places are in Port Louis, Curepipe, Quatre Bornes and Rose Hill.
Mauritius, with its virgin beaches embraced by coral reefs and translucent lagoons, offers some of the best diving in the Indian Ocean. The waters surrounding the Island have an astonishing marine fauna and some of the most interesting coral and fish species in the world.
The fringing reef systems provide a wide variety of diving experiences. The calm waters within the barrier reef provide novices with some excellent diving among the small reefs & bommies whilst the several channels running through the reef, out towards the ocean, offer spectacular wall diving. Plus great drifts, caves & swim-throughs, depths in excess of 60 metres (for those who are qualified and would want to!), wrecks and an amazing shark dive at Pigeon Rock. Sharks, dolphins & eagle-rays can all be found and even the occasional whale-shark if youre lucky. Further good dive sites can be found around Flic-en-Flac on the west coast of Mauritius
Many beaches have windsurfing and kayaking equipment for hire, and for those who prefer more relaxed activities, there’s usually the option of a glass-bottom boat trip. For Jules Verne fans, lead-booted, bubble-headed ‘undersea walks’ can be arranged near Grand Baie reef, as can a ride on La Nessee, a semi-submersible boat – sort of like a submarine – that allows a close-up tour of the reefs without the nuisance of getting wet.
Surfing was big on the island in the 1970s, until the rising costs of airfare and accommodation drove surfers to seek bluer pastures. Now, with vacation costs back to bearable, things are picking up again. The area around Tamarin is said to be the best spot to ‘drop in’, and the season lasts from around June to August. On Mauritius, the best diving sites are on the north-west coast. Snorkeling is another option, with over-the-side boat trips leaving from Grand Baie beach. The best swimming beaches are all at the northern end of the island.
Serious anglers will love the superb deep-sea fishing in the waters off Mauritius, where there are healthy populations of blue and black marlin, bonita, barracuda, and yellowfin tuna, as well as several species of shark and spectacular sailfish to hook into. Overall, October to April is the best time to sink a line, though there are fish to be caught year round and the wahoo don’t start biting until September.
Hiking and walking through the interior is also very popular; Macchabee Forest, Le Pouce, the Black River Gorges National Park, Black River Peak, Montagne Lion, and Piton Savanne are some well-known destinations. For lowland walking, take into account the heat and humidity, and go prepared for rain on highland treks. There are some fantastic short-but-strenuous hill walks around Moka Town. Curepipe, atop the plateau, is the best place for trekkers to stock up before a trip. Rodrigues Island also has some lovely coastal and mountain walks, and caving aficionados will want to visit Caverne Patate on Rodrigues.
Mauritius has some of the rarest birds on Earth. The Mauritius Kestrel, once the world’s rarest bird, the Pink Pigeon and the Echo Parakeet, to name only a few, can be found here.
If you would like to tour the island by car (higly recommended) Garcon – our villa manager – will be happy to arrange car hire for you when you arrive in Mauritius. Here are some of the attractions you can visit:
Tamarin – Lying in the shadow of the Rivière Noire Mountains, Tamarin has a fine lagoon and excellent bathing. Great place for surfing the big ocean swells.
Grand Baie – The northern coastline beyond Baie du Tombeau has many delightful beaches: Pointe aux Piments, famous for its underwater scenery; Trou aux Biches, with its coconut palms and splendid Hindu temple. Further up the coast, Choisy, one of the most popular beaches on the island, offering facilities for safe bathing, sailing, windsurfing and water-skiing. Finally, the coastline curves into Grand Baie itself, the main centre for yachting, water-skiing, windsurfing and many other sports.
Péreybère – A delightful little cove midway between Grand Baie and Cap Malheureux. The deep, clear water makes it one of the very best bathing places on the whole island.
Cap Malheureux – A fishing village in the extreme north, with a magnificent view of the volcanic islands; Flat Island, Round Island and Gunners Quoin.
Grand Gaube – Another charming fishing village where fishermen have earned a reputation for their sailing craft making skills and of deep-sea fishing.
Roches Noires and Poste Lafayette – Two favored seaside resorts, especially in the hotter months, because of the fresh sea breezes that blow almost all year round.
Belle Mare – A beautiful white sandy beach with fine bathing. The coast, with its white sweep of sands at Palmar and Trou d’Eau Douce, stretches out lazily to Grand Port, a quaint little village by the sea. There, the beach narrows and the road hugs the coastline to Mahébourg. Pointe dEsny, the adjoining white sandy beach with its string of bungalows, leads to Blue Bay.
Blue Bay – In a semicircle of filao trees lies one of the finest bathing spots on the island. Situated on the southeast coast, not far from Mahébourg, Blue Bay offers a fine stretch of white sandy beach, and a deep, clear, light-blue bathing pool. There is also scope for yachting and windsurfing.