This is what attracts people from all over the world to this tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. There are countless beautiful beaches around the island, and, if you book a hotel – surely it will have one just in front. However, those might be secluded and packed with tourists and hotel guests. If you want to discover the best places, where also the locals go, keep reading on. I will try to show you what I discovered traveling with the Mauritian family.
1. Mon Choisy
Mon Choisy beach (also spelt Mont Choisy) is one of my favorites. It’s quite long, with beautiful, calm see and astounding mountain peaks emerging in the background. Many local people come here in their free time to swim or simply to enjoy a family picnic. The whole area around the beach is planted with filao trees that offer a shelter from the heat. You can also spot some beautiful birds – like zebra doves scratching the in search of food.
It’s very easy to get to Mon Choisy beach from the capital – Port Luis. Public buses run very frequently – take the line between Port Louis and Cap Malheureux (see number 2 below). You can also catch the bus from Grand Bay (see number 3) – it’s only 5 minute ride away. Ticket fares are really low and will cost you less then 1 EUR/1 USD.
2. Cap Malheureux
Cap Malheureux beach was the most quiet, with literally no tourists but with the most spectacular views around. As the waters around were shallow, the sea seemed to literally shine as if illuminated from the bottom (the first photo in this post). Little boats and the white church (Notre Dame Aurilliatrice Chapel) nearby made the whole site truly picturesque as well as the Gunner’s Quoin island in the middle of the sea which was stunning. Its bare brownish surface (similar to some islets in Ireland – have a look here at the Ireland’s Eye Island) contrasted strikingly with the lush tropical green Mauritius and the extremely vivid ocean.
Mauritius is one of the most peaceful countries in the world where followers of all the faiths live one next to another in perfect harmony. You can see that visiting the cemetery near the church – the graves are all mixed, Christian next to Muslim and Hindu. It’s a really heartening sight – considering the volume of violence and tensions in the world at the moment.
3. Grand Baie
Grand Baie is not a beach, but a coastal village and area full of little beautiful beaches. It’s located right beside the Mon Choisy beach, on the northern tip of Mauritius (5 minutes by bus). It’s more lively and commercialized than the two beaches I have described above, with plenty of clubs, restaurants and shops. Most popular public beach is called Pereybere beach.
If you are at Grand Baie, do take a catamaran tour to the beautiful coral reefs next to the little islets north of Mauritius – Gunner’s Quoin, Flat Island and Round Island. It’s a perfect spot for snorkeling, the sea water is exceptionally clear with plenty of tropical colorful fish, turtles and other sea creatures.
4. Blue Bay
Blue Bay is located close to the airport, on the opposite (southern) side of Mauritius. From the capital, Port Lois you have to take a bus to Mahebourg first, and then another one to Blue Bay. The list of all the bus routes in Mauririus is available here.
Blue Bay is also quite popular, with beautiful clear waters and amazing coral reefs. I did a glass bottom boat tour to see some unusual reef formations and it was unbelievable. If you are staying far from the capital, somewhere in the south of the island this is definitely a place to visit! I had a really similar experience in Lakshadweep Archipelago – see my post about this hidden, unknown paradise islands right above Maldives.
5. Gris Gris and Pont Naturel
Pont Naturel is a natural volcanic rock formation in the shape of a bridge. You can cross it and admire huge waves that crashes on the shore beneath it. Gris Gris is a bit different from other beaches in Mauritius, it’s not as calm, very windy and enormous waves make it impossible to swim.