Welcome to paradise. When looking at aerial views of the calm waters and lagoons off the shores of Mauritius, it looks as though some divine artist swirled every shade of blue and green to create a truly mesmerizing view. Mauritius is the island nation off the east coast of Madagascar and because of its location, the African country has ideal beach conditions for lounging, swimming, and water sports. The interior of the island boasts tall jungle waterfalls, colorful and ornate Hindu temples, and an excellent French-Creole culinary tradition that also draws inspiration from India and China. That being said, undeniably the beautiful beaches are the main draw for tourists from around the world. Mauritius may have a perfect beach in any given direction but here is a list of a few favorites.
Le Morne Beach
The west coast Le Morne Peninsula is probably the most photographed place on the island, sitting in the shadow of the monolithic Le Morne Brabant Mountain. Now a UNESCO Heritage Site, the white sand beach below is a known for being a playground for both wind and kite surfers. The mountain itself, towering 1,824 feet above the sea, serves as an important centerpiece of Mauritian lore. Rumored to be a sanctuary for escaped slaves in the 19th century, the mountain now acts as an important reminder of the island’s difficult beginnings.
Mont Choisy Beach
Proclaimed to be the longest beach in Mauritius, Mont Choisy is seemingly an endless stretch of sand delicately caressed by mellow waves rolling in from the Indian Ocean. Lined with thousands of Casuarina trees, sometimes know as Australian pines, this is the perfect spot for a long walk on a beach. If you’re bringing the family, the shallow water also makes it easily swimmable for young children. To avoid crowds, go during the week as Mont Choisy is popular with locals and fills up on weekends. Nearby is Grand Baie, a lively village known for its harbor, restaurants, and bazaar. Check out the underwater sea walks, an activity that allows non-scuba divers to walk underwater with a breathing apparatus to view coral reefs. Mont Choisy is also easily accessible from popular resort destination Trou Aux Biches Beach.
At the intersection of the estuaries of two separate rivers, Tamarin Beach is an authentic Mauritian beach, free from many modern mega-resorts. Tamarin has gained notoriety as one of Mauritius’s most famous surf breaks. While anyone is welcome, do not be surprised to find some territorial surfers hoping to discourage the commercialization of their waves. All these factors lend themselves to creating a nostalgic charm to Tamarin Beach.
Flic en Flac Beach
Similarly located in the Black River District, like Tamarin Beach, Flic en Flac Beach’s beautiful blue water has been gaining attention amongst tourists and is changing the small fishing village into a legitimate tourist destination. The village now features high-end resort accommodations but still maintains its small island vibe as things like beachside food shacks sell fresh seafood. From the sands of Flic en Flac, tourists can plan catamaran excursions and horseback rides on the sand.
Ile Aux Cerfs
Separated from the main island, Ile Aux Cerfs is an acclaimed “leisure” island. Widely untouched, this small island maintains its pristine look partially by allowing no overnight guests. Visitors can enjoy beaches both on the sea as well as lagoon side, where still waters and an easy breeze welcome sunbathers. Besides total relaxation, visitors can take advantage of watersport activities like wakeboarding and parasailing, as well as tours aboard speedboats.
Blue Bay is perhaps best known for receiving protected status for its richly populated waters that are home to numerous fish species, as well as a threatened coral reef. While some criticize the actual veracity of the conservation efforts, Blue Bay Marine Park is still a popular destination for snorkelers and glass bottom boat tours. Easily accessible from a number of towns in Mauritius like Mahebourg, the Blue Bay Marine Park is worth seeing as a day trip just to experience the underwater colors permeating from its flora and fauna. A land-based alternative would be a guided eco-tour to the unpopulated Ile aux Aigrettes Nature Preserve, stomping ground of giant tortoises and exotic birds.