Discover the best beaches in Mauritius


By Eloise Barker for British Airways

Title photography by Romeo Reidl

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June 2018

Pick any point on your compass – north, south, east and west, and you’ll find a great beach on Mauritius’ coast. In some places, rainbowed reefs shelter the shores, creating bays as flat as stained-glass windows. In others, currents tug at the water, and surf-perfect waves rear their slick heads on the horizon. Whether you want to swim or sunbathe, these Mauritius beaches are the business.

Introducing Mauritius beaches

Whilst your Mauritius resort will no doubt have its own beach, there’s nothing more compelling than seeing what’s around the next headland. Mauritius’ beaches will take your breath away – and all of them are public. The locals love relaxing on the sand as much as holidaymakers, so at weekends you’ll find most beaches busier. Make sure to mind currents and warnings because not all spots on the island are safe for swimming. You will want to wear shoes on wilder beaches, where knobbles of coral often litter the shore. On that note – don’t forget your snorkel to spot reef fish in some of the clearest water around.

A little track between buildings leads you down to a secret beach on the Point d’Esny. Wander down here and you won’t look back.

East coast

Mauritius’ east coast has a smart reputation to uphold: it has the whitest sand and the sleekest resorts. Expect quick currents, atmospheric sunrises, and breezy conditions – thanks to the prevailing south-easterly wind.

Ile aux Cerfs

Off mainland Mauritius, the bijoux Ile aux Cerfs makes a fantastic day trip off the east coast. People flock to this island independently, or on tours, from Trou d’Eau Douce. However you arrive, you’ll love the upper-class castaway feel. It’s beautiful, blanketed with Mauritius’ omnipresent Causarina trees; and its jigsaw-puzzle shape carves out plenty of beaches. You can circumnavigate Ile aux Cerfs in a couple of hours on foot, and you’ll stumble upon lots of cruisers enjoying cocktails and seafood barbecues on the shore. If you like your paradises unpeopled, avoid the weekends.

Where to stay: Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort and Spa

Ile Aux Cerfs is famously home to a golf course belonging to the glorious Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort and Spa. These 18-holes are in a setting so beautiful that it might affect your handicap. Island golf isn’t the only surprise the five-star Shangri-La has in store for its guests: you’ll also discover the gorgeous Frangipani spa and the secret Ilot Mangenie – a private island retreat for gourmet picnics.

Book a stay at Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort and Spa

  • A wooden jetty stretching off from Ile Aux Cerfs, off the East Coast of Mauritius. © Lee Frost.

    Sandy landings

    Set foot on Ile Aux Cerfs, one of the most beautiful places in Mauritius, and it will be hard to leave.£1613 pp

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Belle Mare

The Belle Mare region is 10 km long and dotted with some of the island’s most decadent resorts. Expect white sand and swanky surroundings. The fancy resorts provide plenty of places for dinner. Try the Constance Le Prince Maurice’s floating seafood restaurant, Le Barachois. Nearby lies one of the islands’ most famous dives – La Passe de Belle Mare, where you’ll drift dive through a magnificent underwater canyon. Belle Mare beach is an hour’s drive from Lion Mountain – your morning hike sorted. Don’t worry, Lion Mountain is all roar and no bite. Starting in sugar cane fields at Vieux Grand Port it should take 3 hours to complete the ascent and descent – though the path can be difficult to follow in places.

Where to stay: The Residence

With its nostalgic colonial décor The Residence makes for a romantic hideaway from the rest of the world. Breathe in the smell of ylang ylang as you relax by the pool – the hotel is scented throughout.

Book a stay at The Residence

Point d’Esny

A little track between buildings leads you down to this secret beach on the Point d’Esny. Wander down here and you won’t look back. There’s no shade on Point d’Esny, but this stretch of sand is a fantastic place to swim, with a barrier of coral to protect you from any waves, plus wonderful views over Ile Aux Aigrettes. You can kayak over to Aigrettes, where there’s better snorkelling than on the mainland. On arrival you’ll meet gentle Aldabra giant tortoises in addition to pretty birds like the red-headed Mauritius fody and the startled-looking olive white-eyes. Take an eco-tour to borrow a sharp-eyed guide.

Where to stay: Preskil Beach Resort

If you love beaches, you can command your own at Preskil Beach Resort, which sits on a private peninsula with a series of pretty, pocket-sized coves. There are complimentary water sports, including water skiing and windsurfing, plus beach service and three restaurants. Preskil Beach Resort reopens in October 2018.

Book a stay at Preskil Beach Resort

  • Watch kitesurfers racing offshore, Mauritius. © Alberto Guglielmi.

    Did you know?

    Kiteboarders can harness the power of the wind to jump up into the air. The biggest ever recorded jump was 28.6m! Book flights to Mauritius to watch them go.£696 return

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  • Beach Pavilion guest room at La Pirogue, Mauritius. © Sun Resorts.

    La Pirogue

    With their thatched roofs and charming interiors, the guest rooms at La Pirogue are dream beach huts. Book a Beach Pavilion room to be steps from the shore.£3073 pp

    Book La Pirogue
  • Relax on Trou Aux Biches on the north coast of Mauritius. © Romeo Reidl.

    Beachside peace

    Visit the twin delights of Mont Choisy and Trou Aux Biches: two beautiful beaches on the north coast of Mauritius.£3073 pp

    Book La Pirogue

West coast

Find calm beaches favoured by families, and luminescent sunsets that light up the yellow sand.

Tamarin

Rugged and wild, Tamarin is a much-loved Mauritian hangout. It certainly looks the part, with the beautiful heights of La Tourelle as a backdrop. Surrounded by a reef that funnels in waves, the right conditions make Tamarin the best surfing spot on the island. You can play in the waves on a body board, too, but be aware of currents. If the sea is resolutely flat, don’t worry: this area's always good for dolphin-spotting. Several tours to swim with the local pods operate out of the area. You can find shade under the beach’s namesake – Tamarind trees. After your long lounging session, grab a bite at Frenchie Café in town and get some surfing tips from other diners. Then head back to beach for sundown. As with the rest of the west coast, Tamarin sees glorious sunsets.

 

Where to stay: La Pirogue

If it’s a rugged version of Mauritius that you’re seeking, then stay at La Pirogue Resort and Spa. The recently refurbished accommodation include charming thatched huts spaced along the shore. You’ll feel like you’re in your own personal island oasis.

Book a stay at La Pirogue

Flic en Flac

As the western coastline approaches the dramatic landscape of the south, you’ll find great surf spots and breath-taking clifftop walks. On the southwest coast rests the resort town of Flic en Flac, which is home to the longest beach on the island. After Grand Baie, the Flic en Flac area is Mauritius’ second most popular tourist hub. Busy, attractive and fun, it’s well-serviced with essentials: eateries, shops and ATMs. But you’re here for the beach. The wide, white seam of sand is a whopping 8km long with shallow water and gentle currents. The area’s funny name might have you thinking of flip flops, but it comes from its original Dutch name Fried Landt Flaak – free and flat land. It’s not all flat, though – at one end of the beach you’ll have a pretty view of Tamarin Mountain.

Where to stay: Sugar Beach

Sugar Beach Golf & Spa Resort has a massive, lagoon-style main pool and plenty of spacious accommodations, including family suites.

Book a stay at Sugar Beach

North coast

The developed north coast of Mauritius has plenty of busy beaches – including built-up Grand Baie, but you’ll need to hunt around for a quieter spot.

Mont Choisy

The beautiful Mont Choisy beach in the north west corner of the island is long, blonde and lovely with beautiful water for bathing. It’s around 5km from Grand Baie, and although inexpensive buses run to the area, it’s normally quiet and calm. Fishing boats swing gently in the water, and loungers can stretch out in the shade cast by a long line of trees along the beach’s edge. When you’re done lounging, gather up your towel and wander up the main road, where there are stacks of snack shacks. It’s all just north of a popular beach known as Trou Aux Biches, which is also worth a visit.

 

Where to stay: Maritim Resort & Spa

The nearby Baie Aux Tortues (another great beach) is the location of the massive Maritim Resort & Spa, an All Inclusive resort set among gorgeous, flower-filled grounds. Your family will find endless activities, from fishing trips with the kids club to meeting the horses at the on-site stables.

Book a stay at Maritim Resort & Spa

La Cuvette

With Grand Baie too clogged with watercraft to be considered suitable for swimming, seek out La Cuvette, just a fraction to the north. At only 80m long or so it’s short and sweet, and popular with the locals; plus you’re only a few sandy steps away from restaurants of the Grand Baie area. La Cuvette is serviced by a convenient car park, in addition to changing rooms and drinks stalls – so families will find it their go-to spot in the north.

Where to stay: Zilwa Attitude

Zilwa Attitude is a popular All Inclusive four-star resort with plenty of local flavour, from its rustic-chic rooms to its traditional Indian Ocean cuisine. Beach seekers will love the excursions to Gran Zil, a desert island off the shore, for a BBQ.

Book a stay at Zilwa Attitude

South coast

Thought of as the scenic south, the southern tip of the island cuts a rugged coastline – with lots of bays, coves and off-shore reefs – which are great for snorkelling. Discover the island’s wilder side.

Le Morne

You’ll find a kitesurfing beach sitting under the shadow of the sorrowful clifftops of Le Morne Brabant. A strong breeze sweeps expert riders across waves parallel to the shore. Spectators, hold onto your hats. Visit Le Morne Brabant whilst you’re here. Once a refuge for runaway slaves, the peninsula comes with a tragic legend. To evade capture, several slaves jumped to their deaths from its rocky heights. It’s now a World Heritage site and one of the best hikes on the island.

Where to stay: LUX Le Morne

LUX Le Morne brings a bit of fun to Mauritius’ luxury hotel scene, from its signature red telephone boxes (for calling home and telling everyone how much fun you’re having) to its pop up cinema and secret bars.

Book a stay at LUX Le Morne

  • Take a boat over the 'underwater waterfall', in the shadow of the Le Morne Brabant mountain, Mauritius. © Myroslava.

    Underwater waterfall

    Seen from above, the dramatic shelving of the sea floor off the coast of Le Morne looks like it has water flowing over the top of it, like an 'underwater waterfall'. In fact, it's an optical illusion caused by sand and silt, but the effect is nothing short of astouding.

Blue Bay Beach

Viewed from above, Blue Bay resembles a yin yang of light blue water and dark blue reef. It’s the island’s most famous snorkelling spot and the whole bay is rife with glass bottom boat tours. You can save money by simply snorkelling from the beach; there aren’t many places in Mauritius where you can access coral so easily from the mainland. Though there are signs of coral bleaching, there is still plenty of sea life, plus calm blue water. Chase shoals of fish and seek out surfacing turtles. Just look out for boats that are also searching for marine life, and be aware of the current. Little ones might want to investigate the rock pools. They become beautiful ocean microcosms when the tide recedes.

Where to stay: Shandrani Beachcomber Resort

On the southeast end of Blue Bay marine park, Shandrani Beachcomber Resort is a large, luxurious All Inclusive with one of the best beaches on the island just next door: check out Wild Beach to take in its heart-stopping beauty.

Book a stay at Shandrani Beachcomber Resort