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.
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.
Ile Aux Cerfs – Four Seasons Resort at Anahita private beach
If you’re looking for a more private way to experience the Ile Aux Cerfs, then book in to the Four Seasons Resort. The hotel offers boat excursions to its own exclusive beach on the island via speedboat – so guests can soon experience the feel of the softest, whitest sand between their toes. The resort has stationed a Beach Grill on the island outpost, which is kept stocked up by the fresh catches of local fishermen.
Where to stay: Four Seasons Resort at Anahita
As well as its beach on the Ile Aux Cerfs, Four Seasons has two secluded beaches in its grounds on the mainland. Discrete and luxurious, this resort comprises of luxury villas dotted around leafy grounds and hammock-strung palms – so you can enjoy peace and privacy – emerging only for dinner at the selection of fine restaurants. There’s also a complimentary 18-hole golf course.
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. If you’re a lacking a PADI, you can still go underwater thanks to a popular ‘undersea walk’ at Belle Mare. You don’t even need to be able to swim to participate – by donning a bubble-shaped, astronaut-style helmet, you can actually walk on the sea bed instead.
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 time for summer 2019.