Beaches are beautiful, plentiful, safe and of the finest coral sand. The white sand gently mixes with the remarkably clear turquoise sea, look carefully and you’ll see small fish swimming in the shallows of the natural lagoon while much further out the ocean waves break on the reef.
The local’s favourite is Pereybere, this public beach offers safe swimming on a very soft sand in a small bay with ample place to lie in the sun or take in a relaxing drink at the nearby beach cafe. Just off the coast road from Grand Baie, there are a few villas and shops, with room for parking.
La Cuvette, just at the top of Grand Baie is another favourite spot with locals, though close to the main tourist trap this hidden little spot is rarely found by tourists.
Across the island you’ll find long stretches of beach in most resort towns, such as Belle Mare, Trou Aux Biches and Flic en Flac. These long stretches consist of public beaches and frontages of hotels. The public beaches are quieter during the week and are a magnet for Mauritian families at weekends, whether quiet or busy they are generally safe,with the odd hawker trying to sell glass bottom boat tours or day trips. Civil in their persistence, they will generally leave you alone once it’s clear you won’t be buying, if you do decide to buy take common sense precautions like ensuring the boat is shared with others and that there are life preserverson board. The glass bottom boats are generally worth the fee as you get to see some stunning fish and coral.
Tamarin Bay Beach is worth a visit. Very occationaly huge surf comes right through a break in the surrounding coral reef and finds its way to the Bay of Tamarin on Mauritius’ southwest shore. Because of the topography of the island at this point, the breakers can be very sweet. Tamarin Bay, or Baie du Tamarin, is shallow salt flats. The beach is very nice, and there are some nice facilities nearby. But Tamarin Bay has sort of a rough around the edges feel for Mauritius. Beyond the palm and casuarina trees lies some grand landscape. Close by you’ll find the forest and mountains – well, part of the volcano that was here eons ago. It’s worth the time to check it out by trekking to the trees and taking in nature at its best.
In the South, Blue Bay is a favourite place as the glass bottom boats take you on a tour of the coral nature reserve, a protected site teeming with fish in this 50m deep natural lagoon. A net protects swimmers from the shelf edge that drops from 2m to 50m in aninstant. The depth of the lagoon gives the bay it’s name as the water is a very deep blue when viewed from the air. You may see it from your aircraft as the flight path often takes you overhead.
Ile aux Cerfs This is surely one of the top destinations on the island. There are two small islands, situated off the coast by Trou D’Eau Douce, accessible by boat from the town or by speed boat from the boathouse at the luxury Touessrok Hotel, you are dropped at a jetty and then meander through a small series of smalls to a stunning location, consisting of white sandy beaches, incredible distances of shallow water out towards the reef, you can parasail, take catamaran trips, speedboat trips around to the waterfalls, snorkel, or simply take a relaxing stroll along miles of deserted tropical beach.
Swimming is prohibited at Gris Gris in the south of the island, at Soulliac. This wild and windy part of the coastline shows the power of the ocean as breakers crash directly onto the rocks, the beach here is hammered relentlessly by the waves threatening to pull anyone foolhardy enough to enter the sea under. Not surprisingly, most prefer the safety of the view from the cliffs where you can enjoy the cooling breeeze and the sound of the “siffle” , the whistling sound made as the wind races through a hole in one of the rock formations.
Undersea Walk Mauritius is one of a only a few places worldwide where you can walk on the sea bed in perfect safety. Available through your hotel or from Grand Bay, you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or let us know and we will organise this for you. This truly is an unforgettable experience where fish can even eat from your hand.
Blue Safari This submarine takes you on a tour of the reefs and undersea life well out in the deeper parts of the ocean . It leaves from Grand Baie in the north of the island, where you can pick up the boat which serves the submarine. Get more info from the Blue Safari website.