There are many islets around Mauritius, all beautiful and unique in their own particular way. île aux Cerfs, an island extending over an area of 79 hectares, situated on the eastern coast, a few steps from Trou d’Eau Douce, can be reached in 15 minutes by boat from the coast.
The Sunbathing Paradise
An aerial view reveals the dramatic shapes and colours of the lagoon surrounding îleeaux Cents. It is a sun worshippers’ paradise, perfect for sunbathing. The rays of the morning sun hitting the isle is a dream sight This tiny isle, delicately poised on the blue pastel sea, is a pearl in the Mauritian landscape.
How to get there?
A regular boating service ensures visitors safe and secure crossing to the island. However, visitors and picnickers are advised to make an early start to avoid congestion and obtain a suitable place for pitching a small canvas tent or secure a shady place for leaving baggage or resting and protecting from the scorching heat. In the afternoon, an early return too is advisable to avoid last minute rush that may end in disaster.
A hotel Island
The islet has surely been named for stags existing on it. It was inhabited by deer the Dutch brought from Java. Now there are no more. The development of tourism has brought the islet into the limelight. The construction of Touessrok helped a lot in the development of the island by boosting its charm to attract more customers. Its care and maintenance fell within the jurisdiction of the hotel that still sees to its smooth administration and controls the flow of visitors and the food that they carry along with them.
A blue Turquoise Lagoon
The popularity of the island is going crescendo as it provides unusual pleasures and fares to its votaries. The island so far has not suffered drastically at the hands of man for it still retains most of its pristine charm and beauty of a mini woodland lost in an emerald and pastel blue sea ruffled by the South-East Trades Wind. The ripples that glisten on the water on a calm and placid sea present a wonderful sight that one can go on admiring for hours on end. The thundering of me waves or the soft sound coupled with the rustling of the foliage produce at times a mellifluous music or at times an ear-splitting cacophony.
A natural Charm
Ile aux Cerfs like Chamarel has developed into a cynosure due mainly to its natural charm reminiscent of Shakespeare’s description of England in King Richard II. “This precious isle found in a silvery sea….” It is known for its lagoons, its natural swimming pools, superb sandy beaches like everywhere in the island. It7s the most frequented excursion destination in the island. It welcomes around eight hundred visitors every day. The island reckons a lush and green vegetation on the western flank confining the tourists within a radius of four hundred metres around the landing place. It is a very beautiful place that immediately takes the eye captive There are many rovers around that propose cruises or short trips or fishing expeditions. The trips sometimes include travels towards the cascade of G.R.S.E though sometimes access to it is difficult and even risky.
There is a lot for the eyes to see… There is a nice lagoon near the landing station. It is pleasant for swimming. It has a soft slope that children take much delight in by gliding down Gift shops stand in a line arraying different items like pareos, straw hats, swimming trunks, sports shoes, umbrellas, bracelets and coral necklaces, the proud products of Mauritian crafts.
What to do on île aux Cerfs
There are two restaurants, Paul et Virginie and Le Marche that cater for all tastes but at an unaffordable price by locals. The latter bring their own bread and soft drinks or water There is plenty to do. On the right of the landing station the azure blue sea with pure white sands are perfect for both basking and swimming. The calm waters of the lagoon are ideal for water sports such as snorkelling, relaxing over a long, lazy lunch is almost compulsory. It has also a crazy golf course. It is a par-72, 7,056-yard course that extends over 94 acres amongst tropical vegetation. It has 9 lakes and small greens that enhance the beautiful panoramic view suitable for film shots. Hiking, leisurely strolls in a natural setting with filao trees and other shrubs and its endemic fauna and flora, exotic plants that have survived the test of time and man’s defiling hands need be preserved. The rare species in terms of birds like the mynas, the redbird, the tiny crawlers, the lizards, the chameleons, die mongoose, a few rare plants, creepers and other savage flowers still tantalize the visitors.
A ramble along the sandy beach reveals a different facet of the island that may qualify it as a nudist paradise. Tourists lie almost naked on the sand and attract curious sex starving people who take advantage of washing their eyes. The more intrepid ones do enjoy some sex with their partners as the atmosphere is congenial to such a ritual. There is the feeling of having spent a nice time at the end of the day.
Garden of Eden
The visit might be funnier had staying overnight under canvas been allowed. Unfortunately, the isle has to be vacated at 5 p.m. The visitor may borrow the road from Bel Air and proceed to Trou D’eau Douce and then turn right along a road with a splendid view it’s bordered by trees bearing red or yellow or pink flowers at intervals. They are very aesthetically planted along both sides of the road that leads to the landing station with a spacious parking lot for safe and secure parking. Ile aux Certs is in fact a garden of Eden as many tourists declare otter visiting it.
A lonesome island lost in the Indian Ocean offers beauty, relaxation and adventure beyond measure. Its breathtaking blue seas and white sandy beaches ever warmed by the tropical sun, earned Mauritius its reputation as the Paradise Island. A tempting image, perfect for the holidays this year, I should say…
While there are luxury hotels in Mauritius and grandiose holiday packages, it is possible for the average guy to enjoy his holidays fully on a low budget. The best things the island has to offer are not limited to the wealthy only. A little tweaking here and there- will leave you with the perfect vacation without much hassle.
Sunny beaches, turquoise waters!
The turquoise, jewel-like sea, bordered by endless beautiful beaches are what usually tempts most visitors. There are alternatives to simply renting a parasol (beach umbrella) and laying there the whole day, enjoying the bronzing process.
The beach in Mauritius is one endless stretch of sand and sea. The best way to enjoy this to the fullest is to get up, arm yourself with a cap, water and a pair of sandals for the rocky parts. Else, it is a pleasure to enjoy a barefoot walk on the beach, buy some ice cream (ice cream sellers are present at nearly every corner) or even lunch in a seaside restaurant. You will enjoy the salty air and a fantastic view along with your food.
Drive Yourself Around and Explore!
Renting a car in Mauritius is fairly easy, even from before landing. The roads are well-marked, making it effortless to drive around the island. The island is rather small and the roads are developed enough to provide a moderately swift travel. This will be less costly than hiring a driver along with the car. Mauritians inherited much from the time it had been colonized by the British, for instance, driving on the left side of the road!
Be Adventurous with your Food!
Acquired from the various cultures grouped as one, the food has evolved throughout the years to take on a uniquely Mauritian taste. You may need to be somewhat wary of the spice levels given the deep love the locals have for chilies. Thai peppers are commonplace in most recipes, especially Indian ones.
There is no need to stick to luxury restaurants for the duration of your stay on the island- a few glamorous dinners would suffice if the budget is tight.
It is here that the car comes to great use. You may of course rely on the public transport system but travelling after sunset would be quite difficult. There is little to no late night activity among the inhabitants themselves.
Take the car to the capital city, in the evening and early night, Port Louis becomes a hub for the street foodies. The streets smell like shawarma and briani at every turn. They are rather cheap and very filling if you do not mind the extra calories!
During the day, dholl puri makes for a good alternative- it costs way less than a Big Mac!
Shopping, Shopping and… More Shopping.
Clothes back home are a hard on the purse, especially in the US and while the Europeans do fare a little better- the big surprise is that much of the clothes are actually made in Mauritius, especially the cotton and wool products. Having an extra suitcase to bring home some bargains might make your family members eternally grateful!
It is important to shop wisely. Avoiding places without clearly marked prices around Caudan and Grand Bay is a good start. Store keepers may not hesitate to demand exorbitant prices from the obvious tourist, hoping to make a big buck.
Walking around Port Louis or even Rose Hill can be eventful, the shops are numerous and the variety available is surprising. Everything from trinkets to sportswear are waiting to be discovered.
Unique Wonders of Mauritius- Colored Earths sound intriguing?
Inexplicable yet behold a miraculous view… The layers of different colored earths, formed naturally and never seeming to sustain any damage from cyclonic weather or torrential rainfall is located in Chamarel. It is a small village housing this little sensation. The visit offers a short hike as well as shops selling souvenirs. Definitely a must-do during your holidays in Mauritius. Treating your eyes and taking some pictures for the family back home sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it?
For The Lucky Nature Enthusiast:
Being an island of volcanic origin, Mauritius offers multiple mountain ranges, ideal for hiking. Pieter Both is particularly attractive, climbing a mountain to visit the little man at the top is charming. The climb is not a difficult one, a guide is necessary to prevent any mishaps.
The mountain giving you a perpetual thumbs up, where on earth could you find better motivation? Climbing Le Pouce Mountain can be a titillating experience if one views it that way. The map for the path to be taken can easily be downloaded online and a parking area is available at the start of trail.
Mountain climbing in Mauritius is a scenic affair, with the view becoming even more breathtaking the higher you go. From Pieter Both, you will see the harbor on one side and sugarcane plantation on the other while Le Pouce offers the view of Petit Verger. It is an adventure away from the grimy city life without the constant supply of pollution. You may find yourself surprised at how extremely refreshing such an experience can be.
If you are not a fan of physical activity, you do have other options on the table. Don’t give up just yet- Mauritius has more to offer.
A little walk down a pathway and you find yourself surrounded by trees older than centuries with endemic plants all around flourishing. Is that of interest to you? Then a visit to the SSR Botanical Garden is long overdue!
The entrance fee is less than a dollar and it is open throughout the week- convenience and affordability in one go.
Mauritius is hardly an old country but it makes up in quality for what it may lack in quantity. This beautiful island has a rich history of people from all around the world settling here, bringing with them a plethora of cultures to create what we have today. The island is one of the few countries in the world which has no violent past among the races and religions. Every little thing possible to preserve has been kept intact for the viewing pleasure of both Mauritians and tourists. You will enjoy a glimpse into the past of the society that exists today in near perfect harmony.
Museums in Mauritius
The museums are scattered all around the island and visiting them is not at all expensive. The Postal Museum is a relic of times gone by yet still sturdy. Don’t miss it! The Natural History Museum has no entrance fee and it is conveniently located in the capital city. A visit to the museum and lunch at the bazaar (market place) along with a bit of shopping appears to be the impeccable educational family outing when in the country.
** If you are looking to rent accommodations for your holidays, check out these exclusive villas in Mauritius!
Mauritius is surrounded by the immensity of the Indian Ocean. Those clear, warm colored, blue turquoise water enveloping the island adds up to its magnificence. Its endless white beaches shaded by coconut trees make Mauritius an ideal tropical holiday destination.
An array of spots is offered by the island commonly pictured as the paradise of the Indian Ocean. Its large lagoons bordered with fine white sand are the incarnation of paradise to those desiring to enjoy the sea, the sand and the sun. All around the island, large strips of beaches promises matchless relaxing possibilities.
With approximately 330 km of breath-taking beaches at every corner of the coastline, Mauritius ensures not only spectacular lagoons but also assures calm water conditions, ideal for swimming, bathing and snorkeling since the entire island is surrounded by coral reefs.
On many of these beaches you are sure to find hotels and beach resorts. However it is important to know that all beaches of Mauritius are public. Most Mauritius public beaches are safe for bathing and swimming, and ideal for coastal walks and scenic sightseeing. So whether you are lodging at a hotel or villa, all the beaches are accessible to each and everyone.
Beaches in the North of Mauritius
Famous for its outstanding number of activities proposed on its beaches, northern beaches offer water sports such as waterskiing, windsurfing, sailing, deep sea fishing, and parasailing. In the evenings you will have the opportunity to enjoy amazing views on the sunset while sipping a drink at any of the trendy bars and or restaurants situated along the coastline.
Mont Choisy Beach
The public beach of Mont Choisy is situated between Pointe aux Cannoniers and Mont Choisy and is almost 3 kilometers in length with white sand bends around the coast creating a bay of beautiful turquoise water, lined with the casuarina trees providing shade from the sun.
The beach might not be that busy during week days but during the weekend it is quite full. In case you are looking for a quieter and more intimate beach atmosphere make sure to visit the beach during the weekdays and not during the weekends.
A small, but very busy, beach which is quite popular amongst Mauritian citizens for its cleanliness. The beach will not disappoint! If you walk across the rocks on the right you will find more secluded spots to sunbathe in privacy and even spot many tropical fish such as the angel fish.
Pereybere beach is full of life with fast food stalls spread along the beach selling kebab, sandwiches and also fresh pineapple. Also, few meters from the beach you will find many bars and restaurants serving Chinese, Mauritian and International cuisine.
La Cuvette Beach
The public beach of La Cuvette is the closest center of Grand Bay. The beach might be small but intimacy is maximized and you will be able to fully enjoy the beach. The water is very tranquil and the beach is clear of rocks and corals.
Grand Bay Public Beach
The Grand Bay public beach is situated at the very center of Grand Bay. Due to active boat and catamaran traffic inside the bay, the public beach has only a small area in which you can enter the water and you will surely not come across waters that are as clear as in other beaches.The Grand Bay public beach is easily accessible by walk and you enjoy range of facilities offered on and along the coast like fresh juice stands, fast food stalls, ice cream parlours and restaurants.
Anse La Raie Beach
Anse La Raie Beach is located near the village of Calodyne, in the north of Mauritius. Several things can be said about Anse La Raie beach, but few visitors would probably consider this area as a beach as such.
Situated northwest of Calodyne, this area enjoys the same stunning views of the north Indian Ocean in a more peaceful and quiet environment. With clean and clear waters the lagoons offers great opportunities for both snorkelling and perhaps a bit of Mauritius kite surfing al dente!
For a better beach spot, head east of Anse La Raie. Park at Anse La Raie beach, cross the rocks to your northeast and walk along the coast, and you will find shallow waters and a small sandy beach. But still remain cautious the tide rises quickly there.
Poudre d’Or Beach
Poudre d’Or Beach is located in the village of Poudre d’Or, in the north-east part of Mauritius, near the rocky grounds on the northeast coast. You will have to look hard to find any sand here at all, and the waters tend to be rather muddy and brown most of the time throughout the year.
Yet, the area is a good spot for a quiet lunch under one of the many trees, and you will not have to struggle to find a spot of your own. There is also a monument of the world famous (and fictional) story of the two friends and lovers Paul & Virginie.
Beaches in the West of Mauritius
Beautiful beaches and magnificent sunsets are the best thing you can wish for your holidays, and the west coast is the perfect place for the best sunsets. The western part of the island is the ideal destination for surfers where the waves and wind conditions provide ideal conditions for surfing.
Flic en Flac Beach
The beach of Flic en Flac is located between the village of Albion and Tamarin and remains one of the longest beaches of Mauritius. It is a fantastic corner for bathing, swimming, snorkeling and for spending a day relaxing. With its white sand and a turquoise blue lagoon, Flic en Flac is protected by coral reefs and offers best swimming possibilities without strong sea currents.
Flic en Flac is the place to be at sunset- you will witness the sky fill with range of colors-which is a feast to the eyes. The sight of the sun disappearing in the sea with the remarkable scenery of the beach all around is quite breathtaking.
The sights of the Tamarin beach with the Black River mountain range in the background are stunning and make the visit to Tamaran beach worthwhile. With its yellowish sand consisting of soft sand mixed with little stones, Tamaring beach remains unique in its own way and is clear from corals, stones and sea urchins.
You will also have the chance to cross the river of Tamarin, which cuts the beach in two parts, from one part to the other by crossing the river by foot. The only problem there is that no coral reefs are present and sometimes strong currents can drag you away and on many occasions you will see waves reaching all the way to the beach which can be ideal for those surf lovers.
Le Morne Beach
Le Morne is situated on the south west tip of Mauritius and its beaches are located on the west part of the Le Morne peninsula on the foot of the Le Morne Brabant. The public beach of Le Morne is a lush beach surrounded by very clear waters providing great visibility without forgetting a magnificent landscape with Le Morne Mountain as an imposing background.
The Le Morne beach is particularly popular for windsurfing and kite surfers. The perfect wind conditions almost all year-round makes this beach one of the top kite and windsurfing destinations in the world. Swimming is also possible but you should always be cautious since kite surfers and surfers are always gliding on this lagoon.
South Coast Beaches of Mauritius
The south of Mauritius is considered to be a more virgin region of the Island providing wilder scenery and is also known for its high sea cliffs and for the dramatic sights of the big waves crushing against the rocks. Since there are breaks in the coral reef at that area, waves can reach all the way to the coast thus making the sight of Mauritius south coastline very dramatic and picturesque.
Riviere des Galets Beach
The Riviere des Galets beach is located between Souillac and Bel Ombre and is easily accessible when driving on the southern coastal road. Riviere des Galets beach is a great place to enjoy relaxing big waves crashing on the shore. The unique smell of the sea and the light breeze brushing your cheeks are unique experiences you will encounter there. There sand is barely visible, the only thing visible are “galets” and this makes this beach quite unique in the world.
Ilôt Sancho is yet another surprise this southern coast reserves for you. The island is reachable by walk from the beach of the Riviere des Gallet by crossing the very shallow sea on this spot. Ilôt Sancho might be small but the walk around it will last some minutes and is worthwhile since you will have an unparalleled view of the southern coast from there- Swimming is not allowed near the island.
St Félix Beach
The beach of St. Felix is located near Bel Ombre and Souilliac. It is one of the most beautiful beach of the southern coast and actually consists of two small separated beaches of which the more eastern beach is most recommended. The beach itself is very beautiful and the trees and vegetation along the coastline provide a dramatic colors contrast to the beach and sea. Swimming and bathing is not possible at St Felix due to the strong sea currents and the many corals scattered along the beach but is still worth a visit for relaxation.
La Cambuse Beach
La Cambuse Beach is located near the village of Mon Desert, in the south east part of Mauritius, in the Grand Port district. It remains one of the least visited beaches in Mauritius – considering its size.
Although virtually unknown to most tourists, La Cambuse Beach is actually a public beach. It is east of the airport towards the Shandrani Resort and Spa complex. After the narrow rocky road leading to the beach, you can enjoy a very nice, sandy beach with crystal clear waters that you will usually have to yourself.
A word of advice: The currents in the area are very strong, and this is definitely not a beach for the little ones.
Gris Gris Beach
Gris Gris is the must place to see. Gris Gris beach offers the visitors a magnificent view from the top of its cliffs. This part of the island is not surrounded by coral reefs which causes the thick waves crash directly on the cliffs creating big splashes of water. The most spectacular part of Gris-gris is “La Roche Qui Pleure” where the constant squashing of waves against the flanks of the cliff gives the impression that the cliff is crying.
East Coast Beaches of Mauritius
The east of the island remains the wilder and the less developed part of Mauritius and offers a spectacular view of wild nature. As you walk the eastern coast, the beaches are more virgin yet less crowded. This is what makes those beaches quite attractive.
Blue Bay Beach
The South East coast is different from the rest of the coastline because of its wide public beach for which the place is known and is a popular attraction.
Blue Bay is one of the most popular beaches in the South East. It derived its name from the clear azure sea. Ancient governors of the island were fascinated by Blue Bay and spent a lot of time there.
Blue Bay is next to Pointe d’Esny if you arrive from Mahebourg and go towards the south. The middle part of the bay has a characteristic changeable blue palette, made up of anything from dark blue to royal blue. The luminosity of the place seems k to be trapped in a lagoon and it is renowned for its corals, most of which are still alive.
The beach owes its popularity to its calm waters conducive to numerous aquatic activities like snorkelling and diving. Swimming, fishing, boating, water polo, skiing, boat racing and even walking on the sea bed where the waters are shallow tantalise visitors and other sea lovers who marvel at the glistening, scintillating blue water or the white foamy chasing earn other to the shore or the small fishing boats sailing back from their trips.
A choice destination for locals
Blue Bay is always packed with people during the weekend and on public holidays. Tourists and Mauritian families alike flock to the place to enjoy ‘a day at the beach’. In the summer, the sea is always luke warm and it is a real delight to take the plunge and swim or dive at leisure. Because of its shallow water and vast public beach, Blue Bay is a favourite place with families with kids who never tire of playing on the beach or in the water under the watchful eye of their parents.
Many people tend to indulge in various activities – generally playing their favourite games to pass the time. So, while a few people would read a book under the shade of filao trees, others play boka or rummy or scrabble. Many, often after drinking a few beers, would start singing and dancing.
The Marine Park
Blue Bay has a marine park. The lagoon is surrounded by coral reefs and has unique coral gardens. The marine ecosystem provides a rare beauty with its many different species of fauna and flora. The area accommodates seventy-two different types of corals and thirty-two different species of fish. It is said that some of the corals in Blue Bay may be up to 800 years old.
It is easy to get to the coral gardens and admire them in glass bottom boats. Sometimes, when the sea is extremely calm, people take a dive in order to go and have a better view of the underwater world.
But there is more. Not far from Blue Bay, there is an islet called île de Deux Cocos which is close to the marine park. The coral reefs protect this little island from oceanic waves. The marine park is also home to mangroves, algae, sea grasses and weeds, corals and other marine organisms. There is also a wide variety of fish species namely the Damselfish, Surgeonfish, Butterfly fish, juvenile Sailfish tangs, as well as tiny Pipefish and large Trumpet fish. All these help to make the glass bottom boat trips to the park an enjoyable and memorable experience.
The Blue Bay Marine Park was proclaimed a National Park under the Wild Life and National Parks Act in October 1997. It was then declared a Marine Protected Area and designated a Marine Park in June 2000.
It is to be deplored that the National Coast Guard at the Marine park is unfortunately too lenient and the number of boats near to the park might soon damage the corals.
Last but not least Blue Bay is blessed with a very cosy and quiet environment. Two hotels, namely Shandrani and Blue Bay Hotel add to the importance of the village. They are both 5-star hotels offering a range of services in addition to accommodation and wining and dining: they also cater for conferences and weddings and is a favourite destination for honeymooners.
Its marine park which one of the biggest marine park of the island is one of its major attraction. Blue Bay Marine Park is an ideal destination for snorkeling trips and it is easily accessible and provides magnificent underwater scenery for those passionate of snorkeling.
Blue Bay is a great place to stay during your vacation in Mauritius, whether you are opting for a self catering beach villa in Blue Bay, hotel, or bungalows.
Belle Mare Beach
The beautiful beach of Belle Mare is located on a coastal region in the east of Mauritius This beach is famous for its particularly fine and white sand and for its calm waters as there is a great deep lagoon that runs between the shoreline and the beach. The Belle Mare beach sand is very white and pristine.
Because of its length the beach of Belle Mare is perfectly suited for sport activities like jogging and walking along which can be a real treat for those sports lovers.
Poste Lafayette Beach
Poste Lafayette Beach is located in the north east part of Mauritius. It is also known as Jalsa Beach. Poste Lafayette offers a peaceful surrounding.To the south of the beach you will find little but shallow waters and small islands dotted with mangrove trees.
During the weekends you will find a few snack vendors around, selling burgers and similar stuffs. The scenery varies from pristine white beaches with powder sand, to kilometre long black rock landscapes along Poste Lafayette beach.
Ile Aux Cerfs
Ile Aux Cerfs is an outer island that can be visiting in the east of Mauritius. The beach there is great for relaxation, but the lagoon is quite shallow, being an ideal spot for smaller children to swim, Adults will have the opportunity to enjoy water sports like para-sailing, kayaking and many more.
Operators there offers packages comprising of a visit to the GRNE Waterfall followed by a visit to Ile Aux Cerfs and lunch on Ile Aux Margini where Mauritian Specialties is proposed. This is a great place to spend a day just before ending your holidays on the island.