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10 Best Beaches in Mauritius

Some of the hidden beaches in Mauritius are still a well-kept secret.


By Joe Worthington, Fodor's

A tiny speck on the map in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is home to some of the world’s finest beaches, with powdery white sand, thriving coral reefs just feet away, and towering shaded palm trees that produce refreshing coconuts–but many of these perfect beaches are full of tourists. While luxury hotels often have their own private beaches, nothing beats having a beach all to yourself. For the ultimate Mauritius experience, find one of these secret beaches.


Le Morne

This long, white beach forms part of the UNESCO-listed Le Morne peninsula, a haven of tranquil forests and towering peaks in southwestern Mauritius. Except for the odd windsurfer soaring overhead or jetski thundering by, the casuarina (a type of oak) tree-lined beach is void of tourists. The south-west coast of Mauritius is a popular haunt for sharks, so watch out if you decide to go for a paddle in the water.


Riambel

Powdery sand and palm trees are common across Mauritius, but Riambel beach is completely empty most of the time. The beach is just a few steps from the coral reef, but when you tire of the solitude and pristine turquoise waters, there are a number of abandoned beach bungalows to explore, with vines crawling up the walls and exotic birds nesting on the roofs. Riambel beach gently curves, with black rock formations at one end and green grass verges at the other.


INSIDER TIP
Just a few feet from the beach are thriving coral reefs with exotic fish, jellyfish, and stingrays.


Trou d’Eau Douce

Translated from French, the name of this beach and its surrounding village literally means ‘fresh water hole’, and that is essentially what it is. The beach, in eastern Mauritius, looks out onto Cerf Island and even on a dull day the coral reef can be spotted casting a shadow over the clear waters on this part of the coast. Although Cerf Island itself is without a doubt the most popular tourist attraction in the country, few tourists take the time to walk a few minutes along the coast to the secluded beaches. A forest of casuarina trees separates the hidden powdery beach from the coastal road and village behind.


INSIDER TIP
There are countless old wooden fishing boats that have either been abandoned or have washed ashore on Trou d’Eau Douce’s beaches. Many are still covered in colorful barnacles and dried starfish.


Ile des Deux Cocos

If you want a slice of luxury like you’d experience at a private beach resort, then the beach at Ile des Deux Cocos in the southeast of the island is the perfect choice. Clear water gently laps the white sandy beach on this small island just a short boat ride from the mainland. The boat journey passes over coral blooms and mangroves, but only those in the know are aware of the beaches on this island. The large beach is covered with a forest, with sand that gently slopes into the sea with no other people in sight.


Gris Gris

As with much of southern Mauritius, Gris Gris beach symbolizes the wild and rugged side of the island that few tourists know about. Gris Gris has the yellow sandy coves like much of the island, but the untamed grassy cliffs as a backdrop offer unrivaled views of the rough white waves that crash onto the beaches here. Few tourists visit this beach because it is not calm and serene like the north of the island, making this an ideal spot to escape from crowds.


INSIDER TIP
Follow the beach to La Roche Qui Pleure, a natural rock formation in the cliffs that appears to cry as the continuous waves lash the cliff face.


La Preneuse

Named after a French ship that became shipwrecked in this part of western Mauritius, the La Preneuse beach once served as a lookout during naval battles between France and Britain in the 18th century. Today, the beach is rarely visited, which is great for visitors looking for large stretches of white sand and shaded grassy banks to relax on. The beach is also home to the largest Martello tower in Mauritius, a towering round stone tower that defended the island from bombardments from the sea.


Grand Bay

The Grand Bay area is actually a series of connected beaches, each with their own unique properties. The Grand-Baie public beach with its sailboat-dotted waters does get quite busy at weekends, but nearby La Cuvette is undiscovered. No beaches in Mauritius are like La Cuvette, thick with lush green forests and only a few yardss in length. Its turquoise lagoon is safe and easily accessible and best of all, the views from the black rocks out to sea are simply spectacular.


Poste la Fayette

Located beside the village of Poste la Fayette in north-eastern Mauritius, this beach may be directly opposite the luxury resort, but it is undiscovered by most visitors. Powdery white sands feel great under the feet, but the southern part of the beach surrounds shallow lagoons and islets dotted with mangrove trees and the odd palm tree. You can while away the hours watching stingrays and jellyfish gliding through the transparent water, or tie your hammock between palm trees and relax in the warm midday sun.

INSIDER TIP
Follow the Poste la Fayette beach south and keep walking until you come to an otherworldly field of black rocks. This is one of a handful of beach trek routes in the country.


Pointe d’Esny

This is one of the best kept secrets in the southeast of Mauritius, away from the tourist crowds and rarely visited by locals. This beach is on the outer edge of Mah├ębourg and is hard to find unless you stumble upon it while exploring the coast in this part of the island. A small 150-meter-long path leads to the beach from the coastal road, surrounded by private land, with thick forests hiding the beach from public view.



INSIDER TIP
The coral reefs are a few miles away from the beach, so the crystal-clear waters and soft underwater sand under foot are perfect for paddling safely.


La Cambuse

La Cambuse beach is located just a short walk from the main airport in Mauritius, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Airport, and most flights pass over it, but few people actually venture out to this south-eastern beach. Visitors will be surprised by the sheer size of this beach–it is huge. Although the currents are strong, it is just a short walk through shallow waters out to a partially-open coral reef with plentiful snorkeling opportunities to spot bright and colorful exotic fish. The beach is hemmed in by grassy fields and woody forests, but the sand is powdery and extremely clean.

INSIDER TIP
There are a number of private property signs surrounding the beach and surrounding sugar plantations, but these are just to prevent trespassing on the airport grounds, not the beach.



See more at: Fodor's

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