Let’s face it – we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches in Mauritius. Wherever you go on the island you’ll come across the turquoise waters and pale sands you’ve been drooling over on the internet. So which ones do you visit? Or which one do you base yourself at? Here’s a roundup of what I think are the best beaches in Mauritius, having visited over 15 across the 5 weeks I was there.
Note: public vs private
A lot of beaches have sun loungers, umbrellas, etc, on them as part of hotel complexes. These parts of the beach are still open to the public – all beaches in Mauritius are public, wahey! – but access to them is usually only via the beachfront.
#4 Ile aux Cerfs
There’s a lot to offer on this beautiful island, a short boat ride off the mainland. The beaches are perfect, the water is warm, calm, and the most incredible colour. The main beaches can get very busy, especially in peak season, but the great thing is that with a bit of walking/exploring there are lots of secret spots to take advantage of (at low tide you can walk across to the other island Ilot Mangenie which is significantly quieter, and boat companies will take you to other beaches). These spots feel so special and gorgeous.
If you’re into swimming or snorkelling it’ll take you an age to reach water that reaches past your legs as the lagoon is so shallow, especially at low tide. There are still a number of great activities – like parasailing and underwater walks – to do here, though.
The last boat from Ile aux Cerfs leaves at 5pm, so sadly no watching sunrises or sunsets (there is no accommodation on the island). It also means that you have to bring everything that you want for the day with you onto the beach – not great if you’re used to dipping in and out of the stuff you’ve left in the car! But in all it’s a great place to spend a day.
#3 Mont Choisy
Mont Choisy is the less famous alternative to Trou aux Biches (see below in ‘Honourable Mentions’). Just a 5-10 minute drive from the latter, it feels like a different world; few hotels, no sun loungers, a few nets, very few boats. And it’s still gorgeous! Okay, so there are filao trees instead of palm trees making it feel less stereotypically tropical, but the water is just as beautiful and the sand equally as soft. Then, to sweeten the deal even further, it’s really quiet. On a day when Trou aux Biches was just too clogged up with boats and people, we found Mont Choisy to be a few people short of empty. Bliss.
The water, as with most places in Mauritius, is very calm and great for swimming. Snorkelling isn’t the best, however – there’s not so much to see in these waters and they’re often a bit murky. The scenery around it is nice, but not the most dramatic – Tamarin, Le Morne and Pointe D’Esny are more beautiful.
Mont Choisy therefore ranks highly in my favourite Mauritian beaches. It’s a big stretch of gorgeous sand and water, it’s very accessible, comparatively quiet, but not quite as stunning as some of the other beaches.
#2 Pointe D’Esny
Pointe D’Esny – the photo says it all. And I can happily say that it’s even better in the flesh; it’s just so perfectly beautiful. It’s also gigantic, and very quiet for a Mauritian beach, so it’s a total win-win. Set in a shallow, crystal clear lagoon, overlooking a series of mountains and Ile aux Aigrettes (a nature reserve), is there anything more you could want? Oh, and did I mention there’s also some great marine life under the water? I saw more varieties of fish here than almost anywhere else, just metres away from the shore.
There’s one little thing that lets Pointe D’Esny down: most of it is ‘privately owned’. Remember that all beaches are actually public, but the hotels and other companies that line the shore – in this case a boating club and a bunch of villas – like to suggest otherwise. So even though you’re legally allowed to be there, sitting in front of someone’s villa amidst private signs does make you feel a bit like an imposter.
The other problem that comes with this is access. Being lined with villas, hotels, etc, there aren’t many places to get onto the beach, let alone find any parking. My tip: park at Pointe Jerome*, and walk about 300m south – there you’ll find a sign marking the alleyway that leads you there. This little part of the beach is openly public, but from there you’ve a bit of a walk down to find the next ‘public’ part if that sort of thing bothers you. You won’t be close to amenities here, so bring a picnic!
*From Pointe Jerome you can take a trip to Ile aux Aigrettes, which, including a guided tour, takes about 2 hours.
#1 Le Morne
There’s one reason why Pointe D’Esny doesn’t get the top spot: Le Morne. Oh my is this place something. It’s the kind of beach you step onto and gawp at in disbelief; there’s serious wow factor here.
Located in the south west of the island, just below the forests and mountains of the Black River Gorges National Park, Le Morne is in the most wild and beautiful area of Mauritius. Dominating the area is Le Morne mountain, the site of one of Mauritius’s most tragic historical events. A group of fugitive slaves committed suicide over its edge to escape capture just days after slavery had been abolished. The soldiers had actually come to tell them that they were free.
So what about the beach? Soft white sand lined with palm trees? Check. Beautiful turquoise water? Check. Don’t want to just laze on the beach? There are loads of activities to get stuck into, including surfing, kite surfing, SUP, kayaking, and more. Do just want to laze on the beach? It’s so big that you’re guaranteed to find a slice of your own heaven without bumping into them all.
Le Morne is 5* hotel territory, and admittedly the best bits of beach are lined with their sun loungers, etc (the very best part being around Lux Le Morne). But there’s also a big – and gorgeous – public part right in the middle too, plus there’s no barrier between it and the 5* resorts, so you can still explore everything.
The beach is beautiful, the setting stunning, there’s loads of things to do but also places to relax, and it satisfies both budget visitors and those looking to get the best 5* treatment Mauritius has to offer. Le Morne is my comfortable winner for the title of best beach in Mauritius.
These beaches didn’t make the top spots but are still worth considering; after all, no beach in Mauritius will leave you disappointed.
Trou aux Biches
This is an undeniably gorgeous beach – one of the most beautiful, in fact – but there’s one downside: it’s so busy! Located in the tourist epicentre of the north-west coast, the beautiful white sands and turquoise water are full with boats and nets, hotel loungers and people. There’s not a whole lot of space to do your thing here, but there is a good amount of water activities to get stuck into.
This might not bother everyone, of course. And it really is gorgeous. But for someone like me, who prefers things a little more wild and empty, this isn’t the absolute best. Instead, I preferred Mont Choisy which was much quieter and relaxing – and better for swimming.
This beach has a special place in my heart – it was the first Mauritian beach I stepped foot on. It was 6am and I’d been travelling for 24 hours. I was ecstatic!
The beach itself, with its crescent of pale sand and super calm water is nice. It’s not the best, but nor is it the worst. It’s not *too* crowded or built up and still provides some amenities and activities. But what makes Blue Bay worthy of a mention is its snorkelling: just a bit further past the beach (or a several minute boat ride away) is the marine park, full to the brim with fish and coral species. Exploring it on a glass bottom boat/snorkelling tour was one of my favourite excursions whilst I was in Mauritius.
I’d read good things about Belle Mare in the guidebooks, but once there it felt somewhat overrated. Admittedly we went there on one of my last days in Mauritius, having already been spoilt by the likes of Mont Choisy, Point D’Esny and Le Morne.
On the plus side: it’s a huge beach – one of the longest – and the north end of it is quite wild by Mauritian standards, just lined with trees, a few car parks and little else. It’s easy to find a quiet spot and spread out. This part of the beach isn’t quite so pristine, though; it’s a bit shingly and the shallow waters make it hard to swim. I didn’t think the water was particularly nice when I was there (a bit murky), but there were a whole bunch of cool sea creatures to look at.
Further down the beach (heading south) you get to the whiter, smoother sands, which is where the resorts are based. Lined with palm trees and loungers, it is certainly beautiful, but still too shallow for a good swim, which takes it down a few notches in my opinion. Plus there is no public access to this area, so you’ve got to park further north then walk down if you’re not staying in one of the hotels.
The guidebooks had raised my expectations too high for Belle Mare. It didn’t have the added drama or versatility of Le Morne or the perfect and swimmable waters of Pointe D’Esny. If you’re in the area it’s definitely a great beach to visit, though you may want to consider Ile aux Cerfs instead.
This beach offers something different from the typical Mauritian beach: if you’re looking for a good surfing spot or an encounter with dolphins (who are spotted in the area almost daily) this is the beach for you. However, if you’re only going for the textbook white sands and calm blue water to laze around on there are better alternatives.
Tamarin’s public beach, situated at the mouth of the Rempart and Tamarin rivers, has brakish, fairly rough water. Further up the river it calms down and is a great place for SUP (pictured above). The hotel beaches around this area are much nicer, however. And, with Montagne du Rempart looming in the background, they have some of the best scenery.
Flic en Flac
Flic en Flac is a huge stretch of beach that’s perfectly positioned for watching the sun go down. There’s more than enough space for everyone here; the public area is generous and lined with filao trees, and further down are the posh hotels with loungers and palm trees for that classic tropical feel. Another bonus is that this part of the island gets great weather – the east coast and central plateau will often be pouring with rain whilst you’re sunbathing obliviously.
But Flic en Flac doesn’t make it into my list of favourite beaches. One of the things I didn’t like about it was the amount of broken coral lying around, both in and out of the water. At low tide getting in and out of the water was painful. Then it’s just not as pristine or beautiful as the other beaches, but we are talking about Mauritian standards here.
Let me know what you think! Did I miss a beach out? Or do you agree?