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 20 during the 12 weeks I’ve spent there.
Note: Public access to beaches
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 or little paths between complexes.
But before we go into detail, check out my video for a visual feast of Mauritian beaches!
My top five best beaches in Mauritius:
#5 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 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, which does make you feel a little out of place. Consequently it also lacks the soul that other beaches, such as Trou aux Biches and Flic en Flac, have. In other words, it’s got the looks but not all of the substance! Great if you want some tranquility, but perhaps not for you if you want some life in your beach.
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. You won’t be close to amenities here, and there’s not much shade, so bring a picnic and a hat!
*From Pointe Jerome you can take a guided tour to the wildlife haven of Ile aux Aigrettes which takes about 2 hours.
#4 Trou aux Biches
This is simply a gorgeous beach, lined with palm trees, soft white sand and sparkling turquoise water. It’s also the busiest beach on this list, though; it’s quite big (but nowhere near the size of Flic en Flac or Belle Mare) and being in the north-west it’s in the tourist epicentre of Mauritius. It’s also popular with the locals too. Therefore the water is full of boats and nets, the beach full of hotels, loungers and people.
That being said, it’s still considerably less crowded than beaches further north – namely Pereybere and Bain Beouf, which seem to always be packed out. But if quiet and empty is more your thing, check out Mont Choisy in the Honorable Mentions section of this article.
One bonus of it being so popular is that there is a whole bunch of fun things to do in Trou aux Biches. There’s snorkelling, scuba diving, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and more, which is great for people like me who can’t sit down for more than 10 minutes!
And the fact that locals come here gives it a really nice vibe. I came here during Diwali and there were people lighting fireworks on the beach, on another day people were having a party in the ocean and drumming the water as they sang. So whilst it is busy, Trou aux Biches is still a fun and beautiful beach to go to or base yourself at.
Hidden gems near Trou aux Biches
Head a little south down the main road to Pointe aux Biches. This area is used almost only by locals and between the rocky patches has pristine sandy coves and the most amazing colours of blue I have ever seen. Just park up alongside the road and enjoy!
#3 Belle Mare and Palmar
These two glamourous beaches, which kind of blend into one another, are huge and very pretty. It’s so big that you’ll be sure to find a spot that suits your taste, whether you’re looking for some peace and tranquillity or a five-star resort experience.
The very south of Palmar is the least attractive bit – it’s rocky and a bit neglected. Fishermen use this area more than anyone else. The middle area of Palmar, where the town of Palmar actually is, is where the perfect white sand starts. It’s easy to find if you’re driving as it’s the first place where you can see the beach from the road (B59). This little spot is gorgeous and surprisingly quiet:
From here the posh resorts begin, and the beach is undoubtedly gorgeous with a number of facilities, but more built up and busy.
The south of Belle Mare continues seamlessly up from here, with more white sandy beaches. On the road you will just encounter resort after resort with little view of the beach. There are places to park spread around, though, and little access paths down to the beach. Here, like in the north of Palmar, the beaches are straight out of a catalogue and some of Mauritius’s most exclusive resorts are here.
Hidden gems in Belle Mare
However, when you head further north, past the some of these big resorts, past the town of Belle Mare itself, things start to get a bit wilder and emptier again, and this is my favourite area. This is a popular spot with the locals who often come with their barbeques and music, which really give the place soul, but the whole area is still so large that you can easily find your own spot of bliss.
In this area there’s also a lovely little Hindu temple which really adds to the place. For reference it’s just beyond the hotel Emeraude Beach Attitude.
Then from here up you’re into expensive resort territory again with more of those beautiful beaches. There’s not much public access to this area, so you’ve got to park further north or south then walk if you’re not staying in one of the hotels, but the water is generally too shallow for my liking anyway – it takes ages to reach water deep enough to swim or snorkel in.
Belle Mare and Palmar will not disappoint you; they’re beautiful and there’s so much space and versatility! What holds them back is that you need to travel and explore to find the best bits and the activities and facilities are not all within easy reach of one another. It also lacks the stunning backdrop that some of the other beaches have to offer.
#2 Ile aux Cerfs
There’s so much to offer on this beautiful island, which is a short boat ride off the mainland. The beaches are perfect, the water is warm, calm, and the most incredible colour. As I stepped off the boat it was so ridiculously beautiful I could have been in a fantasy world. And unlike Belle Mare and Palmar, it’s all in such a compact area!
Hidden gems in Ile aux Cerfs
The main beaches can get 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.
These spots, which are anywhere between 5-20 minutes walk, feel so special and gorgeous. To reach them, head to the side of Ile aux Cerfs that faces out towards the ocean and lagoon and walk right towards the golf course. Or at low tide you can wade across to the other island Ilot Mangenie which is even quieter a bit further round (pictured below is the channel you have to cross – you can’t miss it when you arrive).
Then there’s all sorts of things to do at Ile aux Cerfs if just lazing on a beach isn’t your thing. The main beach is lined with people who’ll try persuade you to go parasailing, underwater walking, banana boating, and more. If you’re into swimming or snorkelling you’ll find that it’s not great around the immediate beach area because the water is very shallow, but lots of people offer boat excursions to some nice snorkelling spots further out into the lagoon and some of the secluded beaches have better options too. Simply put, I love Ile aux Cerfs!
Ile aux Cerfs is a very close contender for the top spot of best beaches in Mauritius, but there’s just one drawback; the last boat from Ile aux Cerfs leaves around 3-5pm so you can’t spend the evening or night here. There’s no accommodation on the island, so no watching sunrises or sunsets, beach parties, barbeques, and so on. It also means that you have to bring everything that you want for the day with you onto the beach and then you’ve got to worry about your valuables lying around if you’ve brought any. So Ile aux Cerfs is magical for sure, and I recommend everyone to go there, but unfortunately you can’t get the whole day-to-night beach experience that’s on offer elsewhere.
#1 Le Morne
Oh my is this place something; it’s the kind of beach you step onto and gawp at in disbelief and wonder if you really are there.
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 five-star 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 resorts, so you can still explore everything.
The beach is beautiful (rivalled only by Ile aux Cerfs), the setting is stunning, there’s loads of things to do but also places to relax, you can stay there all day and night, and it satisfies both budget visitors and those looking to get the best five-star treatment Mauritius has to offer. Oh, and it has amazing sunsets! Le Morne is my comfortable winner for the title of best beach in Mauritius.
Best beaches: honorable mentions
These beaches didn’t make the top spots but are still worth considering:
Flic en Flac
Flic en Flac is a huge stretch of beach that’s perfectly positioned for watching the sun go down. There aren’t many places better to see the sun set, that’s for sure. Then there’s more than enough space for everyone here; the public area is generous and lined with filao trees, and further down south 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 quite make it into my top five 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 – getting in and out of the water can be painful! Then it’s just not as pristine as the other top beaches, but we are talking about very high Mauritian standards as it’s still a beautiful beach.
Mont Choisy is the less famous alternative to Trou aux Biches. Just a 5-10 minute drive away 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 days when Trou aux Biches was clogged up with boats and people, we found Mont Choisy to be fairly 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.
This lovely slim beach tucked away near Grande Riviere Noir is a popular spot for the locals, giving it a great atmosphere (think sega music and barbeques!). Also it’s the location of an immaculate martello, a 18-19th Century tower built by English troops to defend against the French. Now a museum, you can see original guns, cannons, cannon balls and more, and it really adds something to the area. Coupled with the old Mauritian vibe and this is a special little beach with something to different to offer. There’s also the chance of seeing dolphins here!
The beach itself is very picturesque (once you move north past the sandbags at the entrance) with great scenery and the sparkling water and pale sands we expect from Mauritius, and they spread further up the coast for miles. There’s a gap in the lagoon here, though, which means the water is a bit rougher and the current a bit stronger. This is great if you’re a fairly good swimmer but it’s not the place to go for a casual float around!
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.
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.
Did I miss any beaches out? Let me know what you think!
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