The North of Mauritius is the most touristy and least typical section of the island. Sunnier than the South, the region boasts some of the country's most beautiful beaches, ideally exposed since in the southern hemisphere, the sun is at its zenith in the north and not in the south as in Europe.
One of the most pleasant, lined with casuarinas (filaos), is the public beach of Mont Choisy, which can be reached from Grand Baie towards Trou aux Biches, via the Pointe aux Canonniers.
All shades of blue and green seem to be there, and the sunsets are sumptuous! On Sundays, picnic day, the place is more particularly frequented by Mauritians of Indian origin, and one can see women bathing in sari ... The beach at Trou aux Biches, 3 km further south, is also superb.
From there and up to the Pointe aux Piments, the stretches of fine sand give way to black rocks, which make swimming much less pleasant (except at the hotels). In the far north, between Grand Bay and Grand Gaube, the beaches are also much smaller and less beautiful. Apart from the charming little cove of La Cuvette, the rather nice piece of sand of Péreybère, and the very beautiful cove of the Legends Hotel (in Grand Gaube), there are hardly any beautiful stretches.
Apart from bathing pleasures, not much. The landscape is flat like that of the Netherlands, with sugar cane instead of tulips. Nothing to do with the sumptuous reliefs and green landscapes of the South or the West. But the presence of offshore islets makes the perspective on the ocean very aesthetic, especially from Cap Malheureux and its surroundings. Two of the most popular excursions in Mauritius are the Plate Island and Gabriel Island.
On a cultural level, the North is not of immense interest either: apart from Labourdonnais, a castle in the countryside (one of the great novelties of 2010: not to be missed under any circumstances!!) and the Hindu temples of Triolet and Grand Bay, nothing to be missed (but Port Louis and Pamplemousses are not very far away...) ! As for the authenticity and typical scenes of a peaceful and simple life, there is little chance to find them in this part of the island. The steamroller of the tourist industry made them disappear for good, except, in small touches, at Cap Malheureux and Grand Gaube, still preserved from the excessive development of neighbouring towns.
Elsewhere, it's the crowds (well, nothing like the Côte d'Azur or the Costa Brava, we reassure you!)! The north coast of Mauritius is home to over 70% of the island's tourists and has far more shops and beach facilities than other regions. We meet many Europeans there, and the filaos, who were still the masters of the coastline some twenty years ago, are increasingly giving way to concrete, not to mention noise and pollution.
Here, small, sad little hotels grow like mushrooms after the rain, supported, fortunately, by several establishments of undeniable charm (see our "Accommodation" sections) and by some very high standard infrastructures.
On the other hand, in terms of animations and activities, it's the best (well... The best for Mauritius, let's be clear!). Leisure centres are very numerous and the number of excursions to be made or sports to be practised is endless! Whether or not you are a client of the medium and top-of-the-range hotels, it is possible at any time to make the most of the lagoon and a particularly welcoming sea, well protected by the coral reef. Water sports are at the top of the list of activities: scuba diving, underwater walking, glass-bottomed boats, water skiing, deep-sea fishing, cruising on a sailboat or catamaran, semi-submersible or submarine excursions, etc.
All these sports are offered in parallel with the activities reserved for night owls. As you might expect, it is indeed in the North that the few trendy nightclubs and bars of the island are lined up. Nothing comparable with what you can find in European seaside resorts (talking about Grand Baie as well as Mauritian Saint-Tropez may be pushing the cork a bit far!), but still, it moves a lot in the local discos, and not necessarily on sega rhythms!
So we understand that you have to spend your holidays in the North to enjoy the beach, the sea, entertainment and shopping. But if you want to discover Mauritius and its treasures, it is better to choose another region.
The must-see places in North
Suggested addresses North
- Trou Aux Biches
- Grand Baie
- Pointe Aux Canonniers
- Cap Malheureux
- Pointe Aux Piments
- Grand Gaube
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