With holidays to Calodyne, you get to see the bare-faced side of Mauritius. This is a place of rough-and-tumble headlands, with ultra quiet bays tucked beneath their wings.
The north-east tip of Mauritius is a place that’s managed to stay well and truly off the radar. The developers have all but forgotten about it, with most of the big hotels clustered in the south and west. The result is an untamed coastline, studded with volcanic rocks and pockets of sand. The dinky village of Calodyne sits right in the middle of it all.
There are no look-at-me hotels or big beaches here. The area is a collection of teeny bays, with half a dozen low-key hotels set on the quiet sands. Calodyne’s turquoise lagoon is as still as a duck pond in front of them. And it doesn’t matter where you are – you’ve always got great views of Coin de Mire Island, and the surrounding rocky islets beyond the coral reef.
A different beach each day
You can dip in and out of the secret bays right around the headland north of Calodyne. But when you’re ready for a bit more razzle-dazzle, Grand Baie’s got it nailed. It’s only 12 kilometres away over on the west coast, but it’s a different beast, with lively beaches and a good haul of watersports. Mont Choisy Beach is a couple of kilometres further on. Its strand of coconut-white sand wins the gong for the island’s longest beach.
From Dutch to British rule, via the French occupation, Mauritius has history coming out of its ears. L’Aventure du Sucre, 20 minutes’ drive from Calodyne, is a sugar cane mill-turned-museum. It’s the place to gen up on the life of the first settlers and their sugar trading. Next door, there’s history with a more exotic bent. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens has grown from a sack of seeds 3 centuries ago to a sunglasses-bright parade of flowers and spice trees. The giant water lilies alone are worth the visit.
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