The beach at Belle Mare seems to have missed the less-is-more memo. This east coast town’s an extra-small on the size scale, with most of the action coming from a string of swanky seafront hotels. The beach, on the other hand, is more of an XL, and looks like something from a James Bond flick. A huge slither of vanilla-coloured sand’s edged by all of the major picturesque tick points – a tropical fringe of trees, bright turquoise waters and fishing boats bobbing in the shallows.
As far as resorts go, Grand Gaube prefers the quiet life. This sleepy fishing village, on Mauritius’ northern coast, keeps it traditional with a few restaurants and a fistful of coves. A couple of luxe hotels have cottoned on to its charms, so you’ve got some fancy-pants places to stay, too.
Flic En Flac
Flic en Flac knocks it out of the park in terms of scenery, dishing out turquoise waters, white sand and an Indian Ocean panorama as far as you can see. There’s also the odd mountain or three muscling in on the action, plus pods of dolphins that play offshore.
Bel Ombre’s the bigwig of Mauritius’ south. But it’s not the sort of place that kicks up a fuss. Instead, the village sweet talks visitors with its long beach, nature reserve and golf course. Plus, it’s handy for daytrips to the island’s top attractions – Black River Gorges National Park and the Seven Coloured Earth.
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.
Le Morne is a teeny village that sits on Mauritius’ south-west coast. It’s skirted by a turquoise lagoon and soda-white sands, and is looked over by Brabant peak – a dramatic monolith that used to hide the island’s runaway slaves.
Trou D'Eau Douce
Trou d’eau Douce keeps its getaway recipe simple. Fly-and-floppers have a huge streak of east-coast sand to make the most of, while more active types can spy exotic fish on a snorkelling jaunt in the lagoon. You’ll be sharing the waters with criss-crossing fishing boats, and later, the catch of the day’s crisped up on barbecues beside the beach.
There’s a Morse code pattern of beaches in Balaclava Bay. The smaller ones have a private vibe, thanks to their volcanic rock bookends and palm tree backdrop. Hotels usually stick to the longer beaches, where you can kick back on a lounger and sink cocktails in a sand-side bar.