The East coast with its succession of beaches is undoubtedly one of the island’s most beautiful coastlines set alongside emerald coloured lagoons. Punctuated with numerous luxurious hotels and authentic villages, this coast has the particularity of being exposed to the constant south-east trade winds. The several kilometres long Belle Mare beach is its main attraction.
What to See?
Ile aux Cerfs
Considered by others as a water sports paradise, and as having the most attractive beaches of the island by others, Ile aux Cerfs, a precious little jewel located five minutes from Le Touessrok hotel is a must-see in the Mauritian tourism landscape. A lively boat-house, restaurants and long beaches will appeal to you, just like the tortoise farm.
Golf fans will be delighted by a superb 18-hole course designed by the famous golf champion Bernhard Langer.
You can reach Ile aux Cerfs in a variety of boats: speedboat, pirogue, glass bottom boat, catamaran and even a pirate ship! Setting out from either Trou d’Eau Douce or even further South from Blue Bay, most boat trips consist of a stopover at Grand River South East, snorkelling in the lagoon, a barbeque and drinks on board or on shore, sega dancing, and many other fun activities.
Grand River South East
The Grand River South East is a real attraction. The wide estuary enters an impressive gorge ending on a pictorial waterfall. An ideal place for excursions.
Roches Noires and Poste Lafayette
The public beach of Roches Noires extends to Poste Lafayette, an excellent place for fishing and breathing in the crisp air. These are two very popular summer resorts, especially during the warmer months as the sea breeze there blows almost all year round, which makes it an ideal place for kitesurfing and windsurfing.
Bras d’Eau is a small bay inside the lagoon of Poste Lafayette. Its public beach has a view of the south, which means that you can see both the sunrise and the sunset - unique in the East. At night, it is the best place in Mauritius to see the milky way.
When the wind is up, which is fairly often, you can kitesurf in the shallow and well-protected bay with its steady easterly onshore wind. Locals meet here on weekends and public holidays giving it a relaxed and fun ambience.
If you are in Mauritius on the 31st of December and want to experience something magical, make sure you get to Bras d’Eau at midnight. On the opposite side of the lagoon are some of the island’s most prestigious hotels and no expense is spared as they treat their guests, and lucky local onlookers, to a magnificent New Years eve fireworks display which goes on for nearly an hour!
Belle Mare has a beautiful white sandy beach. The coastal road which follows large stretches of white sand from Palmar to Trou d’Eau Douce winds down to Grand Port right next to the sea and ends in the village of Mahebourg.
During weekends and on public holidays, the locals flock to the beach at Belle Mare making it a great place to meet the people of Mauritius and discover their culture. Enjoy a tasty ice cream from one of the many colourful and musical ice cream vans. And for the more adventurous at heart, why not go parasailing, which gives you a magnificent birds-eye view over the turquoise lagoon.
Flacq is one of the most important villages in Mauritius. A lively hub in the East, this small town has one of the largest open-air markets in the country on Wednesdays and Sundays. Very popular, the colourful market stands a few meters from the Court House, a historic building.
Things to do
Those who want to embark on a real sea adventure should try kayaking – a physical yet doable sport that will take you through the lagoon, among mangroves, around the still preserved island of Ile d’Ambre. If that sounds too much like hard work you can book a trip with a local fisherman or a tour organiser to Ile d’Ambre where you can swim, visit the ruins, walk through the forest, relax and have lunch.
Roches Noires Caves
In the area of Roches Noires, there are plenty of caves, with amusing names like Madam Cavern and Princess Margaret. You can walk from the villages of Roches Noires or Rivière du Rempart and discover the remains of the volcanic activity that formed the island of Mauritius. Birds such as the Mauritian fruit bats and swallows live in these cool, dark caves. Rocks and stones can be loose underfoot so watch your step!
Also in Roches Noires are numerous lava tubes connected to the sea, which have been transformed into cool freshwater springs where you can swim and snorkel among fishes. Take along your snacks and drinks and make a day of it. Don’t forget the sunscreen!
Bras d’Eau National Park
The mountain-bike trail in the Bras d’Eau forest is open to the public and winds it’s way through the bush and through the shady exotic forest before following an old railway line to the lava caves where you will discover the ruins of an old sugar factory. Bring your own bike or book a trip with an outdoor adventure company. If you are not into cycling, you can follow the trail on foot. Pack lots to eat and drink and plenty of sun protection too.
A special Milky Way observatory is found in the Bras d’Eau forest where small radars on kilometres follow the movement of our galaxy.
The East Road
This route is far less travelled than those of the West and the North, but it is well worth the detour. It snakes down from Grand River South East to Mahebourg along the coast, taking you through small agricultural and fishing villages, with stunning views of the Grand Port mountain range and the turquoise lagoon that stretches from Trou d’Eau Douce to Blue Bay. On the way, have a look over the GRSE bridge, take some pictures at Pointe du Diable (Devil’s Point) and visit the Frederick Hendrik Museum.
Devil's Point Battery
Under the French occupation, 27 defence guns guarded access to the island. For many years, the fearsome and effective battery at Devil's Point (Pointe du Diable) prevented the English from approaching Grand Port. The cape was so named by the captains who sailed in front of it heading either to or from Grand Port and witnessed the strange occurrence of the compass needle turning madly all the way around… The truth was, the magnetic field inside the mountain was attracting and moving the compass dial!
Pont Bon Dieu
On the eastern plateau, at Brisée Verdière, hidden in the middle of a sugar cane field, is the Pont Bon Dieu Cave. A trail leads to this natural cave, which is approximately 15 metres high and 20 metres wide. As well as the interesting volcanic phenomenon you are likely to see swallows nesting inside the cave and wild monkeys. With beautiful surroundings and views of the sea, the cave is a little treasure off the beaten track.
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