Ile Aux Cerfs
|The small island of Ile aux Cerfs (Stag Island) off the east coast of Mauritius is a popular tourist haven, managed by the adjacent Touessrok Hotel, but open to the public. The island, featuring splendid tropical vegetation and encircled by magnificent beaches, can be reached by boat from the small fishing village of Trou d'eau Douce.|
The island is equipped with a bar, restaurant and shops, as well as watersports facilities from parasailing to windsurfing. The most recent, and somewhat controversial, development on the island is an 18-hole Bernhard Langer designed championship golf course which affords a sea view from each hole and often requires the novelty of hitting a tee-shot over a natural sea inlet onto the fairway.
|Mauritius' best beach considering sand quality, weather conditions and available facilities is probably Trou aux Biches [Deer Watering Hole], on the north west of the island. The beach is at least 2km long, with powder white sand, tho' sprinkled with bigger coral pieces near the water line.|
It has guest houses, a small hotel and public access at the south end, a superb and not ridiculously priced first-class resort hotel unobtrusively occupying much of the rest, with a few more establishments at the inferior and rocky north end. The smart hotel is called the Trou aux Biches Hotel and is especially good value out of season when clouds hover a few hours a day and nights get chilly.
|Stretching from Trou aux Biches to the Club Med in Pointe aux Canonniers (towards Grand Bay) is Mont Choisy, the largest and longest public beach in Mauritius. Its white band of powder sand, more than a mile long, curves along its turquoise bay and the inviting shade of the casuarina trees. At the end of this popular beach is Pte aux Cannonniers home to the Club Med as well as a couple of well known hotels. Mont Choisy villas and bungalows are close enough to the tourists hub of Grand Bay to be accessible on foot, by car or public transport but far enough to enjoy peace of mind and privacy sought by most visitors.|
|The northern coastline beyond Baie du Tombeau has many delightful beaches: Pointe aux Piments, famous for its underwater scenery; Trou aux Biches, with its fringe of filaos (casuarina) and coconut palms and its splendid Hindu temple; further up the coast, Choisy, one of the most popular beaches on the island, offering facilities for safe bathing, sailing, windsurfing and water-skiing; finally, the coastline curves into Grand Baie itself, the main centre for yachting, water-skiing, windsurfing and many other sports.|
|This delightful little cove is midway on the coast road between Grand Baie and Cap Malheureux. The deep, clear water makes it one of the very best bathing places on the whole island.|
|This is a fishing village in the extreme north, with a magnificent view of Flat Island, Round Island and Gunner's Quoin, which are islands of volcanic origin, rising from the light-green sea.|
|Further along the coast is another charming fishing village where fishermen have earned a well-deserved reputation for their skill in the making of sailing craft and of deep-sea fishing.|
|These are both favoured seaside resorts, especially in the hotter months, because of the fresh prevailing winds that blow almost all the year round from the sea.|
|A beautiful white sandy beach with fine bathing is found here. The coast, with its white sweep of sands at Palmar and Trou d'Eau Douce, stretches out lazily to Grand Port, a quaint little village by the sea. There, the beach narrows and the road follows the coastline closely to Mahébourg. Pointe d'Esny, the adjoining white sandy beach with its string of bungalows, leads to Blue Bay.|
|In a semicircle of filao trees lies one of the finest bathing spots on the island. Situated on the southeast coast, not far from Mahébourg, Blue Bay offers a fine stretch of white sandy beach, and a deep, clear, light-blue bathing pool. There is also scope for yachting and windsurfing|
|Lying in the shadow of the Rivière Noire Mountains, Tamarin has a fine lagoon which is split in two by the Rivière Noire estuary. The bathing at this point is a big attraction, and amenities for surfing in the big ocean swells are available.|
|Many of Mauritius' best beaches, whilst not exactly reserved by five star hotels - which would be illegal as all beaches in the country are public - are not easy to get onto as you have to approach along an adjacent beach or via a boat and would find no public facilities available when you got there.|
Flic en Flac, however, offers an easily reached, long public stretch of powder white sand and calm, shallow, reef-protected water, backed by the ubiquitous casuarina trees [which whilst offering shade, do drop pointy seed pods that can be a pain]. The surrounding area may have become overdeveloped for some tastes but does, at least, offer the humble independent traveller a variety of guest houses, small hotels, shops, bars and restaurants at budget prices.
Flic en Flac beach is also arguably drier than Mauritius' other best beach, the more northerly Trou aux Biches, and certainly drier than the best east coast beach, Belle Mare.