The North Coast of Mauritius has been developed the most over the years and initiated the tourist hub on the island. This is where guests will find an array of options for restaurants, bars, hotels, shops and nightclubs. Grand Baie is the place to go for the top evening entertainment and good eating, while surrounding villages are not far behind with their urban appeal.
Despite this bustling development, there is ease of access to all the beachside tranquillity and Indian Ocean paradise one would be looking for in Mauritius. The white sandy beaches are powder-soft and the tropical palms offer shade in the summer heat, while the beaches are protected from the winter wind, making the North Coast an all-year attraction.
Water activities are popular in the northern azure waters with the range of diving sites and snorkelling appeal. There are inland activities galore, including botanical gardens, historical ruins, waterfront bazaars, sugar cane fields and museums. Go wild!
The North Coast is where divers come for the best underwater experience in Mauritius. There are numerous spots at which to dive and sights include hammerhead sharks, coral reefs and rocks.
The North Coast is filled with plenty of restaurants, bars, nightclubs and boutique shops. Pereybere public beach is great for swimming and also has an array of eating and shopping facilities.
The SSR Botanical Garden contains indigenous Mauritian plants and covers an area of around 37 ha. It also has several animals, being especially famous for its fish, deer and tortoises, as well as an old replica of a sugar mill.
Having a break from the endless water-based activities of the North deserves a visit to the Bazaar of Port Louis, where local vendors and craftsmen gather to sell their wares.
At The Labourdonnais Orchards guests can sample the freshly-made jams and fruit juices or smell the exotic scented flowers. Visit the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens, popular for its giant Victoria water lilies, whose leaves spread out as wide as 3m in diameter. The gardens also feature some beautiful mahogany trees and rare Latanier palms from Madagascar.
The biggest Hindu Temple, known as Maheshwarnath Temple, can be found in Triolet Shivala. The brightly coloured temple provides interest for guests passionate about the island's culture. Grand Baie and Pamplemousses are popular for boutique shops, where local souvenirs can be purchased.
The North Coast of Mauritius is popular for its water sport activities. Grand Baie is the Mauritian centre for sailing activities such as a catamaran cruise or a yacht tour. Kite surfing often takes place in the North Coast, especially around Cap Malheureux and Anse La Raie. Whale Rock is where divers might be lucky enough to spot hammerhead shark, while Holt’s Rocks is where huge underwater boulders can be seen.
Mauritius is the ultimate year-round destination. It’s warm, subtropical climate never sees temperatures much lower than 18 degrees Celsius, and the sun shines for most of the year.
There is no real rainy season, but the most rain arrives in summer during the months of December through to March. At this time of the year, the weather is warm to hot with temperatures reaching into the 30s and only dipping as low as about 24 degrees. Sea water temperature during summer is at about 25-27 degrees Celsius making it a perfect beach island destination.
To avoid the holiday crowds, visit Mauritius during the winter months. There is very little seasonal variation except that temperatures a slightly lower, averaging around 25 degrees Celsius. The sea temperature during ‘winter’, which lasts from May until October, is at 24 degrees Celsius.
There is no rain forecasted for the mid-year period, although light showers should not be ruled out. Hiking and sightseeing is best during low season too, due to the lower temperatures and smaller crowds.
Royal Palm is located on the prime beach of Grand Bay. The hotel has hosted royals, political leaders, movie and sports stars who have enjoyed the privacy of its quiet beach, restaurants serving only the finest food and wines.
Le Victoria is an attractive international resort, known for its spacious accommodation and opulent public areas. It has universal appeal, whether it be for a honeymoon, a family holiday, a conference, or for business.
Merville Beach Resort is only a few minutes’ walk away from Grand Baie, offering a variety of shops, boutiques and restaurants. The hotel offers comfortable accommodation and modern facilities, as well as breath-taking views across the turquoise lagoon.
Trou Aux Biches is newly renovated and stretches along 2km of beach and reaches back for 300m into lush, tropical gardens. It has the luxury of its own spa.
There is one main International Airport in Mauritius, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, which is located about 48km from the capital, Port Louis. This is a terminal for all incoming and outgoing air traffic and is the gateway to all Mauritius destinations.
Sun Safaris will book guests on Air Mauritius or South African Airways flights from Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International. There are flights from Cape Town to Mauritius, but they are irregular and most will not suit guests’ itineraries.
Upon arrival at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International, guests will connect with a road transfer to their booked hotel on the island. The country is only 2040 sq km in size and all destinations can be reached by road.
Once on the main island, guests can take boat cruises or ferries to a number of the surrounding islands, like Reunion, Rodrigues and the archipelago of Agelega.