The north of Mauritius is dotted with scenic little fishing villages and blessed with a stunning, unspoilt coastline. Little Anse La Raie is a miniature resort overlooking the gorgeous lagoon, and has just a handful of mostly upmarket hotels. The beach is ideal for snorkelling, but also good for kite-surfing beyond the coral reef. You can visit the charming nearby town of Cap Malheureux, where boat trips depart for tours of the pretty islets that dot the lagoon, or head to Grand Baie for some shopping and nightlife. And if you fancy some sightseeing, the historic harbour town of Port Louis, capital of Mauritius, is just a 30-minute drive away.
Beautifully set next a serene lagoon on the gorgeous northern coast of Mauritius, the tiny village Anse La Raie is a pretty little collection of hotels overlooking some gorgeous beaches. It’s an idyllic spot to simply kick back and soak up the tranquil vibe for which the island is famous. Most of the hotels have their beach clubs on sandy coves, and offer a choice of water sports, including snorkelling, scuba diving and kite-surfing. Just up the coast is Cap Malheureux, a charming little village which is the departure point for boat tours of the islets in the lagoon. There are plenty of shops, bars and nightlife in Grand Baie, just 15 minutes away by car, and the vibrant island capital of Port Louis is a 30-minute drive.
There is only a handful of restaurants and cafés in tiny Anse La Raie, most of which are found in the hotels. You’ll find a few more options in nearby Grand Gaube and Cap Malheureux, and a much bigger choice in Grand Baie, the island’s largest resort, which is just 15 minutes away by car. Tuck into the fantastic local cuisine, which reflects all the many cultures that have shaped the multi-ethnic society of Mauritius. You’ll enjoy some spectacular seafood, all wonderfully fresh, as well as spicy curries and classic local dishes such as dholl puris (flatbread filled with curry or other savoury fillings), rougaille (a Creole stew with seafood or meat cooked in a spicy tomato sauce) or daube (a succulent stew made with beef or chicken).
If you’re looking for an idyllic spot to chill out with the family, you’ll love Anse La Raie. The hotels are well geared towards families, and offer plenty for kids to do. The main focus is the beach, of course, and most of the hotels have beach clubs which offer a wide choice of facilities, from sunbeds and parasols to paddle boards and kayaks to rent. Teens might want to book a kite-surfing course – this bay is one of the best in the region for kite-surfing. Everyone will enjoy a boat tour, perhaps in a glass-bottomed boat, around the little islets in the bay. And, if you’re looking for a wider choice of water sports, you could head to nearby Grand Baie, the largest resort on the island.
Action & Adventure
The main activities in Anse La Raie are snorkelling and scuba diving, and most hotels can organise equipment rental and excursions. It’s also a popular kite-surfing destination, and there is a school on the beach where you can take courses or rent out equipment. Boats depart from nearby Cap Malheureux for the little islets that dot the lagoon, or you could take a tour to Amber Island, which has a host of activities. These include fishing and sea kayaking on the coast, and hiking through the luxuriant vegetation on the island itself. There is a wider range of water sports, include jet-skiing and water-skiing, available in Grand Baie, about a 15-minute drive away.
Most of the hotels in Anse La Raie have got beach clubs, which provide a host of facilities such as sunbeds and parasols, along with paddleboard and kayaks for rent. The public beach is wilder and rockier, but no less enchanting. There is a kite-surfing centre, where you can rent out equipment and take courses. There is a small beach at nearby Cap Malheureux, and just beyond it, a wonderfully unspoilt stretch of golden sand at Pointe Aux Roches. The big resort of Grand Baie has several beaches, including the main Grand Baie beach, charming little La Cuvette, and family-friendly Pereybère.
Sleepy little Anse La Raie is all about peace and tranquillity, so you won’t find much in the way of nightlife. That’s exactly why it draws holiday-makers, though, who are seduced by its slow pace and relaxed, island vibe. The hotels have bars where you can relax over a cocktail or a glass of the local rum, and some occasionally host special events such as live music or traditional dance performances. If you’re looking for some bright lights, the lively resort of Grand Baie is only 15 minutes away by car and has the best choice of bars and clubs on the island.
Many couples choose Anse La Raie for their honeymoon and it’s easy to see why: few places compare when it comes to romance and total seclusion. This lovely and unspoilt stretch of coast is perfect for romantic walks and picnics, and most hotels have their own luxurious beach clubs on sandy little bays. You’ll be able to sink into a sun lounger, sip a cocktail and watch the waves. Or you could go snorkelling around the lagoon, or even rent a kite-surf and ride the waves beyond the coral reef. You might fancy a tour of the elegant 19th-century Château Labourdonnais, which also a rum distillery and offers tastings. Or, if you’re in the mood to dance, head for the bars and clubs of lively Grand Baie, just a 15-minute drive away.
You could pop into Goodlands, a small market town located just inland from Anse La Raie, which has lots of stalls selling local arts and crafts. You might also fancy a visit to the elegant Château Labourdonnais, a 19th-century mansion set in gorgeous gardens that is now a fascinating museum (and has a rum distillery that offers tastings!). Many of the most important museums on Mauritius are concentrated in Port Louis, the island capital, which is about a 30-minute drive away. The Blue Penny Museum displays the incredibly rare Blue Penny and Red Penny stamps from 1847, as well as interesting exhibits on the island’s history. You could also visit the Maison Eureka, a sumptuous plantation house that is now a fantastic museum, which is located just outside the capital.