Perfectly set overlooking a horseshoe bay, Grand Baie has become the largest tourist resort on Mauritius. Packed with designer shops, bars, cafés and restaurants, it also boasts several stunning beaches and a huge choice of water sports. It’s also close to one of the most beautiful beaches on the island at Trou aux Biches, and there are a host of excellent excursions that you can make, whether you want to explore Port Louis, the vibrant and historic capital of Mauritius, visit sumptuous plantation houses, or hike through the wild hills and forests of the magnificent Black River Gorges National Park.
Grand Baie is the largest resort on Mauritius, a vibrant town overlooking a gorgeous horseshoe-shaped bay. It has several sandy beaches, a huge range of water sports, and lots of places to shop, eat and party. Plus, several fantastic boat excursions, from sunset sailing cruises to snorkelling and scuba diving trips, depart from the harbour. The charming island capital of Port Louis, which has a colourful market, lots of museums and a bustling waterfront shopping and dining area, is only 30 minutes away. Or you could head north to the pretty unspoilt villages of the northern coast, or inland to visit magnificent plantation homes such as the Maison Eureka.
Grand Baie has arguably the best choice of restaurants and eating places on the island – much as you would expect from the largest resort on Mauritius. From glamorous, award-winning eateries to international chains, and from charming, family-run grills to fabulous street food stalls, you’ll find the lot in Grand Baie. The cuisine of Mauritius is a spicy and colourful fusion of Creole, Indian, Chinese, African, European and Asian flavours. You could go for some tasty street food, such as Chinese noodles or the dholl puri (flatbreads with curry or other savoury fillings), or just pick up some of the amazing tropical fruit. The outstanding seafood is everywhere, whether its some fish straight off the grill, or in a spicy curry. Other classic dishes you’ll want to try include the Creole tomato stew with meat or seafood called rougaille, or the succulent daube stews, made with chicken or beef.
Grand Baie has plenty to keep little ones amused while on holiday on the tropical paradise of Mauritius. There are several beaches which are particularly good for kids: the Cuvette and Perbeyère beaches are especially recommended, thanks to their clean, shallow waters and child-friendly cafés and restaurants. Older kids and teens will be delighted by the range of water sports, which include everything from paddle-boarding and kayaking to snorkelling and scuba diving. Other family favourites include the Mauritius Aquarium, where kids can watch the fish (including the sharks) being fed. There are lots of boat trips, with a particularly appealing submarine tour of the seabed that is always a hit with kids, plus dolphin- and whale-watching tours.
Action & Adventure
The northern coast of Mauritius is particularly good for snorkelling and scuba diving and there is a host of local tour companies that offer excursions to the best dive sights and snorkelling locations in the area. Fishing is another favourite active pursuit, and you’ll find facilities for all kinds of other water sports, from paddle-boarding and kayaking to kite-surfing and water-skiing. The best hiking on the island is to be found in the Black River Gorges National Park, which is about an hour's drive away. It preserves the largest swathe of forest on the island, and offers more than 35 miles of stunning trails across the hills, past waterfalls and natural swimming holes.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to beaches in Grand Baie. The main public beach is the main departure point for boat and catamaran tours, and it’s an enjoyable spot to relax at sunset as the boats return. Delightful little Cuvette beach is a sandy gem, which is particularly good for kids thanks to its shallow waters. It has good facilities, including a diving centre and lots of places to eat and drink. Perbeyère beach is another good option if you are travelling with the family, with calm waters and a good range of water sports. The best beach in the area is Trou aux Biches, which is regularly voted one of the most beautiful in the world, and is a magical combination of white sand, turquoise seas and shady palm trees.
While Mauritius is not famous as a party island – most people come to chill out and relax – the best choice of nightlife to be had is found in Grand Baie. Take your pick from gorgeous beachfront bars, where you can sink into lounge beds as waiters bring you cocktails, to lively jazz bars, laid back surfer bars, and a whole string of nightclubs, which are mainly found along the Royal Road. There’s even a casino, if you want to tempt Lady Luck, and Grand Baie also offers live music venues and a host of other options for enjoying the balmy nights.
Grand Baie is a fantastic destination for a romantic holiday, offering everything from blissful beaches to vibrant nightlife. If you want to escape the crowds, head to the heavenly beach at Trou aux Biches, regularly voted one of the most beautiful in the world. You could also book yourself in for a couples’ massage or beauty treatment at one of the spas. If you like snorkelling and scuba diving, you’re in for a treat, as the northern coast of Mauritius has some remarkable coral reefs and diving sites to explore. And you could also visit the botanical gardens in Pamplemousses or the elegant plantation house of Maison Eureka for a romantic stroll.
The charming island capital of Port Louis is where many of the island’s museums and monuments are concentrated. Elegant colonial buildings are scattered across the city, which is dominated by a huge 19th-century fortress. There are several fascinating museums, including the famous Blue Penny Museum, where you will find excellent exhibits on local history as well as the rare Blue Penny and Red Penny stamps. Another must-see is the Aapravasi Ghat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was the landing point for (mainly Chinese) labourers after the abolition of slavery in the 19th century. Just outside Port Louis is the finest plantation house in Mauritius, the Maison Eureka, which is now a museum and is set amid gorgeous gardens.