If you rent a car and you are uncertain which area to visit for a scenic route go south and start your visit from Gris Gris Mauritius and drive direction Le Morne. This area is probably the most dramatic of the all island
The reason that Mauritius has so many beautiful beaches (check the top 10 here) is that there is a reef protecting 98-99% of the island. That is why you will not experience any big wave, just shallow blue water all around.
Gris Gris, Mauritius
There are few exceptions to the shallow water, one is Gris Gris, a beautiful and unexpected cliff. Start here your adventure in the south of Mauritius.
There is still a question mark on the use of Gris Gris for the name of this lovely side of the island. A board explains how the tradition wants that Gris Gris has a reference to black magic with a connection to the tortuous coast line however just few paragraph after this fascinating explanation it comes out that Gris Gris was probably just the name of the puppy of a French cartographer who visited the coast in 1753. Maybe I should have stopped reading the information board, I preferred the black magic story LOL
Do not stop in Gris Gris beach only. Once you go back to the main road, just few metres from the parking area, there is a round about that takes you to Roche Qui Pleure, turn right and follow the short unsealed road for few hundred meters.
This is an unreal spot where the constant squashing of the waves against the flanks of the cliff creates a thunderous noise. What about photography? Well it is as amazing as complicated to take any photo due to the continuous spray of salty water coming from the waves
Time to go back to the car and drive to the next destination. I was looking for a nice beach and some food. Here it is Bel Ombre, a very long beach protected by the reef.
As many times happens in Mauritius there are two street food stalls, the first one making noodles and the second one making Roti. This is not a touristy area and you can see it from the price of the food, in the low single digit.
The old lady offered me some of biscuits she made at home. She was so proud of her work that I could not stop myself buying a bag of them. I can still remember the beautiful taste!
The Maconde viewpoint
You cannot miss this viewpoint. It was most definitely windy when I was there and probably not that pleasant but if you are in a lucky low wind day you can go on top and see a good part of the south coast trail.
This is the last stop of this Scenic South Route and surely the best way to close the day as well.
Le Morne is a tiny peninsula with a small rocky hill in the middle which you can climb with an organised group. Unfortunately I did have not the possibility to do it, and I do regret it. It’s an early start climb, at around 6am. This helps to have the best view of the barrier reef without that wind that usually picks up in the early afternoon, together with few clouds as well.
All around Le Morne the beach is just paradisiacal. This is what you usually see on a post card. White sand, palms, blue water. You can’t complain, can you?
If you are into sports head to the end of the beach where there is no reef and no shield from the wind. It’s a great spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Alternatively take the boat to the reef gap for some surfing
One thing you can easily find in Mauritius is an organised resort. At first I was looking into it as an option and I found that Hotels Combined offered the best packages. In saying that, at the end I decided to go for 2 bed and breakfast because they both gave me more freedom with my timing and my photography. I did not really want to be stressed when out on a sunset (usually at the same time of dinner).
I decided to spend the first week on the south-west coast. From there I could see the southern part of the island, the Black River Gorges National Park, Grand Bassin and the capital of Mauritius, Port Louis.
After some investigation I decided to book Marlin Creek in Riviere Noire. Cristophe and Ingrid, the owners, were just two stars on earth. Super friendly and always providing advices on things to do and discover. It is in the middle of the Riviere Noir village where I could find few restaurants for the night. Freshly cooked breakfast was waiting in the morning, which was a great plus 😀
The room I had was spacious and really well cleaned. Difficult to find anything that did not work. Great experience
The second week I was up north where I believe you can find the best beaches of Mauritius. From there I could also visit the north route up to Grand Gaube and the Grand Baie area.
I booked at the Bleu De Toi Boutique Guest House in Pereybere. It was a real heaven. I stayed in the Hope room, in front of the garden and the swimming pool (I love my early morning swim) and it was just awesome. Great big breakfast too, anything you want just ask. I really liked the décor all around the guest house, I felt like in the perfect creole place. It’s not really located in the centre of Pereybere. You need a 10 minutes walk for either the public beach or the restaurants which was not a big deal to me anyway.
I personally suggest to book the accommodation in Mauritius in advance. Too hard to get around and on-line you get the best deals
Please note that I do not have any affiliations with both guest house owners, I just had a great stay
Travel and Photography Tips
- If you have a love for tea stop at Staint Aubin, just few km from the Gris Gris, the last stop of La Route du The
- Don’t miss to visit Roche Qui Pleure, on the opposite side of the Gris Gris cliff. Take here something to clean your lens. The spry of the waves will most likely create spots on it
- Le Morne is the place to be if you like wind and surfing sports
- I booked the car at Maki and I had a great service. Please, note that I have no affiliation with this renter just a good experience
Map of the Mauritius South Coast Scenic Route
More info about Mauritius