Last updated on September 5th, 2018 at 02:57 pm
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, next to Souillac, and drive direction Le Morne. This area is probably the most dramatic of the whole island
The reason that Mauritius has so many beautiful beaches (check the top 12 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.
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 an anecdote on the name of this beautiful location, Gris Gris
As you enter the park, a board explains how the tradition wants that Gris Gris has a reference to black magic with a connection to the tortuous coastline.
Very fascinating till the crude reality comes out (towards the end of the story). Gris Gris was most 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 version 🙂
Do not limit your trip to the Gris Gris beach only. Beautiful but there is more than that.
Once you go back to the main road, just a few metres from the parking area, there is a roundabout that takes you to Roche Qui Pleure. Turn here 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 (take a cloth with you to clean your lens)
This is the main town behind Gris Gris. It’s actually probably more of a village living of the tourists visiting this beach.
Interestingly enough, this town was created over 200 years ago as a port for all the vessels navigating from Europe to India.
There was no existing road from Port Louis to Souillac at that stage and navigation was the only mean of transportation.
If visiting Souillac you may also check the Rochester Falls, just outside town, famous for its rectangular flank rocks
If you have rented a car or you have organised your day with a driver, then you may want to visit also the following places.
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 also some of the 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 awesome taste!
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 rocky monolith right in the middle of it (you can climb it with an organised group).
All around Le Morne the beach is just paradisiacal. This is what you usually see on a postcard. 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
The south-west of the island is a beautiful part to visit and stay in Mauritius. But be aware that the weather can really be bad in a few months of the year.
I wrote a full guide to where to stay in Mauritius based on your type of vacation (couple, family, single, etc) and the month you will visit the island, so important as conditions can change dramatically through the year.
Stef Ferro is the founder and editor of MEL365, a travel & photography website made to enhance the travelling experience and improve the photography work.
Stef is a professional travel photographer with past experience in the cycling and film industry.
Stef runs travel photography workshops in Melbourne and around the world.