The North (Mauritius)

The North (Mauritius)

Things to do - general

The northern coast of Maurtitius is the place where the most development has taken place in recent years. Thanks to this work, Grand Baie has an abundance of restaurants and discotheques. If you like to party to the sound of good music, you will find plenty of options to choose from here.

The north isn’t only about night life, however. It also boasts some of Mauritius’ best-loved sights, including the charming red-roofed church that overlooks the lagoon at Cap Malheureux.

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Culture & history

9th Century
Arabs discovered Mauritius.

16th Century
The Portuguese visited Mauritius.

The Dutch who were the first to colonise Mauritius, named it after their ruler, Prince Maurice Van Nassau. Ebony forests were destroyed by overexploitation and the dodo was exterminated. It later became the symbol of endangered animal species and conservation worldwide.

The Dutch left Mauritius.

The French took possession of the island and re-named it ‘Île de France’.

Governor Bertrand-François Mahé de La Bourdonnais founded Port Louis, which later became the capital. He turned the island into a prosperous French colony and a port of call on the sea journey from Europe to the Far-East round the Cape of Good Hope. He established Port Louis as a naval base and built roads and bridges. Among his other achievements are the building of the Government House, the Line Barracks, and Château de Mon Plaisir at Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens. Nowadays, Labourdonnais’ statue stands guard, facing Port Louis harbour.

A major naval battle took place in Grand Port on the south-east coast of the island in this year. It was the only naval battle won by Napoleon, and is thus duly engraved on the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. However, three months later, the British launched a surprise attack from the north of the island and the French governor General Charles Decaen surrendered.

The 1814 Treaty of Paris ratified the cession of Mauritius and its dependencies, Rodrigues and Seychelles, to the British. Réunion Island, which was also captured by the British, was returned to France. The island took its former name of Mauritius, and English became the official language. However, according to the Treaty of Paris, the population was to keep its language, its religion and its laws. This is the reason why French is still widely spoken, despite the fact that the British ruled the island for 158 years.

The British Abolished Slavery. As the newly freed slaves refused to work in the plantations, indentured labourers were brought in from India. Chinese and Muslim traders were also attracted to these shores – hence the melting pot which now constitutes the population of Mauritius.

Mauritius gained its independence. Sir Seewosagur Ramgoolam became the first Prime Minister. Mauritius still forms part of the British Commonwealth and follows the Westminster pattern of Government.

Mauritius became a Republic.


Located off the South West coast of the Indian Ocean, at approximately 230 km from Reunion Island and 860 km from Madagascar, Mauritius has a surface area of 1872 square kilometers with a central plateau rising at 600 metres above sea level and 330 km of coastline.
Of volcanic origin, Mauritius is the second largest island of the Mascareignes Archipelago.

Sheltered from the open sea by the world’s third largest coral reed, Mauritius offers natural, secured, crystal clear lagoons and golden sandy beaches.

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Many people believe that the beaches of northern Mauritius are without compare. Some of the finest examples include the stunning Trou aux Biches – shaded by casuarinas trees – the arching curve of Mont Choisy beach, which runs from Trou aux Biches to Grand Baie, and the divine Pereybere cove.

Grand Baie is the Mauritian centre for sailing activities. Visitors can join a yacht tour, a catamaran cruise or even charter a private launch here. Conditions for sailing are usually excellent and yachts can be chartered to cruise around Mauritius or to visit some of the northern offshore islands.


Perhaps a little less well-known than Le Morne or Belle Mare, there are still some wonderful spots for adventurous kite-surfers to practise their skills in the north of Mauritius – particularly around Cap Malheureux and Anse La Raie.


The north is arguably one of the best places to scuba dive in Mauritius. There are a range of exciting options available to both beginners and more advanced divers. Of these, some of the most popular are: Gunner’s Coin (26 metres in depth) where big parrotfish can be spotted during each dive; Whale Rock (26 to 38 metres in depth), where you might be lucky enough to witness a hammerhead shark; and Holt’s Rocks (16 to 25 metres in depth), which – as the name suggests – features huge underwater boulders.


One of the most spectacular ways to explore the ocean bed is to take a journey on the Blue Safari submarine or sub-scooter. Doing this allows non-scuba divers to safely enjoy a superb encounter with Mauritius’ vibrant marine life. It also gives them the chance to see various wrecks dating back to the 17th Century.

‘Le Nessee’, a semi-submersible boat, can also take you on a safe and comfortable discovery trip under the sea. It offers a rare and unforgettable experience, providing optimal viewing facilities for all age groups from its below-the-surface viewing room.

For those who want to experience the feeling of actually walking on the sea bed, meanwhile, ‘Captain Nemo’s Undersea Walk’ is a must. Underwater Walk Ltd. has developed a unique solar-powered diving system that sends a constant stream of fresh air to helmets worn by the undersea explorers. This allows non-scuba divers to get as close to sea-life as is physically possible, without the need to undertake expensive and time-consuming scuba qualifications.


This cluster of small islands off the north coast has become a favourite stop-off for sailboats and diving groups alike, but is perhaps best seen through a dedicated catamaran cruise, which can be booked from hotels desks or through local tour operators.

Taking part in one of these tours allows visitors to snorkel in the crystalline waters off Gunner’s Coin, which rises sharply above the water and harbours sea-birds’ nests in the cliffs. It also provides an opportunity for picnicking and swimming near the stunning Flat Island and Ilot Gabriel.

Further north still, one can see the striking shape of Round Island – a natural reserve area where access is restricted to protect the indigenous species of palms and reptiles that have been reintroduced there.

This island and its neighbour, Ile aux Serpents, are currently under intensive conservation management by the government and the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation. Permits are needed to visit both islands, although it is possible to obtain these locally.

Tourist places


Discover a wealth of tropical fruit trees, colourful and exotic-scented flowers at this beautiful orchard, close to Grand Baie.

After a busy day viewing the anthuriums, bougainvillas and hibiscuses, sample the orchard’s freshly-made jams and fruit juices.

Note that mountain bike or hiking excursions can be organised here.


Re-named in 1988 in recognition of the much-loved Prime Minister who led his country to independence 20 years earlier, the SSR Botanical Gardens are one of north Mauritius’ most visited tourist attractions.

Famed for their giant Victoria amazonica water lilies, whose gargantuan leaves expand as wide as three metres in diameter, and for the amazing Talipot – a plant that flowers only once every 30 to 100 years – the gardens also feature some fine example of mahogany trees and rare Latanier palms from Madagascar.


Cap Malheureux is the most northerly point of the island and the place where General John Abercrombie landed his troops when the British first attacked the island. A tiny chapel famous for its red roof, the Notre Dame Auxiliatrice – commonly known as the Red Roof Chapel – is worth a quick visit. Be sure to look out for its intricate interior woodwork and for its holy-water basin fashioned out of a giant clamshell.


As well as being the longest village on the island, Triolet Shivala also boasts the biggest Hindu temple. First built in 1819 in honour of the Gods Shiva, Krishna, Vishnu, Muruga, Brahma and Ganesha, the brightly-coloured Maheswarnath provides an interesting stop-off point.


The most famous story in Mauritius folklore, ‘Paul et Virginie’ was inspired by the shipwreck of the St Géran, which came to a watery end just off the north-east coast at Poudre d’Or. A small monument marks the spot where the boat sunk.

Legend has it that while Paul, the son of a slave, waited for Virginie, his bourgeois sweetheart, to return from overseas, her boat the St Géran floundered on the rocks. Paul apparently swam out to his lover, but she modestly refused to remove her clothing to swim back to shore with him. Eventually her Victorian clothes dragged her down into the depths and she was drowned. Paul subsequently died of a broken heart.


There is more to Pamplemousses than its delightful botanical gardens. Deriving its original name from the Pamplemoussier citrus plant that was imported by the Dutch who first colonised Mauritius in the 17th Century, this northern town has a rich historical past.

Interesting places to visit include the Old Cemetery, the 18th Century Saint François of Assises Church, and L’Aventure du Sucre: a fascinating museum that chronicles the history of the Mauritian sugar industry while offering additional insight into the island’s wider history, including slavery and rum production.


Invites you to join Eco’lo and his friends for a unique adventure under the waves and through the reefs, to the depth of the Indian Ocean, surrounding our tropical shores.

Being the only Public Marine Aquarium on the island, we proudly displays over 150 sea creatures including Giant Morays, Sea Turtles, Reef Sharks and an abundance of shapes , colours and patterns that will inspire the imagination !!

The doors are open every day for you to discover a wealth of knowledge you may have never knew existed and bring you closer than ever before to deep sea giants at our open top predator tank.

Unfortunately there are no accommodations at this location at the moment.

Unfortunately there are no tour offers at this location at the moment.