Coastal Roads in Mauritius
May 27 2019
May 27 2019
Thanks to the vast network of scenic roads (which span over 2 000 km) and the small size of the extraordinarily beautiful island of Mauritius, one of the best ways to discover this top destination is by hiring a car (or the services of a driver), and traversing it at your own pace.
By exploring the island by car, you are able to fully experience the vast and diverse beauty of the country - and meandering along the jungle-fringed thoroughfares and magical coastal roads is an experience you are bound never to forget.
If you are interested in making the most of a road trip in Mauritius by embracing the unparalleled shoreline, then here are some of the most memorable stops and most incredible coastal roads in Mauritius:
The southern B9 coastal road
Winding along the sensational Mauritian southern shoreline, on the B9 coastal road is an absolutely extraordinary experience - it’s probably the most beautiful coastal road in Mauritius. Starting from the incredible peninsular village of Le Morne, worth a visit in its own right (as is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Le Morne Brabant), you will head east towards Souillac. This oscillating road leads far beyond Bel Ombre and there are a number of exceptional places to stop along the way:
As you head along the winding B9 coastal road towards the quaint village of Baie du Cap, a stop at the inverted U-shaped bend at Macondé is a must. This well-maintained stretch of road has a fabled viewpoint, which is accessible via a staircase (it’s a little precarious and runs in zigzags so be careful when using this staircase). The panoramic view here of the ocean, as well as the coastline, is sublime, and it makes for the perfect photo op as well as a spectacular drive between mountainous terrain and glittering cyan waters.
The shore-hugging road is fairly traffic-free until it gets to Macondé, which is a hugely popular tourist stop, and you may encounter busses and a wealth of other cars - but if you are patient enough to wait your turn and leave quickly, this shouldn’t get to you too much. Close to the viewpoint, you can often find tasty local street food delicacies and fresh coconut juice for sale, perfect for some road trip refreshments.
From Macondé, you will then start heading towards Saint Martin - were you will find a plague which stands as a reminder of the survivors of the SS Trevessa, a shipwrecked cargo ship that sank in 1923. The road then continues on to Bel Ombre. Popular sites in Bel Ombre include the Domaine de Bel Ombre Estate and the Heritage Golf Course.
Once you pass Bel Ombre, you will come across Jacotet Bay. This small, seemingly insignificant bay is actually an important historic site - it’s where the British attempted to usurp the island from the rule of the French in 1810. This is also where the “secret” surfer beach spot - Islet of Sancho - can be found, as can some pirate treasure (if legends are to be believed).
The stretch of road after Jacotet Bay also acts as the route for the Mauritius Marathon. It’s along this road that you will find three of the top beaches on the island, St Félix, Riambel and Gris Gris (where swimming is not recommended but the views from the nearby cliffs are wonderful). Here the coastline - one of the only places that are not protected by reefs - is battered by huge powerful waves, a rare sight in this magical paradise. From here, the coastal road turns into the A9 and heads to some of the wonderful gems of the Mauritian interior.
The gorgeous coastal roads in the west
One of the most sensational coastal roads leads to the gorgeous little villages of Albion, Flic-en-Flac and Tamarin, located in the popular Rivière Noire district. Travellers relish the breathtaking views of the area; the lighthouse in Albion, situated on the edge of a dramatic cliff is particularly picturesque.
Flic-en-Flac is a favourite amongst holidaymakers and Tamarin is home to a charming village and stunning beach, perfect for cosy couples looking for a memorable trip to paradise. If you are doing a full day road trip, save this western coast for the afternoon, where the awe-inspiring Mauritian sunset is sure to dazzle as the sky slowly turns from yellow and orange to hues of pink, purple and gold.
The authentic northern roads
The northern coastal roads in Mauritius are wonderfully authentic, lined by hawkers offering local treats and fruits, to sweeten your trip, and ample locals going about their daily business. These routes lead to vivid sugarcane fields and boast sensational coastal views from Point aux Piments to Cap Malheureux, where the iconic red-roofed chapel, framed by the aquamarine Indian Ocean, is a must-see, and on to Grand Gaube. Colourful and charming, the north of Mauritius has a vibrant, exciting atmosphere and will make a for a stunning day out.
The emerald eastern shores
The wild east coast presents some truly mesmerising views of it’s untamed, dramatic shores littered with popular beaches and stops. Some of the area’s highlights include Poste Lafayette, Belle Mare and Trou d’Eau Douce. Swim or snorkel in the amazing crystal-clear waters, taste some of the island’s exotic fruit and consider catching a ferry to Ile aux Cerfs for a wonderful experience - the east is well worth a visit.