A highlight of any visit to Mauritius is the relatively undeveloped south of the island, which includes some of the country’s most wonderful scenery and wildest landscapes. While the area around Blue Bay has been a long-established favourite with tourists for its great beaches and crystal-clear waters, the majority of the south coast has no beach, thankfully limiting hotel construction for the most part. One big recent development was the building of three huge luxury hotels on the former sugar estate of Bel Ombre. This was followed in 2006 by the opening of another big luxury hotel in the nearby hamlet of St Felix, all of which will of course contribute to the area’s economy, but, many fear, will also mean Mauritius’ most unspoiled corner will gradually become more and more like the rest of the island. For now though, the area is the most ‘Mauritian’ in the country and the drive along the coastal road from Souillac to Le Morne really shouldn’t be missed. Other highlights include the typically sleepy town of Mahébourg, the wonderful nature reserve Île aux Aigrettes and imposing Lion Mountain, which dominates the region.
Found southeast of Mauritius, the Blue Bay Marine Park is framed on one side by Le Shandrani Hotel, Blue Lagoon Hotel, and the runway of our international airport, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Airport.
Sitting comfortably on top of the marine park is 'Ile des Deux Cocos', an islet within the lagoon, of 4.22 hectares.
An important and very unique network of coral reefs protect this part of the island from the ocean waves.
Once you are in Blue Bay residential area, you can easily walk from your hotels or villas to the beach since the area is small and has experienced little development. This makes Blue Bay unique and serene for ultimate relaxation.
The Blue Bay Marine Park is a must see! There you will find rare corals and fish species in a depth of 5.5 metres. There is more than 50 different species of corals that have been identified, and more than 80% are alive.
The Blue Bay Marine Park is now protected by the government, due to constant degradation of the marine environment left by urbanisation and the tourism industry.
For those who want to be involved in recreational activities there is a large range of land and water sports available including, tennis, table tennis, volleyball, windsurfing, kayaking, pedaloes (peddle/paddle boats, hydro-bikes), snorkelling and mini sailboats. Deep sea fishing and diving can also be organised.
In addition, there exist a wide spectrum of sailing activities and you can organize trips to the outlying islets by catamaran and speedboat cruise. For example, visit to Ile Aigrettes, a 5 hectare islet which consists of an old calcareous coral reef partially overlain by sand and soil deposits. It is an internationally important site as it was declared a nature reserve in 1965. Many of the plants found there grow nowhere else in the world.
Shopping in Mauritius is more than just an interesting experience. It is a journey in time and space of the civilisations and cultures that have passed through its history. The sculptures and drums of African origin, colourful sarees/saris or tailor-made suits, are proof of this diversity. Traditional Mauritian Arts and Crafts products and the best-brand luxury goods can be found in a number of shopping centres/arcades in all the towns and beach resorts. There are also a number of duty free shops, which offer very attractive prices. Last but not least are the traditional and colourful markets where you can really experience the Mauritian way of life and practice the national sport, bargaining!
Mauritius is a paradise for the senses, not only for the eyes with its beautiful landscape, but also for the palate. Gastronomes will find a variety of the most well prepared cuisines inherited from the different migrations throughout its history in Blue Bay and in Mauritius in general. Culinary traditions from France, India, China and Africa, the best-known and appreciated cuisines in the world, have been passed on through generations. The story of a Mauritian starting the day with a continental breakfast, followed by an Indian Lunch and finishing off with a Chinese dinner is a common cliché.