Flic en Flac
After Grand Baie Flic en Flac is the most popular tourist area in Mauritius. The once small fishing area on the west of the island has developed into a hub of resorts, hotels, rental apartments, restaurants, bars, clubs and souvenir shops. The beach itself is one of the best on the island – a long 8km stretch of white sand where you can laze away days, have picnics under the shade of the casuarina trees, try out some street food, or take advantage of the array of water sports on offer, such as snorkelling, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing. A short drive to the south, beautiful Tamarin beach is one of the few places in Mauritius not protected by coral reef, which makes it a renowned surfing spot.
The west coast of Mauritius offers some of the best scuba diving on the island, with some fantastic wreck, reef and drift sites just off shore from Flic en Flac and nearby Tamarin. Suitable for beginner divers, La Cathédrale is one of the most popular sites in Mauritius for its stone arches, caverns and caves where you’ll be able to see a host of tropical fish species, while there’s also a cluster of other dive sites close by.
Water sports are the main activity on offer in Flic en Flac, and with such a huge choice, there’s something for everyone. Kids will love banana boating and paddle boating, while teenagers can try parasailing, water skiing and jet skiing. Then there’s deep-sea fishing for tuna and marlin, canoeing, kayaking, and sailing. Further down the coast, Tamarin has one of the best surf spots on the island (the best conditions are May to September), where you can do lessons at the local surf school.
Pods of dolphins can be found offshore from Flic en Flac and Tamarin, and swimming with these beautiful creatures is one of the most popular activities things to do on Mauritius’ west coast. However, the way this is done raises many ethical questions about how the dolphins are treated, as they’re crowded by boats and by people trying to get close to them. If you do choose to swim with dolphins, do some research on ethical operators and make sure that you keep your distance in the water and that your boat stays far away from the pod.
A 10-minute drive from the centre of Flic en Flac, Casela World of Adventures is one of the most popular attractions on the island. The 250-hectare nature park offers more activities than you could fit into a full day: everything from safari drives to see lions and Segway or quad bike safaris where you can spot zebra, deer, monkeys, ostriches and antelopes to rides on horses and camels, feeding giraffes, mud karting on an off-road track, ziplining and canyon swinging and canyoning in a river. There’s lots for children, including being a zookeeper for the day, pony rides, tilapia fishing, feeding giant tortoises and lorikeet birds and the petting farm.
If you’re not staying at a resort that offers diving, then be sure to pick a dive operator that has a good reputation (ask your hotel for advice or go with reviews). Some resorts also offer scuba diving lessons to non-guests.
If you don’t have a rental car, Flic en Flac is well connected by public buses to the capital of Port Louis (about half an hour’s drive away) as well as to Curepipe and Quatre Bornes. The airport is an hour’s drive away.
Flic en Flac is ideal for families: the beaches of western Mauritius are best for kids, as they are calm and sheltered. There’s also plenty of child-friendly resorts and other lodging options in Flic en Flac, as well as a wealth of activities for children of all ages.
Flic en Flac has a great choice of luxury hotels and resorts that are perfect for couples and honeymooners, with private villas with their own swimming pools, butler service, couples’ spa treatments and special pampering extras such as private dinners for two.
While it’s not off the beaten track, Flic en Flac is a good choice for adventure travellers who want to spend their days diving, surfing, snorkelling and doing other exciting water sports.