On the island’s northern end, busy and buzzing Grand Baie is the center of tourism in Mauritius. This is where all the action happens. The seaside town is packed with bars, nightclubs, restaurants, shops, and expansive resorts.
Ocean activities are the focus here, with an array of water sports and experiences to suit everyone during their holiday in Mauritius.
Grand Baie is also a great jumping-off point for exploring the islands north of the coast on day trips by catamaran or boat.
If you’d like to be close to Grand Baie without staying in the thick of things, nearby Pointe aux Cannoniers is a quieter alternative.
While Grand Baie’s main beach sees a lot of boat traffic and isn’t ideal for swimming, there are plenty of beautiful beaches a few kilometers away north and south of town.
La Cuvette, for example, is an excellent beach with lots of shade and great street food options. The next beach is Péreybère, a good snorkeling spot in the north.
Mont Choisy, which is popular with locals on weekends, can be found on the south side of Grand Baie. Lastly, Trou aux Biches, a two-kilometer stretch of perfect sand, is rated one of the best beaches on the island.
There’s a massive variety of water sports and ocean adventures on offer in and around Grand Baie, with more than enough options to fill your entire beach holiday in Mauritius.
Take your pick from water skiing, yachting, deep-sea fishing trips, windsurfing, catamaran cruises, and sailing trips. The town is also an excellent place to organize underwater activities as there are some fantastic scuba dive sites just off the coast of Grand Baie.
For something totally different, there’s the Solar Undersea Walk – the next best thing to scuba diving – where you walk underwater for nearly half an hour in a diver’s helmet.
It’s an excellent option for kids who can’t yet dive, as the minimum age limit is seven – just be sure to book a day ahead during the busy months.
For children above the age of 16, there’s the underwater scooter, a motorized form of diving that doesn’t require any diving experience.
One way to see the underwater life of the ocean without getting wet is on a semi-submarine. You’ll be submerged under the ocean to see the marine life of the reefs.
Exploring Mauritius’ offshore islands and islets is a great activity on the north coast, and it’s a fantastic activity for both families and solo travelers.
Boat and catamaran trips take you on half or full-day excursions to visit Île Plate, which has a lovely beach to explore, Coin de Mire, a nature reserve with rare species, and Île Gabriel, where you can go snorkeling.
A bit further afield are Île Ronde and Île aux Serpents, which you can’t land on but can sail and snorkel around. Grand Baie has the best food scene on the island, and it’s an ideal place to go on a food safari to explore the island’s flavors and cuisines.
Restaurants offer everything from Mauritian Creole and seafood to Chinese, Indian and Italian food. At the same time, street vendors sell delicious (and cheap) snacks such as gateaux piments (fried chili bites), fresh coconuts, spicy curries, and sliced tropical fruit.
If you’re staying in a self-catering apartment or house, head to Grand Baie’s beach everyday at 4 PM to buy the catch of the day from local fishermen and cook up a fish feast at home.
Grand Baie is a great year-round destination, as the wind here is generally offshore, and the beaches in the area are sheltered from the wind – especially during the winter months of June to August.
If you’re not renting a car on your Mauritius holiday, then Grand Baie is an excellent place to base yourself, as there’s plenty on offer in the town in terms of restaurants and activities, and it’s well connected by buses to the rest of the island.
Grand Baie will appeal to almost all types of travelers. It’s great for families, with loads of child-friendly activities and family hotels. It also suits solo travelers looking to meet people and be part of a buzz.
Solo travelers will enjoy the lively dining and drinking scene, and adventure seekers have loads of exciting water sports and other outdoor adventures right on their doorstep.
If you prefer a quieter atmosphere and a less developed beachfront, Grand Baie is not going to be your ideal pick of destination in Mauritius. Instead, choose a resort or hotel on the east coast or southern coastline.