Three Beautiful Beaches of the Mauritius South Coast
The dramatic coastline of southern Mauritius has an entirely different feel to the rest of the island. Dotted with colourful fishing villages, it’s much less developed, with wild stormy beaches backed by high sea cliffs, and plenty of rich green vegetation as a result of year-round high humidity. Although the beaches here are not suitable for swimming in the main, they are stunning nonetheless, and the sight of enormous waves crashing relentlessly against the rocks is something to behold.
On the island’s southernmost tip, just beyond the village of Souillac, Gris Gris is most well known for its sea cliffs. Without a reef to protect the coastline from the raw power of the Indian Ocean – the only gap in the otherwise perfect reef that surrounds Mauritius – the waves here batter the rocks with a ferocity not seen in other parts of the island.
From the top, a path leads down to the beach itself. Although it looks inviting, swimming is prohibited here due to the extremely strong currents, though it’s still a popular spot for family picnics or a stroll. You’ll need to hold on to your hats though, especially in winter (June-September) – the south east trade winds sometimes sweep through here with gusts of up to 60km per hour.
Just along the coast towards the district of Savanne, Riambel Beach is a long sweep of sugary white sand backed by grassy banks and palm trees. The beach here is completely undeveloped, with a true Robinson Crusoe feel – there are no facilities at all, so this is ‘off the beaten path’ exploration at its best. The only sign of human endeavour is at West Riambel, where an abandoned and deserted bungalow resort sits back among the trees, the crumbling and faded buildings lending an eerie atmosphere to the surroundings. It’s a great place to come if you’re looking for some solitude with a touch of adventure thrown in.
St Félix Beach
Other than the Le Morne peninsula, St Félix beach, near the village of Rivière des Galets, is considered one of the most beautiful on the south coast. Totally unspoilt and shaded by casuarina trees, a long curve of creamy white sand gently shelves into the sea and stretches for around 1.5km towards Riambel. Unlike Gris Gris, it is possible to swim and snorkel here – the shallow waters make it ideal for children – and unlike Riambel the beach is fairly well catered for by mobile snack vendors in the summer, selling all manner of Mauritian street food. Despite this, the beach remains largely undiscovered by tourists and is an ideal spot to get away from it all for an afternoon.
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