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Le Morne, Mauritius,
© Myroslava / 123RF
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Le Morne

By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Our Editorial team's advice

It is the Mauritian coast the most reputed for its unspoilt and authentic character, not to mention its hotels, which are few but very diverse.

For those wishing to discover the most beautiful scenery in the area, we suggest you choose a hotel at the foot of Le Morne, on the southwest tip. This is where you will find the most beautifulbeaches of the south. Keep in mind, however, that the hotels here are quite isolated.

If you are looking for a compromise between solitude and entertainment, we suggest you stay in the south-east, on the Mahébourg side. Be warned that the airport is close-by, which means short transfer times but a lot of air traffic and all the noise that goes along with it.

The most beautiful part of the south coast is located in Souillac, 9 mi south of Mahébourg. Here the coral reef disappears into a very rugged basaltic coast beaten by the waves of the Indian Ocean. It is an amazing site that culminates at Le Souffleur: the sea has carved caves into the cliff that branch out right up to the summit. During high tides, the waves come rushing in and create a kind of geyser that is formed by the foam. Thrills guaranteed if you travel to Le Morne!

To see

Le Domaine du Chasseur. Located at 500m of altitude, this preserved domain offers a panoramic view over the hills of Vieux Grand Port, the lagoon and the passageway towards the ocean. On the programme: hiking, quad biking, fishing and deer hunting. The restaurants here propose tasty authentic cuisine in a dining room built of logs. You can also spend the night in one of the bungalows or get a massage in a hut that has built in the trees.

To do

The south road, from Mahébourg to the tip of Le Morne. Along the way you can stop at Le Souffleur (a sea geyser), at Souillac (to see its maritime cemetery), and in Bel Ombre (for its Château, a colonial house transformed into a gourmet restaurant that also serves tea in the afternoon).
The Mistral club located between Le Morne and Bel Ombre offers surfing and kite-surfing (traditional surfing while attached to a parachute). Thrills guaranteed!

pros

  • +  An unspoilt coast, from Souillac to Le Morne
  • +  Few but very diverse hotels

cons

  • -  Frequent wind along the coastline
  • -  No big towns nearby

To think about

Unless you decide to choose a hotel in Bel Ombre or along the Le Morne peninsula, the airport is not far off and the hotels in Pointe d'Esny are the first to be completely booked, even in low season (rooms are reserved for flight staff on a stopover). Plan your trip several months in advance if you have your heart set on staying near Mahébourg.

To avoid

Green coconuts. You can find them everywhere (the market, street stalls, etc.), presented with a straw. Unfortunately, the taste is bland and unless you cut it open to eat the flesh, you are going to throw it away after a few sips. Try also to avoid going to see the land of seven colors of Chamarel when the sky is overcast, as the colours of the volcanic rocks will seem a bit dull compared to how they look at sunset.

To try

Fish steamed in banana leaves. Manioc biscuits made in Ville Noire, a 10 minute drive from Mahébourg. Prawns (crayfish) in a garlic sauce. Carries (a typical main dish in Réunion) of meat, fish or seafood, not too spicy (unless you ask) and served with rice on the side. Among all the many good places where you can enjoy this dish, we recommend the Boungainville in Blue Bay.
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