Belle Mare area
Considered to be the most idyllic beaches on the east coast, Belle Mare and Palmar are linked by a 10km stretch of white sand located north of Mahebourg and neighbouring resort of Trou d’Eau Douce. The calm sea lapping the soft sand is a deep shade of turquoise, making Belle Mare and Palmar inviting locations for swimming and water sports. Nightlife here is sparse - the sleepy town centres have a handful of restaurants, bars and designer shops but the general atmosphere is quiet and low key. There is a good selection of luxury resorts, but much of the coastline remains undeveloped, and the surroundings are more low-rise than in the busier resort towns on the west coast. One of the island’s most popular dive sites ‘The Pass’ is located a short distance from the beach, a drift dive that takes you through an underwater canyon that provides shelter for large and colourful species of fish.
To the north of Belle Mare the beach extends to Poste de Flacq, an even quieter settlement where the lagoon extends inland. At this point the coast becomes rockier and more natural, providing opportunities for walks and bike rides with rewarding sea views. Just inland the market town of Centre de Flacq offers a taste of authentic Mauritian life at the island’s largest market where locals flock to purchase fruit, vegetables, and other everyday goods.
Continue up the coast and you will find Bras d’Eau the National Park, which covers 427 hectares of regenerating Mauritian forest. One of only three national parks in Mauritius, Bras d’Eau was first established in 2011 and is much quieter and less visited than Black River Gorges park. Maps of the walking trails are available at the visitor centre, which guide you through the protected forest and inland lakes which are a habitat for rare and endemic bird species including the Mauritius Paradise Flycatcher.