Mahebourg: the 12 best things to do
Want to discover Mahebourg and its magnificent region?
You’re in luck!
In the south-east of the island, Mahebourg is a charming coastal town that you absolutely must visit during your holidays in Mauritius.
This former fishing village is a peaceful and authentic place, where life is good.
The vestiges of its colonial past are visible everywhere and give it a real picturesque cachet.
In the surroundings, you will also discover heavenly beaches such as those of Pointe d’Esny or Blue Bay.
To help you organize your stay in Mahebourg, I have prepared this complete guide.
I give you the list of visits and essential activities in this care of the island, with my advice and my tips.
At the end of the article, also discover my selection of the best restaurants and the best hotels in Mahebourg.
So, what to do and see in Mahebourg in Mauritius?
1. The waterfront
Mahebourg’s waterfront is one of a kind in Mauritius.
Paved with red bricks, it is pleasant to walk around or sit on the edge to admire the ocean.
The small island that you will see just opposite is a private islet called “Mouchoir Rouge”.
You can also admire the Lion Mountain whose silhouette is emerging in the distance.
Be sure to walk to the end of the beautiful wooden pier, which ends in a gazebo and offers superb views of the lagoon.
Every year in Mahebourg there is a canoe race, called the “Regatta”.
This tradition has been carried on since the 19th century.
The event takes place at the end of the year at the seafront ( also called Pointe des Régates ).
It’s a beautiful spectacle of colors that you may be lucky enough to witness!
2. Stroll through the city
Less known than the tourist towns of northern Mauritius, Mahebourg is the former capital of the island.
It was founded in the 17th century by the first Dutch occupants and later witnessed French and then English occupations.
At every street corner, you will find that Mahebourg has preserved many vestiges of these successive occupations.
It is this history, mixed today with local customs, which gives it its particular charm.
You will enjoy strolling through its streets lined with colorful Creole houses and small authentic shops.
To see during your walk in Mahebourg:
- The covered market, open every day
- The large market, which takes place on Mondays
- The old washhouse from 1770, where soldiers’ costumes were washed during the Battle of Grand-Port
- The National History Museum (which I will tell you about in more detail right after)
- The Rault biscuit factory (which is also entitled to its dedicated paragraph below)
To visit Mahebourg in the best conditions, I recommend this great gastronomic guided tour.
It lasts 4 hours and combines:
- Guided tour of the city and its monuments, to learn all about its history
- Tasting of local culinary specialties at several restaurants and street vendors
- Canoe trip on the La Chaux river
To book your food tour of Mahebourg here.
The name Mahebourg was given to it in 1804 after the former French governor Mahé de Labourdonnais, who was very influential in Mauritius.
If you like history, I advise you to visit the National Historical Naval Museum of Mahebourg.
It is housed in an old colonial residence surrounded by a pretty park.
In this museum, you will discover an interesting collection of objects, documents, paintings and photographs which will immerse you in the colonial history of Mauritius.
The visit is quite short, allow a maximum of 1 hour.
And good news: admission is free!
4. The Rault biscuit factory
Among the things to see in Mahebourg, there is also the Rault biscuit factory, very pleasant to visit.
This biscuit factory dates back to 1870 and manufactures 100% Mauritian small cassava-based cakes.
The secret recipe has been protected for 150 years by the family that runs this ancestral trade!
Take advantage of your time in the city to take the guided tour, which ends with a tasting of the famous biscuits accompanied by Mauritian tea in the pretty garden.
And you can of course buy a few boxes to take back in your luggage through the shop!
More info on the official website.
5. Blue Bay Beach
After visiting Mahebourg, I suggest you get back on the road and explore the surroundings.
Only a few minutes away you will find the rather chic village of Blue Bay with many waterfront villas.
Stop at the public beach of Blue Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.
It is an ideal spot for snorkeling. You can meet many colorful fish there without having to go far away.
And if you want to dive, then I recommend this superb exploration dive session with the Scuba World Diving Mauritius center in Blue Bay.
You will be accompanied to one of the 10 most beautiful diving sites in the lagoon and will enjoy an unforgettable dive in the heart of a marine universe rich in fauna (fish, turtles, etc.) and impressive sea caves.
You are a beginner and you want to take advantage of your stay in Mauritius to do your first dive?
That’s a great idea!
The Scuba World Diving center also offers diving initiations in the magnificent Blue Bay marine reserve.
Another activity idea to do in Blue Bay: a glass-bottom boat trip, with a snorkeling session and a Creole picnic on the islet of Deux Cocos.
More info and reservations here.
6. Pointe d’Esny
Another sublime beach to see in the vicinity of Mahebourg: Pointe d’Esny beach.
This is one of my favorite beaches in all of Mauritius.
It is truly heavenly with turquoise and translucent water, bordered by fine white sand which extends over 2km.
A real postcard decor, as they say!
It is even often cited as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!
Pointe d’Esny beach is “hidden” behind luxurious villas, out of sight and is therefore not very crowded.
It is still quite wild and very well preserved.
There are a few occasional swimmers and kitesurfers there, but there are rarely crowds.
A real hidden gem to discover during your holidays in the South East of Mauritius!
To go to Pointe d’Esny beach from Mahebourg, head south and join the Coastal Road.
Continue for about 3km driving slowly, so as not to miss the sign “Pedestrian access to the beach”.
There, park on the side of the road and reach the sign on foot. You will see a narrow path that passes between 2 high walls.
Follow it to find the beach at the very end.
7. Gris Gris Beach
In the very south of the island, about 40min drive from Mahebourg, Gris Gris beach is an emblematic site to see during your stay in Mauritius.
It is also the southernmost point of the country.
Here, the landscapes are very different from the rest of the island. It almost feels like Brittany! (yes yes ^^)
You will discover a rough and rugged wild coast, which drastically changes from the white sand beaches that we are used to seeing in Mauritius.
Be careful, take off your hats and take precautions: here the wind is strong and the sea rough.
The particularity of this site is that it is not protected by the coral reef.
As a result, the waves directly hit the volcanic cliffs.
The part of the cliff that stands out against the sea is also called “la Roche qui pleure” because of the waves that constantly attack it and cause water to flow along its sides, as if the rock were crying.
8. Ile aux Aigrettes
Another unmissable thing to do around Mahebourg: the excursion to Île aux Aigrettes!
Ile aux Aigrettes is a small round islet located less than 1km off Pointe d’Esny.
It is also a protected nature reserve which is home to several species of endemic animals and plants including:
- the pink pigeon
- the cardinal of Mauritius
- telfair’s skink
- Aldabra giant tortoise
- and many others!
Its access is therefore strictly regulated.
The visit of the Ile aux Aigrettes must be done with a guide, who will explain to you all the history of the island and its conservation program.
You will be able to observe certain animals in their natural environment, as well as the species sheltered in the nursery with a view to their reintegration.
To visit Île aux Aigrettes, go to “Pointe Jérôme Embarkation Point”.
In front of the reception, there is a sandy parking lot where you can park easily.
Places are limited so I strongly advise you to book your visit in advance by calling +230 631 2396.
You will have the choice between a quick visit of 1h30, or a complete tour of 2h30.
What I personally recommend, for simplicity and to optimize your time, is this guided day trip which includes:
- the visit of the Ile aux Aigrettes
- the visit of La Vanille Nature Park
- a stopover at Gris Gris beach.
For only 50€/person, the transport picks you up directly at your hotel in the morning, takes you to visit all these sites and brings you back to your accommodation at the end of the day.
Nothing to organize, just let yourself go!
9. The Ferney Valley
Another unmissable visit near Mahebourg: the Ferney Valley!
It is a nature reserve of more than 200 ha, which is home to many endemic animal and plant species, including the Pink Pigeon and the Mauritius Kestrel.
The entrance to the Valley is at the old sugar factory of Ferney less than 10min drive from Mahebourg.
You can choose to explore it with a guide, or on your own.
The walking tour is along a 3km path. There is also the possibility of visiting the reserve in a 4×4 to go more in depth (which I recommend!).
The site also includes a very good restaurant serving local cuisine using fresh produce.
More information on the terms of visit and prices on the official website (in English).
Don’t forget your mosquito repellent!
10. Excursion to Ile aux Cerfs
From Mahebourg, you can also go on an excursion to Ile aux Cerfs.
Ile aux Cerfs is a small paradise island off the east coast of Mauritius.
It is not inhabited but very popular with tourists and locals for its idyllic setting.
There is a large golf course as well as leisure facilities: restaurants, shops, nautical activities…
It is possible to walk around it.
Its northern part is wilder. It is not uncommon to find totally deserted corners of the beach, perfect if you are looking for tranquility!
To go to Ile aux Cerfs from Mahebourg, go again to the Pointe Jérôme boarding point.
From there, board a sublime catamaran and set off for a day at sea including:
- barbecue lunch on board ( vegetarian options possible)
- pauses snorkeling
- free time on Ile aux Cerfs.
An unforgettable outing to book directly here.
11. The Blue Waterfall
About a 15-minute drive inland from Mahebourg hides an absolutely magnificent corner that is little known to tourists: Eau Bleue.
Eau Bleue is in fact the name of the river which passes near the village of Cluny. It offers one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Mauritius, which flows into an azure-colored pool (hence its name!).
You can bathe in its translucent and refreshing water, in a truly magical setting.
Also think about the camera: Eau Bleue is one of the most beautiful photo spots on the island!
Do you want a punchier activity? Eau Bleue is also a great canyoning site !
Water sports enthusiasts will love this 3h/3h30 course which follows the river, in the heart of the lush nature of the island.
Abseiling, jumps, waterfalls and slides await you for a maximum of sensations!
But I assure you: there is no particular difficulty and the course is suitable for beginners. Children from 10 years old are welcome.
It is strongly advised not to go to Eau Bleue during or after heavy rains because the site is in this case slippery and flooded.
Conversely, in times of drought the waterfall is often dry.
12. Other activities to do around Mahebourg and Blue Bay
If you are looking for other ideas of things to do around Mahebourg/Blue Bay, here are other outdoor activities that I recommend:
- A 3-hour quad excursion off the beaten track.
- A fat bike ride along the coast.
- A canoe trip in the lagoon of Mahebourg.
Where to eat in Mahebourg?
Are you looking for good places to eat in Mahebourg? Here are some establishments, tested and approved, that I recommend:
- L’Ajoupa : a unique snack in Mauritius, with a Jamaican atmosphere. You can enjoy delicious Creole/Asian cuisine to the sound of reggae music, in a vegetal and super warm atmosphere. This is THE good plan for a relaxing evening in Mahebourg!
- Karay Mario : restaurant renowned for its authentic and refined Mauritian cuisine. The setting is superb and the owner, Mario, is particularly warm. One of the best places to eat in the Southeast of the island!
- Le Bazilic : welcoming restaurant located in the center of Mahebourg, offering Creole cuisine based on fresh and local products. Special mention for the flambéed banana for dessert (I’m still salivating)!
Accommodation in Mahebourg
- Le Jardin de Beauvallon : small charming hotel offering individual bungalows for 2 people. The night is from 61€. Presence of an outdoor swimming pool, a tropical garden and a restaurant. Ideal for an affordable stay in Mahebourg!
- La Peninsula Bay Beach Resort & Spa : high-end hotel in a heavenly setting, 200m from Blue Bay beach and 1km from Pointe d’Esny beach. Count around €160 for a family room (1 double bed and 2 single beds).
- Ferney Nature Lodge : sleep in a magnificent ultra-comfortable eco-lodge in the middle of nature, in the heart of the Ferney valley, from €295 per night. Each suite includes a double bed, a bathroom and a terrace. Spectacular view of the valley from the restaurant terrace. My favorite around Mahebourg!
This guide to Mahebourg and its surroundings is already coming to an end. I hope it will help you organize your schedule to visit Mahebourg and not miss anything of this magnificent region!
Do not hesitate to leave me a comment if you have any questions or if you want to share your feedback.:-D
And you, what are you planning to do in Mahebourg during your holidays in Mauritius?
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