Everything You Need to Know About Postcard-Perfect Grand Baie Mauritius
If you’ve never stepped foot on the soft white sand of Grand Baie, what are you waiting for!? Here’s all the things you’re missing.
If you think Grand Baie (pronounced Grand Bay) is just a sleepy sun-drenched village overrun by luxurious resorts, then you’d be wrong.
This dazzling destination is absolutely choc-a-block with great things to do and, yes, there’s the odd opulent resort in there too. But in this blog, we’ll introduce you to both.
We’ll take on a journey from Grand Baie’s simple past to what it looks like today.
Grand Baie: A Brief History
In its youth, prior to blossoming into the vibrant holiday hub we know and love today, Grand Baie was a small fishing village in Northern Mauritius.
Now, you may be thinking that Mauritius has always been a pretty special place, aesthetically. But it wasn’t until the price of sugar took off in the 70s that the island really started to gather some tourism traction.
Since then its renowned emerald waters and staggering coastline, which the Dutch dubbed “De Bogt Zonder Eyndt” (Bay Without End) in the 17th century, has been attracting visitors from the world over.
But what is there to do in this boom town of sun, sea, and sand?
When we talk about the best things to do in Grand Baie, we’re really talking about some of the best excursions in Mauritius. Because the activities here are so stellar.
In addition, technically they’re not activities in Grand Baie, but we think Gunners’ Quoin, Flat Island, Round Island, and Serpent Island deserve honourable mentions.
This collection of protected islands lies just off the northern coast of Mauritius and our little town acts as the main departure point for excursions. Take a trip out and see how much endemic flora and fauna are crammed on to these dots of land.
But, for now, let’s focus on the activities that make Grand Baie special.
Top 5 things you need to do in Grand Baie
- Black River Gorges National Park
- Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens
- La Croisette
- Grand Baie Bazaar
- Pereybere Beach
Black River Gorges National Park
The Black River Gorges National Park is the place to be when it comes to revelling unashamedly in the beauty of nature. It’s one of the only spots left on Earth where you can genuinely feel as though you’ve travelled back in time to the Jurassic.
Home to enough indigenous wildlife to rival a biblical ark, Black River Gorges is an au-naturale wonderland. In addition, it’s also one of the only places where you can spot species like; the Mauritius Kestrel, Echo Parakeet, and Pink Pigeon in the wild.
Hike to Maccabee Forest or Black River and immerse yourself in the wild heart of Mauritius. Turn your ears skywards and listen to the tropical birdsong and waterfalls resonating amid the treetops. Or perhaps take an indulgent dip in a river untouched since the dawn of time.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens
They began life as the Jardin de Mon Plaisir of Governor Mahe de la Bourdonnais. Dating back as far as the 1700s, the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens are the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere.
As an intrinsic part of the Mauritian narrative, the Botanical Gardens have been wowing tourists for years. Blooming fish poison trees and chewing gum plants, as well as white and pink rose bushes line the pathways inside the gardens. It’s even home to Trochetia boutoniana, a bell-shaped red flower which is known as the National Flower of Mauritius. So you’ll be in esteemed company indeed.
Grand Baie Bazaar
But not everything in Mauritius is as inextricably tied to nature as those first two places. If you’re looking to get some retail therapy done on the island then these next two places are for you.
Moving more towards modernity, the bazaar is located right in the heart of the area. Step inside and be dazzled by the colourful and enchanting world of the Mauritius local market.
A plethora of stalls lines the marketplace offering everything from jewellery, fabrics, bags, souvenirs and handicrafts. Plus, if you’re feeling peckish, there’s also an enviable selection of vibrant street food options.
A vast shopping mall, La Croisette brings us right back up to the modern-day. Home to internationally renowned brands like Mango, Adidas, Lacoste and Quicksilver, there’s plenty to keep you shopaholics entertained.
Then, when you get weary from all your transactional exploits, there’s a veritable atlas of food options available. Fast food heavy-hitters KFC, Subway and Nandos are all in attendance, but so are lots of other options from around the world.
You know we couldn’t complete this countdown of awesome things to do in Grand Baie without taking you to the beach.
There are hundreds of beach options on this staggering island, but many believe Pereybere stands head and shoulders above the rest. Although it is actually set a couple of kilometers from central Grand Baie, if you’re after idyllic paradise island vibes you’ll find them here.
Soft white sand, azure waters, and swaying green palms make up the backdrop. At just 150m long, it’s not the largest beach in the world, but there are some dazzling things happening around it. Take our advice and have your snorkel gear ready, as there’s a world of kaleidoscopic wonder in them there waves. Also, if you fancy a once-in-a-lifetime experience, you need to try an underwater sea walk here.
But with all those amazing things to see and do, where’s the best place to stay in Grand Baie?
Where to Stay?
There’s a selection of stunning resorts in Grand Baie. But the one we think is best placed to offer you all of the above, and more is Ocean V Hotel.
It’s a boutique four-star-plus paradise resting just outside the main town. So those who love to get out and explore the local area when they’re away will be happy.
Inside the resort’s contemporary walls you’ll find a couple of bars and restaurants, a rooftop infinity pool, and some beach club vibes. Plus, the best part is, Pereybere Beach is just minutes away.
Time for a Grand Adventure?
As you can see from all the above, Grand Baie has come a long way from the sleepy fishing village of yesteryear. Now it’s a shimmering beachfront resort that allows you the chance to immerse yourself in all the natural and cultural beauty of Mauritius.
So why not put yourself in the picture? Click the button below to check out our complete range of mesmerising Mauritian escapes – including that Ocean V paradise.