On the eastern coast of Mauritius’s main island is Belle Mare. This is arguably the most prominent location and beach on the entire island, as not only is the beach itself a rich delight of all that is wonderful at Mauritian beaches, but the surrounding area is a popular tourist destination.
After all, this shouldn’t be hugely surprising. From 1710 to 1810, Mauritius was colonized and governed by the French, who named large portions of the island. In French, “belle” translates literally as “beautiful”, so it is little wonder the area is so popular. With a name like that, Belle Mare Mauritius needs to live up to it’s fanciful billing, which it thankfully does.
However, the area is not without it’s issues. In recent years, it has been the intense focus of widespread urbanization, earning it a less than stellar reputation with the Mauritian locals. A real estate explosion lead to fears that this sandy paradise would be turned into a tourist hell trap, with high rise apartment blocks dominating the landscape.
Happily, much of this seems to have been unnecessary worry. Much of Belle Mare Mauritius remains as God intended it. While the aforementioned real estate explosion has meant that houses and apartments are springing up in the oddest places along the region, the main beach are remains largely untouched. Many of the buildings that have arrived have been kept in traditional Mauritian style and therefore detract little from the overall appearance, though the locals most definitely don’t like it!
The main feature of Belle Mare Mauritius is it’s deep lagoon, which runs between the beach and the shoreline. The lagoon gives the area a reputation for calm waters, which of course are the traditional clear, mesmerizing blue seen throughout the islands. The sand on the beach itself is pristine, a finely grained powder with a coral base. The entire area is bathed in the shade of hundreds of coconut palms, offering the beach tourist a welcome relief from the more severe Mauritian heats.
Despite the locals not liking what is happening in the area surrounding the beach, Belle Mare beach itself is one of the most popular in the country for the locals themselves to visit. For these reasons, on weekends it can be particularly crowded, which is much to the displeasure of many tourists. Yet the locals dislike the urbanization which is designed for tourists, so the matters balance themselves out in the end!
Belle Mare Mauritius also has some of the best golf courses on the islands. An 18-hole championship green is nearby, though it is reserved for visitors staying at the Belle Mare Plage hotel complex. Open to all is a similar nine-hole beauty, meaning days in Belle Mare can be lazed away in a gentle whirl of sunbathing and punting. Beautiful is exactly the right word.