Visit Mahebourg: Top 14 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions

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Mahebourg: The 14 Best Things to Do and See

Are you looking to discover Mahebourg and its stunning region?

You’ve come to the right place!

Located in the South-Eastern part of the island, Mahebourg is a charming coastal town you must visit during your vacation in Mauritius.

This former fishing village is a peaceful and authentic place, where life is simply delightful.

Remnants of its colonial past can be seen everywhere, giving it a genuine picturesque charm.

Nearby, you’ll also discover paradise beaches such as those of Pointe d’Esny or Blue Bay.

To help you plan your stay in Mahebourg, I’ve prepared this complete guide for you.

I will give you a list of the must-see sights and activities in this corner of the island, complete with my tips and recommendations.

At the end of the article, discover as well my selection of the best restaurants and hotels in Mahebourg.

So, what to do and see in Mahebourg, Mauritius?

Let’s get started!

1. The Waterfront

Mahebourg’s waterfront is unlike any other in Mauritius.

With its red-brick pavement, it’s a pleasant place to stroll or sit on the edge to admire the ocean.

The small island you see just in front is a private islet named “Mouchoir Rouge.”

You’ll also get to admire La Montagne du Lion whose silhouette can be seen in the distance.

Don’t miss walking to the end of the beautiful wooden pier, which culminates with a kiosk and offers a superb view of the lagoon.

My Advice

Every year in Mahebourg, there is a pirogue race called the “Regatta.”

This tradition dates back to the 19th century.

The event takes place at the end of the year along the waterfront (also known as Pointe des Régates).

It’s a beautiful spectacle of colors you may have the chance to witness!

Mahebourg
Mahebourg

2. Strolling Through the Town

Mahebourg was the former capital of Mauritius and the very first town established on the island.

It was founded in the 17th century by the first Dutch settlers and later witnessed the French and British occupations.

At every street corner, you’ll notice that Mahebourg has retained numerous relics from these successive occupations.

It’s this history, now intertwined with local customs, that gives it that special charm.

You will enjoy wandering its streets lined with colorful Creole houses and quaint authentic shops.

During your stroll through Mahebourg you should see:

  • The covered market, open every day
  • The big market, which takes place on Mondays
  • The old laundry from 1770, where soldiers’ uniforms were washed during the Battle of Grand-Port
  • The National History Museum (which I will tell you about in more detail shortly)
  • The Rault Biscuit Factory (also featured in a dedicated paragraph below)

My Advice

To visit Mahebourg in the best conditions, I recommend this amazing gastronomic guided tour.

It lasts 4 hours and combines:

  • Commented tour of the town and its monuments, to learn everything about its history
  • Tasting of local culinary specialties at several restaurants and street vendors
  • Pirogue ride on La Chaux river

To book your gastronomic tour of Mahebourg, click below:

My Advice

The name Mahebourg was given in 1804 after the former French governor Mahé de Labourdonnais, who was highly influential in Mauritius.

cavendish bridge mahebourg
The Cavendish Bridge, crossing La Chaux River

3. The National Historical Naval Museum

If you love history, you should visit Mahebourg’s National Historical Naval Museum.

It is housed in an old colonial mansion surrounded by a beautiful park.

In this museum, you will find an interesting collection of objects, documents, paintings, and photographs that will immerse you in Mauritius’ colonial history.

The visit is quite short, expect no more than 1 hour.

And good news: entry is free!

musee mahebourg
Mahebourg Museum

4. The Rault Biscuit Factory

Among the places to see in Mahebourg, there is also the pleasant Rault Biscuit Factory to visit.

Dating back to 1870, the factory makes little 100% Mauritian biscuits made from cassava.

The secret recipe has been protected for over 150 years by the family running this ancestral business!

So, when you’re in town, take the opportunity to go for a guided tour, which ends with a tasting of the famous biscuits accompanied by Mauritian tea in the lovely garden.

And of course, you can buy a few boxes to take back in your luggage from the shop!

For more information, check out the official website.

manioc
Cassava

5. Blue Bay Beach

After exploring Mahébourg, I suggest hitting the road to discover the surroundings.

Just a few minutes away, you’ll come across the rather chic village of Blue Bay with numerous waterfront villas.

Make sure to stop at Blue Bay public beach, which is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island.

It’s an ideal spot for snorkeling, where you’ll encounter numerous colorful fish without having to venture far.

And if you’re up for diving, then you should really go for this fantastic exploration dive session with Scuba World Diving Mauritius in Blue Bay.

You’ll be guided to one of the top 10 diving sites in the lagoon and enjoy an unforgettable dive in a marine world teeming with wildlife (fish, turtles…) and impressive marine caves.

For more information and to book your dive at Blue Bay, click on the button below:

My Advice

Are you a beginner and want to take advantage of your stay in Mauritius to do your first dive?

That’s a great idea!

Scuba World Diving also offers diving initiations in the marine reserve of Blue Bay.

Book your first dive in Mahébourg without delay by clicking below:

My Advice

Another fun activity to do at Blue Bay: a glass-bottom boat outing, including a snorkeling session and a Creole picnic on Îlot des Deux Cocos.

For more information and to book, click the button below:

Blue Bay Mahébourg Ile Maurice
Blue Bay Beach, near Mahébourg – Mauritius

6. Pointe d’Esny

Another stunning beach to visit near Mahébourg is Pointe d’Esny beach.

It’s one of my favorite beaches on the entire island of Mauritius.

Truly paradisiacal with its turquoise and transparent waters, bordered by soft white sand stretching over 2km.

A real postcard-perfect scene, as they say!

It’s even often cited as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!

The beach at Pointe d’Esny is “hidden” behind luxurious villas, secluded from prying eyes and therefore not very crowded.

It remains relatively wild and very well-preserved.

You may come across the occasional swimmer and kitesurfer, but it’s rarely crowded.

A true hidden gem to discover during your holidays in Southeast Mauritius!

My Advice

To get 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 your car by the roadside and walk to the sign. You’ll see a narrow path between two high walls.

Follow it to find the beach at the end.

pointe d esny
Pointe d’Esny

7. Île aux Aigrettes

Another must-do activity around Mahébourg is the excursion to Île aux Aigrettes!

Île aux Aigrettes is a small round islet located less than 1km off the coast of Pointe d’Esny.

It’s also a protected natural reserve home to several endemic species of animals and plants, including:

  • the Pink Pigeon
  • the Mauritius Fody
  • the Telfair’s Skink
  • the Aldabra Giant Tortoise
  • and many more!

Therefore, access to the island is strictly regulated.

Visiting Île aux Aigrettes can only be done with a guide, who will explain the island’s history and conservation program.

You’ll get to observe some animals in their natural habitat as well as species housed in nurseries for their reintegration.

To visit Île aux Aigrettes, head over to “Pointe Jérôme Embarkation Point”.

Opposite the reception, there’s a sandy parking area where you can easily park your car.

Spaces are limited, so I strongly recommend booking your visit in advance by calling +230 631 2396.

You can choose between a quick 1.5-hour visit, or a complete 2.5-hour tour.

My Advice

What I personally recommend, for simplicity and to optimize your time, is this guided full-day excursion that includes:

  • a visit to Île aux Aigrettes
  • a visit to La Vanille Nature Park
  • a stop at Gris Gris beach.

For just 50€ per person, transportation will pick you up directly from your hotel in the morning, take you to all these sites, and bring you back to your accommodation at the end of the day.

There’s nothing to organize, just enjoy the ride!

To book this full-day excursion in Southeast Mauritius, click below:

ile aux aigrettes
Île aux Aigrettes – Credits: Sandy Naugen

8. Ferney Valley

Another essential visit near Mahébourg is Ferney Valley!

It’s a nature reserve of more than 200 hectares, which houses many endemic animal and plant species, including the Pink Pigeon and the Mauritius Kestrel.

The entrance to the Valley is located at the level of the old Ferney sugar mill and is less than 10 minutes’ drive from Mahébourg.

You may choose to explore the reserve with a guide or independently.

There are 3 hiking trails for free hiking:

  • A trail of 5km
  • Another of 13km
  • And a path of 20km for the more experienced hikers.

There’s also the option to visit the reserve in a 4×4 vehicle to go more in-depth, by reservation.

For more information on visit conditions and rates, visit the official Ferney Valley website.

My Advice

You can indulge in a unique experience by staying in the heart of Ferney Valley at the Ferney Nature Lodge.

The luxury rooms with panoramic terraces are nestled at the foot of the mountain, offering a stunning view of the lush valley.

The establishment also includes a restaurant.

Expect to pay a minimum of 295€ per night. For more information and reservations click here.

vallee de ferney maurice
Ferney Valley Mauritius

9. Excursion to Île aux Cerfs

From Mahébourg, you can also take an excursion to Île aux Cerfs.

Île aux Cerfs is a small paradisiacal island off the East coast of Mauritius.

It isn’t inhabited but is very popular among tourists and locals for its idyllic setting.

There’s a large golf course as well as leisure facilities: restaurants, shops, water activities.

You can walk around the island.

Its northern part is more wild. It’s not uncommon to find totally deserted beach spots, perfect if you’re seeking tranquility!

To get to Île aux Cerfs from Mahébourg, head again to the boarding point at Pointe Jérôme.

From there, board a magnificent catamaran and set off for a day at sea, including:

  • breakfast
  • barbecue lunch on board (vegetarian options available)
  • snorkeling breaks
  • free time on Île aux Cerfs.

An unforgettable outing, bookable directly by clicking on this button:

ile aux Cerfs Ile Maurice
Île aux Cerfs Mauritius, off the East coast of Mauritius

10. Eau Bleue Waterfall

About 15 minutes’ drive from Mahébourg inland, lies a stunningly beautiful and little-known spot to tourists: Eau Bleue.

Eau Bleue is actually the name of the river that runs near the village of Cluny. It features one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Mauritius, cascading into a pool of azure blue water (hence its name!).

In fact, there are several successive waterfalls you can discover by following the river.

The site is not easy to find as it’s wild and not indicated by any signs.

To find it, you must head to the village of Cluny and follow the B83 road that passes through the cane fields.

Look for the “CWA Water Tank” pumping station, and, at this point, take the path on foot that crosses the cane field towards the trees.

After a few minutes of walking, you will come across the first waterfall. You can then follow the river to see the others.

There’s also a direct path a little further up along the road (you’ll likely see people there, indicating it’s the right place), but be careful as the descent to the waterfall is steep.

Remember the camera: Eau Bleue is one of the most photogenic spots on the island!

In the mood for an adventurous activity? Eau Bleue is also a great canyoning site!

Water sports enthusiasts will adore this 3 to 3.5-hour course following the river, through the lush nature of the island.

Rappelling, jumps, waterfalls, and natural slides await for maximum thrills!

But rest assured: there are no special difficulties, and the course is suitable for beginners. Children from 10 years old are welcome.

This outing is of course accompanied by professional instructors and can be booked right now by clicking below:

My Advice

It is strongly advised against visiting Eau Bleue during or after heavy rains because the site then becomes slippery and flooded.

Conversely, during drought the waterfalls often run dry.

cascade eau bleue
Eau Bleue waterfall and pool, near Mahébourg

11. Gris Gris Beach

At the very south of the island, approximately 40 minutes’ drive from Mahébourg, Gris Gris Beach is an iconic site to visit during your stay in Mauritius.

It is indeed the southernmost point of the country.

Here, the landscapes differ greatly from the rest of the island. It almost feels like being in Brittany! (indeed ^^)

You will discover a raw and rugged wild coast, a drastic change from the white sandy beaches typically seen in Mauritius.

Be careful, remove your hats and take precautions: here the wind is strong and the sea is rough.

The uniqueness of this site lies in the fact that it is not protected by the coral reef.

As a result, waves crash directly against the volcanic cliffs.

The part of the cliff that juts out into the sea is called “the Crying Rock” because of the waves that constantly assault it and cause water to stream down its sides, as if the rock were weeping.

plage gris gris
Gris Gris Beach – Credits: Pouven Pakkiri

12. Other Activities to Do Around Mahébourg and Blue Bay

If you’re looking for more ideas for things to do around Mahébourg/Blue Bay, here are some additional outdoor activities I recommend:

Where to Eat in Mahébourg?

Looking for good places to eat in Mahébourg? Here are some establishments, tried and tested, that I recommend:

  • L’Ajoupa: a unique snack bar in Mauritius with a Jamaican vibe. Relish delicious Creole/Asian cuisine to the sound of reggae music in a plant-filled and super warm atmosphere. It’s THE hotspot for a relaxed evening in Mahébourg!
  • Karay Mario: renowned for its authentic and sophisticated Mauritian cuisine. The setting is superb, and Mario, the owner, is particularly welcoming. One of the best places to eat in the south-east of the island!
  • Le Jardin de Beauvallon: a romantic setting and tasty dishes at this beautiful restaurant located in an elegant estate, which also offers guest rooms.
  • Le Bazilic: a welcoming restaurant in the center of Mahébourg, offering Creole cuisine made with fresh and local products. A special mention for the flambeed bananas as dessert (I’m still drooling over it)!

Where to Stay in Mahébourg?

  • Le Jardin de Beauvallon: a charming small hotel offering individual bungalows for two people. Nightly rates start from 61€. Features an outdoor pool, a tropical garden, and a restaurant. The perfect choice for an affordable stay in Mahébourg!
  • La Peninsula Bay Beach Resort & Spa: a luxury hotel in a paradisiacal setting, 200m from Blue Bay beach and 1km from Pointe d’Esny beach. A family room (1 double bed and 2 single beds) costs around 160€.
  • Ferney Nature Lodge: sleep in a magnificent ultra-comfortable eco-lodge in the heart of nature, at the Ferney Valley, starting from 295€ a night. Each suite includes a double bed, a bathroom, and a terrace. Spectacular view of the valley from the restaurant terrace. My favorite in the area around Mahébourg!

Travel Insurance for Mauritius: My Advice

My Advice

Many travelers mistakenly think (wrongly) that healthcare in Mauritius is affordable and that they don’t need travel insurance. But in reality, the public healthcare system is fragile and even a single visit to a private clinic is very expensive!

That’s why it’s essential to take out travel insurance that offers good medical coverage before you leave.

To travel safely, I recommend the following two insurance companies (both include epidemic coverage – like COVID-19 – which is very important!)

It’s very easy to subscribe, just click on the links below:

This guide to Mahébourg and its surroundings is already coming to an end. I hope it will help you organize your schedule for visiting Mahébourg and not miss anything in this wonderful region!

Feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions, or if you want to share your experience 🙂

And you, what have you planned to do in Mahébourg during your vacation in Mauritius?

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Anonymous

I've been living in Mauritius for ten years now, and I'm passionate about this jewel of the Indian Ocean. As I love exploring and writing, I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to organize your trip to Mauritius!

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