Holidays to Anse La Raie serve up some of the best scenery in Mauritius. It’s all about wild headlands and chalky beaches, with a dazzling lagoon as a counterpoint.
Anse La Raie is a teeny place, sandwiched between the fishing village of Cap Malheureux at the tip of the island, and the equally mini Calodyne, a couple of kilometres further south. It’s not really a town, more a clutch of top-end hotels that have gravitated towards the north coast’s shimmering lagoon. But what it lacks in street life, it makes up for in its rocky headlands and wild scenery, tamed only by pockets of ice-white beaches.
Most of the hotels have direct access to their own private sands, which come with snow-white complexions. In contrast, Anse La Raie’s public beach is fairly rocky, but it’s the final word in peace and quiet, with no more than a couple of beach huts and a forested picnic area. Plus, the water’s Evian-clear with great snorkelling and kite-surfing. There are shallow waters and a small sandy beach a short walk eastwards. And if you keep going through the beach forest, you’ll hit the sand-rimmed lagoon at Calodyne.
Just as Anse La Raie’s sands are made for lounging, its ocean is the big ticket for deep-sea fishing. It’s practised year-round off the north-west coast, around 15 minutes’ drive away. Seasoned skippers head for spots about 2 kilometres out, where big predators like blue marlins and barracudas come to feed. Day trips also leave Grand Baie, 10 minutes away by road, for the 5 islets offshore – 3 of them are nature reserves and populated by rare species.
Until recently, the island’s history was shaped by its sugar. You only need to head 20 minutes out of Anse La Raie to hear the story of almost 4 centuries of sugar trading and rum-making. It’s cleverly told through words, pictures, interactive displays, and children’s quizzes at Aventure du Sucre, an old mill-turned-museum. The decommissioned chimneys still watch over a sea of green sugar cane fields.
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