Holidays to Trou d’Eau Douce put you in striking distance of Île aux Cerfs’ powder-white beaches and lagoon. But the traditional town has an old-world charm all of its own.
The pretty fishing town of Trou d’Eau Douce, Sweet Water Hole in English, is the first major settlement you reach up the east coast of Mauritius. True to its name, it’s a lovely place, exuding old-world charm with every step it takes along this stretch of coast. Almost everything – twee cottages, private villas, hotels, and restaurants – is marshalled along the shore-hugging Royal Road. Ocean views come pretty much guaranteed.
The area is popular for its sheltered bay, which plays host to an armada of fishing vessels and speedboats, as well as watersports. The town beach is small, but big on appeal. Plus, it makes a good starting point for exploring the Quatre Cocos district directly north. Most of the beaches in this neighbourhood are set close to the coral reef with shallow, snorkeller-friendly waters. You’ll spot the occasional snack wagon trundling across the sands, but other than that things stay pretty untouched.
Close to Île aux Cerfs
For all its button-cute looks, Trou d’Eau Douce’s main claim to fame is as the jumping-off point for Île aux Cerfs, a 15-minute catamaran ride away. It’s fully deserving of its ‘mini Eden’ tag, with exquisite, casuarina-shaded beaches, and a shimmering lagoon weighted with marine life. The island is also home to the championship Île aux Cerfs Golf Course, which has views of the ocean from all 18 holes.
The town makes a great base for exploring the east coast’s sights. In Trou d’Eau Douce itself, Victoria 1840 is an old sugar cane mill that’s worth a look. It’s been tastefully converted in to a contemporary art museum, and houses works by Yvette Maniglier, the last private pupil of Henri Matisse. Meanwhile, the island’s largest river, Grande Rivière Sud-Est, is a 10-minute drive away. Its tumbling waterfall and tropical vegetation make a great setting for swimming and picnics.
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