Blue Bay, a small and very enclosed bay, is a marine reserve in Mauritius. It has a long beach with bright sand and clear blue water. It is probably the most preserved place in terms of coral reefs. The corals are superb and almost untouched. An incredible contrast with the rest of the island. Ideal for sailing and surfing. Great place for diving, you can see the corals still alive and a lot of fish of different colours.
Blue-Bay is a highlight of any visit to Mauritius. Located in the relatively undeveloped south of the island, the area around Blue-Bay includes some of the country's most beautiful and unspoilt scenery. Moreover, although the area is very popular with tourists, the authorities have succeeded like nowhere else in limiting the growth of hotels in the area. Blue-Bay is the hub of tourism in Mauritius. It is only a few kilometres from the country's main attractions. The beautiful village, the only one that has preserved its historical character, Mahébourg, the Ferney Valley, the nature reserve of Ile aux Aigrettes, the Great Barrier Reef, the SSR airport, the imposing Lion Mountain, the Dutch base, the Souillac bridge… in short, Blue-Bay is unique in itself.
To explore the Blue-Bay spot, you can either book a boat trip or launch yourself from the public beach. The first option comes at a price, but it's the only way to get to the best parts of the reef, away from the shore, in complete safety. But don't worry, there is nothing disappointing about the depths accessible from the beach.
To reach Blue-Bay, follow the signs for 'Mahébourg' from all four corners of the island, a town of 15,000 inhabitants located a few kilometres from the airport. If you don't have your own vehicle, you will have no difficulty in getting to Mahébourg by bus or taxi. From Mahébourg, it is a short taxi ride or a pleasant 45 minute walk along the coast via Pointe d'Esny to the spot.
If you're exploring from the coast, head to the western end of the Blue-Bay public beach, where the white sand is replaced by rocks. This is the best place to get in the water, due to the proximity of the reef. If you are on a tour, your tour leader will tell you where to get into the water for your safety. The area to be explored is opposite the public beach at Blue-Bay. The western part is the richest in coral, gradually replaced by sandy areas towards the east. Buoys mark the limits of the area where swimming is permitted. Beyond that, the numerous boats make snorkelling dangerous.
The water level is constant throughout the reef area at around 5-6 metres. Blue-Bay is known for its huge clusters of branching and tabular corals. Dozens of fuchsia mushroom corals line the bottom in places. Huge schools of convict surgeons (several hundred individuals) roam the reef tirelessly. Parrotfish and Moorish Idols are among the species that you will most easily observe on this spot.
The Blue-Bay Marine Park is now protected by the government, due to the constant degradation of the marine environment, affected by urbanisation and the tourism industry.
In addition, for those who wish to engage in recreational activities, there is a wide variety of land and water sports that can be enjoyed in the vicinity and in Blue-Bay. Tennis, table tennis, volleyball, windsurfing, kayaking, fishing, pedal boats, snorkelling, kite surfing… the list goes on! However, for fishing, there are two options. A fishing trip on the sand and rocks or a fishing trip in the open sea. You will need to find the right operators to organise this activity.
In addition, there is a wide range of sailing activities and you can arrange excursions to the outlying islets by catamaran and speedboat. For example, visit Egret Island, a 5-hectare islet that consists of an ancient limestone coral reef partially covered by sand deposits. It is a site of international importance as it was declared a nature reserve in 1965. Most of the plants found here do not grow anywhere else in the world.
Shopping in Mauritius is more than an interesting experience. It is a journey through the time and space of the civilisations and cultures that have passed through its history. African carvings and drums, colourful saris and bespoke tailors bear witness to this diversity. Traditional Mauritian handicrafts and top brand luxury goods can be found in a number of shopping centres or stalls in all the towns and resorts. There are also a number of duty-free shops, which offer very attractive prices. Last but not least, are the traditional and colourful markets where you can really experience the Mauritian way of life and practice the national sport, bargaining!
Nowhere can you feel the heart and soul of Mauritius better than at the market in Mahebourg. It offers shops specialising in unique products that blend in with the customs and habits of the people. Through these, you can experience all new sensations, colours, scents, which combine to create the unique qualities of this diversity. Colourful tropical fruit and vegetable stalls stand alongside medicinal plants and spices. You can also find clothing and a special handicraft section. You can also buy fresh fish and prepare it Mauritian style.
Mauritius is a paradise for the senses. Not only for the eyes with its beautiful landscape, but also for the palate. Gastronomes will find a variety of the best prepared cuisines, inherited from the different migrations throughout their history, not only in Blue-Bay but in Mauritius in general. The culinary traditions of France, India, China and Africa, the world's best known and most popular cuisines, have been passed down from generation to generation. The story of a Mauritian starting the day with a continental breakfast, followed by an Indian lunch and a Chinese dinner is a typical Mauritian cliché!