12 Best Day Cruise Destinations in Mauritius
Mauritius has always been mentioned as an ideal tourist destination due to its tropical climate, picturesque white sand beaches, and pleasant way of life. As opposed to Maldives or Seychelles, Mauritius is made up of only one main island but is surrounded by smaller uninhabited islands.
Some of them are very famous among tourists, like Île aux Cerfs, with amazing unspoiled sandy beaches, and even restaurants while others are rather isolated. Most of them can be visited by speedboat or during a catamaran trip. There you can relax under the sun, explore the islet, do some snorkelling around, and have a delicious BBQ in the shade of some filaos trees.
Find below the amazing islands and islets where you can spend a memorable time with your family or friends:
1. Île Aux Cerfs
Situated on the East coast of Mauritius, Île aux Cerfs also known as “Deer Island” is one of the most striking sites of the Island inside the Trou d’Eau Douce Lagoon. It covers a surface of nearly 100 hectares and it is renowned for its white sandy beaches, its turquoise lagoons and for the wide range of restaurants, water sports and land activities on offer.
It is also home to one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world, the Île aux Cerfs Golf Club, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by two-time Masters Champion Bernhard Langer.
One of the best things about this island is you do not have to leave once you are finished with the activities. With the recent introduction of their Bubble Lodges, guests are now able to appreciate an amazon and once-in-a-lifetime experience of staying on Île aux Cerfs in isolated and eco-friendly accommodation.
You can choose from catamarans, yachts, speedboats or taxi-boats from the village Trou d'Eau Douce to have access to the island or you may also opt for a helicopter ride to enjoy the mind-blowing view.
2. Gabriel Island
Gabriel Island is a protected natural reserve, located near Round Island and Flat island, at the extreme north of Mauritius, about 10 kilometres north of Cap Malheureux.
The size of the island is only 42 hectares and the highest point is 28 metres, which makes it smaller compared to the neighbouring Flat island. The island is most famous for its beautiful unspoiled beaches, with clear water surrounding the entire island and is hence, a popular day-trip destination for tourists.
In Grand Baie, you will easily find catamaran cruises taking you to Ilot Gabriel after about 90 minutes of sailing, most of them also offer a BBQ lunch on the island. The cruise to Gabriel Island will definitely be one of the highlights of your holiday in Mauritius. Therefore, be sure to treat yourself and your friends/family/partners to a memorable day.
Book your trip to Gabriel Island:
- Catamaran Cruise - Gabriel Island & Lunch, Drinks - Promotion!
- Exclusive Catamaran Cruise - Gabriel Island & Breakfast, Lunch..
3. Flat Island
Flat Island, known as Île Plate in French, is located near Round Island, at the extreme north of Mauritius, about 11 kilometres north of Cap Malheureux, Mauritius' mainland's northernmost point.
Flat Island houses one of the two working lighthouses in Mauritius and is 253 hectares in size, being the largest of the northern islet and is mostly flat, except for its single hill topped by a lighthouse. North of Flat Island is Pigeon Rock, a spectacular bare rock stack, where many seabirds come for nesting. Moreover, Flat Island is home to an internationally renowned dive site called "The Shark Pit" where experienced divers can observe sharks.
Like Gabriel Island, Flat Island is a very popular venue for snorkelers and offers great dive sites.
You can visit Flat Island by booking any of these catamaran cruises via the link below:
- Catamaran Cruise - Flat Island & Lunch & Open Bar
- Exclusive Catamaran Cruise - Coin de Mire And Flat Island
- Exclusive Catamaran Cruise - Flat Island & Breakfast, Lunch...
- Luxury Flat Island Catamaran Cruise/ Speedboat + Gourmet Lunch
4. Round Island
Round Island, also known as Île Ronde, contrary to what its name says, is not round! Situated 22 kilometres Northeast of Mauritius, this island is an ecological treasure, which is inaccessible to the public. However, the island is restricted but permits can be granted for scientific visits.
Several species of endemic plants such as “gargoulette palm”, along with others that no longer exist on the mainland and the presence of endemic reptiles such as skink, the day gecko, the boa and the burrowing boa make this islet a unique place. It covers some 150 hectares and rises like a cone out of the water to reach a maximum height, above sea level, of 300 metres.
Access to the island by boat is quite difficult as the island has a rocky shoreline and the sea is usually very rough. The only safe and easy access to the island is by helicopter.
5. Coin de Mire
When you look at Coin de Mire, also known as The Gunner’s Quoin from the beach of Cap Malheureux, you slightly catch the impression of a giant whale floating on the sea. Some people will even push their creative fantasy and say it is related to the Sphinx of Egypt!
This captivating and largely untouched islet spans a whopping 65 hectares and is home to some remarkable endemic flora. Well-protected, the place is home to not only the white-tailed Paille en Queue but also to red-tailed tropicbirds and mutton birds.
The water around the island is so welcoming that you will definitely want to snorkel and dive. In addition, sightings of spinner dolphins and sea turtles have also been reported around the area.
It takes 8 kilometres to cover and a sail of about an hour by catamaran and half an hour by speedboat to reach The Gunner’s Quoin or Coin de Mire in French, an island to the north of Mauritius.
Coin de Mire is a destination for nature lovers and you can explore this destination by booking these trips below:
- Exclusive Catamaran Cruise - Coin de Mire And Flat Island
- Full Day Catamaran Cruise with 2 Dives at Coin de Mire
- Private Traditional Mauritian Boat Trip to Coin de Mire
- Coin de Mire - Private Snorkeling Trip
- Private Speed Boat Trip-Gabriel Island & Coin de Mire-Promotion!
6. Île D'Ambre
Île D’Ambre, also known as Amber Island, is located in a lagoon off the eastern coast of Mauritius, which is only 15 minutes away from the shore and easily accessible by boat. Recognized as one of the largest islets in Mauritius of 140 hectares, it forms part of the local national park protected by the Government.
The trails on the island are part of a government-built “Nature Walk’ that is well-maintained and easy to follow. The flora on the island is spectacular with many native plants and the stunning mangroves around the island are worth a visit with a kayak.
One of the island’s features that are more original is without hesitation its history and its preserved ruins hidden by the vegetation. These fragments of the French colonisation give an incredible charm to the reserve. You will probably come by the old shooting training area during your hike, with its traces of shots from another era. In addition, it was on the nearby reefs that wrecked the famous ship ‘Saint Geran’ in 1744, which inspired the novel “Paul et Virginie” by Bernardin de St. Pierre.
7. Îlot Mangénie
A little piece of paradise, Îlot Mangénie is a little island located on the East Coast, which offers guests the same luxury as the other resort beaches.
You will discover a haven of natural beauty, a world of perfect serenity, existing in harmony within its exquisite environment. The mystic experience begins before you even arrive, with a shimmering view from the resort’s jetty, as it rises magnificently from the lagoon. As the platform appears into sight, so does the extraordinary innate beauty of the island with its lush flora that sweeps down to pristine beaches and glittering turquoise waters.
Protected by a reef, Ilot Mangénie Beach has only light waves, making it perfect for swimming and snorkelling. The islet is a ten-minute speedboat ride, with boats departing every 20 minutes or so. The last boat back to the mainland departs around 5 pm.
8. Île aux Aigrettes
In the bay of Mahebourg, about 850 metres off the south-east coast of Mauritius, there is a unique islet, which has been declared a nature reserve in 1965 and is preserved by the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation; the Île aux Aigrettes
The islet is a small wonder of 26 hectares surrounded by a crystalline lagoon in a blooming shade of turquoise blue. Unlike Mauritius, which was formed by several volcanoes, Île aux Aigrettes is made of coral limestone. It is the sanctuary of rare species of native animals and plants in danger of extinction. Among its residents are the famous Kestrel, the only prey bird in Mauritius, the Pink Pigeon, the Aldabra giant turtle and the famous Gecko. Those species are protected by the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation.
The Mauritius Wildlife Foundation encourages visitors to take part in their island tour so that the group can raise awareness as much as possible about the preservation of fauna and flora in Mauritius. The standard visit, which is the 'Eco tour', lasts about 1 hour and a half and takes you on a trail which goes through the island's landmarks. A qualified guide who will introduce you to the island’s endemic plants and rare animals will accompany you.
The excursions take place every day, departing from Pointe-Jerome. The motorboat cruises through the turquoise water before reaching this ecological mini-paradise.
You can visit Île Aux Aigrettes by booking any of these tours via the link below:
- Ile aux Aigrettes Island - Visit & Tour
- Ile Aux Aigrettes, Blue Bay Marine Park, Mahebourg -Private Tour
- Endemic Mauritius Nature Tour
9. Île des Deux Cocos
Île des Deux Cocos is a haven of serenity that lies amidst the Blue Bay Marine Park located on the South-East coast of Mauritius. The island is surrounded by a breathtaking turquoise-blue lagoon with brilliant and clear waters.
This heavenly island of outstanding natural beauty is the home to an exclusive luxurious villa where the past and present merge into one memorable experience. Built over a century ago by British Governor Sir Hesketh Bell, the island's villa has a noticeably eccentric charm, blending European and Moorish architectural styles with a traditionally Mauritian-inspired interior that is both captivating and entirely different.
The private island hosts several activities like the tour of the spectacular Blue Bay in a glass-bottom boat or water sports like snorkelling and scuba diving. The island is also home to the Blue Bay Maritime Reserve, an underwater reserve where you can get some fantastic views of the lovely corals and colourful marine species.
Secluded, Île des Deux Cocos will leave a lasting impression and will make you feel like royalty!
Book your trip to Ile des Deux Cocos
10. Île De La Passe
Île De la Passe is a rocky islet in the bay of Vieux Grand Port. In 1810, during the British campaign, they seized the island from the French; it was the scene of the Battle of Grand Port. This was a long and very hard-fought action between the French and British and, on balance, a defeat for the British, who lost four frigates, though one of these was subsequently recaptured. The French squadron did not survive the British invasion of Mauritius.
At present, the site and visits are not controlled. What is proposed there, is to reflect on the history of the island and its natural setting in its preservation as a World Heritage Site.
In view of the historical importance of Île de la Passe, a conservation operation has been launched, and this involves restoring its endemic vegetation, as it has been destroyed by man since the island's colonisation.
Day visits are encouraged on the island and one can visit the island by booking the Private Speed Boat - East Coast trip.
11. Île Au Phare
Île au Phare, also known as Île aux Fouquets, is a rocky island on the Grand Port Bay, located on the coral reef in the Southeast of Mauritius. In comparison to the other islands, it is relatively hilly; on its topmost point sits the ruined lighthouse from which its name is derived.
The islet played a key role in the defence of Île de France (Mauritius) in the Battle of Grand Port, between the French and the British. The French who had ruled Mauritius since 1715 faced the threat of a British invasion in 1810.
During the colonisation of Mauritius, the lighthouse was built to guide ships to the port of Mahebourg. Inside the Lighthouse, the basalt stone spiral staircase is still present, fixed in the wall of the tower; unfortunately some of the steps have not survived the passage of time. The doors and windows are lined with carved stones and the walls are made of coral masonry.
The island has a truly exhilarating view, proudly standing in the middle of the lagoon with calm, turquoise blue waters and waves crashing on the islet's cliffs. Having no inhabitants, the islet has remained wild and therefore been preserved as it is.
Île au Phare has defied time and still stands in all its glory and has an exciting story to tell. It is accessible by boat only. You can have a picnic, enjoy the landscape and visit the Lighthouse, nature lovers and photographers will be elated.
One can visit the island by booking the Private Speed Boat - East Coast trip.
12. Bénitiers Island
The Bénitiers Island consequently owes its name to the clamshell-shaped Crystal Rock, which welcomes visitors before they reach the actual island. The latter is located in the South West of Mauritius, being roughly 1.5 km west from the village of La Gaulette. Though it is state-owned, the islet has been leased since 1927.
Bénitiers Island is the picture-perfect destination for a perfect getaway. Cut off from the noise of the human world, standing on the sand, facing the sea and surrounded by trees, you are bound to fall in love again.
When you book activities to Bénitiers Island, you either swim with Dolphins or see them and it's a unique experience where you will find yourself face to face with wonderful marine mammals and see them evolve in their natural environment by hearing their cries and watching them play around you.
There are different boat tours available to access Île aux Bénitiers. Book early if you want to enjoy the beauty of this Island since it is one of the most popular attractions. To book those tours, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Explore the waters around Mauritius: there are many amazing islands and islets. Most of them are uninhabited and their landscapes help one’s imagination to run wild. Every island tells a tale. Have a great getaway in Mauritius!