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North of Mauritius

North of Mauritius

The Northern region is known as the "Northern Plains" for its beauty and interest definitely being the seaside as the open sea off the coast is wonderful and is attractive all year round.

The sea surface inside the lagoons is often smooth as in swimming pools, with an unmatched transparency.

The view of the lagoons fading from green to blue, delimited by the white surf of the coral reefs, topped by the deep blue of the open sea is simply breath-taking. The generally good sea conditions are best, making the North / Northwest region the ideal place for nautical activities.

The wind being generally offshore, the beaches and lagoons are sheltered making the northern region recommendable for the windy winter months. A sweatshirt or something warmer is necessary for the winter evenings of June to September. In summer, (November to March) the North and especially Grand Bay can get very hot and humid where a T-Shirt is the only thing you can wear.

Grand-Baie (or sometimes Grand Bay) is a coastal village in Mauritius located in Rivière du Rempart District, the western part also lies in the Pamplemousses District.

In the 17th century the Dutch used to call Grand Baie 'De Bogt Zonder Eynt', which meant the 'Bay Without End'. Today it appears as though it's the development – not the bay – that's without end. As such, Grand Baie has all the vices and virtues of beach resorts the world over. The virtues include good accommodation, bars and restaurants, while the vices can be found in water frontages consumed by concrete and touts, although the latter, in true Mauritian style, nudge rather than push. To escape the downtown scene, head for charming and quiet Pointe aux Canonniers.

Mauritius is generally not a busy place (except for road traffic) but the village of Grand Bay with its amount of restaurants and, to a lesser extent, its bars and discotheques is probably the only place.

Pamplemousses

Pamplemousses is a district of Mauritius, located in the north west of the island. The district of Pamplemousses in Mauritius, known for its large botanic garden, may well be the bloom of the island-country. One of the more populated districts in Mauritius, Pamplemousses is named after the French word for grapefruits. Its capital is the sleepy town of Triolet.

The gardens, named after Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, the first prime minister of independent Mauritius, were started by Mahé de Labourdonnais in 1735 as a vegetable plot for his Mon Plaisir Château (which now contains a small exhibition of photographs). The landscape came into its own in 1768 under the auspices of the French horticulturalist Pierre Poivre.

Cap Malheureux

The northern edge of Mauritius has stunning views out to the islands off the coast beyond, most obviously of the dramatic headland of Coin de Mire. Although it feels like rather a backwater today, 'Cape Misfortune' (thus named for the number of ships that foundered on the rocks here) is a place of great historical importance for Mauritius: it was here that the British invasion force finally defeated the French in 1810 and took over the island.

Chateau Labourdonnais

The colonial architecture on the island, recently restored Chateau Labourdonnais was completed in 1859. Built in teak and sporting an Italian neoclassical style, the chateau is perfectly proportioned and filled with sober Victorian furnishings interspersed with some exceptionally lovely design flourishes. Compulsory guided tours last for 45 minutes. After the tour, wander through the lush gardens, taste the rum from the on-site distillery and stay for a meal at the restaurant where the menu changes daily.

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