Islets of Mauritius
June 18 2018
June 18 2018
The sensational island paradise of Mauritius is a sublime holiday destination, one that perfectly combines breathtaking tropical surrounds, an unbelievable culture, delectable exotic food, a huge wealth of sublime activities to try and fascinating sites to explore. One of the best parts of this magical place, is you’re definitely not restricted to the island itself; around this emerald gem lie a host of unique islets and nearby islands that make for exceptional day trips or a night away for a quick escape and a totally different experience elsewhere. Whether you are a nature enthusiast looking for remarkable endemic species you can’t find anywhere else in the world, are in need of quiet, low-key experiences and secluded beaches or simply would like a Robinson Crusoe experience, at least one of these outstanding islands or islets of Mauritius is sure to delight you:
Coin de Mire
The absolutely incredible Coin de Mire—or Gunner’s Coin—is located approximately 8 kilometres off the northern tip of Mauritius and boasts an unmissable triangular rocky peak. This fascinating and largely untouched islet in Mauritius spans a whopping 65 hectares and is home to some remarkable endemic flora despite a fairly big and rather surprising population of rats and hares. Interestingly, there are still remnants of a Dutch sugar plantation that had been set up when the Dutch still occupied Mauritius.
While visitors can’t actually step foot on the island, it’s still an outstanding sight from the sea (be sure to have your camera on you, it makes for amazing backdrops) especially when viewed from a luxury catamaran while on a tour of the islets of Mauritius. Day trip catamarans often drop anchor near the island to allow their guests to snorkel as Coin de Mire is a truly fantastic snorkelling destination. If you are a birding enthusiast be sure to keep an eye out for one of the stunning and wonderfully exotic endemic birds of Mauritius who love to flit amongst the untouched vegetation on the islet.
Also known as ‘Flat Island’ this islet is located close to a number of smaller islets (including Coin de Mire) in the north of Mauritius. This particular islet is actually considered one of the bigger islets of Mauritius and spans an impressive 253 hectares. Another island that enjoys a rich array of endemic plants, this fascinating place also has a slightly murkier history. In the 19th century, people were sent to the island when they were suffering from malaria or other diseases as a means to quarantine them and many of them died here. There is a graveyard on the island which marks this tragic event.
On a more positive note, the islet is also home to a lighthouse which is only one of two working lighthouses in Mauritius. There is also an exceptional dive site in the area called The Shark Pit where experienced divers are afforded the opportunity to witness sometimes hordes of sharks (but only when the conditions are favourable as the water here can be quite treacherous).
This island, also known as Amber Island is located in a lagoon off the eastern coast of Mauritius. It’s a fairly large islet (certainly larger than many of the others) and has a number of smaller islets itself such as le Mounick, Matapan Island and Îlot Canarde.
The islet itself is hard to access properly due to the surrounding mangrove trees and big rocks but if you were able to you would find a small old stone building here that is said to have been constructed by the French at some point, as well as a marsh and salt lake. This islet is under the management of the Forestry Services of the Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Natural Resources and is rumoured to be the last place a dodo was sighted back in the 17th century.
Another fantastic island and wonderful sight from a catamaran, Round Island can be found approximately 22.5km north of Mauritius. This small islet holds a wealth of endemic flora and fauna (relative to its size that is) and has actually been declared a nature reserve by the Mauritius Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Considered by some to be a unique ecological treasure trove, there are plants on the island that can no longer be found on mainland Mauritius and a series of reptile species that are endemic to the island which includes the Round Island skink, Round Island day gecko, and Round Island boa.
Gabriel Island can be found near Flat Island but is considerably smaller in comparison. This wonderful islet in Mauritius boasts a sensational location in a sheltered cove which makes it an exciting place to spend the day snorkelling and diving in its inviting topaz-blue waters. The major dive site here is located close to Pigeon House Rock and is a phenomenal place to see sharks at The Shark Pit (especially during the summer months in Mauritius).
Ile aux Aigrettes
One of the most magnificent of the islets, Ile aux Aigrettes is definitely worth a visit. Classified a nature reserve by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (or MWF), this sensational island spans 24.7 hectares and is located a kilometre from Pointe D’Esny near Mahebourg. This island was once used as a military base for the British (during World War Two), a remnant of which is still visible on the island today (a huge artillery gun). Today, however, huge efforts are being made to restore the island to its former natural glory, with on-going projects to reintroduce the wealth of endemic flora and fauna the island was once known for. On Ile aux Aigrettes you can find a visitor centre and a nursery of rare plants that are used to propagate the island with endemic species. Guided tours of the island are absolutely fascinating and highly recommended.
Ile aux Cerfs
The phenomenal island of Ile aux Cerfs, along with its neighbouring islet of Ile aux Margini, is a massive attraction and an absolutely must-visit. Located just off the east coast of Mauritius this breathtaking island spans approximately 100 hectares and draws in locals as well as visitors from around the world. The island, which is easily accessible by boat, is home to a magnificent 18-hole championship golf course designed by Bernhard Langer, five restaurants, a bar, a private beach reserved for golfers, leisure beaches for day trippers, a myriad of activities both on land and in the water and so much more.
Truly a fantastic destination to spend an entire day, Ile aux Cerfs is totally breathtaking with perfect rolling greens on its magnificent golf course surrounded by stunning endemic flora and fauna, pristine beaches lined by coconut trees and unbelievable views of the surrounds all of which is surrounded by stunning turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkelling. One of the best things about this island is you don’t have to leave once the leisure island or golf course closes. With the recent introduction of their Bubble Lodges, guests are now able to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience of staying on Ile aux Cerfs in secluded and eco-friendly accommodation.
If you are interested in staying on Ile aux Cerfs at one of the Bubble Lodges, would simply like to enjoy a leisurely day there or would like to enjoy a sublime game of golf, then contact us. Any trip to Ile aux Cerfs is made even better when you stay with one of the amazing luxury Sun Resorts who offers a range of benefits on Ile aux Cerfs to guests who stay at their amazing hotels.