With glorious weather, a string of beautiful sandy beaches and still, clear lagoons as its prize assets, and the water-sport playground of Grand Baie as its focus, the northwest coast is the part of Mauritius most dedicated to the needs of the holiday-maker. Facilities are tourist-friendly and several top hotels have been built at or near Grand Baie, with an extensive selection of restaurants here cater to a range of tastes.
Once a small fishing village, Grand Bay has developed into one of the most popular tourist resorts in Mauritius. Sheltered from the south east trade winds, Grand Bay almost encircles the huge lagoon, with its turquoise water and fine white coral sand. The fishing boats are still there, mingling with small yachts and catamarans and the 150 year old schooner, Isla Mauricia. There are four Chinese, one Japanese, one Indian and many Creole restaurants in Royal Road, this long road which extends from the bay to Pointe aux Canonniers. Sunset Boulevard is a new shopping area which has added sophistication, but many of the older shops retain the character of the old fishing village. On the tree-lined walkway above the shore, street vendors sell fruit and snacks such as samousas and curry pancakes, while the fishmongers set up their stalls in the car park in the late afternoon each week-day to sell the day's catch. It is a colourful and lively scene.