Introducing Île aux Cerfs
This stunning island off the east coast of Mauritius is one of the most popular day trips in the country for both foreigners and Mauritians alike. In fact it’s rather become a victim of its own success, inasmuch as it’s now hard to find the deserted beaches that were once the main draw in the first place. While the island was once populated by cerfs or stags (imported for hunting from Java) you’ll find only touts and tourists there today. However, the further you go from the boat jetty, the more likely you are to find a patch of sand between the sun-bronzed bodies. At low tide you can also wade across to the smaller and quieter Île de l’Est, which is joined to Île aux Cerfs by a picturesque sand bar. In winter, the beaches on the island’s west side provide sheltered sunbathing spots.
Much of the Île aux Cerfs belongs to the plush Le Touessrok hotel. The majority of water sports on offer are reserved for hotel guests, although the magnificent 18-hole golf course is also open to outsiders as long as they book in advance.
Many visitors bring picnics to the island, but there are two restaurants on Île aux Cerfs. The Paul et Virginie restaurant (mains from Rs 250; noon-3pm)on the beach offers not inexpensive seafood while Le Marché (mains from Rs 200; noon-3pm) serves up Mauritian fare.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009
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