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Introducing Mahébourg

There is something relentlessly charming about bite-size Mahébourg (my-boor), and it seems to have fooled most Mauritians into believing that it's the island's 'second city' (it's not). Although there are stalled plans for a mammoth Caudan-like waterfront complex, for now it's all about simple pleasures: an interesting museum, a buzzing market, spicy street food, good budget lodgings, a pretty backdrop and beautiful beaches to the north and south.

Founded in 1805, the town was named after the famous French governor Mahé de Labourdonnais. The town was once a busy port, but these days it's something of a backwater, with a small fleet of fishermen and a grid of dilapidated buildings.