Known by the rather romantic sobriquet La Côte Sauvage (The Wild Coast), the island's east coast is a world away from the touts, nightclubs and souvenir shacks of Flic en Flac in the west and Grand Baie in the north. It does have its resorts, but the eastern face of Mauritius feels blissfully untouched by mass tourism. Best of all, some of the island's very best beaches line this quiet coast. Not surprisingly, this most exclusive side of the island attracts the kind of visitor likely to take a helicopter transfer from the airport when they arrive.
The closest the east comes to a resort town is Trou d'Eau Douce, which has retained the feel of a sleepy fishing village despite rubbing shoulders with the grand hotels next door. It's the jumping-off point for the wildly popular Île aux Cerfs.