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Flic en Flac

As wonderful and whimsical as the name sounds, Flic en Flac isn't quite the picture of paradise you saw on your travel agent's website. The area's moniker is thought to be a corruption of the old Dutch name Fried Landt Flaak (Free and Flat Land); the endless acreage of shoreline was undoubtedly striking when explorers arrived in the 18th century. Today the area is exploding with apartment complexes, souvenir shops, moneychangers and pinchpenny holiday rentals. Although development in Flic en Flac has gone the way of Grand Baie, the town's still a dozen clubs and restaurants short of attracting a party crowd.

All is not lost, however. The beach is still one of the best in Mauritius, and if you stay at any of the high-end resorts in the Wolmar area outside the town, you'll uncover some stellar stretches of sand, glorious diving and a small handful of palate-pleasing restaurants.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Flic en Flac.