Located in the southwest of the island just four miles from the coast, Chamarel is best known for its spectacular scenery. The area is home to the Black River Gorges National Park and lush green forest is very much the order of the day here. Cyclists can cruise along smooth roads surrounded by arabica coffee plants and palm trees before stopping at a lookout point to admire the Chamarel Falls, a cascade of water falling 95 metres down a vertical cliff.
Situated at the southernmost point of Mauritius, Gris Gris and its golden sandy beach is a sight for sore eyes. If you’re an adventurous cyclist, you can pedal or e-bike along a clifftop path that hugs the coastline and feel the refreshing sea air on your face. With dramatic sea cliffs and crashing waves below, this is a great viewpoint from which to gaze out to sea, but avoid the temptation to enter the water here – strong currents, big surf and fast-moving tides make it a dangerous spot for swimmers. Half a mile up the coast is the Robert Edward Hart Memorial Museum devoted to one of the island’s most famous poets and writers, where you can find out more about his life.
Wolmar, Flic en Flac
Wolmar Hunting Ground is home to more than 800 hectares of trails and off-roading opportunities that are suitable for more experienced bikers, as well as families. Exploring this nature reserve enables you to spot some of the wildlife that calls this part of the island home, including deer, wild boars, hares and birds. In addition to wide-open space, eucalyptus trees and wildlife, visitors can also ride over to the paradise white sand beach and aquamarine waters of Flic-en-Flac on the sheltered western coastline of Mauritius, which is famous for its magical Indian Ocean sunsets.
Riders seeking a more technical and challenging experience should head to the indigenous tropical forest of Macchabee. Tracks here are quite rough and mountainous, but offer sweeping views of the west coast of Mauritius and majestic waterfalls, offering an excellent challenge for the more experienced rider. Twitchers mustn’t forget their binoculars – the pink pigeon, echo parakeet and kestrel have been spotted in the thick vegetation. Head further north past a lake and through plantations to reach the famous Tamarind Falls, one of the island’s most picturesque waterfall trails comprising seven falls, diving pools and a lush landscape.
“One of the best rides on the island is the south coast trail from Lacambuse to Le Souffleur, which is around eight kilometres long. In my opinion, it’s a fantastic trail if you are really adventurous and super fit. You can continue all the way to Gris Gris, but be careful – the route is not easy to find and there are river crossings!”
Owner, Yemaya Adventures
Bras D’Eau (Roche Noire)
This 1,230-acre nature reserve in the east of the island offers sporty tracks in a seemingly infinite landscape of trees and birds, such as canaries, mynas, white-tailed tropicbirds and paradise flycatchers – an endemic bird only found in the national park. Part of the trail can take you along the old train track towards the lava tubes. When you’re all out of trails, take the coastal road to either Bras d’Eau or Poste La Fayette beach and soothe your weary muscles in the clear turquoise waters.
A circular mountain bike trail exists that begins at Daruty Forest in the far north of the island that takes in Grand Gaube, Kalodyne and Petit Raffray. The trail varies, ranging from sugar cane fields, forest, rocky tracks, dirt roads and open grassy fields. The trail is marked, but finding the marks on rocks, trees or telephone poles can be tricky for newcomers. If completed in full, the length of the trail is almost 12 miles.