Cap Malheureux: Why you should visit Mauritius’ prettiest village

For many people that live in Mauritius, Cap Malheureux quickly becomes one of their favourite places to visit. Not just for a day-trip, but also for the weekend.

Translated from French, Cap Malheureux means the ‘Cape of Misfortune’ because it’s where the British defeated the French in 1810 in a battle for the north of Mauritius.

But there’s nothing unfortunate about this slice of paradise.

This picture perfect village has to be one of Mauritius’ most beautiful, if not the most beautiful on the island. With it’s perfect tropical beaches and turquoise blue sea that extends out towards dramatic Mauritian islands off the coast, Cap Malheureux is the embodiment of instagramable.

Cap Malheureux’s stunning church has become an icon on the island – and has to be a contender for most beautiful church in the world – but this village is so much more than that.

There’s also lots of things to do in Cap Malheureux and a perfect place to base yourself for day trips. For example a catamaran trip to nearby islands (BBQ and drinks on board!), or a hike under the shady palms of nearby Amber Island.

So for more on why Cap Malheureux in Mauritius is special, read on!

Relax, swim, grab a bite to eat, or jump on a fishing boat for an adventure – Cap Malheureux is a fantastic place to visit

Reasons why you should visit Cap Malheureux

The landscape and beach!

Cap Malheureux is picture perfect.

Cap Malheureux beach is roughly the same size as the beaches in the nearby popular tourist spots of Grand Baie and Pereybere, but is often far less busy.

It’s a wonderful spot to go for a swim in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, or to relax under a palm tree on the soft fine sand reading a good book.

Or just to watch the local fishermen bring in their haul for the day. Fancy something you like, why not go and barter for fresh fish.

Hungry? No problem, there are food vendors beside the beach, but not so many that it feels overcrowded. Get a meal at one of the stands, and they’ll even allow you to take the plate and cutlery over to your sunbathing or swimming spot. Or grab a pineapple or other fresh fruit from one of the friendly merchants.

And the best thing is that you can sit and enjoy a beer, some food, dip your feet in the water, and look out on one of Mauritius’ most stunning coastal sites – the five northern islets including the dramatic cliff-edged island of Gunner’s Quoin (or Coin de Mire) which sits four kilometers off the coastline of Cap Malheureux.

One of my favorite views in Mauritius – the wooden fishing boats of Cap Malheureux with Gunner’s Quoin in the background.

To visit Cap Malheureux church – one of the world’s most beautiful

A visit to Cap Malheureux’s iconic red-roofed church, known as the Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice de Cap Malheureux is an absolute must.

The church is perched right beside the beach, and so can be easily visited.

Cap Malheureux church is so pretty, that a wedding dress rental shop has been opened up on the road opposite. Why? Couples come here, see the idyllic church and it’s incredible location, and then want to get their own “wedding” photos at the church.

Taking a few moments to gather your thoughts in the church is a wonderful experience, with the sound of the waves lapping nearby wafting through the windows.

If you visit on Saturday evening (6pm) or Sunday morning (9:30am), then feel free to join mass with the locals.

While it’s exterior is worthy of seeing in itself, the intricate woodwork inside Cap Malheureux church is beautiful.

There is also a holy-water basin made from a giant clam shell – can you think of anything more Indian Ocean than that!

The iconic red-roofed church in Cap Malheureux

It’s a great place to go on, or start, an excursion

Visit Cap Malheureux and you won’t be stuck for things to do.

From the village you can go out with locals who hire their boats to tourists to go on diving, and snorkeling adventures. If you head to the north side of the beach, past the picturesque harbor, you will find fishermen and locals offering such services.

Or just a sightseeing adventure from the sea (with a few beers and some good food!), if you don’t fancy getting wet yourself!

Alternatively, take one of the buses going south towards Grand Baie – and take a catamaran cruise from the town.

Prefer to be active? Take a bus heading to Goodlands and/or Grand Gaube, and hire a taxi to take you to the beach and harbor opposite Amber Island. Pay a local fisherman to take you over on a wooden fishing boat to the palm-covered island, where you can walk several of the well-marked trails. Many lead to stunning coves, and hidden beaches.

Go on a snorkeling or diving adventure at Cap Malheureux

Want to go to Cap Malheureux but not sure how to get there? You could get a taxi, but buses also run throughout the length and breadth of the island, and public transport is pretty safe here. See our previous post about catching the bus in Mauritius, by clicking here!