As soon as you see Grand Baie you'll know why it's one of the most popular places in Mauritius, it has everything you could possibly want from a holiday destination. Here you'll discover the stunning beauty of its white sand beaches and natural harbour, shops where you'll find everything from sunglasses to souvenirs, and the liveliness of its restaurants and bars. This is the place to come to really make the most of that sparkling Indian Ocean. As well as safe swimming, you can go sailing, water-skiing, parasailing or windsurfing, and even explore under the surface. Gaze through a window into the underwater world by taking a trip on a glass-bottom boat. Or how about enjoying a unique experience in a two-person submarine, where you can get really close to the tropical fish without needing an oxygen tank on your back. You can also take a walk on the sea bed without any diving gear or training, by putting on an astronaut-like helmet. You're taken out to a platform and then 3 metres down you can walk for about 20 minutes and even feed the fish. You'll find Grand Baie, once a fishing village and now a busy resort, on the north west of the island. Grand Baie is its French name but the Dutch had a more romantic name for it in the 17th century: De Bogt Zonder Eyndt or Bay Without End. You'll discover no shortage of beaches on the endless bay, all with fine sand and inviting, crystal clear waters. Kids will love the shallow water and beach cafes of La Cuvette, find shade under the palm trees of Pereybere Beach and Mont Choisy, or try the main Grand Bay Public Beach or Trou aux Biches. Grand Baie is where you can catch a boat to go deep sea fishing or dolphin and whale watching, or to visit one of the islands to the north of Mauritius, like Gunners' Quoin and Serpent Island. The resort is also the best place to shop on the island. You'll find everything from traditional craft shops, whose owners have been making goods for half a century, to modern fashion outlets. You can buy clothes, jewellery and souvenirs in local stores or from international brands like Zara, Lacoste and Pandora. Head to La Croisette to enjoy an outdoor shopping centre with stores plus a supermarket, cinema, pharmacy, bank and a food court. Pop into Le Rendez-Vous for authentic Mauritian-made clothes, art and souvenirs. Grand Baie Bazaar is an indoor market and just the place to buy a dodo. You can't leave Mauritius without this extinct bird in some form, as it lives again on t-shirts, bags, mugs, key rings, stuffed toys and anything else you can think of. Why not take a stroll along Sunset Boulevard, an artistic area with plenty of shops and close to tasty fish restaurants. Grand Baie is a top spot to eat the succulent catch of the day, fresh from the sea, whether it's king prawns, smoked marlin or calamari in Creole sauce. Night owls can party until the early hours in the town's bars and clubs like Banana Café, Zanzibar and Buddha Bar. But if it's a few quiet moments you need, you can walk a little out of the town centre to the haven of the Tamil Surya Oudaya Sangam Temple. Gaze at its impressive colourful statues in this shrine to Hindu gods. .