Belle Plage - or, as it is also known, Belle Mare Plage - is one of Mauritius's finest beaches, and no other sandy shore on this wonderful island can lay claim to quite the same level of peace and tranquility as Belle Plage.

Lying snugly against the north-east side of the island, Belle Mare Plage is known far and wide for its calm waters - calm thanks to the deep coral-reef-protected lagoon that lies just offshore - and its almost unbelievably white sand.

This beach epitomizes the concept of lazy tropical living, and, as most week days will find Belle Mare Plage all but deserted, during the week would be the optimal time for tourists to visit this wonderful place. Belle Plage is fairly undeveloped, and the beauty of the shoreline is not marred by flotillas of yachts or the acrobatics of kitesurfing enthusiasts.

There are no public sporting facilities at Belle Mare Plage - so those who wish to play should bring their own equipment - but visitors will find that they will be totally satisfied by just spending time on this stunning shore and, perhaps, swimming in the azure ocean waters.

Those who don't mind a bit of a walk will find all the usual beach-related amenities fairly close by, and they can even sign up for a round of golf at one - or both - of the nearby golf courses. The 18-hole course at the Belle Mare Plage Hotel is, unfortunately, only accessible to hotel guests, but the 9-hole course, which is not part of the hotel complex, does come highly recommended.

Hotel guests will also be provided with watersports equipment and can enjoy - among other things - waterskiing, kayaking, windsurfing and snorkeling off the calm Belle Plage coast.

Not many countries can say that their winters are dry and warm but Mauritius can, and winter is therefore the best time to visit north-east coast beaches and resorts like Belle Plage and Belle Mare Plage Hotel.

The unspoilt paradise that is Belle Mare Plage stretches for at least 2km along the island's shoreline and also includes several hectares of the tropical garden-like vegetation that is unique to Mauritius and the Mascarene Islands.

Belle Plage may be just one of Mauritius's many beaches, but it's certainly a favorite to win the prize for the most unspoilt, peaceful and secluded beach on the island.

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