Today we had the start of the distribution of the Covid vaccine, so it is not too early to think about travel again. If you are already looking for a fantastic winter experience next year possibly, especially during Christmas, think Mauritius. Mauritius is a Beautiful island state Located in the Indian Ocean; it comprises archipelagos in the southeast of Africa and southwest of Asia. The Island was uninhabited before Arabs sailors discovered it and named it Dina Arobi.
The small Island has had its fair share of colonial struggles with imperialists like the Dutch in the 16th century, who called it “Mauritius” after the Dutch Prince Maurice of Nassau; the French in the early 18th century and lastly, the British – the longest-serving colonialists (1810-1968).
Today, the Island nation is multicultural and occupied by Indians, Africans, the British, and the French among other nationals. The official language is both English and the local dialect Mauritian Creole.
What to Expect in Mauritius?
Mauritius has charming landscapes caressed by the sun’, with magnificent white, sandy beaches fringed by coral reefs stretching inland. This tiny isle in the Indian Ocean is a ‘desert-island’, with picturesque landscapes set off by small mountains, and some of the world’s premium hotels. Mauritius’ temperature hardly drops below 20 degrees, making it a perfect holiday destination to go to any time of the year.
Mauritius comprises of tiny geographical chunks. Port Louis – the capital city has diverse people and is a modern state with modern infrastructure, social and economic amenities.
The north coast has some of the most established resorts in Grand Baie and Mon Choisy, attracting scores of visitors all year round.
The west coast is renowned for striking sunsets, water sports, and diving activities surrounded by the rugged Black River Gorges.
The east is mostly a rural settlement area, secluded but with the finest luxury hotels and few historic sites stretched across the region.
The south is a remote area in the development stage . Still, it has a tiny island – Rodrigues, an upcoming tourist destination with jagged landscapes, modest hotels, and a mostly Afro-Creole population.
Being a predominantly Hindu population, you’ll find a dozen temples strewn in every town and Indians dressed in their cultural sarees and kaftans. But Mauritius is a diverse place with multicultural people living harmoniously in archipelago. The Island has a slave site recognized by UNESCO at Le Morne Brabant the UNESCO.
Best places to visit in Mauritius
Besides the exclusive beach hotels that are a regular rendezvous of socialites and celebrities, explore inland, and you discover lush forests, mountains, overflowing rivers, and stunning waterfalls.
You’ll also find vast sugarcane fields, extinct volcanic craters, colonial towns, and villages.
Mauritius is one of a trio of islands, along with Réunion and Rodrigues.
There are three mountain choices. The Moka Mountains forms a dome around Port Louis, the Savanne Mountains in the south, and the Grand Port in the south east. The South east area is quite a sight to behold, with breathtaking mountain and exquisite beaches. You’ll be floored by the beauty of it all.
Mauritius is a fascinating island with breathtaking waterfalls, magnificent landscapes, churches, temples, and delightful beaches.
We have compiled a comprehensive article of must-see sights in the north of Mauritius, so here we go.
Port Louis is the Island’s capital located in the northeast of Mauritius.
Places to explore in Port Louis.
The Eureka Mansion
The colonial Eureka mansion is South of Port Louis. This is where British nobles resided. The building currently a refurbished museum that brings out the life of privileged aristocrats in the 18th century.
Explore North of Mauritius
It will only take you a day to stroll through Port Louis in a rented car. Get down to the beach in the afternoon and spend some time in the stunning Trou-aux-Biches, near the Hindu temple.
Recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO, Aapravasi Ghat, adjacent to Le Morne Brabant Mountain, is linked to the Island’s history where nearly a million workers arrived under the British rule to work in the sugarcane plantations.
Today, most of the locals in the country are descendants of the workers, mainly from India – though times have changed, the immigrants worked under deplorable conditions earning meagre wages, but thankfully, all that has changed now.
The current generation enjoys better working conditions and an uplifting way of living with better housing, social amenities, and worship freedom.
You can find a history of the immigrants exhibited in the museum.
Other historical sites include:
- Fort Adelaide
- Caudan Waterfront and the Blue Penny Museum
- The Cathedral of Port Louis
- The Chinese Temple
- The Jummah Mosque
Champ de Mars Racecourse
Horse racing is an old age tradition in Mauritius. The Champ de Mars track was built in 1812 and is the second-oldest horse race track globally. The racing track is 1300 meters in length – a remarkable sight to behold, so make sure to pass by and have a feel of the entire arena and imagine it packed even when there’s no race going on.
Mauritius’s horse racing season begins from May to November and takes place every Saturday from 12:30 pm – 5:00 pm, with eight scheduled races per event. The adrenaline, the tension, and the wild uproar from spectators is a marvel to watch.
If you’d like to be part of the action and watch live horseracing, you can book your holiday during the racing season and buy online tickets – if you book VIP tickets, you’ll get personalized pick-up and drop off to and from the racing event. You’ll get the best seats and also some good betting advice if you’re up for a betting challenge. The ticket also includes food and drinks. This is a lifetime chance, so try it out if you can.
Maheswarnath is the oldest Hindu temple on the Island; given the large Indian population, that’s why you’ll find a dozen colorful temples strewn across town. The MM temple is significant and magnificent at the same time. It’s bright colors, and colossal size is something you don’t want to miss, plus take a couple of pics to remember.
Botanical Garden in Pamplemousses
Pamplemousses town is home to Mauritius’s top tourist destination – and the most visited site; the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, commonly referred to as Pamplemousses Botanical Garden. The pond with the giant water lilies is remarkable, as well as the fresh lotus flowers growing wildly in the still waters. You’ll also come across friendly giant turtles in the garden.
Best Places to Visit in the southwest Of Mauritius
The south west has the most extensive collection of beautiful tourist attractions on the Island.
Some of the best sites to visit include:
Ile aux Benitiers and the Crystal Rock
The Ile aux Benitiers is a small island that’s just heavenly. The turquoise water along the sandy white beach is quite a sight to behold. The Crystal Rock extending out of the water right in the middle of the ocean is a wonder and offers great topography for the tiny Island.
Besides the great view, you can also play with dolphins or watch them twirl and squeak in excitement.
Seven Colored Earths in Chamarel
The Seven Colored Earths is quite a sight to behold. It is a unique natural marvel. The curvy earth with colored soil – 7 different soil hues in total shimmering at dusk is like watching the magic unfold right before your eyes.
It is undoubtedly a popular tourist attraction with scores of people going to the place all year round. Don’t be left behind to witness this unforgettable spectacle in the late afternoon just before sunset.
Visit the spectacular Chamarel Waterfall en-route to the Seven Colored Earths. The waterfall is relatively narrow, but don’t be fooled by its dismal size – it drops down nearly 100 meters below! Don’t try to take a dip there.
There’s an entrance fee to view both sites in Chamarel.
The Green Lung – Black River Gorges National Park
If you’re up for hiking, this is the perfect place to do just that. Black River Gorges National Park is on the extreme end of Chamarel. The national park offers tranquil hiking trails with green forests, numerous waterfalls, wild monkeys, among other remarkable views.
Ganga Talao / Grand Bassin
Every year in February/ March, Hindus celebrate the Maha Shivaratri Festival, which takes place at Ganga Talao. Nearly one million white-clad Hindus gather at the lake to perform some spiritual ritual. This is the most important festival/pilgrimage of the year for the Indians outside of India because it involves pilgrims from the entire region.
Ganga Talao is located east of the Black River Gorges Park. You’ll also find a few Hindu statues around the lake, if you’re fascinated by the Hindu religion, this is a great place to learn a bit of Hinduism and the Hindu culture.
Bois Cheri Tea Plantation
A few miles from Ganga Talao towards the East is the Bois Cheri plantation, also known as the “Tea Route,” where you’ll find the tea plantation and factory. You can take a tour at the factory and have guides explain to you the entire tea processing, which is quite fascinating actually. You can also sample the tea flavors at the tasting site in the factory. How cool is that?
Trou aux Cerfs Volcano
The Trou aux Cerfs is a wide volcano hole at staggering 650-meters above sea level. The dormant volcano has a small lake right in the center of the crater. To have a better view of the lake, tourists take a wide path leading to the where you get a fantastic breathtaking view of the entire Island. The view from the top of the volcano is just excellent and worth the drive, if it’s a hustle getting up there.
Le Morne Brabant
Le Morne Brabant is a tall, privately owned mountain, standing at 556-meters high, and is declared a UNESCO heritage site. It was once a refuge for slaves fleeing from the French slave masters on the Island. At the foot of the mountain is a massive monument in memory of the frantic slaves.
Below the mountain is the Le Morne beach – a magnificent white sandy beach that is so beautiful – quite a stunning view of deep blue calm waters and the occasional lazy waves washing away gently at the shores. Le Morne beach is a perfect picnic spot and an excellent place for romantic afternoon saunter for lovebirds.
Places to Visit on The East Coast of Mauritius
Some people want to skip all the geographical sites and monuments and head straight to paradise. Mauritius’s east coast has excellent luxurious resorts and some of the most stunning beaches in the world. Here, you’ll be spoilt for choice, with secluded beaches and exclusive resorts offering heavenly Island experiences.
Visit the long Belle Mare Beach, The Vallée de Ferney nature reserve, including boat trips in the deep sea and a visit to the extensive sugar plantations. Take long brisk walks at the Cavendish Bridge in Mahebourg.
The east coast road is bliss!
Ile aux Cerfs Island
The Ile aux Cerfs is a paradise on earth. You’ll find stunning beaches that the tiny isle has to offer. The Island is quiet and deserted during the off-season. During peak season, the entire Island is a huge bustle of activities with tourists pouring in from all walks of life, making the place alive and colorful.
To go to the islands, take a private charter boat to Ile aux Cerfs and depart from Trou d’Eau Douce. Prices range from 400 to 500 MUR, but some people charge as high as 1,000 MUR. Be cautious, and make sure you negotiate with a local guide to get the best boat prices. Alternatively, you can skip the haggling part and book a boat online for personalized services.
Ile des Deux Cocos Island
The Ile de Deux Cocos is a small private island that promises fantastic hours of fun and excitement. You can rent a full-board boat complete with food and drinks and cruise out for deep-sea diving, or have a glass-bottom boat ride and later have lunch at sea.
Our Final Word
Mauritius has tons of activities besides the usual beach and sea. Experience real pleasure as you Island hop, trek, and surf in this extraordinary archipelago. Let us know what you loved most, or better still, what you look forward to if you haven’t yet taken the trip.
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