A guide to Mauritius Island (Ile Maurice)

A guide to Mauritius Island (Ile Maurice)

People ask me this question all the time, ”Where is Mauritius Island?”,  ”Are you Indian?” and ”How come you celebrate this festival?”.

God created Mauritius first and then heaven.

Mark Twain

If you google about Mauritius, this quote will come up pretty much everywhere. 

Name after the Dutch Governor, Maurits van Nassau and known as the key and star of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a small yet scenic island with a population size of around 1.2 million. The main island is Mauritius and our sibling islands are Rodrigues, Agalega and St Brandon. Mauritius forms part of the African Continent. 

Even though English is our main language, most people speak Mauritian Creole and French. Other languages spoken throughout the island includes Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Mandarin, Bhojpuri and Marathi.

Mauritius is a safe haven for Thalassophiles and Nature Enthusiasts.

Mauritius Island is mostly known for its sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, impressive wildlife, endemic faun and fauna (pink pigeons, Mauritian Kestrel, giant tortoises), nature reserves, tumbling waterfalls, the rich marine environment and extinct species such as the dodo bird. 


FOOD
A haven for food lovers. From street food to posh restaurants, Mauritian food might just leave you wanting for more. Forget dieting, try to eat as much as you can while you are here. Dive in a meal feast, be it Indian, Chinese, African, pure Mauritian or European food, you will be pampered with the exquisite blend of different cuisines. Also indulge in tropical fruits such as lychees, longans, mangoes, jambalac and pineapples. Mauritians relish on fried noodles (mine frite), Octopus salad, Salted Fish cooked in Mauritian tomato sauce known as Rougaille and Dalpuris.

What you need to do in Mauritius
Visit our UNESCO world heritage site, Le Morne. Explore the colonial history, preserved sites and museums. Allow yourself the privilege of a luxury resort and try some water sports such as snorkeling and kayaking. Enjoy our local festivals while you’re here such as Maha Shivratri and Cavadee. Run through sugarcane fields and cycle around the villages. Additionally swim in one of the many beaches, go hiking, collect shells and go dolphin watching. See the giant waterlilies, pet the big babies at Casela, the list goes on and on. 

We enjoy a tropical weather throughout the year. Summer runs from November till April and Winter months from May to October. Avoid February and March when it is most humid (cyclone and rain months). The best time to visit Mauritius is from October to January to enjoy the sun. 

Places of interest

10 pictures to inspire you visit Mauritius

South of the island

Domaine St Aubin (Rum distillery), Crocodile Park, Grand Bassin, Bois Cheri Tea Estate, Avalon, Gris-Gris, Pont Naturel, Au Morne & Bel Ombre.

North of the island

Aventure du Sucre, Aquarium, Grand Bay & Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, Pereybere, Mont Choisy and Port-Louis (Caudan Waterfront, La Citadel & Champ de Mars).

West of the island

Chamarel (seven coloured earth & the waterfall), Casela Nature & Leisure Park, Tamarin, Flic-en-Flac and Black River Gorges.

North of the island

Ile aux cerfs, Belle Mare, Water-Park and Pont Bon Dieu.

More

Beaches
Of course a day at the playa sounds just perfect. Try some sea activities such as snorkeling, kite surfing, parasailing and kayak.

You can also take a boat trip to Ile aux Cerf’s, a little island and peaceful hideaway on the East Coast of Mauritius which has one of the clearest water and best beaches. Catamaran cruises often organise BBQ lunch and Sega dancing.

Admittedly we have amazing luxury hotels here on all-inclusive basis at affordable rates. Check in to one of them for at least a night. Indulge in spa sessions and sea activities provided by the hotels (some at extra charges).

Visit Trou-aux-cerfs in Curepipe
Curepipe has a number of haut de gamme/tourist shops and good restaurants. A stop to Trou aux Cerfs is a must where you can enjoy magnificent views of the island and see the dormant volcano.

Port Louis

If you can stand a little bit of heat, then head to the vibrant capital – Port Louis
Have dalpuri  & Alouda, wander around in Caudan waterfront, do some shopping and call it a day with some good cocktails at Le Suffren Restaurant. Port Louis is really crowded during weekdays so brace yourself for that. You can also visit Champ de Mars – attend the horse races on Saturdays or drop by some of the historical sites and museums.

Watch and swim with dolphins (A dream for many people)
Did you know that this comes in Robin Sharma’s  video  5 things to do before you die.
Why not give it a try?

Stroll the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
The Pamplemousses Botanical Garden is home to many endemic species. It is famous for the giant water lilies, tortoises, various varieties of palm trees, medicinal plants etc.. There is a small entrance fee for tourists.

Visit Grand bassin
This is a Mauritian version of the River Ganges in India. People believe that the water is sacred and thousands of devotees  walk long distances from their homes till there for Shivratri. There is a huge Shiva statue and a number of temples. There are many monkeys in the area, let them entertain you (don’t forget the camera).

Experience the bustling night-life of Grand Bay.
This is a village that doesn’t sleep. There’s the beach, bars & night clubs (e.g. OMG, Banana club, Les Enfants Terribles etc), restaurants, shisha bars, shopping malls, bowling and sea activities. This is a popular tourist destination.
I ate at La Botteghita cafe last time, a small but chic restaurant by the beach, which I totally recommend for their pizzas.

Try Golfing
Mauritius has become a famous golfing destination now with perfect golf courses amidst nature and lovely weather throughout the year. Many resorts offer complimentary green fees to visitors.

Visit Casela Nature Park
”Nestled in the lovely district of Black River, Casela Nature Park is a leading attraction of the island. Home to a number of species, plants, you also enjoy stupendous views of the island plus enjoy a number of fun activities, which is a great day out alternative pleasant for both children and adults…”
You can read my full post on Casela World of Adventures.

This is just a small list of things to do in Mauritius. I promise that the island has a lot more to offer.

Local currency

Mauritian Rupee (Mur – Rs).

Transport

Public transport (bus) do not run till late night unfortunately. Hire a car and explore at your own pace. We recommend booking with Pingouin Car Rental.

Azul picture-perfect lagoons, rich wildlife, luxury resorts, lush gardens, impressive views and fancy restaurants, you will always have a number of reasons to come back. I hope this article inspires you to visit Ile Maurice.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post, thank you for dropping by.

Ashna

 

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