A lonesome island lost in the Indian Ocean offers beauty, relaxation and adventure beyond measure. Its breathtaking blue seas and white sandy beaches ever warmed by the tropical sun, earned Mauritius its reputation as the Paradise Island. A tempting image, perfect for the holidays this year, I should say…
While there are luxury hotels in Mauritius and grandiose holiday packages, it is possible for the average guy to enjoy his holidays fully on a low budget. The best things the island has to offer are not limited to the wealthy only. A little tweaking here and there- will leave you with the perfect vacation without much hassle.
Sunny beaches, turquoise waters!
The turquoise, jewel-like sea, bordered by endless beautiful beaches are what usually tempts most visitors. There are alternatives to simply renting a parasol (beach umbrella) and laying there the whole day, enjoying the bronzing process.
The beach in Mauritius is one endless stretch of sand and sea. The best way to enjoy this to the fullest is to get up, arm yourself with a cap, water and a pair of sandals for the rocky parts. Else, it is a pleasure to enjoy a barefoot walk on the beach, buy some ice cream (ice cream sellers are present at nearly every corner) or even lunch in a seaside restaurant. You will enjoy the salty air and a fantastic view along with your food.
Drive Yourself Around and Explore!
Renting a car in Mauritius is fairly easy, even from before landing. The roads are well-marked, making it effortless to drive around the island. The island is rather small and the roads are developed enough to provide a moderately swift travel. This will be less costly than hiring a driver along with the car. Mauritians inherited much from the time it had been colonized by the British, for instance, driving on the left side of the road!
Be Adventurous with your Food!
Acquired from the various cultures grouped as one, the food has evolved throughout the years to take on a uniquely Mauritian taste. You may need to be somewhat wary of the spice levels given the deep love the locals have for chilies. Thai peppers are commonplace in most recipes, especially Indian ones.
There is no need to stick to luxury restaurants for the duration of your stay on the island- a few glamorous dinners would suffice if the budget is tight.
It is here that the car comes to great use. You may of course rely on the public transport system but travelling after sunset would be quite difficult. There is little to no late night activity among the inhabitants themselves.
Take the car to the capital city, in the evening and early night, Port Louis becomes a hub for the street foodies. The streets smell like shawarma and briani at every turn. They are rather cheap and very filling if you do not mind the extra calories!
During the day, dholl puri makes for a good alternative- it costs way less than a Big Mac!
Shopping, Shopping and… More Shopping.
Clothes back home are a hard on the purse, especially in the US and while the Europeans do fare a little better- the big surprise is that much of the clothes are actually made in Mauritius, especially the cotton and wool products. Having an extra suitcase to bring home some bargains might make your family members eternally grateful!
It is important to shop wisely. Avoiding places without clearly marked prices around Caudan and Grand Bay is a good start. Store keepers may not hesitate to demand exorbitant prices from the obvious tourist, hoping to make a big buck.
Walking around Port Louis or even Rose Hill can be eventful, the shops are numerous and the variety available is surprising. Everything from trinkets to sportswear are waiting to be discovered.
Unique Wonders of Mauritius- Colored Earths sound intriguing?
Inexplicable yet behold a miraculous view… The layers of different colored earths, formed naturally and never seeming to sustain any damage from cyclonic weather or torrential rainfall is located in Chamarel. It is a small village housing this little sensation. The visit offers a short hike as well as shops selling souvenirs. Definitely a must-do during your holidays in Mauritius. Treating your eyes and taking some pictures for the family back home sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it?
For The Lucky Nature Enthusiast:
Being an island of volcanic origin, Mauritius offers multiple mountain ranges, ideal for hiking. Pieter Both is particularly attractive, climbing a mountain to visit the little man at the top is charming. The climb is not a difficult one, a guide is necessary to prevent any mishaps.
The mountain giving you a perpetual thumbs up, where on earth could you find better motivation? Climbing Le Pouce Mountain can be a titillating experience if one views it that way. The map for the path to be taken can easily be downloaded online and a parking area is available at the start of trail.
Mountain climbing in Mauritius is a scenic affair, with the view becoming even more breathtaking the higher you go. From Pieter Both, you will see the harbor on one side and sugarcane plantation on the other while Le Pouce offers the view of Petit Verger. It is an adventure away from the grimy city life without the constant supply of pollution. You may find yourself surprised at how extremely refreshing such an experience can be.
If you are not a fan of physical activity, you do have other options on the table. Don’t give up just yet- Mauritius has more to offer.
A little walk down a pathway and you find yourself surrounded by trees older than centuries with endemic plants all around flourishing. Is that of interest to you? Then a visit to the SSR Botanical Garden is long overdue!
The entrance fee is less than a dollar and it is open throughout the week- convenience and affordability in one go.
Mauritius is hardly an old country but it makes up in quality for what it may lack in quantity. This beautiful island has a rich history of people from all around the world settling here, bringing with them a plethora of cultures to create what we have today. The island is one of the few countries in the world which has no violent past among the races and religions. Every little thing possible to preserve has been kept intact for the viewing pleasure of both Mauritians and tourists. You will enjoy a glimpse into the past of the society that exists today in near perfect harmony.
Museums in Mauritius
The museums are scattered all around the island and visiting them is not at all expensive. The Postal Museum is a relic of times gone by yet still sturdy. Don’t miss it! The Natural History Museum has no entrance fee and it is conveniently located in the capital city. A visit to the museum and lunch at the bazaar (market place) along with a bit of shopping appears to be the impeccable educational family outing when in the country.
** If you are looking to rent accommodations for your holidays, check out these exclusive villas in Mauritius!