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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.

Mauritius holidays

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.

mauritius sea

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!

mauritius sugarcane

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!

shawarma kebab mauritius

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.

shoes shop mauritius

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?

chamarel mauritius

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.

mauritius hiking mountain

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.

botanical garden mauritius

History Mystery

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.

museum mauritius

 

** If you are looking to rent accommodations for your holidays, check out these exclusive villas in Mauritius!

Located at the heart of the Indian ocean, Mauritius stands out as a dream destination. Between hiking in dense forests, luxurious hotels, world class diving sites and an interesting cultural mix, Mauritius fascinates more than one. Nature lovers will enjoy the beaches and explorers will prefer  the tropical and natural sceneries. Discover together one of the most beautiful countries in the world, minus the flight time.

Located at the height of the Tropic of Capricorn, the island is part of the Mascarenes archipelago like Réunion and Rodrigues Island. The 200 kilometres of coastline of Mauritius are almost entirely made up of coral reefs. As you can imagine, it is ideal for the diving and snorkeling underwater, but that’s not all. All aquatic activities can be practised here. Surfing at Tamarin and Le Morne, while kite surfing is better enjoyed in the South and the East. You can also swim with dolphins and watch whales off the coast of Tamarin.

 

Swim with the Dolphins Mauritius
Swim with the Dolphins Mauritius

Mauritius has some of the most stunning beaches in the world. Famous for its turquoise waters and floury white sand, beaches like Flic en Flac and Grand Bay make the island a paradise for sunbathing. However if you are looking for more than just a simple sunbath, you will be surprised of how much the island has to offer.

Holder of many Big Game Fishing records , Mauritius is a paradise for fishing. Across the island,  operators offer Big Game FIshing trips. This activity  is very much appreciated by tourists. For the time of one day, encounter the biggest sea predators ,like the Blue Marlin and the Espadon.

Big Game Fishing Mauritius
Big Game Fishing Mauritius

The inner part of the island is composed of lush forestation and several mountain ranges. Black River national park is an an ideal place to discover the biodiversity of the island. The park offers several kilometres of trails to discover a tropical flora and fauna in an adventurous mood. In this natural and unspoilt environment, you will come across the most beautiful waterfalls of the island, more than 300 species of plants as well as endemic birds.

Lying next to the national park, the small village of Chamarel is one of the main attractions of the island. The village is home to a rare natural phenomenon, the Seven Coloured Earth of Chamarel. This  unique place offers an incredible view of seven color shades of earth in a limited space and the longest waterfall of the island.

Chamarel
Chamarel

Port Louis the capital, is the place where you will find the most beautiful mixture of the Mauritian culture. At every street corner, the city is colored by several religious monuments, Hindu temples, mosques, Chinese pagodas and Catholic churches. Even if the city has somewhat modernised in recent years, it has managed to preserve its charm with its colonial houses and monuments.

Fort Adelaide, also known as the Citadel, is one of the oldest buildings in Port Louis. The Citadel is located on a hill and offers an excellent panoramic view of the city of Port Louis. The closest is the Hippodrome du Champ de Mars, created more than two centuries ago. It is the oldest racecourse of the southern hemisphere.

Mauritius Market

The main attraction of Port Louis is its market (said: Bazaar in Mauritian creole). Located in the heart of the city, the central market never lacks animation, regardless of the day. Traders will expose all types of fruits, vegetables and exotic spices. But it is the Mauritian street foods that will charm you at Port Louis market.

It is the best place to taste the famous Dholl Puri and gato-piments. In case of thirst, get yourself a glass of Alouda, a drink made from milk and highly appreciated by the Mauritians. Port Louis market is a place not to be missed during a holiday in Mauritius. Although it is crowded and noisy, a visit is really worth the extra decibels.

Dholl Puri
Dholl Puri

Located only a few kilometres from the capital, the Botanical Garden of Pamplemousses (SSR Botanical Garden) will delight quite a lot of visitors, especially nature and plants lovers. The garden exist since 1770 and was constructed by Pierre Poivre (former French Governor). SSR Botanical garden covers an area of more than 37 hectares and is home to an incredible variety of tropical plants including the famous giant water lilies.

After a visit of the city of Port Louis, the Pamplemousses garden definitely worth a visit. If you like plants, make sure you have the services of a guide. For the price of one euro, you will have a guided walk with a plant expert who will be there to inform and share some interesting views.

SSR Botanical Garden Pamplemousses

Still in the North of the island you will discover the Château de Labourdonnais , one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mauritius. Built in 1859, this castle is the ideal place to familiarize yourself with the Mauritian lifestyle of the 19th century. The castle was very well preserved but necessitated  a recent renovation to accommodate the increasing number of visitors.

The property is surrounded by perfectly kept gardens, a distillery, a bar where you can taste typical Mauritian beverages. The Château de Labourdonnais has also a restaurant and a shop where products made by local artisans are exposed.

chateau_de_labourdonnais_mauritius
Chateau De Labourdonnais

Located close to Flic en Flac, the Casela Nature Park is the best place to take a walk in nature. The Park extends over an area of 14 hectares and is home to thousands of birds and more than 150 species of animals. You can interact with animals such as  lions, monkeys,  giants turtles and birds. For adventurous souls, the park also reserve activities such as quad, hiking  and zip line.

Ziplines Casela
Ziplines Casela