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On the northwest coast of Mauritius nestles Port Louis, the capital of the island of Mauritius. Sheltered by a chain of vertiginous mountains and the calm bay of the Indian Ocean, this spot is an unavoidable stop of a stay in Mauritius. Its strategic location between the sandy beaches of Grand Baie and Trou aux Biches and the lively village of Flic en Flac – Port Louis remains an interesting city to discover, especially from a cultural point of view. Here is everything you need to know about Port-louis and what you should not miss visiting or seeing in the wonderful capital!

The capital of the country

Caudan Port LouisA veritable witness to the history of the island, Port-Louis evolved in a joyful mix of tropical exoticism and modernism. It remains immersed in a universe being at the same time intense and calm. Although the city is full of activities of all kinds, there are soothing and authentic places that remains to be discovered. On the touristic plan, the city offers various and fascinating addresses. You never get bored! Take for example the Caudan waterfront, which offers a large shopping center and a casino. It is one of the best places in the city to make interesting encounters and shopping.

Visit interesting sites

Citadelle Port LouisPort Louis, the capital city, is endearing. You can visit many tourist sites. We have for example the Champ de Mars which is the oldest racecourse of the southern hemisphere. You can also visit the Natural History Museum where there are no less than 35,000 specimens. You will also see the Domaine des Pailles where you will be immersed in the atmosphere of the great sugar properties of yesteryear. You will learn about the production of sugar and rum, and especially you will see demonstrations of sega. You should also not miss the Garden of the company, the green lung of the capital, the Place d’Armes with its statue of the founder Mahé de Labourdonnais and the Blue Penny Museum. The list is really exhaustive! The best option is to go to the capital and go through it.

Home to historical places

shopping-in-port-louisThe city is the guardian of the memory of Mauritius. There are places that have gone through the centuries. We have, first of all, the Government House which dates back to the 1920s and is one of the oldest buildings in the city. The Saint Louis Cathedral is the veteran of the City, built since 1770 which besides being a holy place remains a historical monument. You have Fort Adelaide erected in 1835 on the heights of the city where shows take place. Also on the list of sites is the Port Louis Theater, built in the 19th century, which is one of the oldest scenes in the Indian Ocean. Some sites are even listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites – such as the Aapravasi Ghat!

Original Port Louis Market

Port louis marketThe Central Market of Port Louis is one of the oldest sites on the island. The atmosphere is cosmopolitan and magical. There are crafts and natural products. You can buy souvenirs from Mauritius. Fresh fruits and vegetables are sold throughout the year. There is something for every taste. You will surely find something to taste – Do not miss the famous Dholl Puri and the Alouda! Walking enthusiasts will enjoy walking through its many alleys. It is protected from the sun and rain, as the market is partially covered.

Symbol of the cultural mixing of Mauritius

The population of the city is made up of descendants of Indian, Chinese, African and European immigrants. Muslim, Indian and even Chinese neighborhoods have been built there. Chinatown is a must visit in Port Louis! There are also mosques, Tamil temples and churches. The architecture of the city also testifies to the ethnic mix that prevails there. The buildings of the city are an incredible mixture of buildings and Creole houses.

Climb Citadel

Also known as Fort Adelaide, this citadel perched high on its hill at 100 meters above sea level, proudly dominates the capital of Mauritius. Dating back to the 19th century, it was once used to defend the city from potential attackers from the (western) sea. For those who have the courage to climb (about 30 minutes walk), you will discover from the ramparts a panoramic view over the whole city of Port Louis. We highly recommend it at sunset, it is beautiful.

Stroll to Caudan: the waterfront of Port Louis

Port louis at nightOpened in 1996, the marina of Port Louis is today a true place of life where teenage Mauritian youth and travelers in search of bargain in the many boutiques of creators and stalls of local souvenirs. For authenticity, the craft market of Caudan offers products made in Mauritius and Rodrigues; Baskets, boat models, spices … There is something for everyone. And for the gourmands, many restaurants concoct luring dishes such as samoussas or brianis, to consume under the parasols of Caudan. The waterfront also has a casino, cinemas and a large shopping center.

Bet at the Racecourse of the Champs de Mars

Between horse passion and love of the game, horse racing is a real national sport in Mauritius! Every weekend, the racetrack of the Champs de Mars is overcrowded. In the tribunes one can quickly feel the excitement rise; The bettors crowd at the announcement of the jockeys, the riders climb on their saddles, ready to go, advance on the line and start and “bang”, the race is launched! The spectators observe, comment, shout, exclaim and laugh. A beautiful cocktail of emotions, to discover absolutely if you are in the vicinity of Port Louis a weekend and you want to share an intense moment, typically Mauritian. This remainsa a fun activity to do with your family!

Did you know?

Originally, Port-Louis bore the Dutch name of Noordwester Haven. The name Port Louis was given in homage to King Louis 15.

Alouda, a popular local drink you can taste in Port Louis Market, is made from Indian basil, milk and vanilla ice cream.

Have fun in Port Louis!

Welcome to Porlwi 2

Before talking about Porlwi By light which took place between the 2nd and the 4th of December 2016, we want to introduce to you how Port Louis looks like at night on a normal day. Since Polwi by Light occurs once a year and not everyone has the chance to enjoy those wonderful illuminations, you can still spend a cool time hanging around the City of Port Louis, at night!

Port-Louis at night

Mauritius, the dream destination of holiday seekers and wanderlusts, invites you to discover or rediscover the capital city; Port-Louis.

But here we will look at the town of Port-Louis in a different angle. We heard about the hectic hustle and bustle of this popular city during the day, however, the busiest town in Mauritius transforms itself at night to wear a more resourcing atmosphere. One can feel the sensation of well-being in Port-Louis at night.

Port-Louis, the lively capital did manage to preserve its authenticity and simplicity through time, a city merging tradition and modernity in a unique way.

Port-Louis history

Capital city of Mauritius, Port-Louis has a rich history. Founded in 1735 by the French governor Mahé de Labourdonnais, Port-Louis became the business and administrative center of Mauritius. Being protected against strong winds during cyclone by the Moka Mountain Range, Port-Louis was the perfect location to house both the harbour and fort.

Given the status of City in 1964, Port-Louis has continued to expand till now. One of the major factor contributing in the development and expansion of the capital city is the Tourism Industry, leading to more shops, hotels, restaurants and the Caudan Waterfront construction.

Top things to do in Port-Louis at night

After a heavy schedule, one might think about relaxing while enjoying a delicious and refreshing dinner. So, here is a list of the best restaurants & bars in Port-Louis.

Lambic Restaurant, Café and Beer shop (Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor)

The first gastro-pub of Mauritius, Lambic, is situated in the heart of Port-Louis. Set in a refurnished colonial home, Lambic is a popular restaurant and beer spot amongst both locals and tourists. From imported to locals beers, Lambic offers a great variety – notably 130 imported beers and 46 whiskies, they are known to be beer specialists.

In terms of dishes, the Lambic restaurant will not disappoint you, they propose mouth-watering foods. They are among the best restaurant to discover the famous Creole cuisine and their well-versed waiters will make them a pleasure to help you match your meal to your beer.

Address: 4, St. Georges Street, Port Louis

Phone   : (230) 212 6011

The Courtyard (Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor)

The Courtyard restaurant is a fine dining spot boasting a unique and calm atmosphere, they are reputed for serving French cuisine with a Mauritian twist. Foodies will surely love this place, the Courtyard offers delicious and fine foods with a range of international dishes. The décor of the restaurant is simply superb with its classy interior decoration. The hospitality of the staff is quite remarkable as well, they will willingly cater for your slightest needs and wants.

The Courtyard Restaurant guarantees a unique gastronomic adventure.

Address: Corner of St Louis and Chevreau Street, Port Louis

Phone: (230) 210 0810

Sailors Restaurant

A beautiful restaurant nestled in Port Louis city, the Sailors restaurant offers a wide range of dishes, starting from seafood, European, Cajun & Creole, Mediterranean, Asian and ending to vegetarian cuisine.

The trés chic restaurant guarantees a selection of rich and gastronomic experiences with its expertise of different taste. The Sailors restaurant offers a journey of taste to its customers, excellent foods all wrapped in a serene atmosphere with a friendly staff.

Address: Mer-Rouge, Port-Louis

Phone: (230) 575 72172

Keg and Marlin Pub

The Keg and Marlin pub is a traditional English pub located on the Caudan Waterfront. A very popular spot among both locals and tourists, the lively pub offers relaxing moments accompanied by some delicious foods with chilled beers.

The place to be at evening, the Keg and Marlin pub offers an amazing view over the Ocean. They regularly organise live music on Saturdays and Sundays.

Address: Coaster Shed, Le Caudan Waterfront, Port Louis

Phone: (230) 210 2050

Street Foods

Mauritius is a blend of different cultural background, religions and ethnicity, this mixture did create the unique Mauritian cuisine and La Rue Deforges reflects the gastronomical diversity of the island.

Port-Louis can be really lively at night especially at La Rue Deforges, this particular area burst out with all kinds of foods, from fast foods to ice cream. If you want to get in the Mauritian mood, then you should try the street foods at La Rue Deforges.

Port-Louis street foods is very delicious and the best of all; it is cheap! Those tasty foods will definitely trigger your taste buds.

After dinner you might want to hang out around Port-Louis, but where to go? Below, we have listed some interesting places for your convenience.

Marie reine de la paix

Located on the slope of the signal mountain, the Marie Reine de la Paix church is surrounded by lush greenery, the church is a popular place of worship for devotees and a serene place for those seeking tranquillity.

Marie Reine de la Paix offers a panoramic view over the capital city and at night – it can be quite picturesque. If you want to visit the actual monument, you will have to climb up the 82 rock-cut steps, once at the top you can contemplate the beautiful city of Port-Louis and breathing the fresh air of Marie Reine de la Paix ornamental garden.

Champs de Mars

Champs de Mars is a famous place where families, couples and friends meets to enjoy some peaceful and relaxing moment. If you want to mingle with the Mauritian culture, then Champs de Mars is a location not to be missed. Try out the ice cream available there before leaving Champs de Mars, it is really delightful.

PORLWI BY LIGHT 2

The 2nd edition of the Porlwi by Light Festival was held from the 2nd to the 4th December. The event, this year was spread over 50,000 m2, from China Town to St. George Street, and the main theme behind the event was “People”. This charming story was told in 9 chapters. Here is a guided tour of this, now, annual event that we all wait for impatiently.

"Attitude" by Nirmal Hurry

Chapter 1 – The port: the arrival of the first men in Mauritius

The starting point of the festival was at the Port, a place that is so symbolic in history. It was the privileged witness of the arrival of the first men in Mauritius. To pay tribute and especially to celebrate the coexistence of these immigrants who later founded the Mauritian nation, the port was dressed in projections. And a gigantic jet of water was laid out.

The Port

Chapter 2 – The attic: Enter the Porlwi lab

Once in Mauritius, these immigrants learned to work together. That is what you saw while visiting the attic, located near the Caudan. Festival-goers discovered the Mauritian know-how, through what is called the Porlwi Lab. Indeed, this place was an artistic crossroads for the occasion. There were projections, paintings and photography.

The attic

Chapter 3 – The Aapravasi ghat: living the diaspora

The Aapravasi Ghat was the place to be to celebrate the Mauritian diaspora. And for good reason, the projections and performances were there to greet Mauritians and visitors alike from here and elsewhere.

The Aapravasi Ghat

Chapter 4 – The theater of Port Louis: interior travel

After a long journey, the theater of Port Louis offerd an introspection to the Mauritians. It is the director Azim Moollan who took care of the dressing of the theater of Port Louis. With projections that showed an old man who wanted to relive his precious memories. We were transported into another world and were impressed to see a majestic performance on the balcony of the theater.

The Theater of Port Louis

Chapter 5 – The old prison: for the love of letters

This year the old prison gave pride of place to the authors of the country. The artists were given the opportunity to show imagination while representing all the beauty of the letters.

The Old Prison

Chapter 6 – At the garden of the company: a sound and light show

The garden of the Company is certainly one of the few green spaces of the capital. It symbolizes the connection of man with nature. This year again, the public was able to discover a sound and light show. Yet, it was very different from what it was last year.

Garden Of The Company

Chapter 7 – IBL parking: interactivity at your fingertips

This year, the festival is more interactive. This interactivity was experience by the festival-goers and they were able to live it on the parking area of ​​IBL. Indeed, the public were able to interact with the projections which changed shape to the touch.

IBL Parking

Chapter 8 – The Caudan Waterfront: the artistic crossroads

The Caudan Waterfront represented the crossroads for this festival. There were animations by the water. All Caudan lived to the rhythm of art and culture. It was indeed an extraordinary sight.

The Caudan Waterfront

Chapter 9: The Place d’Armes: the eyes of the giants

The Place d’Armes celebrated e coexistence. Once again, the light were at the rendezvous. Giants were invited to the party and it was indeed massive and majestic to see those giant illuminations boarding the Place D’armes.

The Place d'Armes

Must Porlwi

Porlwi is not without its famous street foods and arts. Well this time too, tasty food and majestic designs and good music were there to impress the young and the old.

Street art

Just like for the first edition, the streets of Port-Louis welcomed Mauritius and foreigners, slamers and musical entertainment. The public was spoiled for choice.

Street Art

Street-food

This year the number of restaurants was tripled and everything was much more organised. They were in the vicinity of St Louis Cathedral, to satisfy the taste buds of the festival-goers.

Street Food

Behind the Scenes

Indeed, behind Porlwi by light, there has been quite some preparations, and these were up months before the event. Here is a sneak peak of the behind the scenes of this wonderful event that drew so many people to the Kapital of Mauritius!

Nu Kapital – A Story of Youth

Who on the island of Mauritius has not travelled to Port Louis or should I say “Porlwi”? Indeed, no one can say they have not. Being the city of Mauritius, every trader, businessperson, youngster has come to Port Louis at least one time – Whether it is to replenish their supplies, for shopping, for trading, for hanging out with friends and families – every Mauritian has experienced the wonders of Port Louis.

Yet, for you, Port Louis might still be a mystery – a sweet mystery!

Sometimes we love it and sometimes not. Indeed, we, Mauritians has a very indistinct emotion regarding Port Louis. Too hot and too crowded but a got-it-all place, very cheap items and delicious food, that is our main description of Port Louis.

Do you know Port-Louis? A question raised by Nu Kapital, whereby, our own knowledge of the city is to be re-examined; whether you are a Mauritian or a tourist. Similarly, after several years, Port Louis became somewhat “old-fashioned.” Due to the opening of several malls, youngsters became much more interested in cosy cinemas and luxurious restaurants, which are already available on site. The team which is composed mainly of University students, aiming at redefining the city by enabling people to learn and rediscover the different facets of Port Louis through a new angle; all of these through means of photography and videography.

This year, Nu Kapital introduced a whole new concept – 5 rubrics, each different, sharing the different wonders of Port Louis through different angles and perspectives.

Kot to baz (Hang out)

Most of you tourists are normally on holidays in Mauritius, especially during this festive season due to our mild temperature – an alternative to the chilly weather of European countries.

If you settled down recently or have already settled down for some moment, you might want to know more about Mauritius and its most appreciated places in order to experience it yourself. The only thing is that Nu Kapital is mostly centered on Port Louis but that is not a problem since Port Louis is a treasure coffin in itself.

In this rubric, Nu Kapital brings to you interviews of different people to determine their favourite place to hang out, drink some tea or even repair things. As a result, you will be able to find out the different places which offer exclusivity and win the hearts of Mauritians due to their devotion, effort and passion. For example, Nu Kapital filmed a video concerning the favourite romantic places of Port Louis. So if you want to bring your other half to a nice restaurant or an isolated place, it would be perfect!

Kot To Baz

Dan coulis (Behind the scene)

What makes Port Louis without its people? Bearing in mind the theme of this year, that is “people,” Dan coulis lays emphasis on all the important persons who contributed to the overall cultural diversity and economy of Port Louis. Despite their presence, people do not know whether they are important. For example: A scavenger picking up trash every week, a caretaker cleaning the offices or even the person sweeping the floor after the local horse race at Champ de Mars. Each and every one of them brings their heart and soul to work and becomes one with Port Louis. If Port Louis could talk, it will certainly thank them for everything.

What makes them different from us? You see, often we crave for white collar jobs and forget that all the smaller jobs are important also. They contribute in your whole well-being and social harmony.

Dan Coulis

Dan sulye (In one’s shoes)

Summer is already here and the scorching sun is up. Why not taste an Alouda to refresh yourself? You would have loved it, isn’t it? What Nu Kapital propose on the other hand, is literally putting yourself in the shoes of the vendor himself. Often we believe that these kind of jobs are easier than ours. In some recent videos whereby two teams were helping the owners; Alouda Pillay and Mr Vaden, seller of salted fish respectively, Nu Kapital discovered a whole new world and is ready to share it with you.

One of the benefits of this rubric is surely that these businesses will become more popular but for the teams itself, you would have seen in the videos that the experience in itself was enriching. Why enriching? Because these youngsters grew up with a silver spoon in their mouth, they do not know what it means to work really hard to bring the daily bread on the table and have a minimum of luxury.

Dan Sulye

Ti zistwar (Short stories)

Again, this question still comes back, what would be Port Louis without its people? Most of us being digital natives, we often do not know the history or Port Louis or we do not know people who would tell us more about it. In this rubric, Nu Kapital meets people and interviews them for an anecdote, they have of Port Louis, which is inserted on a background picture – A beautiful way of sharing knowledge and history!

Ti Zistwar

Special article

Now this gets more intimate and creative. Special Article is mostly the Nu Kapital team setting themselves free. They tell us in the form of music, articles and other wonders, what they understand of Port Louis, how it makes them feel inside their own soul while at the same time sharing their passions to us.

Special Article

PORLWI 2 in a Nutshell

This year again, even though the weather somehow disturbed the festival – it was a success. We were all impressed by the magical scenery and awesome feelings the various light arts gave to us. We expect to be more thrilled during the next edition – we hope there is yet another one –  and well as usual we’ll review it for you.

If you missed Porlwi 2, here are some snapshots for you!

IBL Parking

Conservatoire Francois Mitterand

The Caudan Waterfront

The Caudan Waterfront

The Port

The Caudan Waterfront Casino

The Caudan Waterfront Casino

And if you missed Porlwi 1, do not forget to check out our article!

See you for the next edition!

Mauritius

When it comes to spending holidays in Mauritius, visitors can easily get confused with so many things to see. In fact the tropical island of Mauritius has everything to offer etched in mind holidays, a multi-destination island! The beaches of the island draw luxurious hotels and high class villas proposing top-notch services. Mauritius is world known for its legendary hospitality and it is clear that many tourists spend most of their time in hotels or chilling out on the hotel front beaches. But, the island isn’t just about beaches and deluxe resorts; there is an assortment of places to visit. In fact, it was quite a task to shrink down our list of the 10 places not to miss in Mauritius.

1. Port Louis

Located in the northeast of the island, Port-Louis is the capital city and main administrative centre of Mauritius. It is by far the most visited town of the island, probably because it is in Port Louis that you will observe the abundance of the Mauritian culture. The town is a living museum of Mauritius and its cultural diversity, like the crowded Port Louis market which provides a wide choice of local cuisine, street foods and scents. As your taxi driver would, we suggest that you taste the “Dholl Puri” and why not an “Alouda” also! The chances are that you will most likely go back to Port Louis and its market again; because it’s there that you will find unique Mauritian souvenirs!

Port Louis
Port Louis

2. Pamplemousses Botanical Garden

Just 20 minutes away from the capital, the botanical garden also known as the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden is an Eden 37ha regrouping many plants and spices (including endemic ones) beautifully set in romantic pathways. The main attraction of the botanical garden is undoubtedly the famous Water Lilly of Mauritius. You will redefine fauna and flora with this garden’s lakes, birds, giant tortoises and its wide variety of trees and foliage.  If you like plants, flowers and dreamy walks, this garden will definitely make your holiday!

SSR Botanical Garden Pamplemousses

3. Grand Bay

The small touristic village of Grand Bay is undoubtedly the main attraction of the north of Mauritius. Its public beach is considered by locals and tourists to be amongst the very best in Mauritius. Indeed, the beach of Grand Bay sets apart with its line of palm trees, fine milky white sand and a warm turquoise lagoon. With its constantly rising number of visitors, Grand Bay saw a lot of changes these last years. It is the first place in Mauritius that experienced a tourism boom and as a result, the small village now has several hotels and shopping centers. Grand Bay is permanently active with the numerous beach restaurants, bars and clubs and it is definitely the place to be to enjoy nightlife in Mauritius.

Grand-Baie-Aerial-View
Grand Baie Aerial View

4. Cap Malheureux

Cap Malheureux stands for ‘Cape of Misfortune’ and was named after the many shipwrecks which occurred there. The village is rather quiet but very famous for its pretty beach, its romantic red roof church and the magical view over Gunner’s point locally known as Coin de Mire.

Chapelle Notre Dame Auxiliatrice Cap Malheureux

5. Ile aux Cerfs

Ile aux Cerfs is a small paradise island of 87 hectares of luxuriant vegetation and exotic nature. The island is surrounded by sheltered emerald waters and pure white pristine beaches. The island is accessible by taxi boats or speedboat operators who operate on the Trou-d’Eau Douce public beach. Ile aux Cerf Island has a world-class hotel, a lush green golf course, and several restaurants. Whether you are visiting the island on family holidays or honeymoon, you will never get bored, there are many activities to enjoy like snorkelling, glass bottom, water skiing and many more water sports.

ile aux cerfs mauritius

6. Chamarel

Chamarel a small village located in the south has one of the most breathtaking views of the island. The Chamarel Falls is a range of quite a few waterfalls close to each other and the highest of them falls down to 100 meters. The viewpoint is reachable by taking the stairs and it is the perfect spot to selfie with Mother Nature! The village of Chamarel is also famous for its seven colored earth. This phenomenon is explained by the cooling at different temperatures of volcanic rocks, resulting in dunes of seven distinct colors. There is also an adventure park with intermediate challenges in the middle of natural sceneries, ideal for youngsters and group holidays!

Chamarel Seven colored Earth

7. Rochester Falls

Located in the south of the island, Rochester Falls is quite a unique place to visit in Mauritius. The waterfall is famous for its rare lava cliffs refined by years and years of erosion. When visiting the south of Mauritius, Rochester Falls is really worth a photo-stop. Each day, locals and tourists come see this amazing scenery and some even have a refreshing swim. The water is clear and calm, but swimming is not advised for beginners.

rochester falls souillac

8. Black River National Park

Also known as the Black River Gorge, this park spreads over 6574 ha of lush forest and wildlife. The park draws the most adventurous in search of wilderness in Mauritius. Hiking the park will get you carried away by a set of panoramic views as well as stunning landscapes, peaks and waterfalls. The National Park is the habitat of rare endemic bird species like the Green Echo Parakeet, the Mauritius Kestrel and the famous Pink Pigeon of Mauritius. Nature lovers will definitely love the Black River National Park and its long hiking trails.

Black River Gorges Nature Park

9. Le Morne

Though being a sad place by in a historical point of view, Le Morne is one of the most beautiful villages of Mauritius. The village is home to the “Morne Brabant” a single peak mountain encapsulating so much of Mauritius’ history in it. The place has been classified since 2008 as a UNESCO World Heritage site and it can be visited by trekking, the final view overlooking the Indian Ocean is quite astonishing. The locality also possesses the best beach of the south of Mauritius, Le Morne public beach. The beach is characterized by pure crystal water, comfortable white sand, rows of Casuarina trees and the “Morne Brabant” as background.

Le morne Brabant beach

10. Flic en Flac

Flic-en-Flac-Mauritius

Located just 20 minutes away from Port Louis and other cities in Mauritius, Flic en Flac is the best place to stay on the island. Flic en Flac is a village of several kilometers facing a continuously stretching white sand beach. With a water temperature of 27 degrees, a lapis Lazuli lagoon and a rich coral reef, Flic en Flac stands as one of the best beaches of Mauritius (if not already the best). Each year the village welcomes hundreds of thousand visitors and amongst them, many diving amateurs as Flic en Flac has the best spots for diving in Mauritius. Flic en Flac portrays the best sunsets in Mauritius and several big name hotels like the Pearle Beach Resorts and Villa Caroline lie along the coast of this beach.

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