The Indian Ocean has metamorphosed into a vacation hub attracting hundreds of thousands of vacationers. Mauritius, with its pristine sandy beaches, whelming landscapes and rich cultural diversity, is one of the rare treasures the Indian Ocean offers to the world. It may take weeks and weeks to uncover every nook of this magnificent island and this may affect your schedule. But, we have it all planned for you. It may sound like an ad campaign but it is effective, reliable and exempt of bogus promises: Discover Mauritius in all its splendor in just 10 days! Just remember to start out early.
Day 1: Fun at the beach
Spending hours crunched in a plane and being jetlagged afterwards are painful enough for your body. You do not need another tiring activity to add up to it. To get past exhaustion and body soreness, we recommend a full day at one of the beaches and we guarantee you would not be bored. The best beaches are located in the northern and eastern part of the island. (That’s a bonus piece of information for you to book your hotel!). Starting out early, you may greet the sun emerging from his sleep from the horizon with light jogging along the coast or with a relaxing yoga session on the sand while breathing in lungful of pure oxygen that dominates the atmosphere in the wee hours of the morning. The thought itself is rejuvenating. As the sun makes his way higher in the blue sky and eliminates the intoxication of the previous night, your surrounding bathes itself in a whole new light. Holistically, sea water is said to have benefiting factors that contribute to the purification of the body, mind and soul. So why not try it! This is the most perfect time to swim in the aquamarine waters of the sea or to take a dive and explore the wonders of the marine world. Taking refuge under the cool shade of palm trees, you may as well bury yourself inside the fascinating sphere of a novel while sipping your favorite cocktail. Your hotel may provide catering services on the beach itself and as the evening drools in, you may be offered an exquisite outdoor dinner while gazing at the vermillion sky and its reflection upon the sea. Now this is a great way to start your adventure!
Day 2: Visit to the capital
Port Louis is the capital of the island and a major transaction hub. The hustle bustle there indicates the fast pace and the mundanity of the town. But that’s not a reason not to go to explore the lieu. Foremost, you must pack some essentials in your bag before going to the city; sunscreen lotion as you can get some serious sunburns if not protected, sunglasses, hat and water..loads of it. Port Louis might be the smallest district on map but it is quite large to accommodate business and housing. You could commence your day by visiting Apravasi Ghat now marked a cultural heritage site by the UNESCO. It was there where the first Indian Immigrants first arrived and conceived the diversity Mauritius is currently known for. Local authorities have done quite an impressive job at preserving the tools and belongings that were once used by the immigrants. A registrar bearing their names and physical description is also well kept and still gives Mauritians and foreigners happiness and emotional sentiments of finding their ancestors’ names. Moving on, please feel free to squeeze your way through the narrow avenues of the big city. Being always infested by people, these streets will give a certain sense d’appartenance as if you belong to the Mauritian crowd. Each street is interconnected with the other. You may get lost in this maze but this would get better as you would discover newer things. Admire the tall buildings and feel the aura of the corporate world. As you do, walk till the market, the landmark of Port Louis. In there, you would be acquainted with legumes vendors who have humility and modesty pasted over their face. Welcoming people with smiles are other sellers who earn two square meals by selling clothes, daily stuff, and artisanal goods made by Mauritians depicting the island’s beauty. Hungry? Try the favorite dish of Mauritians: Dholl Puri or Roti. A simple round bread made of flour with hot and spicy Indian dishes. If spicy is not your thing then you may eat at the many continental eateries like Panarotti’s, McDonald, SubWay, etc. Facing the sea, the Caudan Waterfront invites you to shop in its luxurious boutiques, gamble in casino, have lunch in a posh restaurant and watch a movie in a star privileged way. The best thing about the capital is that you keep meeting new people and keep making new memories that you are sure you would not forget.
N.B: Rent a car!
Day 3: Hiking in the west
The driest and sunniest districts are found on the west coast of the island and this sometimes helps in the island exploration. The South of Mauritius is home to some enchanting endemic flora and fauna. For a significant boost in Mauritian revenue it had been essential to preserve these in all their glory. Nature’s made waterfalls and mountains have been adapted and converted into safe and guiding trekking trails without an ounce of damage. Many full day trekking packages are made available for participants to be able to enjoy the beauty of nature. You may consider one of the most calming yet exciting places Mauritius- the Tamarind Fall Reserve. The well protected reserve includes eleven waterfalls, deep ponds, and lush green vegetation. You are assisted by a knowledgeable guide. As you venture deeper into the reserve, you come across various endemic plants and animals. You know you are near a waterfall when you hear the gushing stream of water. People may jump directly into a pond of unpolluted and refreshing water and totally enjoy a nice swim. Packages also consist of a picnic with a complimentary meal in the heart of the forest. Trailing upwards, you may even find a nice spot to awe at the western coast of Mauritius. A higher altitude would enable to you to mesmerize at the beautiful landscapes; the mountains, the merging of the blue lagoon and navy marine ocean, flocks of endemic birds breathing freely in the open, and the satisfaction of being on the top of the world…figuratively. Other hiking trails like Piton de la Petite Riviere Noire, Black River Gorges National Park, Frederica Nature Reserve, Via Ferrata in the Yemen Nature Reserve, or a River Trek adventure may be considered for a full day acquaintance with Mother Nature and offering ourselves a journey full of bliss and peace.
Day 4: The marathon trip- Part 1
The central part and southern part of Mauritius offer a mine of wonderful treasures for explorers. Trou aux Cerfs, a lake, is a volcano dormant for thousands of years. You can get a splendid view of the Curepipe city and the volcano from a higher pedestal. The cold breeze always makes you shiver without warning yet you would enjoy this one. So, do take your jacket. Leaving Curepipe, you might want to visit the sacred lake of Grand Bassin, commonly known as Ganga Talao. On entering the premises, people are greeted by two 108 feet statues of Shiva and Durga, believed to be the conceptors of Hinduism. Making your way further, the holy lake is seen, water from which is offered to the sculpturic representation of the Hindu deity, Lord Shiva, on the Great Night of Shiva, or Maha Shivaratri, after devotees complete their pilgrimage to it. The tranquility of the place offers a calming and soothing effect to the mind. The tongs of bells, recitals of chants and prayers, devotees immersed in devotion, and the fragrance of incense sticks contribute to the heavenly aura. A feeling of great spirituality touches the soul. Your next stop would be Casela, Adventure Park. The latter is shelter to many endemic and international species of birds. Admiring aves might be the coolest thing to do. So the park offers some exciting activities, like the Safari trek where you could meet rhinos, zebras, giraffes, hippos, going through zip lines, tilapia fishing, and many others.
Day 5: The marathon trip- Part 2
On the second day of your marathon trip, your first stopover should be, Chamarel Rhumerie and Breweries where local rhum is brewed and distilled and perfected to the taste of alcoholics. The estate is set in an exotic location surrounded by cavernous mountains and forests. That part of the island remains unpolluted and allows you to breathe in pure air in a constantly refreshing environment. While touring the south, do arrange a visit at the Vanilla Crocodile Park and Nature Reserve. That reserve is home to various species of reptiles; crocodiles, alligators, lizards, and tortoises. You may also dig in at the diner shack for a lunch in the midst of reptiles. While you are at it, do make brief stops at museums where you would be enlightened on the historical eras that once dominated Mauritius and how we paved our way through enslavement to freedom and evolution. Your second final stop might be the view point of Le Morne mountain. Le Morne is another cultural heritage site by UNESCO as it contributes to the rich history of slavery and freedom of the 19th century Mauritius. The last stop has to be Maconde, a standing basaltic rock along the coastline. As you stand on the top, you would be bowled over by the breathtaking views of the lagoon, the howling breeze and the eclipsing mountains. If you are lucky, you may even be privileged to watch the sky as it slowly turns into an indigo color and then is taken over by the twilight as the sun sets in its cocoon.
Day 6: Island trip on the eastern coast
Mauritius is known to be surrounded by sea and to own some of the most splendid islets. The tropical weather makes it easier to visit one of those islands. A trip to Ile aux Cerfs could be arranged through a speedboat or catamaran with cocktail and lunch included. The small island can be easily termed as an Elysium: The sun proudly illuminating the surroundings in a crystal clear blue sky, upon the azure sea, heating up the golden fine sand, the sound of the crashing of tides against the coral barrier and breaking up into smaller waves and the rustling of palm trees. Just imagine yourself being there. Idyllic, isn’t it? The advantage of being in that private island is that you are far from unwanted disturbance and you are able to relax and lose yourself in the tranquilizing environment. The lukewarm waters are ideal for a perfect swim. A sexy sun kissed tan also sounds alluring. At the end of the day your chosen way of transport would be ready to take you back on the Mauritian grounds. We would recommend hiring a catamaran for you would appreciate being in the dock with your loved one and revel in the evening light closing in on the day. This sure is romantic and even if you are a lone traveler it gives you the opportunity to admire the beauty of things in serenity and privacy while sipping on champagne.
Day 7: The north
It is a delight to visit the northern section of the island in the warm winter and within the heart whelming approach the northerners offers foreigners. The Sir Seewoosagar Ramgoolam Botanical Garden is one of the many places if interest in the district. First built as a private garden by the French rulers of the island, and later converted into a memorial place in honor of the Father of the Nation, the garden narrates the botanical history of the island. The garden homes a variety of palm trees, endemic plants, medicinal herbs and spices. A big pond that could easily be identified as a massive water bath of an ancient civilization holds giant water lilies. In case you are wondering how big that lieu is to hold so many things then you would be astonished to know that the surface of the garden stretches over for endless acres and may take you weeks to cover the whole area. In the very district of Pamplemousses, visit the L’Aventure du Sucre, Sugar Estate and Museum. One of the main economic pillars of Mauritius is the sugarcane industry. That’s what you get to see across the island. At the sugar estate museum, you would learn on the history of the sugar industry, the manufacturing process, exports, and the by-products of sugar. Lunch and snacks are also available at the Sugar Estate Restaurant with a panoramic view of the Pieter Both Mountain.
Day 8: The northern lights
Still visiting the north, you might want to travel through the coastal line of it. The Cap Malheureux village assists foreigners in any way they can. The coastal village is much famed for its hundred years old church that still stands tall by the beach to witness the birth of a new born, the union of two souls and the departure of a spirit. Across the sea, you also get to marvel at the formation of a huge basaltic rock, acknowledged as the Gabriel Island. The islet is also a protected natural reserve with aesthetic beaches, clear waters and safe entourage. It is one of the favorite beach destinations for people seeking a day of relaxation and peace. At night, the Grand Baie village, a much arresting and preferred tourists’ location, comes to life. People are making their way through crowded streets and drinking in the night’s mellow. Malls and popular nightclubs are infested with people. In one word, the village becomes euphoric for some. They all seem to be enjoying in their own way: some are partying in clubs, at beach parties, shopping in malls and some are having a serene dinner in a private enclosure by the beach with the gushing of sea waves as the only music.
Day 9: Shopping adventure in the centre
You are reaching the end of your 10-day adventure. On the second last day, while you have covered most of the island’s popular tourist destinations, go on for a day’s shopping. Mauritius is more than often termed as a shopping paradise. Indeed, we have both local and international garments on sale, local handicrafts, art galleries, crafts boutiques and diamond cutting factory. In the centre, towns such as Floreal, Rose Hill and Quatre Bornes are most suited to shop for local artisanal goods, such as wooden architecture, glass sculptures, Mauritius souvenirs, local spices, foods and drinks, and central markets. After shopping for the local goods, head for Bagatelle Mall in Moka whereby you would access to a large variety of designer wears and goods, as Boss, Celio, Armani, Swarovski, Woolworths, and many. The mall also shelters many restaurants for you to have lunch or dinner and also welcomes you to enjoy a movie in its high class cinema. Enter the shopping world with the usual tagline: Shop till you drop and buy yourself or your family fashionable stuffs or simple souvenirs that remind you of Mauritius.
Day 10: Leisure day
It already is your last day in Mauritius. So far, you would not have regretted any day of your 10 day tour because you have roamed around every nook of it. For this last day, go on the beach and take a stroll. Take time to admire every little bit of your environment and engrave this in your memory. Settle down on the sand and close your eyes to attain inner calmness on that beautiful beach. Grant yourself a pleasurable day of outdoor spa therapy. It would be simply gratifying and solacing. Spend the whole day outside. Do negotiate with your hotel staff for you dine on the beach and arrange for a sleeping tent to be able spend the night as sea sings you a lullaby and the stars watch over you. A night under the stars is a perfect end to the adventure of a lifetime in this small island of the Indian Ocean.
Make the most of every moment and it will last.
Also read: 10 Must-See Places in Mauritius