The town of Curepipe is the second biggest town in Mauritius after Port-Louis, with a population nearing 100,000 habitants. This beautiful town, nicknamed the city of lights, will conquer your hearts both during daytime and at night. From colonial relics to nice restaurants to beautiful gardens, Curepipe has much to offer visitors.
With cooler temperatures compared with coastal regions you will feel a lot more at ease in this part of the island. Due to its position in the rainy plateaus in the centre of the island, in Plaines-Wilhems, Curepipe offers some relief from the heat of the beaches. So do not hesitate to leave your hotel room or villa to enjoy the nice environment Curepipe has to offer.
Here is a little anecdote on the origins of the name Curepipe?
‘Curer sa pipe’ means ‘clean your pipe’ in French ; folktale brings to light that the place now called Curepipe got its name from the fact that Napoleon’s soldiers and other travelers making the journey from Port Louis to Grand Port would stop here to clean their tobacco pipes. Hence the name!
What to see in Curepipe?
Town Hall of Curepipe and other Colonial buildings
Wandering around the centre of Curepipe, you can’t miss the Town Hall. An imposing and majestic building from the 19th century has kept all its magnificence in the very center of the town. You will also be charmed by the stunning Royal College as well as the charming Carnegie Library, home to many historical manuscripts. You will also come across the Basilica St-Helene and the St- Therese church, built in 1922 and 1869 respectively, are both preserved relics of the past you will have the chance to discover while visiting Curepipe.
Curepipe Botanical Garden
If you are in the vicinity of the Route du Jardin in Curepipe town, take the time to have a stroll in the Botanical Garden. Created here in 1870 by the descendants of the first French colonists, the gardens are a real haven of peace- if you are in search of a peaceful spot. The two hectares of gardens are full of veritable botanic treasures and boasts the national plant of Mauritius, the Mauritius Trochetia!
The gardens are brimming with rare and endangered exotic and indigenous specimens that you can discover whilst walking around the garden’s paths. For smaller ones, a beautiful playground awaits them. The Curepipe Botanical Gardens is the second largest gardens in Mauritius after the Pamplemousses Garden.
The MUST-SEE Volcano : Trou-aux-Cerfs
Apart from its colonial buildings and garden, this Mauritian town boasts numerous natural wonders which are, really, worth a visit. One of these is a volcanic crater, the Trou-aux-Cerfs, 300m round and 80m deep, which have been dormant for thousands of years. It remains one of the eldest volcanoes of the island.
Covered in luxuriant vegetation, its summit is 600m above sea level and easily accessible on foot or even by car. Trou-aux-Cerfs is bound by a circular road and connecting paths allow for a descent into the crater. The access to cars around the crater is now prohibited, but a special parking is provided for visitors.
The best time of day to enjoy the surroundings of this natural marvel is late in the afternoon, for panoramic views of the region and the town of Curepipe. At sunset, if weather permits, you can appreciate a magnificent view over the whole island at different spots around the volcano. If you’re lucky enough, you might even be able to spot neighbouring Reunion Island on the horizon.
Domaine des Aubineaux
Want to escape the hustle and bustle of the town? A visit to the colonial mansion Domaine des Aubineaux is the best way to enjoy peace and serenity in this town. The Domaine gives you the chance to learn more about the life of a Mauritian family in colonial times.
The Mansion of the Domaine des Aubineaux was built in 1872 in a classic colonial style, and in 1889 it was the first residence on the island to be outfitted with electricity. The plantation was transformed into a museum in 2000, and today it marks the first stop on the historical La Route du Thé .
What to do in Curepipe?
Curepipe remains one of the most famous towns for shopping. In the surroundings of Curepipe- Floreal- you will come across many duty free shops specialized in different types of goods. Here are some shops you will come across:
Ship Models Shops
For top-notch and affordable Ships model head towards Le Port in Floreal. There, you will come across unparalleled miniature of beautiful ships.
If you are looking for diamonds you can head towards the factory shop- Adamas but if you are looking for quality and high class Jewelry, do pass by the Craft Gallery which is just on your way while going to Trou- Aux- Cerfs. You will definitely be conquered by its diamonds, pearls and other precious stones.
Clothing- Cashmere, Pashmina and Branded Clothing
For Cashmere and Pashmina clothing you can find great products at the Craft Gallery at unbeatable prices and for Branded clothing Volcano club remains the best duty free shop. For a broader choice of shops you can also head towards Private Collection which is at the foot of Trou-Aux-Cerfs where you will not only have the chance to do shopping, but where you will also be able to contemplate a beautiful Manoir and magnificent miniaturised replica of the Eifel Tower.
Carpets and Furniture
For carpets and antique furniture, Toshkana is the place to be and if you still aren’t satisfied you can have a look at the Antiquaire! Both shops offers quality furniture with unequalled designs.
Taste some delicious cuisine
Curepipe also boasts some great restaurants. Central, Café Hong Kong, Chinese Wok, Ginger or Pot-de-Terre are all unique restaurants which will all stimulate your taste buds in different manners. If you want good Chinese food, do test Chinese Wok, Central or Café Hong Kong. If you’re more for fine cuisine, Ginger remains the best choice but if you want simple Mauritian cuisine, head for Pot-de-Terre which offers great Mauritian dishes well accompanied by our local beer- Phoenix!
Nightlife In Curepipe
At night Curepipe put on all his lights and shines brighter than anything else on the island. You will come across beautifully decorated streets, a magnificent fountain in the middle of the city and a vast number of nice things to do.
One of the biggest casinos in Mauritius
Curepipe is the place to be for those of you who are adepts of Casino Games! Of all the casinos in Mauritius, the one at Curepipe remains the biggest and most famous. If you decide to go there, make sure you have time to spare because the casino has no fewer than one hundred and fifty slot machines as well as Roulette, Blackjack and Poker tables where you can put your luck at test!
Music lovers? Singers? Guitar players? You’ll certainly love Apocalypse Grill in the LakePoint complex next to the Town Hall and the Casino. Apart from offering delicious BBQs for dinner, you will have the chance to take the stage and share your talents with its small. Singer or not, do not hesitate to take the mic and show off. You will certainly enjoy a nice moment with its musician or the troop of youths that usually enjoy some time there scratching their guitars for the pleasures of the audience.
You will come across only one night club in the city- Xindix Night Club- which streams Indian music remixed in a unique style. It’s usually open only on Fridays and during the week-ends.
Bowling lovers, you will love Curepipe. In the Manhattan Shopping complex you will find the lucky strike where you can enjoy an evening playing bowling with your family and even have your dinner there.
As you can see Curepipe is a complete town offering different pleasure s for different personalities. Everyone will find something to do in the City of Lights. So enjoy your trip around Curepipe and enjoy to the max before going back to your hotel!