Mauritius, being an island, conjures up thoughts of splendid beaches. While it is true that there are many fantastic beaches around the coast, there is a lot more Mauritius can offer to vacationers. Mauritius has something for everyone – whether being an adventure lover, water enthusiast or a shopaholic. The island has a varied range of attractions catering to the thrill-seeking worldwide travellers. Nature lovers and soft adventure enthusiasts alike can be assured of a unique holiday experience in Mauritius possessing an unparalleled fauna and flora.
Choosing to spend your holiday in Mauritius could be the experience of a life time. You will have the chance to engage in exciting water sports and zip through the trees, only to return after a day of excitement to your luxurious hotel or villa. Mauritius has plenty to see and do, with cosmopolitan towns ideal for shopping, plenty of water sports for adventure travellers, and stunning natural beauty spots that will take your breath away. When it comes to a particular day when you don’t feel like doing anything, you can just relax or have a leisurely stroll near the pearly-white beaches and the sparkling Indian Ocean.
Here is a little taster of things you can do in Mauritius beyond the beach:
Admire the Fauna and Flora of Mauritius
There are various spots on the island where you can enjoy lush and lively nature reserves. If you are a nature lover Mauritius will definitely surprise you with its unique vegetation and endemic animals. Here are some spots where you can enjoy a promenade at the heart of nature:
La Vanille Reserve Des Mascareignes
The “Vanille Réserve des Mascareignes” nature park, apart from its Aldabra tortoises and Nile crocodiles, is also known for still keeping a feeling of “old Mauritius” alive. You also enjoy a nice walk through the dense forest leading towards crocodile nurseries where you can see evolving crocodiles at different life stage. You can also meet some monkeys on your way.
La Vanille Reserve doesn’t only let you pet, play and feed tortoise, but also gives you a chance to witness the feeding of the crocodiles. Crocodiles are not only majestic in their own way but also taste delicious. The Hungry Crocodile Restaurant serves some of the most delightful Malaysian dishes along with some made with crocodile meat. You will also be amazed by the biggest collection of insects in the Indian Ocean in the insectariums the park houses; thousand of species awaits to startle your eyes.
Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
Visit the most popular botanical garden of the island and discover the biodiversity of the island at Pamplemousses Botanical Garden in the north. Within the garden reside centenary tortoises and deer which you will be able to approach and caress. There is a wide variety of rare plant species throughout the vast garden such as giant water lilies measuring between 1 to 2 metres in diameter. It is said throwing a few coins in the pond will bring you luck and judging by the amount of coins, this is a strong belief!
Black River Gorges National Park
If you are looking forward to a wilder side to nature, then head into the depths of the island towards the Black River Gorges National Park. This is the only remnant of the country when it was still populated by dense forests throughout. The highest peak of the country is Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire at 828 m and is found within these gorges. It is strongly recommended that you find a guide to take you around as you can get easily lost! Since you will be wandering around on a high ground, rainfall is recurrent and high level of humidity is inevitable, leading to a lot of buzzing mosquitoes. A small tip for you, cover yourself well and wear plenty of mosquito repellent.
Casela Nature Park
If you are more into green space and prefer things a little more organised, Casela Nature Park will delight you and your family. Casela nature park lies on the west coast of the island and boasts has a collection of animals with a particularly extensive one of birds.
You can take a safari tour and meet zebras, ostriches and wild pigs. You also have the opportunity to pet those majestic kings of the jungle: the lions. You can also enjoy various other activities like zipline and canyon swing.
Try Mauritian Food
With its amalgam of cultures, Mauritius has a lot to make you discover in terms of culinary styles and taste. This unique cuisine is a mash up of Creole, African, Indian, and Chinese influences, offering a bursts of intricate flavours.
Spices, colours, and flavours come together to form a scrumptious cuisine. Your taste bud will be delighted with the fresh ingredients used. The exotic fruits, the freshly fished fishes or the sumptuous cool coconut water will, without any doubt, delight you.
One of the best food you should taste in Mauritius is its street food. The most loved one: the dholl puri will certainly conquer you. The delightful alouda glacé on a summer day or the bouillon boulette on the street corners, if you wish to warm up a little. If you are a food lover, you will fall in love with Mauritian cuisine.
Visit some vestige of the Island
Visit Grand Bassin, a lake high up in the mountains, about 1800 feet above sea level. It is the most sacred place for Hindus on the island of Mauritius and there is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva here. The people of the island believe it is filled with holy waters from the River Ganges in India, and people make pilgrimages from their homes to the lake on foot on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri. You will also have the chance to admire a 108 foot statue of Shiva which is place since 2007.
Champ de Mars
The Champ De Mars race course is the oldest in the southern hemisphere and will make up a memorable day out. You can enjoy horse races while appreciating canapés and drinks, and if you’re up for a bet, you can have a flutter on the horses.
Château de Labourdonnais
At the heart of a magnificent natural estate, the Château de Labourdonnais invites you to discover the nineteenth century Mauritian lifestyle. This grand mansion, built in 1859, had been restored and has regained all of its original splendor. “A château in a natural setting” is today a landmark of local heritage, with its colonial architecture unrivaled in Mauritius, with its treasures of flora and fauna.
Maison Eureka is a preserved colonial wooden mansion which lies high up in the center of the island close to Moka. Here you can enjoy outstanding views over the Moka mountain range, take a tour round the house and have a drink in the tea room. Inside the house you can observe the antique furniture and photographs, whilst outside you can explore the surrounding greenery.
Enjoy Sea Adventures and Swim with the dolphins
The lively and diverse marine life around the island of Mauritius will fulfill the desires of those sea lovers. You can have a trip in the Blue-Bay marine park where you will be able spot unique species in the Indian-Ocean evolving in their natural habitat. Dive and snorkel those turquoise lagoons and discover unique marine specimens at different diving spots around the island.
You will also have the opportunity to meet with marine mammals such as dolphins and whales. Everyone dreams to see one of these majestic mammals and have the chance to swim with them. In Mauritius, you’ll find them off the west coast. Several operators are at your disposition to make you discover this warm and sociable mammal.
The West Coast is in fact the best place to meet the dolphins in Mauritius. These beautiful marine mammals love to warm up in the lagoons of the island. Caro and Dino, one of the best operator you can find, invites you to enjoy an outing in their company and promise a dazzling scene.
What awaits you in the water will make you forget all your worries. Beyond the sensational spectacle of dolphins swimming in the waters of Mauritius, you will be offered to choose amongst a wide range of services such as a leisurely lunch on a small island in the lagoon, during which you can enjoy a meal of freshly caught fish.
Mauritius is an island surrounded by wonderful islets that you should visit. Most of the islands are accessible to anyone except for some nature reserves that are accessible upon request. Those which are inaccessible can however be observed while having boat trips or cruising around the islands.
Each of the islets has its own uniqueness. You will definitely enjoy unparalleled experiences and make stunning discoveries while stepping on these islets. Various activities are offered on the islands and an array of routes are proposed so as to make you better enjoy your journey towards the islands.
Some of the islands you can visit are Ile Aux Cerfs where various water activities can be practiced and Ile aux Aigrettes where you will have the chance to admire virgin forests and lovely endemic animals.
Shop till you drop
Mauritius is often related as a “Shopping Paradise”. Shopping on the island is an experience you should not miss. The island offers a range of shopping experiences from shopping centers to duty-free shopping and even on-street shopping (hawkers). One thing is certain, the label “Made in Mauritius” will please family and friends. You can bring back souvenir gifts for your family. They are a must after a voyage to such a piece of paradise.
Try the Local Rhum
While there is no shortage of things to do in Mauritius, your visit is incomplete without having relished the variety of rums on offer. Mauritius is a secret rum paradise. It has expansive sugar-cane fields with rum being produced on site, delightful distilleries, and an amazing variety of rum on offer. You can taste the various Rhum with various flavours depending on your wants in the different distilleries of the island.
Enjoy a magnificent Sunset at Flic-En-Flac
To end your sojourn on the island without regrets, you should not miss the splendid sunset Flic-en-Flac offers at dusk. Sip a nice cocktail on the best beach of Mauritius while admiring the setting sun and enjoy a starlit evening on the west coast of Mauritius. You should also not miss a midnight swim in the perfect waters of Flic-en-Flac before heading back to your hotels or to a nightclub near the beach.
Enjoy your holidays in Mauritius!