Probably the messiest pages of my travel diary are the ones about Mauritius. This hermitage-like destination hides some of the best beaches and attractions of the Indian Ocean.
So, whether you are visiting Mauritius on a budget or you are just looking for some good places to spend your worthy holiday time, this article should get you on the right track. Without any further delays, here is my share-worthy list of interesting addresses including hotels, restaurants, pubs, and curious shops to find bits and bobs.
- 1. Airport car rental
To enjoy the large and diverse collection of places to see and things to do in Mauritius in just one week’s time, you’ll want a car. A small one will do, as the roads are quite small but very much in shape. Car rental in Mauritius is cheap plus the low price of petrol makes it an easy and inexpensive way to get around. You will also need a valid driving licence and a map of Mauritius.
- 2. Port Louis & its market
To visit the Port Louis market and its museums, religious monuments & colourful creole houses, it is way much easier to park at Le Caudan Waterfront and stroll the colonial streets of the capital. At the heart of Port Louis is located the central market also called as “bazaar” for its loud atmosphere. The market comprises of several sections including sea fruits, fruits and an interesting souvenir section. It is also at the same address that you will find some of the best Mauritian street foods like the Gato-Pima (chilli cakes), Dholl Puri and others like Alouda & Samosas.
If you want to eat Chinese, you can take a 2 minutes’ walk to find some of the best restaurants in Chinatown and just 300 metres ahead you can taste some traditional Mauritian grills on Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Street. Do not miss Aapravasi Ghat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Blue Penny Museum. Also, if you feel like, take a free seconds boat ride to Le Suffren Hotel & Marina for an evening cocktail.
- 3. Villas Caroline Hotel
If you are looking for luxury, there are plenty of 5 star+ hotels in Mauritius. But in terms of price-quality ratio, Villas Caroline Hotel in Flic en Flac is simply the best place to stay on the island. The rooms were build right in front of the beach and the traditional red tin roofing blends harmoniously with the very creole interior scheme.
This hotel is designed to make visitors feel connected to the Mauritian way of life and to enjoy the lukewarm azure lagoon of Flic en Flac. The hotel offers numerous in-hotel services like spa and water sports including its own diving centre in Mauritius.
- 4. La Table du Château Restaurant
This is the best restaurant in Mauritius simply because it offers a real island gastronomic experience in an amiable historical setting. La Table du Chateau is a contemporary restaurant located at the heart of a splendid garden in the north of Mauritius. The restaurant owes its success to the attentive service offered and fine dining in a stylish ambience. On weekends the restaurant can get quite busy, so be sure to reserve your table in advance.
- 5. Rochester Falls
This cascade located in the district of Savanne is the best waterfall in Mauritius for swimming. It is also known for the pureness of its waters but the way to Rochester Falls is quite a tricky one as it lies at the heart of sugarcane plantations. You won’t come across many tourists there as there are no organised hotel trips to visit this place. Even if the signage is faulty and the road bumpy, you can reach there if you have a car.
The peculiarity of Rochester Falls is the beautiful square-shaped volcanic wall of nearly 10 metres high, on top of which some jump from. And the best part of it is that there are no entrance fees. Just don’t forget to bring your trunks and camera!
- 6. Tea Route
Tea Route or La Route du Thé as it is better enunciated by locals is sort of a factory-museum to aromatically discover the history of Mauritius. This succulent excursion takes places in Bois Chéri, the first tea plantation in Mauritius introduced by the British colony in 1892.
This is a 3-steps pleasure trip as you will discover the history of tea culture in Mauritius by visiting Le Domaine des Abineaux, Bois Chéri and Le Domaine de Saint Aubin where you will savour traditional local foods comprised of fresh sea fruits and garden grown vegetables.
- 7. Chamarel & Rum Tasting
Famed by sightseers for its numerous attractions, Chamarel is considered by locals to be the iridescent village of the Mauritius. Fed by the spectacular Chamarel Falls, the village is as rudimentary as nature can stand on a tropical island. As you go deeper in the natural village, you will see the 7 coloured earth of Chamarel, a truly awe-inspiring natural phenomena.
The village of Chamarel is one of the coldest in temperature in Mauritius (don’t you worry it never drops below 14° C). To warm and spice up your day just a bit, visit Rhumerie de Chamarel, which is located in the environs of 7 coloured earth. It is one of the rare distilleries in Mauritius to produce rum in a traditional way. The domain also offers pretty rum packs, a unique souvenir to share with friends and family!
- 8. Dolphin swim with Caro des Iles
Exceptional days are like these. To approach dolphins in the biological environment is a true experience to try in Mauritius. Forget the dolphin hunter boats, go with Caro, she will show you the real way to observe and swim with dolphins and in total respect of the animal.
This day trip also involves snorkelling around the beautifully lavish coral reefs of the west coast before enjoying a delicious sea fruit meal with wine, and banana flambéed with rum on Ile aux Bénitiers Island. Lucky you if you have the chance to see whales jumping metres in the air on your way back to the mainland.
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