Perhaps the best way to get around the island of Mauritius is by car. Public transport, even if it’s cheap, does not cover the whole island, especially the less frequented but attractive places for tourists. Moreover, there is no public transport at night, so impossible to go home after a dinner at the restaurant. With a car, you will have the freedom to choose where you want to go, whenever you want it and at your own pace.
Car rental in Mauritius
Of course you have the option to hire a taxi for a day or for a run. But if you are going to stay in Mauritius for more than two weeks and you plan to thoroughly explore the country, you are advised to get behind the wheel of a vehicle to greater savings.
Taxi can be practical but they become expensive in the long run. Of course, to find a vehicle, the best way is to rent it. You will find Car rental services all around the island. But the ideal would be to rent it as soon as you get off your plane at the airport. We recommend you a cheap car hirer – Avis.
On the road
Once behind the wheel, remember that driving is on the left in Mauritius, one vestige of the British occupation that remained in place. The speed limit is 60 km / h and 110km / h on the highway.
If you come from Australia or America, do not expect to find 6-lane roads, the maximum is four lanes. The roads in Mauritius are very narrow and often have only a track and bushes on each side! The small geographical size of the country also means you can browse the island by car in just over an hour north to south, depending on traffic.
Milestones in Mauritius
As a driver, your first concern will be to know the way forward. The names of roads in Mauritius are not always clearly marked. Therefore, it is very easy to get lost even with a map, this is because the island does not have many major roads. A highway runs through the center from the southeast, as from the airport, and runs to the northwest of the country through the capital and to Grand Bay, the touristic capital. This motorway is very convenient for travelers who rent their car at the airport and will stay in or around Grand Bay.
To keep your sense of direction on the road, use the presence of the mountains spread on both sides of Mauritius. You can see at least one mountain wherever you are on the island. The country’s center is on a central plateau which makes it higher than the coast. So if you leave the coast to get to one of the cities in the central plateau, you just have to follow the slope of the path in the right direction.
Routes you should not miss!
Western coast of Mauritius
Follow the west coast of the country beginning from the small fishing village of Albion. The path takes you along the vast fields towards the mountain of Corps de Garde with sugar cane at its foot and with the sea on your right. After a few minutes you reach a junction after passing the mountain; turn right to go to the village of Flic en Flac and discover cheap hotels like Villa Caroline and luxury hotels like La Pirogue and Sugar Beach Resort. Do not miss the various villas in Mauritius too. If you are mostly attracted by adventure then go straight towards the Casela Adventure park and to Tamarin. Tamarin is yet another small village located at the mouth of the river at the foot of the mountain Corp De Garde. You can enjoy water sports such as windsurfing and surfing and make a boat trip and see dolphins there.
Beyond Tamarin, are the villages of Black River, Case Noyale and at the end, Le Morne ahead. Just before arriving at Le Morne nestled in the southwest of the island, you will find Ile aux Benitier, an islet covered with greenery at hand in the lagoon. The mountain of Le Morne Brabant overlooks Le Morne while a white sandy beach will make a great spot for a picnic. It is now listed as World Heritage of the UNESCO for the rich history this spot has. The famous Le Paradis and The St. Regis Mauritius is also located on the Le Morne peninsula.
South coast of Mauritius
Another route to perform for another half day is the southern route of the island. To discover the south coast of the country, it is not difficult, you can continue where you left off at Le Morne itself. The south coast is very different from other parts of the coast of Mauritius. It is wilder and does not have as many sandy beaches as the other corners. Yet there is beauty in the breaking waves and immutable rocks along the coast. Start your journey in the car and cross the new bridge Macondé just after le Morne, formerly an apron and head to Baie du Cap, Riambel beach and the village of Souillac. Do not miss to visit Gris Gris- Crying rocks, Le Pond Suspendue and Le Souffleur, three characteristics of the region where the force of the waves forces the water to gush from the rocks. You should also not miss the beautiful sea of Riviere des Galets where you can relax and listen to the chants of the rocks.
Plaine Champagne Mauritius
Plaine Champagne is at the highest point of the Central Plateau in the Black River Gorges. Not only is the place a haven of greenery and peace as long as you avoid visits on weekends, but it offers a completely different view of Mauritius. The road to Plaine Champagne is fun to do with other places to visit along the way. Start your journey at Quatre-Bornes along the mountain Corp de Guarde, male your way to the town of Vacoas and go straight – still on the same path. The landscape changes and becomes more rural while leaving Vacoas. Before reaching Plaine Champagne, you will have the opportunity to see Mare aux Vacoas, the largest reservoir of the island and visit Grand Bassin, a sacred lake for Hindus where you will have the chance to contemplate the beauty of one of the highest statues in the Indian Ocean- Mangal Mahadev.
Have fun driving in Mauritius! Happy holidays!