It was writer Mark Twain who said: “You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first and then heaven was copied after Mauritius.” With that recommendation, it’s no wonder over 300,000 European visitors go each year.
The tropical island, once a haunt for pirates, is now best known as a safe haven with luxury hotels on white sand beaches with volcanic mountain backdrops. It is an island for exploring, with Indian temples, colonial houses, botanical gardens, and opportunities to spot rare birds among soaring ebony trees, walk with lions or swim with dolphins. Mauritians, a fusion of French, Indian, Creole and Chinese peoples, are renowned for their hospitality and visitors to the islands generally rave about the service.
Its luxurious but still affordable – Mauritius has some of the best value in the region. Reassuring remnants of the British colonial era remain in the Gymkhana Club, tea plantations and driving on the left, but gateaux piments and dhal puri stalls at markets, hip-wiggling sega performances, and the ubiquitous dodo icon, add a touch of the exotic.
Plentiful watersports, world-class spas, top-flight golf courses and gourmet cuisine make it hard to leave the hotel, but Mauritius has plenty to see and do – from French colonial houses and imaginative animal parks to nature walks, quad biking, zip-lining and horse riding.
In the north around Grand Baie, is the tourist hub, which has the greatest concentration of hotels, beaches, and entertainment. The east coast is most renowned, with some of the most celebrated hotels and stretches of arguably the most beautiful white sand beaches, while the flat, calm beaches of the west coast are favored by families and is kids friendly. The “beautiful” south is the island’s wilder, but perhaps more interesting side. There are clutches of hotels in the southeast and more to be found squeezed onto calm stretches near pounding surf and clifftop walks in the “green” southwest.
Mauritius of a typically tropical sweetness and endless white beaches : Mauritius is a real paradise for those who want to enjoy the sea or just to soak up the sun. Here is a list of the island’s finest public beaches.
One of the best areas for sailing, windsurfing and water skiing.Grand Bay was the first area of the island to fully experience the tourist boom. A shopping and leisure paradise, Grand Bay also happens to be the area where Mauritians head for when they want a fun-filled night out (restaurants, bars and discos). Recently renovated, La Cuvette beach is well worth a visit.
This remarkable small cove half-way between Grand Bay and Cap Malheureux is one of the finest bathing spots on the island.
The wonderful Pereybere public beach is popular because of its shopping facilities, restaurants, and pubs.
Miles and miles of white and spotless beaches from Belle Mare to Trou-d’Eau Douce
Blue Bay beach is one of the most popular bathing spots in the South-East of the island. An ideal spot for windsurfing and sailing.
Le Morne & Tamarin
Offer kilometres of beaches for bathing and are very popular for surfing.
Flic en Flac
White beaches fringed with filaos or Casuarina trees.
A few metres away from Baie aux Tortues, which 17th century sailors named after the many tortoises in the area, can be found the ruins of the old Balaclava estate. Visitors will be able to see the sea walls, whose initial foundations were laid down by Mahe de Labourdonnais.
The Triolet Shivala
The longest village on the island, Triolet offers an opportunity to visit the biggest Hindu temple, the Maheswarnath, first built in 1819 in honor of the Gods Shiva, Krishna, Vishnu, Muruga, Brahma and Ganesha.
The Labourdonnais Orchards
Discover a large variety of tropical fruit trees, colorful and perfumed exotic flowers. Trips on mountain bikes or hiking are possible.
The flora of Mauritius is composed of 700 species of indigenous plants. Many of these plants are threatened with extinction. This is because there is less than 2% of their natural habitat left, and because introduced plants and animals compete and destroy their
fruits and seedlings.
In collaboration with the National Parks, the and Conservation and Forestry Services, the Mauritian WIldlife Foundation is working to protect the species and the forest for future generations.
Tea Route and Bois Cheri–
Discover traditional Mauritius by following the Tea Route that starts at the Domaine Les Aubineaux in Curepipe. From here, you can enjoy visiting the Bois Cheri tea factory and museum Ã¢ÂÂ situated 12 kilometres north of Riviere des Anguilles Ã¢ÂÂ as well as the anthurium greenhouse and the vanilla plantations.
Trou aux Cerfs, Curepipe–
This is an extinct volcano in the middle of the central plateau, overlooking the town of Curepipe. The steep, 85 metre-deep crater culminates in a natural lake. The panoramic viewpoint is exceptional from here, providing not only a vista over the main towns, but also extending outwards to include the Moka range of mountains and the north-west coastline.
Black River Gorges National Park–
One of the main ‘green’attractions is the Black River Gorges National Park, which extends over 16,680 acres and provides a haven to highly endangered native plants and animals. It plays home to around 311 species of native and endemic flowering plants and nine species of birds that can only be found in Mauritius.
Chamarel Coloured Earths
No one can categorically state why these undulating, dune-like knolls vary so wildly in colour. Some say the seven shades of earth were formed from volcanic ash deposits that cooled at different temperatures. Others believe that the colours of the mounds can be attributed to the differing quantity of metal oxide they each contain.
However people choose to interpret them, the Coloured Earths at Chamarel -just west of the Black River Gorges – are worth investigating. Note that they are especially breathtaking first thing in the morning, when the sun is at its brightest and the colours at their deepest.
Grand River South East
Visitors and locals alike enjoy navigating along the mouth of the Grand River, swimming and diving under its waterfall or having a picnic on the riverbanks. Outings to this popular beauty-spot can be organised with local operators from the village of Trou d’Eau Douce.
South & South-East–
The south reveals a dramatically different landscape from the rest of the island: one typified by high cliffs – in places – that are battered by waves. These are created where the protective barrier of coral reef that surrounds Mauritius falls away on the seabed, so leaving the coastline exposed to a punishing Indian Ocean.
But the south is not singularly about cliffs and rough waters. Further round the coastline, heading westwards, is an array of beautiful beaches and top-rated hotels and resorts, in up-and-coming areas such as Bel Ombre.
Deep Sea Fishing
Mauritius is a paradise for deep sea fishing. Species include the blue or black marlin, all types of sharks, yellow tuna, the Bonitos, the ’emperor’, the ‘Pelerin’, the ‘becune’ or the barracuda.
Huge fishes like the Blue Marlin roam our seas and hunt around the island from November to April, and very often until May. The ocean is 70 metres deep one kilometre away from the coast. Mauritius holds several world fishing records (IGFA), including that of the mako shark of 1115 pounds, the blue shark of 400 pounds, a bonito of 41.5 pounds, a white tuna of 224 pounds and a ‘becune’ of 125 pounds. African records (GFUA) mention a yellow tuna of 212 pounds and a white tuna of 224 pounds. Other specimens recently caught include blue marlins of 1430 and 1355 pounds. Fishing boats can be hired from almost all hotels. The most prestigious deep sea fishing competition is the Marlin World Cup which is hosted in December by La Pirogue Hotel.
Those seeking well-being during their holidays should be sure to visit the spas, new oases of peace where time stands still. Mauritius offers several world-class items.
If the seemingly endless miles of beaches, the natural hospitality of the Mauritian people and the huge range of different types of food are not enough , why not set off on a very special journey !
Pay a visit to some of the spas, where you can put yourself into the capable hands of experts and allow yourself to be carried away by your senses. These spas are now regarded as a must, on the tourist itinerary.
The islands most famous spas include One&Only Le Saint Geran, the Royal Palm, Hilton, Prince Maurice, Beau Rivage, Oberoi, The Residence, Sofitel Imperial and Dinarobin hotels where holidays also mean fitness and enlightened senses.
What could be more pleasant than being on holiday on a dream island whilst having the opportunity to improve your golfing skills.
Several of our hotels have excellent golf courses. Three 18 holes : Le Paradis at Le Morne Belle Mare Plage hotel, and One&Only Le Touessrok Golf Course. Five 9 holes: at Trou aux-Biches, Shandrani (Blue Bay), St Geran (Poste de Flacq), Maritim (Balaclava) and the Sofitel Imperial (Wolmar). Belle Mare Plage has two championship golf courses : Legends and Links. Most of these hotels have a club house with a locker room for customers’equipment and a shop.
There are instructors to attend to customers’needs including private tuition. Golf balls, clubs and caddies can be hired. An 18-hole golf course also exists at the Gymkhana private club in Vacoas. Visitors have to pay an entrance fee to be able to play.
The most spectacular golf course of Mauritius is probably the “One&Only Le Touessrok Golf Course”. One&Only Le Touessrok Golf Course is on its very own tropical island, fringed by white sands with a backdrop of green mountains -truly one of the world’s great golf settings. All 18 holes have views of the ocean. There are nine lakes in all, with a number of holes requiring tee shots across sea inlets to the fairways. Bernard Langer has designed the course to challenge advanced players, while remaining exciting and playable for recreational golfers.
The number of tourists-only duty-free shops where passports and air tickets must be shown is on the increase. Prices are very reasonable. What can one buy in Mauritius?
Models of old ships. Note : Airline companies charge for freight on ship models according to size and weight. Mauritius has an enviable reputation for textiles production,namely for pull-overs and knitwear. Leading brands of shirts, trousers, suits, dresses, suits for women, shorts or swimwear are sold at unbeatable prices.
Basket work,embroidery, pottery, cut stones and recycled glass are very much in demand. Those who love cooking will be able to take back fruit jellies, chillies, and other types of spices and pickles -delicious bits of raw vegetables soaked in oil, spices and chilly. Do not forget to buy some vanilla tea or rum. Only accredited shops are allowed to sell duty-free goods to tourists.
Coffret des Iles, on the other hand, offers a wide range of gift-parcels ready to offer, home delivered in France, England and Germany within 72 hours.
Your Coffret des Iles can also be purchased in most of the hotel’s shops or with your Tout Operator’s local representative.
These are the famous restaurants in Mauritius-
La bonne marmite
18, Sir William Newton Street
Bonny Air Travel & Tours Ltd
Fon Sin Building,
12, Edith Cavell Street
Solis Indian Ocean
PCL Building, 3rd Floor
43 Sir W.Newton Street
Tel: (230) 212 6918 – Fax: (230) 212 6919
Connections Tourism Management Ltd
29, Rue Sir William Newton
Rue S. Venkatesananda
5A, Bernard de St Pierre
Concorde Tourist Guide
Le Cafe Du Vieux Conseil
Vieux Conseil Street
Duke Of Edinburgh Street
Happy Valley Restaurant
Port Louis Waterfront
Mauritius is the ideal destination for a family trip because parents do not have to sacrifice quality for convenience here. The warm Mauritian welcome and the island’s safe beaches and gentle seas make the destination a great place for a family getaway.
Mauritius has something for everyone.
Children will enjoy
The interactive exhibits at L’Aventure du Sucre.
Over-sized water lilies, deer and tortoises at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (SSR) Botanical Garden.
Giant tortoises and crocodiles at La Vanille Reserve des Mascareignes.
Exploring science and technology at the Rajiv Gandhi Centre.
Horse-riding, quad-biking and either horse-drawn carriage or train rides through the beautiful estate of Domaines Les Pailles.
4 x 4 off road-trips at Espace Adventure.
Watching dolphins from a catamaran launched at Tamarin.
A day with birds, monkeys and lions at Casela Bird Park.
The variety of marine life at the Aquarium at Pointe aux Biches
A fun day out at Caudan Waterfront in Port Louis, with its train ride, children’s park and multiple games.
A day at Trou aux Cerfs to view a dormant volcano crater.
A day with the lions at Safari Adventures.
Endless days on the beach.
Things to consider
Take a night flight, if possible, when traveling with children. This will help avoid jet-lag.
Take plenty of sunscreen and a suitable child mosquito spray for the evenings.
Most hotels provide a kid’s club where children can pop in and out throughout the day.
Upon request, babysitting is also available.
Teen clubs are becoming increasingly available, enabling slightly older kids of the same age group to hang out together, learn new skills such as water-skiing, or join in team-games.
Special children pools are available in many hotels.
Remember that children will enjoy making sand castles on the beach.