Mauritius Travel Guide

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MAURITIUS

Mauritius is small piece of land, not much larger than our province of Utrecht, situated in the middle of the Indian Ocean. A melting pot of people from different cultures. And there is one thing they all share: their love for the island life. After reading this article, you might experience it too. So read at your own risk, because who knows, you might just want to hop on a plane to magnificent Mauritius. 

Before you go to Mauritius

Mauritius in a nutshell

Mauritius is part of the Mascarene Islands group and is located almost 2000 kilometres away from the mainland of Africa. The island has a rich cultural history, and those influences are still visible today. The Dutch, and later the French and British, colonised the island. During this period, enslaved people were brought to the island to work on the sugarcane plantations. Since gaining independence in 1968, the island’s inhabitants, representing a blend of ethnic backgrounds and religions, coexist harmoniously. 

‘And it’s not just any small piece of land, but a country with a stunning landscape, ranging from thousands of shades of green and tropical beaches to vibrant markets’

Things to do

What comes to mind when you think of Mauritius? Perhaps a tropical paradise with white beaches and turquoise waters? That’s absolutely correct, and yet there’s so much more to discover. Don’t miss out on these activities! They’re divided into categories for nature, food, culture, and sea lovers, however they naturally overlap, as all activities on the island ultimately involve being in nature, surrounded by crystal-clear waters, while enjoying the island’s rich culture.


Activities for Food lovers

Due to its various cultural influences, Mauritius features a highly diverse cuisine. However, there are several typical Mauritian dishes you must try. For instance, Mauritians have a fondness for Samosas. These are fried crispy triangular pastries usually filled with a mixture of potatoes and spicy herbs. Additionally, Roti, soft flatbread, can be found everywhere on the island and can even be bought for as little as 17 cents at the market. Pair these with a variety of fragrant curries or chutneys, and you have Dholl Puri, considered the National Fast Food of Mauritius. And after a long day of exploring the capital Port Louis, cool off with Alouda. This refreshing drink consists of milk, vanilla essence, basil seeds, water, jelly, and sugar, served with ice cream.

Food tour Mauritius

Street Food Tour through Port Louis 

Are you in to try the amazing delicacies listed above? Then be sure to head for a Street Food Tour with Tastebuddies through Port Louis. The guide knows the best places to try Mauritians’ favourite dishes, while you stroll through the capital’s highlights. Especially the colourful streets in Chinatown, and the vibrant open air market are well worth a visit.

Cooking session at Kot Marie Michelle

What an amazing afternoon it was! The lovely Marie Michelle welcomes you into her home and teaches you how to cook in the traditional Creole way. Of course, you start with some samosas. My favourite dish was the coconut ice cream paired with salty, yes, fruits. An afternoon at Marie Michelle is guaranteed to be a delightful and delicious experience, especially if you want to learn more about life in Mauritius from these beautiful people.

Kot Marie Michelle cooking class

Château Bel Ombre

From the Heritage Le Telfair resort, we take a 5 minute drive by golf cart to this stunning 19th-century chateau for dinner. In the evening, the chateau is elegantly illuminated, giving it a fairytale-like ambiance. It feels like stepping back in time. If you’re seeking a truly special and refined dining experience, make sure to visit Chateau Bel Ombre. The dishes are all exquisite. lechateaudebelombre.com

Restaurant INTI

Restaurant INTI is situated within the LUX Grand Gaube resort and is considered one of the best restaurants of Mauritius. Some even claim it ranks among the top 5 restaurants in the entirety of Africa. If Peruvian cuisine is your thing, you should definitely try out this amazing restaurant. luxresorts.com

Restaurant INTI - Mauritius


Activities for nature lovers

One of the undeniable charms of Mauritius lies in its breathtaking natural beauty. Whether you find yourself on the coast or inland. For nature enthusiasts, here are some must-visit destinations and activities that showcase the island’s natural wonders:

Helicopter Flight to Witness the Underwater Waterfall

When you search for “Mauritius” on Google, one of the first things you come across is the underwater waterfall. And I can confirm that seeing it from above in a helicopter is truly just as beautiful, if not even more gorgeous, than the images on Google. Did you know it is actually an optical illusion, created by the sand and silt deposits on the ocean floor? I highly recommend taking this incredible helicopter flight; you’ll never forget it! The helicopter ride lasts 15 minutes and costs around 180 euros. Book it here!

Underwater Waterfall Mauritius

Chamarel

In the southwestern part of Mauritius, you will find Chamarel, a village that is very popular for all the right reasons and especially for its natural beauty. Attractions include the surrounding Black River Gorges National Park, containing most of the island’s remaining rainforest, Alexandra Falls and the unique 7 Coloured Earth. And please visit Le Chamarel Restaurant, where you will have the most stunning view over the island, while enjoying some delicious local foods and good company I hope!

Le Chamarel restaurant - Mauritius

Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth

The island of Mauritius was formed millions of years ago by massive volcanic eruptions. This resulted in extreme weather conditions at the time, leading to oxidation and decomposition, which left behind iron, aluminium, and other minerals in the soil. These minerals contribute to the various colours of sand, ranging from red to brown, violet and green. The patterns in the sand dunes were formed by thousands of years of rain and wind and continue to change to this day. Not far from the sand dunes you will see giant tortoises munching on their food and chilling in the sun. A must watch when you are in Mauritius.

7-coloured earth - Mauritius

Le Morne Brabant

A mountain and peninsula at the southwestern tip of Mauritius. Not afraid of an active challenge? Then hike to the summit of this mountain. It takes about 1.5 hours from its base to reach the top. It’s not an easy trek, but the breathtaking 360-degree view of Mauritius at the summit is well worth the effort.


Activities for sea lovers

From strolling barefoot on powdery white sands to taking a dive in the serene, yet refreshing waters. If you love the sea, you will love Mauritius and these activities are for you!

Ile Aux Cerfs

Located off the east coast of Mauritius, Ile Aux Cerfs is a paradise island renowned for its pristine beaches and turquoise lagoons. For a truly unique accommodation experience, consider staying in one of the luxurious Bubble Lodges, offering panoramic views of the Indian Ocean.

Kayaking with Dolphins in Tamarin

In Tamarin Bay you have the chance to encounter wild dolphins in their natural habitat. The most eco-friendly way to do this while also respecting their environment and ensuring minimal disturbance is to witness them from a kayak. If you are lucky, the dolphins will swim alongside you, whilst you paddle along the calm waters.  

Catamaran Tour to the Northern Islands

Exploring the northern islands of Mauritius is a must-do experience for visitors to the region. There are many catamaran tours travelling in that direction. If you get seasick easily, you might want to skip this activity. Otherwise I would totally recommend setting sail on the catamaran. As if you are a participant in the tv-show Expedition Robinson. And after you enjoyed some time snorkelling or chilling on the secluded beaches, a delicious barbecue on the boat awaits! 

Gabriel Island Mauritius
Gabriel Island, one of the Northern Islands – Paradise!


Activities for Culture lovers

From sacred sites to historic landmarks, here are some must-visit attractions for those eager to explore the cultural treasures of Mauritius.

Grand Bassin

You can’t miss the enormous statue of Shiva, a Hindu god, when you arrive at the sacred Grand Bassin or Ganga Talao. It is sacred because it contains water from the holy Ganges River in India and is therefore a spiritual oasis for Hindus. You will see devotees offering prayers and rituals to the gods. Wander around and visit the temples surrounding the lake, but be aware of the monkeys stealing your food. 

Temple Mauritius

Ganga Talao - Mauritius

L’aventure Du Sucre

At L’aventure Du Sucre you can delve into the history of Mauritius’s sugar industry. Housed within a former sugar factory, this interactive museum offers a journey through the island’s sugar cane heritage. Explore immersive exhibits, learn about the cultivation and processing of sugar cane, and sample local rum varieties during tastings. 

Red Rooftop Church Malheureux

At Cap Malheureux, which translates to Cape Unlucky in English, you will find this beautiful church. The Notre Dame Auxiliatrice is famous for its red roof that stands out against the azure sky and ocean. Situated in the northernmost part of Mauritius, from this viewpoint, you can see the northern islands in the distance. A beautiful spot to take some nice pictures, and if you happen to visit on a Sunday, you can even attend a service. You will find this spot at only a 10-minute drive from Grand Baie, so it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Red roof Church Mauritius

Château de Labourdonnais

This château was built in1856 and inhabited by a Mauritian family for over 150 years. The entire estate, and particularly the Château, offers a true immersion into 19th-century Mauritian lifestyle. The path towards the chateau is lined on both sides by beautiful Intendance trees, making it a magical place. Even the detailed wallpaper in the chateau tells a story.

Chateau de Labourdonnais - Mauritius


Where to stay?

In Mauritius, there are plenty of beautiful resorts and hotels to choose from, but which one should you pick? We’ve tested the following four for you and would certainly recommend these:

Zilwa Attitude

Named after the Creole word for “islander,” Zilwa Attitude is nestled in Kalodyne on the north coast of Mauritius. This unique 4-star retreat immerses guests in island life. The architecture of the resort is inspired by traditional Mauritian homes, which makes the resort super charming and friendly-looking. Make sure to visit Spa Poz for a relaxing massage. I really loved it, especially after a long flight. A highlight of staying at Zilwa Attitude is the Marine Discovery Centre at Attitude Lagoon, where you can explore the snorkelling trail and learn more about the rich marine life of Mauritius and how they preserve the beautiful coral reefs surrounding the island. Be sure to dine at restaurant Manao, one of the six dining options, to enjoy some amazing Thai cuisine.

Zilwa attitute Hotel Mauritius

LUX* Grand Gaube

This luxury resort in Mauritius is located in Grand Gaube (north of the island). It overlooks the triple-bay beaches, lagoon and north islets. Just like many other places in Mauritius, you’re greeted with a damp, pleasantly scented cloth upon arrival for refreshing. This resort has a beautiful, white, and clean appearance. Of course, I paid a quick visit at the Wanderlust library, where you can find plenty of reading material for your vacation. This resort even features a private cinema. A lit sign outside the door indicates which movies are playing that evening. What immediately strikes me is the romantic atmosphere the resort radiates. But perhaps that’s also because I witnessed an intimate wedding on the beach from my balcony. The view of the Indian Ocean never gets old. Book here

Lux Grand Gaube Mauritius

LUX* Belle Mare

Another resort by LUX*, which was recently renovated and it shows! As a lover of pastel colours, I was thrilled at this resort. The interior is infused with beautiful shades of green and pastel pink, creating a soft and stylish atmosphere. Minimalistic, yet tropical and highly Instagrammable! The hotel room leaves nothing to be desired either. For instance; mini-bar is not so mini. When you get out of bed at night to grab some water, a light immediately illuminates at your feet, guiding your way. This resort is very family-oriented, with an extensive kids’ club and even a separate buffet for children at breakfast, complete with a small popcorn machine. You’ll find Lux Belle Mare on the east coast of Mauritius, and it’s definitely worth a visit. Book this stay.

LUX Belle Mare Mauritius

LUX Belle Mare bar

Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness resort

Heritage Le Telfair is situated on the southwest coast of Mauritius, within the estate of the former sugar plantation Bel Ombre. In terms of appearance, this resort is highly unique. The architecture and interior design of the hotel are based on the classic colonial style. The hotel lobby, with swaying palm trees in the background, could easily grace the pages of an interior magazine. Follow a path surrounded by beautiful banyan trees – you might know them from the movie Avatar – to arrive at the hotel room.

 

You don’t have to feel bored, because whatever you imagine, you can do it here: tennis, fitness, various water sports, and if you’re a golf lover, you’re in the right place with the beautiful golf course nearby. And, of course, after all those activities, you can unwind in the wellness centre. The open lounge gives a perfect view over the amazing swimming pool and beyond that of course the stunning Indian Ocean. 

Heritage le Telfair - Mauritius
At Heritage le Telfair

x Renee

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