Mauritius was on my list of places I wanted to visit at least once in my life! This idyllic island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa is a travel mecca among the French and the British! Mauritius means luxurious hotels and an endless variety of outdoor activities. Here you can find beautiful mountains and endless sandy beaches.
Hotels in Mauritius
I will tell you about a few hotels that every traveler dreams of: beautiful grounds, picturesque views and delightful service. These hotels are self-sufficient, and in addition to the magical island… And I’ll also tell you about a few more budget options!
The St. Regis Mauritius Resort is an ideal location on the Le Morne Peninsula. Located right by the water, the luxury hotel will be a home away from home. Combined with incredible service (like unpacking and packing your suitcase), this hotel is definitely at the top of my list.
Surrounded by beaches, palm trees and a large pool, the luxurious Paradis Beachcomber Hotel is located on the Morne Peninsula. For hotel guests there are: diving, snorkeling and windsurfing equipment, golf academy, tennis court, volleyball court, night club and club for children with swimming pool. There are also four luxury golf courses: Mont Choisy Le Golf, Heritage, Tamarina Golf Estate and Avalon.
The LUX* Le Morne has five pools, a spa and three restaurants on a white sandy beach. The hotel also has a kite-surfing and snorkeling facility for guests to enjoy. If guests are going to hike the surrounding trails, the hotel staff will prepare and pack a lunch.
The SALT of Palmar is a bright design hotel that will not leave you indifferent! The hotel is located on the white sandy beach of Palmar on the east coast of the island, 1.7 km from the resort of Belle Mar. This is one of my favorite hotels. We will definitely be staying there next time!
This is one of my favorite hotels (villas) on the island. This is the place we spent almost a week in! I wrote a big post about these villas here: Marguery Villas. Marguery Villas are located on the west coast of Mauritius in the Rivière Noire. They occupy a picturesque place between the sea and the mountains, in a private area called La Plantation Marguery. Here, away from the bustling tourist areas, you can fully enjoy a dream vacation…
The Attitude hotel chain is a terrific alternative to the expensive hotels in Mauritius. There are a total of 7 hotels in the chain, and we stayed at three of them. I will tell you more about each one, but for now I will include them in the list of hotels to look out for in Mauritius.
What to do in the Mauritius?
Beaches: These are stunning white sandy beaches and delightful blue water. Some of the places to sunbathe include: the long sandy strip of Belle Mare; Le Morne, an amazing place to admire the view of the Indian Ocean; and the romantic Pointe d’Esny beach.
Diving and snorkeling: Mauritius has an incredible coral reef (so no sharks). And therefore it is a stunning place for diving and snorkeling. Head to Blue Bay Marine Park for an unforgettable underwater adventure.
Kitesurfing: this is one of the most important things to come to Mauritius for! The location of Le Morne Peninsula makes it one of the best places in the world! The warm waters of the Indian Ocean, combined with warm gusty winds, are the best combination.
Hiking: As an avid outdoorsman, I can confidently say that Mauritius is one of the best places to go trekking/hiking! What a hike (and rock climbing) to the top of Mount Le Morne Brabant .
Helicopter tours: A helicopter ride over Le Morne is one of the most beautiful helicopter rides, if not in the world, then certainly in the Southern Hemisphere.
Buy some fruit: it’s delicious here. And be sure to buy local coconuts from one of the tents (e.g. near Le Morne Beach), sit by the ocean, and catch some zen!
What part of the island to live in, what to see?
First, let’s open a map: Google maps Mauritius. And we’ll use it to navigate!
In Mauritius, when we talk about “the north”, Grand Bay is the first thing that comes to mind. Grand Bay has become the main tourist destination of Mauritius. It is the starting point for sea voyages to the northern islands and other nautical activities. Grand Bay has two beaches, one of which is La Cuvette, a secluded spot where you can still find the rare “tec-tec” hidden in the sand (those little white seashells). Stroll through the narrow streets by the main road and enjoy what the little local stores have to offer.Grand Bay – known for its variety of restaurants and nightlife, you will immediately find yourself in this charming village. Another village worth checking out is Cap Malheureux, with its famous red-roofed church Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice, views of the northern islands and a significant island-wide fishing community.
- Les Vergers of Labourdonnais at Mapou – this beautiful colonial residence has been converted into a museum and tropical fruit trees and fragrant flowers. After walking among the anthuriums, bougainvillea and hibiscus, you can taste jams and freshly squeezed fruit juice from the fruit grown in the garden. Rich locals buy plants and flowers for their gardens and homes in Labourdonnais.
- Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garde – botanical garden is known worldwide for its large collection of native and exotic plants. In the garden there are giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies and numerous species of palm trees.
- The Red Roof Chapel in Cap Malheureux is a chapel.
- The Maheswarnath Mandir of Triolet is the longest village in Mauritius with the largest Hindu temple on the island, the Maheswarnath Mandir.
- Goodlands Market is a local market, with fabric and clothes on Tuesdays and Fridays and fruit on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
- Paul and Virginie monument at Poudre D’or – A monument with the legend of “Paul and Virginie”. The legend says that Paul (a young man of humble origins) was waiting for the return of his beloved Virginie (of noble blood). Her ship, the Saint Géran, crashed on the rocks. It is said that Paul jumped into the water and swam to his beloved. She, however, being shy and chaste, refused to take off her clothes. Eventually her Victorian clothes got wet and pulled her down and she drowned. Bernardin de Saint-Pierre states that Paul subsequently died of grief.
- Van Ann Chocolate Manufactures – a chocolate factory founded in 1992 by a Belgian lady. The factory is known for its Belgian-style pralines, innovative packaging and delicious sweets distributed mainly in hotels.
Port Louis (capital of Mauritius)
Port Louis, the cosmopolitan capital of Mauritius, was founded in 1735 by French governor Bertrand-François Mahe de La Bourdonnais. Lively by day, the city is full of cultural and historical treasures not to be missed. Besides the central market, which you could say is a mecca for those who want to experience the local color, there are many historical sites, including the Field of Mars, the oldest hippodrome in the southern hemisphere.
- La Place D’Armes is a square with palm trees.
- The Statue of Mahe de la Bourdonnais is a monument to one of the founding fathers of Mauritius.
- The Government House was built between 1729 and 1735. It now houses the Parliament of Mauritius.
- Port Louis Theatre, the main theater and one of the oldest in the Indian Ocean.
- Fort Adelaide is the harbour and citadel. It was built between 1834 and 1840 to protect the city from the turmoil of the abolition of slavery.
- Aapravasi Ghat – Immigration depot where immigrants from India first landed after the abolition of slavery.
- Natural History Museum – A natural history museum opened in 1842. It now houses 35,000 specimens on display in four permanent galleries.
- Mauritius Postal Museum with stamps, first day covers and many other curiosities marking the history of Mauritius Postal Service.
- Blue Penny Museum is a museum dedicated to the expensive and rare Blue Penny stamp. The stamp was issued in honor of the extinct Dodo bird. The original is kept here. The museum is also home to other valuable collections that represent the diverse historical and cultural heritage of Mauritius.
- The Bank of Mauritius Museum. Visitors have the opportunity to see coins minted abroad by the then colonial governments for use in Mauritius; and gold or silver coins such as Arabian dinars or British Indian mojours – which were not used in Mauritius but found their way to the island nevertheless.
- Marie Reine de la Paix is a Catholic church with beautiful gardens and panoramic views of the city.
The West & South-West
The west and southwest coasts of Mauritius are among the most beautiful. Sheltered from strong winds, the region boasts excellent hotels and lagoons quiet enough for: swimming, snorkeling, diving; water-skiing, kayaking and water-biking; and sailing. Head to Tamarin Bay or the world-famous One Eye in Le Morne, where you can find the best waves for surfing.
Le Morne is also well known to kitesurfers because of the constant winds blowing from the southeast and accelerating in this corner of the island almost all year round. To the west, you’ll find the lush Black River Gorges. You can also spend the day visiting the various nature parks (Casela, Gros Cailloux), walking and relaxing with your children. Here you can even see tame African lions, giraffes and other animals. Or you can go shopping in nearby malls, such as Cascavelle. For a truly magical vacation, don’t forget to book a trip to Ile aux Bénitiers and swim with wild dolphins!
- Albion and Pointe aux Sables is a residential area with a beautiful beach. There is also a lighthouse. Nearby, in Pointe aux Sables, is Montagne Zako (Monkey Mount) where daredevils can jump from a height of 20 meters into the sea. It’s quite safe but I think it’s a place for professionals only!
- Flic en Flac is a colorful beach with white sand where locals mostly spend their holidays. When there is a full moon in the sky and the sky is starry and clear and it is raining over the ocean far away on the horizon, you can see a tiny white moon rainbow over the sea. Wipe your eyes and look again … Yes, it’s really true!
- Tamarin and Black River are unique villages with sea salt evaporation pools. It’s also where you can fish for tuna and the famous marlin!
- Martello Tower at La Preneuse, a tower built by the British to protect them from the French.
- Black River Gorges National Park – a magnificent national park and reserve extending over 16,680 acres and a refuge for endangered native plants and animals. It is home to about 311 species of native and endemic flowering plants and nine species of birds that can only be found in Mauritius (I told you about the park in a separate post >>>).
- Case Noyale and La Gaulette are interesting fishing villages where you can see and experience the local color.
- Ile aux Bénitiers is an island located in a lagoon near Le Morne, where you can swim and snorkel.
- Le Morne Brabant – one of the most beautiful places for hotels and golf courses. The southern part of Le Morne is the place to go kitesurfing, windsurfing and surfing in the strong and persistent southeasterly trade winds that gain strength after crossing the high mountains of the Black River Gorges. Hiking (and climbing) to the top of Mount Le Morne Brabant is a real adventure. But in short, this is one of the main places on the island where you can find incredible views of the whole of Mauritius! There are two options here: go up with the help of a guide or climb up the trail yourself (but be careful, it’s not an easy way!).
- One Eye is a surf spot in Le Morne known around the world for its fast “left tube” wave that takes the shape of an eye before crashing on a shallow reef.
- Piton de la Rivière Noire and Chamarel – part of the mountain range surrounding the National Park. The village of Chamarel is known for its seven-color land, charming restaurants, and a rum distillery where you can learn all about distillation and even taste rum. The views of the ocean and west coast are breathtaking, especially at sunset! Chamarel Falls>>> is the highest waterfall on the island. The waterfall is free, but to see the sands you have to pay about 250-300 rupees = 6.5 € per person (I don’t remember the exact price). You have to go by car). I will tell more about this place in a separate post.
South and South-East of Mauritius
The wildest and most beautiful landscapes of the island are in the south: sandy beaches fringed by cliffs rugged with waves, rocky shores, sugar cane fields and mountainous terrain with magnificent panoramas. And then there’s the Bel Ombre tourist area.
- Mahebourg is one of the main fishing villages on the island.
- Pointe Canon is an ideal place to take pictures of the Lion Mountain and the Grand Port.
- National History Museum.
- Cavendish Bridge – A bridge built in 1856 to carry sugar cane.
- Battery of Devil’s Point – defensive guns.
- Ile aux Aigrettes, Nature reserve – a small nature reserve island perfectly recreated by MWF for animals and plants. It is a unique place. Today, this paradise is open to tourists. Special tours will take you among the giant turtles and rose pigeons that have been rescued and released after 30 years of conservation efforts.
- Blue Bay – Blue Bay Lagoon, a beach that is one of the most beautiful on the island with its fine sand, clear water and live corals perfect for snorkeling.
- Blue Bay Marine Park is a perfectly preserved marine park. Corals and fish can be seen a few meters from the shore. Among them, there are parrot fish, trumpeter fish and young barracuda. This is the best place to rent a boat with a glass bottom.
- Le Souffleur is a 30m geyser which emerges at high tide and on windy days.
- La Roche Qui Pleure – a very beautiful rock where you can breathe a light breeze coming straight from Antarctica.
- Gris-Gris Restaurants – Gris-Gris cliffs restaurants serve an assortment of fresh seafood, cooked the Moorish way, and at very adequate prices.
- Robert-Edward Hart Museum – Souillac is a bungalow museum built entirely of coral.
- Telfair Municipal Garden – a city garden.
- Rochester Falls – a beautiful waterfall.
The eastern part of the island is considered one of the best parts for water sports. And also for snorkeling and diving. Here near the shore is a stunning part of the coral reef. To see the fish you do not need to take a boat, just walk 5 meters from the shore!
- Ile aux Cerfs – This place has the most attractive beaches on the island. This gem, located five minutes from Le Touessrok hotel, is a must-see. Boathouse, restaurants and long beaches, a turtle farm. And then there’s the magnificent 18-hole course designed by renowned golf champion Bernhard Langer. You can reach Ile aux Cerfs by a variety of boats: speedboat, pirogue, glass-bottomed boat, catamaran and even a pirate ship! Departing from Trou d’Eau Douce or even farther south from Blue Bay.
- Grand River South East – Grand River is a true east coast jewel. The wide estuary enters the gorge and ends in a scenic waterfall.
Time to leave the usual beaches and see the heart of Mauritius. Cooler than the coastal areas, the central plateau lies between 400 and 600 meters above sea level. Beginning in the south of Port Louis, this vast urban area is home to about 400,000 people, more than a third of the island’s population.
- Four Cities: Rose Hill (many stores and local restaurants), Quatre Bornes (city with the most famous multinational markets), Vacoas (famous for the oldest golf club and course in the southern hemisphere) and Curepipe (town with two main attractions: Trou aux Cerfs and the Botanical Gardens).
- Trou aux Cerfs is a dormant volcano.
- Ganga Talao is one of the rare natural lakes in Mauritius, formed inside the crater of an extinct volcano and a famous pilgrimage site for Mauritians of Hindu faith. Every year in February, during the week of Maha Shivaratri, thousands of Hindus walk miles from every corner of the island to bring their gifts for Lord Shiva and Grand Bassin.
- Eureka “La Maison Créole,” Moka, a historic mansion built in 1830 and with no fewer than 109 doors, provides a glimpse into the lives of wealthier Mauritians during the colonial era. The Eureka House restaurant offers Creole cuisine.
- The Folk Museum of Indian Immigration. Mahatma Gandhi Institute – A museum depicting the daily life of Indian workers in the 19th century.
- Curepipe Botanical Garden, the second largest botanical garden in Mauritius. The garden is home to rare trees and other native plants.
- Balfour Garden is a garden and playground in the quiet suburb of Beau Bassin, Rose Hill’s sister city, where locals come for exercise, children’s games and couples and picnics.
- The Bois Cheri tea factory in the Rivière des Anguilles and the Domaine Saint Aubin Hotel (also a sugar cane farm nearby).
- La Rhumerie de Chamarel – One of the most famous rum factories in Mauritius. Nearby there is a terrific restaurant Rhumerie de Chamarel.
- Seven Waterfalls – the famous cascade of waterfalls. The so-called Tamarin waterfalls. To go down along the cascades, you should definitely take a guide. The trails there are quite difficult and confusing. We walked there with our friend who has been going to Mauritius for many years and knows all the places and all the trails. I will talk more about this place in a separate post (you can reed my post here>>>)
560 kilometers northeast of Mauritius is Rodrigues: the jewel in the crown of the Mascarine Islands. The island is 18 by 8 kilometers, surrounded by a crystal-blue lagoon twice the size of the land. The safe waters of the lagoon and the trade winds that gently protect the island provide many opportunities for adventure.
Rodrigues is a delightful playground for scuba divers, who quickly fall in love with the diverse coral reef ecosystem and its colorful “assortment” of underwater flora and fauna. The island equally attracts fans of windsurfing, kitesurfing, sailing and fishing. Thanks to its outer reef edges, located almost ten kilometers from the shoreline, the waters of the island are rich in fish. In fact, at least three world records have been caught here since 2005. Not only those who love the ocean will be enchanted by Rodriguez Island. Yellows, greens and blues – nature on Rodriguez pulses with a palette of colors. Few places in the world offer such a variety of landscapes in such a small area.
I hope the information helps you plan the perfect vacation on the wonderful island of Mauritius!