Best & Interesting Places to Visit in Mauritius.

If you would like to take a virtual tour of Mauritius as a preview to your visit, there's no place better than this page! We have selected a collection of the most interesting and best places where you can discover the very pulse and beauty of Mauritius. However, please take some time to browse other pages of our website which contains much, much more information; photos, videos and panoramic views.

PORT LOUIS, CAPITAL OF MAURITIUS

Port- Louis is the capital of the Mauritius, it has been given the status of City in 1964. Today Port Louis has a population of about 150,000 inhabitants while there is an influx of about that same amount of people during the day due to Port Louis being the financial hub of Mauritius. The city area is surrounded by a range of mountain protecting it from the rainy clouds crossing the central plateau.

Port Louis has many shopping malls, shopping can be quite enjoyable in the downtown streets with roadside sellers and at the Central Market. China Town, for example, is an old charming place where a unique atmosphere reigns. Some Chinese elders still wear their traditional clothes and they have preserved their Chinese accent which very often makes it difficult to understand when they talk. Heat, dust and the strong smell of spices and foodstuffs will take you on a tour into the heart of China.

Port Louis is constantly crowded and has traffic jams during peak hours while it practically “switches off” as from 19.00 hrs with the exception of  Le Caudan Waterfront Complex where restaurants, casinos, cinemas and shops open until late in the evening. Normally dry and sunny, during the hottest periods the temperature in Port Louis can rise up to 35°C with a humidity of above 90%. It is a good idea to drink lots of water to withstand the sheer heat while in Port Louis.

GRAND BAY

The North region of the island is famous for its very lively touristic appeal. With the touristic village of Grand Bay as a center of tourism and real estate developments, the region possesses not less than thirty seaside hotels, as many lodgings, hundreds of restaurants as well as bars, nightclubs and stylish souvenir and fashion shops endlessly scattered along the coastal roads from Pereybère to Trou aux Biches. Because of an increasing number of tourists coming to that region, Grand Bay and the surrounding areas have become a renowned tourist destination.

Nevertheless, there still exist some traces of the past when Grand Bay was just like any other village of Mauritius. Some old shops, being there for more than forty years, are still used as bars for sea workers and other people looking for an evening drink. The traditional sellers of Gateaux Piments and Samoussas (the much appreciated fried delicacies of Mauritians) and coconut water are available all day long along the beach streets.

Grand Bay also has a very traditional old fish landing station in the center where seafood lovers can find freshly caught fish, octopus, lobsters and where good deals can be made by coming at the right time (usually 3.00 hrs p.m.). On the other side of the beach, the Sunset Boulevard has a jetty where Catamarans big game fishing boats can draw alongside to disembark their heavy catches.

PAMPLEMOUSSES GARDEN

This garden has been at first the residence of Mahé de Labourdonnais, the first governor of Mauritius in the 18th Century. His objective was to make it one of the most beautiful gardens of the colonies and to cultivate the widest range of tropical plants and spices collected from different regions during the spice trade.
Even today, this garden shelters plants brought from the four corners of the world. An impressive garden of 25 acres was built by the botanist Pierre Poivre during the 18th Century. The actual garden is only part of the garden of that time and the building of the “Chateaux de Mon Plaisir” is not as sumptuous as it used to be at that time but a visit to the Pamplemousses Garden is a must. Facing the garden lays the warm hearted village of Pamplemousses with one of the oldest churches of the country with a place to relax.

FLIC-EN-FLAC AND WOLMAR

Flic-en-Flac is the coastal village of the west coast with the longest sand beach. The village is accessed from a secondary road that connects to the motorway, after the village of Bambous, while driving from Port Louis to the south.

Flic-en-flac is also the busiest touristic place after Grand Bay with a wide range of fine cuisine restaurants and luxury hotels, some among the best of the island. Following with the trend in tourism development, this small village of 300 inhabitants, which used to be a fishing village, can now pride itself to have shopping complexes, pubs, casinos and even two Medical Clinics with sophisticated healthcare facilities.
One cannot speak of Flic-en-Flac without mentioning its fine white beach with crystal clear water. The lagoon is well protected from the high waves from outer sea by a interminable coral reef. Mauritians residing in the Plaine Wilhems converge here for  camping or for just relaxing during the week-ends, under under the shades of huge filaos trees. However, during the months of June to September, in the winter period, the beach is much less crowded as the seawater temperature descends to around 20ºC, even if visitors and tourists coming from the northern hemisphere find it acceptable for swimming. It is worth mentioning that it was in Flic-en-Flac that the first luxury hotel of Mauritius was constructed in the 1970's and today Flic-en-Flac and Wolmar village(which found next to Flic-en-Flac) as the end of a no-through road, shelter at least eight luxury hotels, being the highest in terms of hotel establishment density in Mauritius.

LE MORNE

Le Morne mountain, a huge rocky structure facing the ocean, lies on a plot of land that extrudes from the main island in the extreme southeast. The foot of the mountain holds a superbly flat area with clean sandy beaches most of which has been occupied by a group of luxury hotels. Le Morne public beach, located between two luxury hotels, has a vast lawn scattered with the ever-present filaos trees and with a beautiful lagoon. Being miles away from residential areas, this is the perfect retreat for a weekend picnic. Le Morne mountain also carries a past of tragic character. During the 18th and 19th centuries, maroon (runaway) slaves had found refuge in the forests of the mountain and the story is often told that lived on the top of the mountain to contemplate the west ocean that reminded them of land of origin, Africa and Madagascar. When they saw a contingent of British soldiers advancing up (who were supposedly coming to announce the Abolition of Slavery and the slave's newly acquired right to freedom) they threw themselves from the top of the mountain to their own death, believing that they being attacked.
Even if these are unproven events of history, archeological finds do prove that these runaway(maroon) slaves had chosen Le Morne mountain as a hiding place. In 2008, Le Morne mountain has been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

A smaller beach is located at the end of Le Morne Brabant road at the place called Pointe Sud Ouest. This place is jealously kept by enthusiasts of high sensations. The strong winds and unique formations of waves constitute an ideal place for surfing and kite-surfing. Actually many kite surfers travel from other places of the world to this spot during competitions.

GRAND BASSIN

Apart from its beaches and water-sports Mauritius has many natural parks on its high grounds where your trip can lead you to surprising discoveries. The Grand Bassin is a very special, natural and spiritual place found within the forest areas of the island.
Hindus of Mauritius who venerate the God Shiva consider the lake of Grand Bassin as sacred as the Ganges River water in India. Prior to the Mahashivratree Festival, usually held in February or March, thousand of  devotees march from their homes towards the lake in order to accomplish their pilgrimage and prayers to the Lord Shiva. During the pilgrimage, which may last for up to a week, Grand Bassin and its numerous temples  become a very busy pilgrimage place, day and night.
Otherwise, Grand Bassin is a place where you can experience a profound peace and communion with nature, kilometres away from residences and busy towns.

TROU D'EAU DOUCE = ILE AUX CERFS

While travelling north on the Eastern coast, the first developed village you will find is Trou d'Eau Douce. Two reasons explain the success of this small village lost on the east coast; firstly, the presence of very famous Le Touessrok Hotel and secondly, the fact that anyone looking to travel by sea to the small and attractive Ile Aux Cerfs island must take a boat at Trou d'Eau Douce.
Trou d'Eau Douce is also a village of fishermen and small planters. The people here are well known for their politeness and simplicity of life. They have developed a lifestyle tightly anchored to sea activities. The children of Trou d'Eau Douce can hardly imagine a school holiday without playing in the spot where fresh water meets sea water.
Trou d'Eau Douce also has an array of fine seafood restaurants and tourists souvenir shops. In this colorful and calm village, tourists who frequently return back to the island(also referred to as “repeaters”) have bonded ties with the inhabitants of Trou d'Eau Douce.

MAHEBOURG

Mahébourg, village situated in the South East of the island was once known as the Port Imperial when it was the capital harbour of Ile de France. Named after the Governor Mahé de Labourdonnais, Mahébourg has witnessed key events in the history of Mauritius such as the arrival of the first Dutch colonist to the island and the Battle of Grand Port between the English and the French in 1810.

Mahébourg wakes up every morning enveloped in a cool sea breeze as the village fishermen set out at sea before sunrise. Composed of a population of different ethnic groups and religions, in particularly kreols, the inhabitants here have been able to maintain their own unique identity; respectful, open, calm and a simplicity of life.

The market is open from Monday to Saturday and is lavishly packed with fruits and vegetables. It is an excellent opportunity to know more about the warm welcome of Mauritians. The busy market fair which is held on Monday mornings has an atmosphere that is worth a visit and it is also an opportunity to make some good deals.

In the surrounding strolling spaces of the Mahebourg waterfront, you will certainly have the opportunity to taste traditionally cooked food, very tasty fish and seafood. A stroll on the waterfront is particularly refreshing in the breeze of the south east trade wind while you watch the passing fishing boats, the small islet with its single red-roof house and also the "Ile aux Phare" on the far horizon.

SOUILLAC

Souillac is the coastal village in the south of Mauritius with a prominent place in the island's history. Named after the French Governor François de Souillac, numerous heritage buildings such as ancient bus station, judiciary court building and La Nef, which used to be the  dwelling place of the late Mauritian poet, Robert Edward Hart.

The Telfair Garden is next to the sea; clean area with huge and old trees where inhabitants of Souillac come to renew themselves in the light and refreshing sea breeze and for a nice week-end family picnic. The children take pleasure in challenging the tumultuous ocean waters of Souillac.

On the East of Souillac, the coastal road leads to a dead end at Gris Gris where a platform offers a wide view over a unique show of spectacular waves. Gris Gris has inspired many poets and artists with its endless waves that seem to take a revenge on the high cliffs. For instance, the poet Robert Edward Hart who was born in 1891 wrote many verses while he resided in a small coral-built house where he passed away in 1954. Today his dwelling forms part of the National museums of Mauritius. Today the memory of Robert Edward Hart still seems to inhabit this serene place which has a secret relationship with the sea.

While travelling west of Souillac, a road to the right enters the residential areas and after going through a road inside sugarcane fields, we reach the Rochester Falls. Here, the Savanne River reaches a cliff where its falls into a pool where some swimmers or visitors usually come for a refreshing bath. The cliffs alongside the waterfall are peculiarly shaped in long vertical strips of basaltic rock and look as if they were purposefully sculptured. With some luck, you might encounter the divers who will daringly plunge from the top of the falls in exchange of a tip.


Below we present to you a very beautiful poem of Robert Edward Hart(in french) from the collection "pérénité". (any consistent translation into English from our readers is welcome and appreciated; you may send it to creativemauritius@yahoo.com, please maintain the integrity of the poem)

Pérennité

D'autres vous légueront, ô frères, leurs enfants
et les vastes espoirs des essors triomphants

Pour moi qui suis poète
Le seul héritage que je vous laisserai
- plus fol ou bien plus sage -
- Ce sera presque rien et peut-être un peu plus :
Le témoignage en vers de mes jours révolus
Quelques chants, quelques cris
Des sanglots et des rires
La rumeur de ma vie et l'écho de ma voix
Ce qui subsiste encore des anciennes lyres
que le dernier silence exile en l'Autrefois

Ce sera là pourtant le meilleur de moi-même
L'arbre donne son fruit, le rimeur son poème
Lors ils peuvent mourir, car leur rôle est rempli
Mais si l'arbre tombé s'abîme dans l'oubli
Le poète demeure et son œuvre se mêle
à  l'immense trésor où l'âme universelle
se cherche, se connaît, puise et se renouvelle

Créateur d'idéal, de pensée ou d'émoi
Puisqu'il survit longtemps à son fragile Moi
Le  poète est vraiment celui-là qui demeure

Si l'œuvre doit durer, qu'importe que l'on meure

CENTRE DE FLACQ

The commercial area of Centre de Flacq is also a busy melting pot for inhabitants of the district with the main administrative facilities, schools and colleges, shopping complexes and the main bus terminal. The Centre de Flacq is the single converging point for inhabitants of the eastern region of Mauritius and could be easily qualified as a town of Mauritius for its bustling crowds during daytime if it wasn't for it's location within the District of Moka Flacq.

A few kilometres from Centre de Flacq, some beautifully painted temples have been built right on the shore of Poste de Flacq in a unique atmosphere of spiritual retreat. For those in search of active sensations, the Waterpark situated at Belle Mare offers fun moments with its water attractions such as the toboggans, buoys, and the swimming pool  washed by artificial waves. Flacq dwellers rely heavily sugar cane and vegetable plantations and more recently, the construction of many high class hotels on the coastal region has created thousands of job for the inhabitants.
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