Mauritius is a tropical island in the Indian Ocean, located off the eastern coast of Africa. Resort Lovers and couples mostly visit this island. Mauritius is known for its mountains, reefs, and beaches and it has always captured our imagination. Naturally, when we got a chance, we decided to make a quick trip over to spend a long weekend there. In this article, we will provide some tips on how to get there and top things to do when on this beautiful island.
The first item to get off our list was to find a mode of transport to explore the island. Based on few articles we had previously researched, the best and the most convenient way to move around the island is by renting a car. We didn’t pre-book any vehicle, but instead, once we landed, we visited the rental area, which is in the airport itself. There we negotiated for the best price, and it does work to your benefit that they are next to each other, so each tries to beat the price offered by the other. We rented a Hyundai i10 for two nights for 16 euros a day, which suited our needs. Few companies available on the island are Hertz, Avis, EuroCar. Once you have your mode of transport sorted, you are ready to take on the island.
Things to do
Mauritius does have a lot more to offer than just beaches. If like us, you are there for just a short time, use your time wisely, and plan ahead. If you visit the island for purely just a relaxed time at the beach, you can spend as long as you like. Else if it is to take in the sites and explore, you would require at least three to four days to enjoy the island.
1) Beach Please
No matter what you are visiting the island for, you cannot go without spending at least a day or more at the beach. Mauritius has no shortage of beaches, and most hotels are located on the coast. So enjoy it, soak up the sun and spend some hours in the tranquil blue Mauritian waters. Mauritius enjoys a comparatively moderate climate. The most suitable time to visit Mauritius is between April to December. Although temperatures are mild during the year with occasional rainfall, the most enjoyable moments to visit the island are between April and June and between September and December. We visited the tropical island during July, and the weather was pleasant. However, it wasn’t too suitable for swimming unless you were ready to brave the cold water. Two beaches which we liked and were not too crowded were Flic en Flac and Blue Bay.
2) Port Louis
The capital city of Mauritius is located on the north-west coast of the island and can be a quick stop while enjoying the island. The city offers a glimpse into the more urban life of the island and also shows off the old French colonial architecture. The Caudan waterfront is also an excellent area to visit for a quick meal and a little retail therapy. There are many high-brand international stores here, but if you look a little deeper, you can find a few local stores which sell Mauritian goods.
3) Local cuisines
Mauritian cuisine culminates from many different food cultures. It has a diverse food culture, which has been dramatically influenced by its previous settlers. Being an island, the seafood here is in no shortage, so that’s something not to miss. Few other items to try are the Farata, Mine Frites, and the various curries available. In my experience, it would be best to try these out in small street-side restaurants rather than the more commercial ones. Mauritius is also known for its rum, so it makes sense to visit one of the distilleries on the island and sample a few for yourself. The distilleries offer rum arrangements infused with different flavors that are sweetened, too, so it is enjoyable even if you are not a rum person. The Rhumerie de Chamarel in the south-west was our personal favorite.
4) Gris Gris, Souillac
Gris Gris beach is located in Souillac, which is one of the southernmost villages of Mauritius. This beach is very different from the rest of the Mauritian as the water is very rough due to the lack of coral reefs, so swimming is not advised. The view here is stunning, and you can enjoy the breeze of the Indian Ocean while enjoying a picnic along the clifftops. For anyone who loves being by the sea and listening to the soothing sound of the waves, you can spend hours and still feel yourself longing for more.
5) Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
Also called the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden, it is known as one of the world’s best botanical gardens. Here you can find ponds with giant water lilies, which are particularly impressive. There are also a lot of tropical palm trees that come in different shapes and sizes. Another highlight here is also a visit to the giant Aldabra tortoises. This is one of Mauritius’ main tourist attractions and worth a visit.
Though our trip was short, we spent most of our time by the beach soaking in the sun and enjoying the cold swims. We hope to visit again during summer and spend a few more days to enjoy the rest of Mauritius. Some of the places are the Heritage Nature Reserve, Seven Colored Earths and Chamarel Waterfall, Ile aux Benitiers, and the Crystal Rock. Though I think the main attraction we were disappointed to have missed on this trip was the Black River Gorges National Park, which is known for hiking. This will be the first on our list next time.
I hope this post helps you plan a quick trip to enjoy the beautiful island. Do you think we missed anything? Got any questions? Let us know in the comments below …