Whenever one thinks of a beach holiday, Mauritius usually tops the list. But that’s not it, there’s more to this quaint paradise than just its breathtaking beaches! Read on as Alefiya Rashiq pens down a few of the places that you visit on your next holiday here (hint: these are not beaches)!
When heaven was being created, this was probably the reference point. Tucked away in the Indian Ocean, off the southeast coast of Africa, Mauritius is an island nation that showers you with breathtaking panoramas, sun-kissed beaches and pure sparkling waters. But to make the most of this fabulous destination, explore these 7 amazing experiences and places.
#1 The Wildlife At Black River Gorges National Park
The biggest national park in Mauritius, the Black River Gorges National Park is spread over 6,574 hectares in the Southwestern part of the nation. Ideal for one-day excursions, you can spend the entire time looking out for flowering plants, endangered species of birds and the many exotic animals that call it home. Don’t miss out on the scenic vistas, rolling hills and waterfalls that will come your way as you move around the park.
#2 The Miracle of Seven-Coloured Earth At Chamarel
The name may seem surprising, but it’s only when you visit the village of Chamarel that your eyes pop with the beauty of nature. You may think it’s man-made, but you’d be wrong. The sand dunes here have a peculiar chemical composition that colours it in seven different hues, making for one grand spectacle. You can witness it from various observation points and can buy some of this sand from nearby curio shops as souvenirs. On your way back, stop for a peek of the Chamarel Waterfalls, the highest falls in Mauritius, and visit the neighbouring park, which has a few giant tortoises that children will love.
#3 The History At The National Museum & Eureka House
The Mahebourg National Museum takes you back to colonial times, when the Europeans ruled the country. Set within a magnificent French mansion, the structure displays an assortment of artefacts, paintings and archeological findings that showcase the country’s rich heritage and vibrant legacy. The Eureka House located in Moka, Central Mauritius, is also a very important historical attraction. Once home to several British and French aristocrats, it has now been converted into a museum. Historical enthusiasts will not be disappointed, because Mauritius even has a Photo Museum, a Sugar Museum and a Blue Penny Museum.
#4 The Beauty At Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens
Built by French horticulturist Pierre Poivre, the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden is considered among the world’s finest botanical gardens. Admire the gorgeous pond of giant water lilies or set off to find out more about the many families of plants nestled within the garden. We recommend taking a guide along for better understanding. This visit will surely be a refreshing retreat!
#5 The Horse Races At Champ De Mars
The legend of Champ De Mars, the second-oldest racecourse in the world, dates back to the 1800s. As a sport, horse racing is taken very seriously in Mauritius and you will be lucky to catch one of these grand events. Purchase your ticket, sit in one of the tiered stands and cheer for your favourite horse; this unforgettable experience is sure to get your heart racing!
#6 The Vibrant Markets At Port Loius
Even though Mauritius has some big malls that you can shop at, the duty-free markets of Port Louis steal the cake. The best spot to pick up souvenirs is at the Caudan Waterfront, where a lot of shops sell interesting handicrafts and handmade products; one of the notable items include a quaint replica of a traditional wooden ship. Apart from handicrafts, you can also buy textiles, homemade oils, tea and coffee here, all of which make amazing souvenirs.
#6 The Undersea Walk & Water Sports At Grand Baie
Have you ever considered strolling across the sea bed, with exotic fish and coral reef for company? At Grand Baie, you can. The Undersea Walk could certainly be the highlight of your Mauritius holiday. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try snorkelling, scuba diving and even surfing here, with the best trained professionals and diving schools at your disposal.
#7 The Street Food Across The Island
Mauritians love their snacks right off the streets. Try any nook and corner, and you will find fully laden carts with vendors dishing out hot spicy specialties from his mini-kitchen. Dholl Puri (a flatbread wrapped with yellow split-peas) is the most common dish, followed by Roti Chaud (flatbreads served with curries and fresh pickle). The Briani (Biryani), Samosas, Pakoras and Chana Puri will make you forget their Indian counterparts. Owing to a minor Chinese population, you’re sure to find some heavenly dim sums too. Mauritius has two-three significant distilleries that produce rum, so a glass of the flavour-infused brew is a must try.
Looking for a holiday in magical Mauritius?
A Pune’ite who is in love with the world, Alefiya Rashiq is a copywriter and a communications professional. Breaking into jigs, making quirky observations and her untimely giggles keep her going when she is not writing. Life is NOW, she believes!