Mauritius is a holiday destination that offers the holiday maker everything that makes for an unforgettable breakaway. From action-filled days and adrenaline highs to lazy days soaking up the sun or just drifting in the clear waters taking in the truly spectacular, colorful and busy marine life. This glorious tropical island will hold you in thrall and have you wanting to return again and again as there is always somewhere to go and much to do among its many world-class tourist attractions.
- 1 Top Attractions on Mauritius
- 2 Top things to do on Mauritius
- 3 Map of Top Attractions in Mauritius
Top Attractions on Mauritius
Mauritius Botanical Gardens
These beautiful gardens are the oldest in the Southern Hemisphere. They were first established in 1767 by Pierre Poivre. The giant waterlilies are really spectacular and unusual, so if you are in Port Louis, you should really make it a point to visit the gardens. If you plan on visiting don’t be confused if you hear of Pamplemousses Garden or SSR Botanical Garden (named after Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, The first Prime Minister of Mauritius), these are not three different gardens, but just alternative names for the same treasured gardens.
Black River Gorges National Park
This National Park covers an area of 6,574 hectares across the hills of Mauritius and offers 60km of hiking trails. Keen hikers can make their way through the lush rainforest to the Black River Peak, which is the highest point on the island, there are the many species of birds to be seen along the way, such as the Mauritius parakeet, the Mauritius kestrel, and the Mauritius olive white-eye and the Mauritius fody. If you are lucky you might even spot some wildlife which is well camouflaged by the surrounding greenery. The Black River Gorges National Park has two visitor information centers, and delightful picnic spots.
Île aux Cerfs
This island off the east coast of Mauritius boasts beautiful lagoons of calm clear waters and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It is the ideal spot to enjoy snorkeling and diving and if you wish you can take advantage of the many activities on offer, such as water skiing, parasailing, and kayaking to name but a few. For the keen golfer there is also an 18-hole golf course, so with plenty to keep the rest of the family busy there is no need to feel guilty about getting in a good round. There are also some delightful restaurants on the island so relaxing over a delicious seafood dish with your favorite wine makes for a lovely break in your action packed a day. To get to Île aux Cerfs, from the east coast of Mauritius itself, you can opt to be ferried across by catamaran or by speed boat.
Of course the top attraction on Mauritius is its capital Port Louis, the largest city on the Island. If you enjoy museums and strolling around historical landmarks then, if your holiday is not based here, it is still worth a stop-over to take in the sites. There are many French style colonial buildings and the old fort which bears two names: Fort Adelaide or La Citadelle, built by the British in 1835. And if museums are on your list of places to go , then in Port Louis there are three that are really worth visting. There is the quaint Blue Penny Museum, and the Mauritius Stamp Museum as well as the Natural History Museum. For those who enjoy wandering and taking time out to enjoy some refreshment, then the Caudan Waterfront is just the place.
Brand Bassin – Ganga Talao
This is a Holy Lake for the Hindus of the Island. It lies in the Savanne district in the center of Mauritius. Hindus, who believe that the waters of the lake can communicate with the Holy Ganges River in India, make an annual pilgrimage to this Holy Lake during their celebration of Maha Sibaratri (Shiva’s Great Night).
Beside the lake is a colorful Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Hanuman, and Lakshmi. And to honor the God Shiva a 33-foot statue stands overlooking the lake.
The very best thing to do on Mauritius is take time out to visit Chamarel Park. Seeing is believing – the sand of the dunes here is a rainbow of different colors; purple and red being the most astounding, other shades are violet, green, blue, yellow and brown. And if the amazing colors of the dunes has you thirsting for more wonders then like the many visitors who come here, you can take in the splendor of Chamarel Park Waterfall created by three separate streams cascading together down 100 meters, into the gorge below.
Trou aux Cerfs
Another one of the island’s top attractions is the extinct volcano near Curepipe. No need to worry as it has lain dormant for some 600 to 700,000 years and is not about to become active. Its crater has a diameter of 300 meters and is 85 meters deep and the beautiful lake in the center is really quite something to see. From this tranquil setting, there is a view over most of Mauritius. Altogether a most beautiful spot well worth experiencing.
Île aux Aigrettes
This tiny coral island of just 25 hectares lies in the ocean not far from the town of Mahebourg. It is managed by the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation and provides a safe habitat for endangered and rare species of birds, plants, and animals. It is on this little spec of an island that you find the Aldabra giant tortoise and the Pink Pigeon. Also on the island are plants found nowhere else in the world, and many of the last remaining plants of the original Mauritian coastal forests survive here.
About 10km north of Cap Malheureux in the north of Mauritius is this 42-hectare nature reserve. Its beautiful beach and crystal clear waters make it a favorite for day trippers who enjoy snorkeling and diving.
Eureka Creole House
Restored in 1986 this charming and unique Creole house built in 1830 is now a museum filled with fascinating artefacts from colonial days. There are antique maps, Chinese and Indian cooking implements, and furnishings and a great point of interest is the exhibit of a very strange primitive shower. Not only are there art exhibits here but also an area dedicated solely to the music of the island. Set in tranquil surroundings the museum makes for a quiet, leisurely outing in your busy schedule.
Top things to do on Mauritius
Mauritius is the place for the excitement and challenge of fishing for marlin, sharks, and barracuda especially from November through to April into May. But not only for these huge specimens, there are also yellow tuna and Bonitos. Mauritius proudly holds a number of the world’s fishing records one of which is for the recent catch of a blue marlin of 1430lbs. If you are into fishing competitions then entering for the Marlin World Cup is most definitely a ‘must-do’. This prestigious competition is hosted by La Pirogue Hotel and it takes place in December each year.
Canyoning and Zip-Lining
Top on the list of best things to do while on Mauritius, and most especially if you are a bit of an adrenaline junky, is Zip-Lining. Safe, great fun and guaranteed to have you experiencing what it like to be a bird as your soar across the tree tops.
Zip-Lining is an excellent way to view the gorges and rainforests from on high. Zipping along your line through a canopy of trees is a great experience and it’s not just for the young, visitors of all ages take on the challenge and enjoy the sense of adventure! This activity is offered at Galets River, Yemen Reserve and Vallee des Couleurs in Chamarel Park.
For those who enjoy canyoning, there are a variety of tours on offer. One of the most popular includes a 7-meter cliff jump at Tamarind Falls. The jump culminates in a great splash as you enter the water below. Canyoning is also offered in Rivière Papayas.
Ile aux Cerfs also offers much in the way of hiking and tree-adventure activities.
There are three 18 hole and five nine-hole golf courses on Mauritius, including two championship courses at Belle Mare Plage. “One & Only Le Touessrok Golf Course” is considered the most spectacular and is a top attraction for keen golfers. Set on its own green and hilly island with golden sands, its 18 holes has fairways dotted with nine lakes and at some of the tees you will need to get your golf ball successfully across an ocean inlet to land it on the fairway.
For the ultimate in sea-air activity then Parasailing in Grand Baie, Belle Mare or Île aux Cerf is just the thing.
Snorkeling and diving
Snorkeling and diving are a given when on holiday in Mauritius. Whether you are staying on the island itself or whether you venture out to the smaller islands, the crystal clear waters of the lagoons and along the coral reefs alive with marine life will entice you to stay in the water for hours.
If you are looking for time out from all the sun, sand and activity then you should make for a spa where you can just relax with a massage. There is nothing quite like being anointed, and pampered to get rid of stress. Most spas are to be found at the prestigious hotels so you will not have to look far for some really enjoyable ‘You time’.
What can you buy on Mauritius? Well, first on your list should be some of the many duty-free shops across the island, but remember you will need your passport and your air-tickets to prove that you are a tourist to take advantage of their many duty-free goodies
Mauritius manufactures the most delightful textiles most especially the very reasonably priced knitwear. Also popular with tourists is the delightful Mauritian Basket-ware and there are some really unique pottery items. Embroidered fabrics and items of clothing and various pieces made from recycled glass are also great for souvenirs or gifts. For Fashionistas there are many leading brand fashion items on offer and often at bargain prices.
If you are looking for luxury clothing, jewelry or handmade items as well as deals at the duty-free shops then Grand Bay is a great place to shop and buy. Taking in Sunset Boulevard and Royal Road should keep you busy. Another option for top-end shopping and especially cashmere clothing is Arsenal, which is between Triolet and Terre Rouge.
However, if you have a love of local handmade items then travel a little east of Grand Bay to the village of Goodlands.
For foodies, there is the Port Louis market known by the locals as the Port Louis Main Bazaar. Here you will find fresh seafood, vegetables, and tropical fruits. But the market is not dedicated to food alone; you will also find many locally produced items and souvenirs on offer at the many colorful stalls.