Mauritius is one of the most spectacular islands of the world. The small republic’s gorgeous beaches, medieval ruins, rare wildlife parks and religious spots all contribute to make the island experience a memorable one.
Walk around Mauritius capital Port Louis to see fine colonial architecture such as Government House. Gaze at one of the world”s rarest stamps at the Blue Penny Museum or gawk at dodo skeletons in the Natural History Museum. Rare species of birds and animals can be viewed at one of the island’s many bird and wildlife parks.
The beaches of Mauritius are some of the best you will ever visit and offer water skiing, boating, swimming, sailing, wind surfing, and fishing. Ile Anx Cerfs on the east coast is known for its water sports, dining and shopping options. Snorkel or take a glass-bottomed boat out to see the fish and coral in Blue Bay, Mauritius” only marine park. For deep sea fishers, the prestigious Marlin World Cup is hosted in December by La Pirogue Hotel.
The Balaclava ruins and the Dutch ruins at Vieux Grand Port offer a glimpse of the medieval history of the island. Follow the pilgrimage route to Grand Bassin, a beautiful natural crater lake and sacred Hindu site up on Plaine Champagne. A 108ft high Shiva statue heralds the entrance to temples heaving with colour, incense and people at festival time.
Mauritius will surprise you with its diversity of local cuisine. Here, you’ll find French, Creole, Chinese, Indian, and African flavours melded together in harmony.
Most restaurants are along the Northern coast, Port Louis and within the district of Plaines Wilhems. If you prefer privacy and luxurious decor, try the buffet or la carte menu at one of Mauritius’s many hotels. Theme nights are common and dinners are usually followed by a show.
Roadside foods are authentic and ideal for when you are on the move – a satisfying meal will cost you less than US$1. Try a Mauritian barbeque by the beach at least once, it will be one of the nicest parts of your trip!
To drink, Phoenix beer is famous all over the world and tastes best ice cold. But the island’s real local drink is cane rum, which goes well with cola or coconut water and a twist of lemon. Buy rum that is at least five years old anything less isn’t worth the money!
The dodo is Mauritius mascot, and is found everywhere. If you can afford it, you can buy one in gold from one of the duty-free jewellery shops in Floreal, Port Louis or Grand Baie. A unique souvenir would be a model ship from one of the factories in Mauritius. All ships are handmade in wood and recreated from the original plans.
Go souvenir shopping at Port Louis” bustling Central Market, the craft market at the Caudan Waterfront or shopping centres around the island. Bargain-hunt in Chinese and Indian shops in the inland towns. Basketwork, embroidery, pottery, cut stones and recycled glass or Mauritian food specialities make good gifts. Knitwear and branded fashion are available at unbeatable prices. And of course, there’s always a good bottle of local rum or that you can take back to relive your island experience!