Mauritius is a paradise island with natural and architectural attractions, tropical climate and warm sea beaches. The island is inhabited by friendly and hospitable locals of different nationalities.
Things to do in Mauritius
Mauritius has earned a reputation as the best holiday destination in the world. Stunning beaches and resorts attract lovers of the bright sun and warm sea. They are conducive to water sports — there are many bases on the shores where they teach diving and rent equipment.
Despite its small size, the island is rich in sights. There are museums, architectural monuments of the colonial period, galleries and cultural centers. The medieval appearance of cities will interest lovers of antiquity and traditions.
Parks and reserves, extreme entertainment, sea cruises and trips to uninhabited islands attract outdoor enthusiasts to Mauritius.
Natural attractions and beaches
Lake Grand Bassin
The alpine lake is a kind of sacred place for the Hindus. Tourists visit the Shiva temple, located on the shore. Locals believe that the water in the lake is holy and use it for rituals. Hindus make a pilgrimage here during Maha Shivaratri, walking all the way to the lake.
Another local attraction is the statue of Shiva, which was installed in 2007. In addition, Grand Bassin is a lake with picturesque views around. It’s definitely worth visiting here.
Pointe d’Esnay and Blue Bay beaches
The coastline of the bay is covered with white sand. The coast is dotted with hotels and holiday homes with a developed tourist infrastructure. The area comes alive during the high season.
Blue Bay is famous for the Marine Park where tourists dive to view the coral reefs. Scuba diving is included in the mandatory program of every guest. At the opposite end of the bay is the village of Maheburg, famous for its originality, traditional Aboriginal way of life and a lively market.
Near the village of Chamarel in the Black Gorges National Park, there is a waterfall of the same name. There is an observation deck above the cascade, from where you can see the swift stream and the surrounding area. At the foot of the waterfall formed a small lake where swimming is allowed.
Seven Colored Earth
In the middle of the last century, a wonderful natural phenomenon was discovered in Mauritius — multi-colored sands. In the distant past, there was a volcano here, which, erupting, threw lava, ash and ore to the surface. Hot lava solidified and formed hills.
Due to the presence of basalt ores, the dunes were painted in different colors: blue, yellow, pink, purple and others. Over time, basalt rocks crumbled into grains, forming a semblance of sand. You need to visit the dunes at dawn. The sunrise here is like an enchanting performance: the dunes change color when the first rays fall on them.
Multi-colored layers do not mix with each other. You can buy a bottle of particles at a local souvenir shop and see this miraculous effect. After mixing, the sand itself stratifies into colors, and scientists have not yet figured out the nature of this phenomenon.
Le Souffleur is a grotto located on the slope of a steep cliff. You will need to get to the edge to enjoy the spectacle. The view of the waves crashing on the rocks is mesmerizing. And the more restless the sea, the more spectacular the picture of the raging elements. Rising waves hit the rock with force and fall into the hole, creating a fountain that looks like a whale’s jet. Hence the name “prompter”.
Tamarin Beach, once a favorite with surfers, is now used by tourists from a nearby hotel. It is unique with black sand and roaring waves of the open sea. Tamarin Bay is not protected by a coral reef, so the beach is known for its turbulent waters. This place is suitable for those who like to walk along the coast and look at the destructive sea element.
The ancient capital of Maheburg
Mahebourg is the best place to get to know old Mauritius. The city was built where the Dutch first landed at the end of the 16th century. There are cozy restaurants with terraces and amazing cuisine, picturesque beaches, monuments of architecture and art.
The local museum tells about the British-French battle for the island. A special place is occupied by the bell salvaged from the shipwrecked ship Le Saint-Géran. This is an obligatory part of local fairy tales and legends.
Maison Eureka is a well-preserved French colonial mansion located in the center of the island. The house, which once belonged to the largest sugar baron on the island, is an incredible engineering masterpiece.
A streamlined balcony, 109 doors and windows, a roof with turrets — this is just what is visible from the outside. It is also worth taking a walk in the garden, overgrown with bamboo and ebony. The territory ends with a waterfall, at the foot of which there is a font.
Museums and entertainment
Blue Penny Museum
Blue Penny offers a number of exhibits that tell about the past of the island, the features of the colonial period, the customs and traditions of the locals. The museum is named after the world-famous Mauritian stamp “One and two kopecks”, issued in 1847.
Famous stamps are stored on the first floor and are considered a national treasure. To preserve color, they are only illuminated for ten minutes every hour. History buffs will also enjoy old maps, photographs and the most famous statue of Mauritius presented here.
Grand Baie was a small fishing village 20 years ago. And today it is a whole entertainment complex for travelers. Sometimes the center is called Le Trop because of the incredible number of activities.
A lot of excursions are organized for tourists every day. The territory has its own Aquarium and interactive museum L’Aventure du Sucre. Water sports enthusiasts are offered diving, water skiing, sailing and windsurfing. In the evenings, tourists get acquainted with the island’s nightlife, which any resort town would envy.
Domain de L’Etoile
This is an old estate with sugarcane plantations, turned into an eco-site. Today, tourists are offered horseback riding, quad biking, archery and walks along the slopes of the Bambus mountain range. There is also a children’s village, ebony and cinnamon groves on the territory.
If you’re lucky, you can meet Java deer that live in the forests nearby.
Parks and reserves
Seewoosagur Ramgool Botanical Garden
In second place in the world after London’s Kew Gardens is Sir Sivusagua Ramgoolam’s Botanical Garden. Work in it continues all year round, and tourists are advised to hire a guide to appreciate all the variety of plant species represented. The central part of the botanical garden is occupied by a pond filled with water lilies from South America. Wonderful white flowers turn red the next day.
Black River Gorges National Park
The territory of the park covers 6 thousand hectares. This is the perfect place to explore the local forests and wildlife. The park has over 300 species of flowering plants, the famous endangered pink dove and giant fruit bats.
The state seeks to preserve the natural resources of the reserve, so strict rules have been established here. It is worth taking hiking shoes with you, because you will definitely want to climb to the top and see a panoramic view of the island. In addition, the park has picturesque gorges, mountain peaks and waterfalls.
The island is located in Maheburg Bay. This amazing formation was formed from coral limestone. Egret is declared a nature reserve and is protected by the Mauritius Wildlife Fund. There is also a nursery on the island.
The tour to Ile aux Egrettes takes an hour and a half, during which the guest will enjoy the original Mauritian nature, discover endemic species of plants and animals. There are truly rare birds here: pink dove, Mauritian kestrel, and giant tortoises.
Nature and Leisure Park Casela
Casela is a great place to enjoy an African safari. Lions, ostriches, zebras, giraffes, hippos and elephants live here. Tourists are provided with a mini-bus that takes them to the habitats of animals.
It’s easy to spend an entire day in the park, and you can dine at a restaurant overlooking the west coast. Nature lovers will appreciate the variety of local birds (there are more than 1500 species), exotic flowers, and the unique beauty of the park.
Francois Legouat Reserve
The reserve opened in July 2007. The mission of this park is to restore and preserve the original ecosystem in which turtles lived and bred. The idea of creating the park belongs to two environmentalists: Owen Griffiths and his wife Mary Ann.
Named after French explorer François Legault, the park contains over 2,000 giant tortoises as well as thousands of endemic plant species. Work in Leguat began a little earlier — with the first steps to restore the “turtle” landscape, which is already more than 300 years old.