Things to do in Mauritius

Things to do in Mauritius

First spotted by the sailors of Arab dhows, then explored by the Portuguese and claimed in turn for the Netherlands, France, and Britain, Mauritius celebrates multiculturalism. Islanders are known for their tolerance. That said, this quintessential tropical Indian Ocean island, comprising 100 miles of white sandy beaches and the world’s third largest coral reef, remains conservative when it comes to LGBT attitudes. Homosexual activity was only legalised in August of 2018, but perspectives are rapidly changing, led by a government that is working hard to eradicate anti-LGBT discrimination.

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Situated on Mauritius’ northern tip, the One&Only Le Saint Géran really is the one and only place to stay for many

Where to stay in Mauritius

Situated on Mauritius’ northern tip, the One&Only Le Saint Géran really is the one and only place to stay for many. Its private peninsula offers two coastlines of pristine white sand and clear swimmable waters protected by a coral reef. Three pools create dedicated spaces for couples, families, and spa visitors, while the Club One indoor and outdoor fitness centre boasts world-class facilities, from flood-lit tennis courts to Zumba classes. For active guests, the Pavilion Boat House is the home of water sports as relaxing as fly fishing and exhilarating as windsurfing and stand-up paddleboarding.

Things to do in Maurituis

Photo: Jorg Angeli

Things to do in Mauritius for culture vultures

The capital, Port Louis, is where Mauritius’ huge spectrum of cultures and ethnicities collide most perceptibly. Explore the central market and you’ll find spices and exotic foods from around the world while rubbing shoulders with more than a dozen ethnicities. The UNESCO-enlisted Aapravasi Ghat is a key historical site that helps explain the multicultural nature of modern-day Mauritius. Near the shopping and leisure area of Port Louis’ Caudan Waterfront, this World Heritage Site incorporates an immigration depot built in the mid-1800s, from which the island’s Indian diaspora, in particular, has its roots.

Dated even earlier, the Maheswarnath Hindu temple stands strong in the town of Triolet. One of the largest and oldest temples in Mauritius, it is dedicated to a pantheon of Hindu gods and is located in the evocatively-named Pamplemousses district in the north. In contrast, the near-untouched landscapes in the island’s south provide a glimpse of authentic Mauritian life, epitomised by the fishing village of Mahebourg.

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Thrill-seekers can go canyoning among 11 falls and deep pools, which require scrambling, abseiling, and multiple jumps to explore fully

Things to do in Mauritius for outdoor lovers

The south’s wilder landscapes make it the ideal place to explore the island’s unique flora and fauna—a list that includes giant tortoises and, historically, the dodo. The nature reserve Ile aux Aigrettes protects some of the world’s rarest birds, including the Mauritius kestrel and pink pigeon. Providing a habitat for creatures from the farthest corners of the globe, Casela Wildlife Park is the most visited attraction in the Indian Ocean, and boasts the stunning Rampart Mountain as a backdrop to the roars of the park’s lions and tigers. The western coast also offers stunning views at Tamarin Falls. There, thrill-seekers can go canyoning among 11 falls and deep pools, which require scrambling, abseiling, and multiple jumps to explore fully. Or, explore the natural world at a slower pace at the Sir Seewoosagur Botanic Garden, the oldest garden of its kind in the southern hemisphere.

Mauritius

Photo: Boris Baldinger

Mauritius

Photo: Dan Freeman

Things to do in Mauritius for would-be sailors

The presence of game fish, including marlin, yellow tuna, barracuda, and shark, has long made Mauritius a prime destination for deep sea fishing. However, you don’t need to be a fisherman to get the best of Mauritian waters. At Blue Bay Marine Park, you can surf, sail, snorkel, or scuba dive among 50 different species of coral before flopping onto a lounger with a cocktail in hand. For the chance at sea and cave kayaking, head to the spectacular cliffs and rock formations of Albion Caves. If you’d rather dive beneath the waves without getting wet, take a day trip instead to Trou Aux Biches. Here you can experience the delight of an underwater safari by submarine or two-person sea scooter mini-sub. In the unlikely event you still have adrenaline to spare, soar above the privately-owned Ile Aux Cerfs on a parasail and take in the astonishing glory of Mauritius from above.

Mauritius sailing

Photo: Miroslava

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The candle-lit tables and silver service of the colonial mansion now known as restaurant Le Château de Bel Ombre make it one of the most romantic dining locations on the island

Where to eat in Mauritius

Set around a tranquil open-air terrace with unbeatable sea views, the eponymously named La Terrasse has a team of world-class chefs preparing Mauritian specialities and international favourites be it morning, noon, or night. Its beguiling mix of seascapes and freshly caught shellfish, French delicacies and Creole traditional fare make it a tantalising proposition for the taste buds. Then, as the sun sets and the stars begin their nightly vigil, the ambience only grows as the live music takes hold.

The candle-lit tables and silver service of the colonial mansion now known as restaurant Le Château de Bel Ombre make it one of the most romantic dining locations on the island, while the kitchen’s dedication to quality sees 90% of its à la carte fusion menu sourced from the surrounding fields.

Effortlessly blending old Italian family recipes with local seasonal produce and exotic fruit is Le Table du Chateau, whose menu of contemporary dishes is matched by the sleek modern lines of its expansive garden terrace. The interior of Le Case du Pecheur may be rustic in comparison, but this only adds to the experience of tucking into shellfish ‘fresh from the pond’ or wild venison caught on the owner’s family estate.

Mauritius scuba diving

Photo: Jakob Owens

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