Why is it a pleasure to visit Mauritius?

posted in: Africa, Mauritius, Tips | 115

Mauritius – a tiny island in the Indian Ocean, has always promoted itself as a place that is a pleasure to visit. I have always heard a lot about this country – so much that I at one time, had shortlisted it to be my honeymoon destination. Sadly, I could not make it back then but had always heard from my other friends that every bit of their trip was just a marvelous experience. The reviews and pictures were enough for me to add it to my bucket-list and thanks to the Mauritius Tourism board, I finally managed to see and more importantly, affirm the fact that Mauritius was indeed a pleasure to visit.

The first glimpse of Mauritius from the aeroplane

A tiny green blob of land in a vast ocean of blue is how Mauritius appeared to me through the windows of Air Mauritius. The pristine atmosphere of the island was evident from high up there and I can promise you that it was indeed the case on ground. It is not just the clear blue waters or the pristine atmosphere that makes this country so pleasurable. It is a combination of a lot of things  – the culture, the activities, its natural attractions to name a few. It is the fact that Mauritius has something for everyone – no matter how diverse your interests are , that makes it a pleasure for all who visit it. Here are my 10 reasons that will prove that Mauritius is just a perfect destination for all.

1) Mauritius – A blend of cultures

Locals the Creole Festival, Mauritius

The first thing that struck me in Mauritius is the delightful blend of cultures  – French, African , British and Indian. Why that is the case is best understood with the history of Mauritius. An island that was occupied by the Dutch, later by the French and British had its language influenced by the natives of these places. The French had their sugar plantations in Mauritius run with the help of slaves from India and Africa. Over time, the language of these slaves gave rise to a new tongue – Mauritius Creole, primarily French with some bits of Indian languages and African words. This further enhanced as more migrants were brought in by the British later in the 1800.

Selvee – our guide at Chateau Labourdonnais. She can trace her ancestry back to India,

The sweet blend of these cultures is not left only to their language but is evident in the culture of the country.  At different times of the year, you can witness various celebrations, each paying homage to the varied origins of its inhabitants. The bright Diwali to the colorful Holi and the Shivratri from India to the vibrant Chinese New Year from China and the All Saints day and Christmas from Europe.

Indian Food – a vital part of the Mauritian Platter

The food is another place where you will find this lovely mix. Be the traditional 3 course meal that is served in a very European manner or the mix of cuisines that make these meals. The French mannerism with the Indianised cuisines makes every meal in Mauritius a delight.

To me, it is the totally harmonious blend of World cultures that makes Mauritius so unique. It is this experience that no other country can give you that makes it so pleasurable.

2) Pristine Beaches of Mauritius

Trou aux Biches, Mauritius

It does not matter which beach you go to, for every beach here is just as beautiful. The white smooth sand and the gorgeous blue lagoons around are possibly the signature of Mauritius. I had the pleasure of enjoying the Trou aux Biches –  a beach that is widely acknowledged as the best in Mauritius. It was a pleasure walking along this strip, catching the sight of turtles swimming around, the bright colored fish in the coral reef that is along its shores and well, just relaxing.

Mont Choisy Beach and the Grand Baie beach are the other two popular beaches in North Mauritius – with tons of activities, food joints and enough hotels along the beaches.

St. Felix beach, Mauritius

Quite like South Goa, the South of Mauritius has a lot of virgin beaches. The St. Felix beach in particular was quite inviting as we drove past it several times. The beach has this lovely garden spread out along its shoreline, with mowed grass and trees, perfect for some family picnic as we witnessed. Add to that the gorgeous colors of sunset that cast a lovely glow through the trees onto the landscape.

The other beach that I managed to see was the Flic en Flac beach along the West, where we indulged in one of the best activities that I did in Mauritius – Sea Kart. The water seemed perfect for a swim – something that I promise to do the next time I am there. The currents I am told, are non existent here and that is what makes it ideal for a dip in the sea.

3) Green and gorgeous hills of Mauritius

It is not just the beaches that you can enjoy here. If you like a bit of that hilly chill, then Mauritius has that for you. Born out of volcanic eruptions, it is not surprising that you find various mountain peaks looking down at you at various points within the country. In fact some of them are quite delightful with their shapes and legends. The 2nd tallest mountain – Pieter Both Mountain being the most interesting. 🙂

Pieter Both Mountain, Mauritius

Notice the little head atop the mountain. This is said to be the head of Pieter Both, who people claim overlooks and protects the whole island of Mauritius, Who is Pieter Both? Well. some rationalist say that it was the 2nd Dutch Governor General of Mauritius. While some interesting legends have it that he was a milkman, who witnessed some fairy activities, promised the fairy that he would not say anything and then blabbered it around. The fairies got angry and well, turned his head into a swollen head 😉 You got to read these versions. Google Pieter Both mountain story .

Waterfall at the La Vallée des 23 Couleurs. Mauritius

Coming back to the lovely mountains. where there are mountains, there are waterfalls and you are bound to enjoy some spectacular ones here. Like this one at Chamouny at the La Vallée des 23 Couleurs. 

Chamarel - the 7 colors of Earth in Mauritius
Chamarel – the 7 colors of Earth in Mauritius

Also, at the mountains, you are treated to some unusual geological wonders – as the 7 colored earth of Chamarel. With its lovely spread of colors, twittering colorful beauties and perfect weather, a day out in the mountains is another pleasure that you should experience in this country

4) Choice of adrenaline rush

Do you like the extreme dangling in the air or diving into the depth of the sea, then Mauritius has plenty for you. However, if you do like a bit of adventure but are a lot milder with risk, then again- Mauritius is the place to be in. It does not matter what levels of adrenaline rush you can handle, there is something for you in this place. Take deep sea adventures – you can either head for a deep sea dive with your divers’ license or try some mild snorkeling along the shores of its lagoons or if you really don’t want to try either of the two with the fear of swimming, some sea-walking or ride in a submarine is perfect for you.

Blue Safari Submarine Ride in Mauritius

From ziplines to parasailing to skiing, name an activity that you enjoy and you will find it in Mauritius. It is almost like you have a menu of activities based on your thrill levels. Each day of your holiday allows you a spike in your thrill, thanks to the varied choice.

5) Food in Mauritius

 

Palm Heart Salad in Mauritius

Neither spicy, nor bland. Neither sweet nor too tangy. A little of East and a little of West – the food in Mauritius is bound to appeal to anyone. The Mauritian blend of cultures is the most evident here. I particularly, recommend their Palm Heart salad as an appetiser. Made from the tender leaves of palm trees, it is amazing how many flavors this particular salad has. Through the 5 days that I was there, I had it almost every day and each day, I discovered a different variety of this salad.

Food in Mauritius

Dholl Puri (Daal Puri), Paratha and Curry are some Indian dishes that are commonly found in the Creole menu. The European Grilled Fish and vegetable blend in beautifully in any Mauritian meal, making the entire meal course delicious. Be it a vegetarian or a non vegetarian – there is enough for either of you.

6) Sugar Haven

Sugar, Sugar – all around! From the time you step out of the Airport till the time you leave back with possibly a gift pack containing the various types of sugar for yourself and people at home. And no! I am not exaggerating.

Sugar Fields in Mauritius

Everywhere that you drive in this country, you are bound to see fresh green sugar cane fields all along the roads.  Along with them, are quaint little sugar mills, some of them old and abandoned and some still functioning. You can even visit one of those old mills which has now been converted to a Sugar museum – to understand the history and the entire process of sugar making.

Rum Tasting at Chateau Labourdonnais in Mauritius

And where there is sugar, there is a little rum. 🙂 Rum distilleries are as much a part of Mauritius as is actual sugar. Here they almost toast to each other with a shot of rum. Visit Chameral or Chateau Labourdonnais or even the old Sugar mill and you can do some rum tasting here – a little bit of coffee flavored rum is what I favored.

The entire history of the country, its evolution and culture is all linked to this one commodity – Sugar and that is what sweetens your entire experience of Mauritius.

7) Heritage sites

Aapravasi Ghat in Mauritius

The history buff in me was pleased with the few heritage sites that Mauritius offers. The Aapravasi Ghat is a UNESCO site that is considered to be a landmark of one of the key events in Mauritian history. This was a site where thousands of indentured Indian workers sent by the British in 1880s as laborers for the sugar plantations, took their first step into Mauritius. The old temporary buildings, the hospital wing and a museum about this movement still exists here, allowing you that brief glimpse into the history of this Island.

Chateau Labourdonnais in Mauritius

The Chateau Labourdonnais is yet, another well-preserved relic of the 19th century that gives you a glimpse of the other side of the sugar plantations – the life of the rich and famous. With its Victorian styled home, sprawling orchards and old distillery, this is yet another illuminating tour of the history of Mauritius. Details on these? Coming up shortly in a separate post :-).

8) Shopping in Mauritius

Cute cane bags from Mauritius

I sure would have loved to do more of shopping here. There was no great temptation than the colorful markets of Grand Baie and Port Louis. I had a taste of street shopping at the Port Louis Central Market – with its colorful cane artifacts. From cute little bags to magnets to cane hats and table mats. A little haggling and you can be sure that you will be needing an extra bag to carry them home.

The Waterfront Cauden market in Mauritius

The Waterfront Cauden in Port Louis is a different matter. Hundreds of umbrellas strung together greet you as you walk through the wide open spaces with lovely shops lined all along. Dotted with open air cafes and restaurants, the market is a lovely one to just sit around and enjoy the Water front. If you are bored, you can grab a movie or two here or just try your luck at the casinos.

9) Animal Love

Such a cutie – right?                                                                                                                                                     PC: Nisha Jha

Mauritius has tons of places where you can interact closely with various birds and animals. From holding baby tortoises to feeding the giraffes, there are enough opportunities for you to show your animal love.

Dancing Peacock

My favorite was capturing a peacock who pranced around just for me 🙂

10) People in Mauritius

The most important reason that makes Mauritius a pleasure to visit are its people. The Mauritians are really warm and caring, which is evident with every interaction that you have with them. Add to that, the discipline that they have which is evident in their way of life – be it traffic regulations or the manner of running their business. It is quite admirable to see how they conduct themselves.

My cute Mauritian Co-Passenger

There is a certain camaraderie that you experience with them – possibly in my case as they look Indian, have Indian names and are quite curious about India. From the staff at the hotels to the shopkeepers at various markets to even your co-passengers at various attractions and rides, all I experienced was a polite and friendly greeting and a smile that said that they were ever ready to be a part of my thrilling journey through Mauritius.

Each day spent here was indeed a pleasure for many of the reasons that I have cited above. I will be sharing a lot more of my trip in the later posts, so stay tuned for those. Till then, here is something to mark and remind you Why it is a pleasure to visit Mauritius.

Getting here:

  • Mauritius is well-connected to the rest of the world with direct flights. This is the best way to reach here.
  • There are some cruises that do take you to Mauritius as well.

Travel Tips:

  • Here is a detailed Travel Guide to Mauritius. This has all information on legalities, planning requirements and other aspects of getting to Mauritius.
  • Any season is a good season to head here. The weather is quite warm and pleasant all through.
  • Here is the link to the official tourism page of Mauritius. This also, has some basic travel tips as well.

 

 

 

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115 Responses

  1. Lynne Sarao

    Everything about Mauritius looks so amazing – the beaches, the food, the people! I’ll have to add this to my bucket list and hopefully make it there very soon!

    • Ami

      It is quite an experience – and the best is that you can pick your activity. WEll, I suppose that is why they say it is a pleasure.

  2. Joe

    It looks like the closest thing on Earth to paradise. That photo of your first glimpse from the plane made me want to go there before you even went in to reasons why…all of which are valid! To me, the people make a place, and the cultural melting pot that seems to be on offer here sure does make it seem like the perfect destination 🙂

  3. Jen Morrow

    Gorgeous little island! I have heard the scuba diving is spectacular on Mauritius. Looks like there is more than just diving for me, too.

  4. 2traveldads

    Such a beautiful and fascinating place. It’s really interesting to me how much French influence there is, but then the Indian influence is so strong too. Seems a contrast to areas that are British/Indian. I want to go now.

  5. Neha Verma

    Who would have thought there is so much to see and do in Mauritius beyond the beaches. Now I want to head here as soon as possible, my only worry was whether I will get veg food here .. reading about the food and looking on the dishes, I am not worrying any more 🙂

    • Ami

      Mauritius does make you feel at home. Am sure you will have fun and yes, as I discovered, veg food is not too difficult

  6. Shalzzz

    Amazing post and wow! Awesome pics! I’m new to your blog and I’m not going to miss your posts ever again! 🙂

  7. Allison Fun Family Vacations

    This looks like an awesome place to visit! I love the culture and beaches, just everything! Looking forward to your guide.

  8. lydia@lifeuntraveled

    I don’t need any more convincing – Mauritius seems to have it all! It’s interesting to know about all the different cultural influences – this surely makes for a very diverse visit to the island.

  9. Marlies - Crazy Dutch Abroad

    It is great to read your post about Mauritius as it has been on my list (as well as the Seychelles) for a long time. SCUBA diving would be amazing around here I guess but the landscape seems very interesting as well. The people make it a vibrating culture.

  10. SpendLifeTraveling

    I spent a few weeks volunteering in Mauritius some years ago and absolutely loved it. Mainly though its beautiful ocean (I volunteered with the marine conservation society) and stunning nature. The capital I found very polluted and crowded with a surprising amount of poverty.

    • Ami

      Yes, there are people from all walks of life here. But irrespective, they have a ready smile for you and that is what makes the whole place so lovely.

  11. chanelle

    ahhhhhh Mauritius *insert inlove face* I love that you wrote about the culture and background, its so important to be knowledgeable about a countries culture. Very nice post with great pictures…I cant wait to go to Mauritius!!

  12. Louiela

    Now I know Mauritius is being influenced by different culture esp with the language while still preserving their own… Thanks for presenting here the things and places we can explore in Mauritius… By the way, is it possible to trek up to the peak Pieter Both mountain?

    • Ami

      I believe it is possible to trek up the mountain. However, I admit that I do not have much information on it. I think there are a few hotels that help organize this hike.

  13. Sandy N Vyjay

    Mauritius always conjures up images of an exotic and dreamy island with surreal beaches and crystal clear water. Also it is fascinating to see the Indian connection there including in the people, food , etc..

  14. Abby

    Oh, I’m sure you wouldn’t have a hard time convincing anyone to visit Mauritius with just the first photo. It is spectacularly beautiful. I need to visit soon!

  15. Mar Pages

    One of my favourite things about Mauritius is right there in your first point, the people, cultures and religions all get along so well and in harmony. You can really feel how much people respect each other there. And the fresh sugar directly from the sugar cane is delicious (so is the rum 😉 ).

  16. Luca

    Well, there are 9 reasons more to visit Mauritius than I thought, aside for pristine beaches! I’m happy also to see that’s a sugar heaven, that translates to rum, as you wrote. I love rum! 😀

  17. 100cobbledroads

    This is a great post because you have covered every aspect of the country briefly, giving a 360 degree perspective to it all. Comprehensive yet succint.

  18. Joanna

    You were so lucky to visit Mauritius! I see it as a very far and exotic island. I did pass by their stand at the recent world travel market in London and was very impressed. It looks like a paradise island.

    • Ami

      Thank you Joanna. Mauritius is a little paradise indeed. Hope you can manage a trip here soon.

  19. Shane

    I can’t believe I’ve yet to hear of this beautiful island! I would love to experience the unique blend of cultures and take in the picturesque landscapes.

    • Ami

      Indeed Shane, the landscapes and the vibrant culture is what you are going to love in Mauritius. Thanks for stopping by.

  20. carmyy

    I’m a super easy gal, you had my at beaches and waterfalls! Two of my favourite things. I’d love to visit Mauritius! Is it an expensive location?

    • Ami

      It is slightly expensive. Not over the top but not budget either. They say it is “affordable luxury” 🙂

  21. anjuprakash

    Love this place! Ive visited Maldives and have wanted to check out mauritius since then! the culture and vibe seems very fun and comfortable!

    • Ami

      The submarine ride was fun. And if you want some more adventure, then try the subscooter. 🙂

  22. Venkat Ganesh

    In the early 90s, there was a TV show on Doordarshan called ‘Stone Boy’ That was when Mauritius caught my attention. If there was one place that I wanted to go then it was Mauritius in search of this Stone boy. Mind you it would still be a decade before the travel bug would bite me but Mauritius had me then. And now with your pictures and list of things to do it has me even more!

  23. Mri

    I never even heard or Mauritius before now, but it’s definitely going to go on my list. I absolutely love being able to find animals in the wild and if you’re ever in Australia, you should check out Pebbly Beach for some up close encounters with some wild kangaroos!

    And we’ll definitely have to check out some of its paragliding sites there too; though might have to do a few training hills first as it’s been a while since I’ve taken to the air. (:

    • Ami

      Thanks Mri. Not sure of paragliding, but parasailing is fun . Hope you get to go here soon.

  24. Wanderlust Vegans

    You’ve given some great reasons to visit Mauritius. Those beaches alone are enough to make me head there! Those heritage sights you’ve shared look fantastic. I would love to visit Mauritius one day.

  25. The Travel Ninjas

    Mauritius Island is a dream come true. It’s a natural wonderland and a cultural treasure. We don’t usually think of places like this when we think of travel to India, it really opens our eyes. Thanks Ami.

  26. thatguywithstories

    Mauritius is Mauritius because of the Hindi film industry. The adrenaline rushing song of Hum was shot there as was the Amitabh Bachchan starrer Pukar. Great post.

    • Ami

      Thank you Blair. Truly grateful to the tourism board for giving me the opportunity to experience their world.

  27. Marlene Marques

    What a wonderful place! Mauritius looks like the perfect postcard! Loved your post and all the information, like the legend of Pieter Both. How cool is that mountain Would love to visit it one day. Did you found it a bit expensive?

    • Ami

      Thanks Marlene. Yes, Mauritius is a bit expensive – affordable luxury is what I would call it. Not over the top nor budget.

  28. Indrani

    Reasons good enough for a visit there. I loved the 7 colored hill, what a wonder! The mixed culture there makes them more interesting.

  29. eostories

    Not that I needed any convincing but these reasons are just enough to start dreaming about the place! Most of the people are probably drawn to it because of the beaches and I am not gonna lie, these vast beaches and clear water are my main reason as well. But I would also love to explore the culture and try the diverse food.

  30. Jesper, The Biveros Effect

    Mauritius is know as a paradise and considering the beauty of the places seen on your photos that seems to be true. It is not on our list of places to go at the moment, mostly due to the cost of traveling there and other limitations with only charter flights being available. Hopefully that changes one day as it is one of the places that would be interesting to go to. 🙂

    • Ami

      There are plenty of direct commercial flights to Mauritius. I don’t think you need to charter the plane. 🙂 And Visa too, is not required for most countries. I think you should consider Mauritius again.

  31. Adam, Bite of Iceland

    Wonderful pictures! It looks like a paradise 🙂 Mauritius is my travel plan for the next year!

  32. travellingslacker

    I didnt need any more convincing to visit Mauritius but this post makes it even harder to resist the place. In fact, it is amaziing to see that such a small island has so much natural diversity and vast wilderness to offer. In comparison it is hard to imagine such things in a vast country like ours.

    • Ami

      Actually, we have it all here too. It is just that we need to take time out and appreciate it better 🙂

  33. Saania Ali

    Fun filled place! It looks Mauritius has so much to offer. Thanks dear I have added it in my bucket list. I would definitely visit once.

  34. Alberto C.

    I was already convinced after the first photo! Something that I love about Mauritius is that in addition to the incredible beaches, the offer plenty of options to enjoy the beautiful nature and adventure activities. Such a paradise!

    • Ami

      Mauritius is quite interesting. …a good mix of culture, beaches and fun. Am sure you will love it there.

Would love to know what you think