The North (Interesting Things to do & See)
Grand Bay is a seaside village and a large tourist beach in the district of Rivière du Rempart on the island of Mauritius. The village is on the western side of the northern most point of Mauritius and was the site of the British Invasion of “Île de France” in November 1810. Grand Bay was the first area of Mauritius Island to fully experience the tourist boom. Grand Bay is a shopping and leisure paradise with luxury shopping centers, restaurants, bars, luxury hotels, villas, bungalows and penthouse. You will fully understand that Grand Bay is for the night life lovers with leisure and activities to keep you awake nonstop. Recently renovated, La Cuvette beach is well worth a visit.
- Pereybere — The wonderful Pereybere a small public beach one of the most popular beaches in Mauritius because of its white sandy beaches and calm clear blue sea. Pereybere is a very popular beach among the local during the weekends and the holidays.
- Balaclava Ruins — A few metres away from Baie aux Tortues, which 17th century sailors named after the many tortoises in the area, can be found the ruins of the old Balaclava. Visitors can see the sea walls, whose initial foundations were laid down by Mahé de Labourdonnais. The location of the ruins now forms part of Maritim Hotel, and public access may not be possible.
- The Labourdonnais Orchards — Discover a large variety of tropical fruit trees, and colourful and perfumed exotic flowers. Trips on mountain bikes or hiking are possible.
- The Caudan Waterfront — The Caudan Waterfront and it's surroundings has a great collection of local souvenir shops and other foreign brand materials such as clothes, spirits . . . In addition to the harbor of Mauritius, you will also find the movie theater, game arcades, local restaurants. . . .
- Restaurants — Don't hesitate to go to the various local restaurants around the city. Although many of them advertise a specific ethnic cuisine, like everywhere around the world they have their own mix of traditional and local. You might discover that 'fried rice' can have more than one flavor.
- The SSR Botanical Garden If you want to see some plants originating from Mauritius, then this is the place for you. The SSR botanical garden is the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere. It was founded by Pierre Poivre (1719 – 1786) in 1770, contains some flora unique to Mauritius and covers an area of around 37 hectares. It also has several animals, being especially famous for its fish, deer and tortoises, as well as an old replica of a sugar mill.
East (Interesting Things to do & See)
- Ile aux Cerfs — A paradise for water sports and has one of the most beautiful beaches in Mauritius. You cannot afford to miss this tiny island, delicately poised on the indian ocean, a real pearl in the Mauritian landscape. There is a variety of vessels that serve the route including catamarans, yatchs and "pirate-ships". Some serve food (usually barbecue, especially seafood) on board included in the price and tend to take a detour to the Grand River South East waterfalls for a visit. The island also has a 5-star hotel (Le Touessrok) and a golf course one of the most prestigious and luxury hotel in Mauritius.
South East (Interesting Things to do & See)
- Dutch Ruins — At Vieux Grand Port, the oldest settlement in Mauritius, you can see the ruins of the first Dutch fortifications. Excavation work is underway in a bid to uncover an important part of Mauritian history.
- Ile aux Aigrettes — As a result of the remarkable work accomplished by the Mauritius Wildlife Fund, the island has become an international standard for the protection of natural resources and endangered species. A few of the world’s rarest birds, including the kestrel, can be seen there. You can also see the extremely rare Pink Pigeon, the Green Gecko Phelsuma and the Aldabra giant tortoise.
- Mahebourg is one of the main fishing villages on the island. Built on the magnificent Grand Port Bay, it was founded in 1804 by the French Governor Charles Decaën. The Monday markets are among the biggest and best on the island and are held right next to the main bus station.
- Domaine du Chasseur, Tel: +230 634-5011, Fax: +230 634-5261. Nestling in the Anse Jonchée hills, the Domaine des Grand Bois has splendid hunting grounds covering an area of 900 hectares. Stags, monkeys and boars live amidst the luxuriant vegetation of the hillside. One can watch a few species of endangered birds, including the kestrel. The Domaine contains four thatched-roof bungalows and a restaurant with a panoramic sea view. Take an opportunity to enjoy a meal of venison. (The view is great and well worth the visit.
- Souillac — A small seaside resort along the rugged coast of the Savanne district. A famous feature is the garden overlooking the sea and named after Dr. Charles Telfair. A popular viewpoint is found at the southern end of the village, right on the cliff top : Gris Gris.
- Blue Bay— Clear blue water and most amazing white sand beaches you will ever see... Take the trip across the island to discover this great beach. Very busy with the locals on weekends. Try to go during the week. Glass bottom boats are an excellent outing. Part of Blue Bay has been designated a Marine Park, and the snorkeling trips by boat to this area, offered for sale on the main public beach, are well worth trying.
West (Interesting Things to do & See)
- Flic en Flac — Flic en Flac has a very long white sandy beach stretching down the west coast to Tamarin which is enjoyed by both locals and tourists. Scuba Diving is a major attraction here with excellent diving just a few minutes from the beach.
- Martello Towers — at La Preneuse, Black River, represent the ancient rivalry between old colonial powers and the ingenuity of mankind. They are a milestone in the island’s history; they symbolise the end of slavery and the beginning of Indian immigration.
- Chamarel — A winding road leads from Case Noyale village to the coloured earths of Chamarel: an undulating landscape of different and contrasting shades of colours. The different shades of blue, green, red and yellow are apparently the result of the erosion of the volcanic ash. The neighbouring waterfalls of Chamarel rise from the moors and the native plant life . The site possesses a rare beauty. An adventure park has also recently been opened at Chamarel. Much of the sand has been souvenired by locals. It is now sectioned off, but is not that impressive.
- Salt Pans — Owing to the exceptional high level of sunshine the district receives, Tamarin is the heart of salt production in Mauritius.
- Casela, Tel: +230 452-2828. Situated in the Rivière Noire district, the Casela Nature & Leisure Park stretches over 25 hectares. It contains more than 140 bird species from five continents and is home to many other animals like giant tortoises, zebras, a tiger and ostriches. Activities like walking with lions, Rando Fun (ziplines & hanging bridges), quad, buggy & Segway, a petting farm and many more promise a fun day for the whole family.
- Yemen Yemen Reserve may not be the largest game reserve on the island, but there is still lots to see. You will be able to get close to the herds of deer, and admire some splendid species of Mauritian fauna. A few rustic kiosks available in the reserve provide an unobstructed view of the sea. There you can sip a local punch while watching the sun going down.
The Interior (Interesting Things to do & See)
- Black River Gorges This national park of 6,574 hectares (16,244 acres) was created in 1994 for the protection of Mauritius’ remaining native forests. Visitors can enjoy magnificent landscapes, with endemic plants and rare bird species. A trail leads from the Pétrin information centre to an area of typical plant life and to a conservation area.
- Eureka, Tel: (204) 326-4775, Fax: (204) 326-9732. Is an old Creole residence built in 1830, Eureka is an essential place to visit during your stay in Mauritius if you wish to immerse yourself in tropical sweetness. Includes a tour of the colonial house with the opportunity to purchase overpriced textile products, and a tour of the gardens and a visit to the waterfalls below.
- L’Aventure du Sucre, Tel: 243 06 60. Daily 9AM-6PM. Visit an interactive and ultra modern exhibition situated at the heart of an ancient sugar mill and discover the fascinating history of Mauritius and its sugarcane adventure exposed over 5000 sq meters. Then, let yourself be tempted by their boutique with its unique gifts, souvenirs and tasting of special unrefined sugars as well as local rum. Do not miss the opportunity to relish authentic Mauritian cuisine with refined flavours at their restaurant "Le Fangourin". Free access to the restaurant and the Village Boutique Beau Plan-Pamplemousses.