How often do we find ourselves being so wrong about a destination? I honestly think sometimes it truly reflects back on the type of traveler you are. When we chose to visit Mauritius we tried to read all there is and truly most things on the internet described it as the ideal ‘honeymoon destination’. Now, we weren’t in our honeymoon (per say, don’t think after being married for over a couple of years and travelling as often as we do, this would qualify as one) and while we do enjoy the occasional relaxed itinerary; it’s not really something that speaks to the wanderlust in us. Also it didn’t help that everyone we spoke to in our circle said that Mauritius is limited to just the beaches (and more beaches).
So yes, it was a little challenging putting an itinerary around it. I admit I tried but it was not easiest stringing in the pieces when you don’t have much knowledge or easy accessibility to resources of the country. We still decided to go ahead with our plans, we told ourselves we will make this as fun as fun can get and after all when you mention gorgeous beaches to beach bums like us; it’s difficult to say no. And somewhere in the depths of my heart, I did feel a tug towards this destination. Like I am being called there to satiate the hangover one feels after you return from your previous travel. I was hopeful Mauritius will surprise us and well it sure did and how!
I could go and on but how gorgeous this country is but I reckon, you already know that. Anyone who’s been to Mauritius or seen those post card perfect photographs of this country will admit it is absolutely beautiful. So no, I’ll be wiser to not go down that road and use this blog to actually talk about what more Mauritius offers. Having spent about 10 days in Mauritius, I found much treasures in terms of what we can actually do there and while I am aware that there’s more that I might not list here, I’m thinking there’s enough to coax you into adding this to your travel bucket list.
Getting Adventurous when in Mauritius
There are quite a few hiking trails this Island offers, but by far Le Morne Brabant is one of my favorite places in The mountain of Le Morne is today a UNESCO World Heritage site. It holds a place in history, having played a significant role in the harsh slavery period of the Island. This iconic hike is steep at places and is a 4 miles round trip but once you get up to the view point, you’ll know it’s worth it.
Lots of diving options in Mauritius and an equally big range of dive shops. You can pick one and plan an awesome dive trip pretty easily. You have here a range of diving spots; there’s something for everyone-whether you’re a beginner or someone with plenty dive logs. The marine fauna is beautiful here and the reefs are brimming with colorful life.
Zip lining in Mauritius is absolutely amazing and I cannot suggest this more. This experience was an absolute treat. You will find yourself enjoying the aerial adrenalin rush of flying into the air and being treated to the most stunning views. I guarantee, you’ll be talking about this for a long time after (Was I scared, hell yes but believe me I’d do it again and again).
Crossing the Nepalese Bridge:
The search for more thrilling experiences, took us to a mid-air suspended Nepalese bridge. The unique sensation of crossing the gorges and canyons while suspended above the ground was truly something. Once you overcome the fear, you begin to appreciate the breathtaking view this activity offers.
Over years, Mauritius has gained much respect as a place of choice for surfers too. If you enjoy breaking a good wave then head to Tamarin Bay; said to be one of the finest surfing spots in the Island boasting of over 10 feet swells. We did not surf but watching the surfers, did make me want to try it (I’ve really got to take some serious lessons).
Quad Biking and Buggy Rides:
If I haven’t managed to convince you of the many adventure experiences you can indulge in Mauritius, then let me add to the list Quad Biking and Buggy Rides. We thought, this was a fantastic way to explore the outdoors in Mauritius. The trails are usually set in forests, sugarcane fields, cliffs and parks and are a lot of fun.
Exploring Mauritius’ natural treasures
Mauritius is absolutely wonderful when it comes to nature parks. You can spend an entire day or half depending on what you choose to do. Long walks, picnics, safari, family activities amongst others are available to keep you busy. Try not miss the Black River Gorges National Park; sprawled over 16,680 acres, Frederica Nature Reserve and the La Vanille Park.
The natural phenomenon of the Seven Colored Earth at Chamarel can be found situated in the Rivière Noire District and was breathtaking. The sand dunes and the water fall were divine and offers beautiful photo opportunities. Here you can also treat yourself to good Mauritian rum should you fancy one with lunch or simply visit the famous Chamarel distillery.
Relaxing in Style in Mauritius
You can opt from the many sail tours across Mauritius. Grand Bay is said to be the Mauritian sailing paradise, this is owed to it being a protected bay. You can plan to partake in a yacht trip, a catamaran cruise or even rent a private sailing boat. You can sail around Mauritius or visit the islands off the coast; the sailing conditions are brilliant to say the least.
The Island has a sprinkle of nightlife across but I personally loved the North. Especially Grand Bay and the Pereybere area because it had so much to do in the evenings. While most establishments pretty much close by 4-5 P.M.; the clubs start late and are open till the wee hours of the morning. Great (truly delicious) cocktails, even tastier food and some pretty awesome music keeping you company is all you will want.
There are quite a number of casinos in Mauritius where you can try your hand at a variety of games. The casinos are generally jam packed during weekends so if you want to visit the casino, I’d suggest that you book a seat for yourself and come in early. We visited the one in Grand Bay and in one word; it is massive and the in house bar was very nice.
The Island has plenty of gorgeous beaches. Best thing about it is that each one is more beautiful than the next. My favorites and the more popular ones that you shouldn’t give a miss are the spacious beach of Trou aux Biches, the long sandy stretches of Mont Choisy, the absolutely gorgeous Pereybere beach, 8 kilometer long white sandy beach of Flic En Flac, the Le Morne beach with its dramatic backdrop of the mountain, the Tamarin Bay was tranquility at best, also frequented for ‘Swim with Dolphins’ activities and the Bel Ombre beach in the South, is one of the 10 longest beaches on the island. The beaches were bliss, great place to unwind and let me validate are pretty much postcard perfect.
Mauritius is truly something special
So, are you convinced yet? There is something very special about Mauritius. It can be anything you want it to be. You want a relaxed lazy holiday or one filled with adventure or a combination of the two; you can have this and more. Between the hospitable locals, the laid-back island vibe, the piercing blue lagoons, long stretches of white sandy beaches, stunning views, exotic species of flora and fauna, delicious food; our trip to Mauritius was exceptional. We will have to go back some day and explore this Island more, there’s much we did and want to do again and much we are yet to explore.
If you enjoy travelling beyond the guide books and want to experience Mauritius for what it is; I’d say do plan it yourself. Yes unless you’re staying there for a month or more, you cannot see it all but each day there will be worth it. The beauty of this country has the tendency of turning us, their guests into poets every time we try to describe it. This was in our travel bucket list for long and we are so happy that we could do it this year. I’ll leave you with this quote by Mark Twain after he visited Mauritius ‘Mauritius was made first, then heaven was copied from it.’ You know one cannot argue with that!