Top Sites To Visit in Mauritius Once Your Tear Yourself Away From The Beach
Located in the Indian Ocean, the Republic of Mauritius is a small independent island well known for its beautiful beaches, lagoons and resorts. Tourists love to spend days lying on the sand or go on a boat trip to remote locations, but I want to show you there’s more to this island than only the coastline and the sea or just visiting Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius. Here are some activities you should definitely do next time you’re in Mauritius.
Grand Bassin : The Sacred Lake
This sacred lake is called Ganga Talao and represents the mighty Ganges river of India, as a Hindu priest brought water directly from the Ganges and through a ceremony poured the holy water into the lake. Surrounded by Hindu temples and Gods, this place is considered to be very spiritual as both locals and tourists come to pray and give offering to Muruga and Lakshmi, for example. Not only this spiritual place will let you go with a peaceful mind, you will also be amazed by the giant statue of Shiva and of Lord Durga as they are 33 meters high. Don’t forget to bring some food as an offering (or to give to the free monkeys passing by) and a little bit of cash as donation is always welcomed.
Alexandra Falls and Gorges Viewpoint
Located next to each other, these are two great points to stop on your way to the sacred lake. If the weather allows it (because otherwise you can’t see anything) Alexandra Falls will offer a magnificent glimpse of the island from a high point and give you a chance to admire the wild nature. The waterfall itself is pretty, but not very impressive, the main attraction to me here is the view you get.
That being said, I usually prefer to park on the Gorge’s Viewpoint parking lot and see the view from there. You may think the two points are next to each other so they show the same, but not really! You will get a different angle, plus it’s a very beautiful display of the wild and pure nature the island has to offer and you don’t want to miss that.
In the parking lot there is usually a small market for people selling rocks and stones, statues and hundred colorful pashminas as well. I always end up buying souvenirs from this place! Don’t forget you have to right to negotiate the prices, but don’t drag them too low either, people are here every day and live from what they make on this market.
Seven Coloured Earth and Vallee Des Couleurs
You have to be there on a sunny day as well, otherwise you may be disappointed as you won’t see the seven different colors of the ground. You can spend quite a while at the park, walking around and taking pictures of another waterfall (or maybe it’s getting redundant for some of you).
The Vallée des Couleurs is similar to it, only it displays 23 colors instead of seven … or so they say. It was a nice walk around and I got to do the longest zip line of the island (1.5 kilometers) which you will give an impressive view of the park. It’s a crazy experience that I don’t regret at all (who doesn’t want to feel like flying?), but if you’re not into it, I would recommend sticking to the Seven Coloured Earth only.
Chamarel Rum Factory
One of the most fun I had recently on the island was visiting the rum factory, was it because of the rum tasting you may ask … maybe. The place itself is quite nice, you have a little tour and explanation of production and the history of the company “Chamarel”. So if you wondered how rum is made, you’ll be pleased (and maybe impress by the process). Of course at the end you will get the chance to taste every kind of Chamarel rum, nearly a dozen if I remember correctly, and if you like some of them you can purchase it at the shop. Mauritian rums (or at least some of them) actually taste good and sweet, so don’t worry about that. The Chamarel factory doesn’t only make rum, you can also taste their jam and believe me when I tell you they are DE-LI-CIOUS (I bought two of them). They also make honey if you want to try it. So in the end a very nice trip to discover local flavors.
Bois Chéri Tea Factory
If rum is not your cup of tea, why not visit Bois Chéri and enjoy real tea? Bois Chéri is the biggest tea producer in Mauritius and maybe I always enjoyed this brand. You can visit the factory and plantation to discover the history of the place and how the tea is produced. As always, you can enjoy a beautiful view of the island’s nature! You can eat in the restaurant there, I was not totally convinced by the food to be honest, but the patio offers a great panoramic scene to enjoy your lunch with. Sometimes you can even spot deer !
And for all of you tea lovers, there is a tea tasting. There must be about twenty different flavors you can try and I do believe they taste very good, especially the vanilla and the cardamom tea. But sadly those charms are clearly overshadowed by how overprice their products in the shop are, save your money and go buy your tea in a supermarket: it will be cheaper.
To finish why not have some fun at the Curious Corner of Chamarel? Nothing too crazy, but it’s a great way to entertain children and play with adults’ minds, it’s time to wake up your brain after long days of relaxation on the beach. Displaying 40 different exhibits, and a full house completely upside down, this Curious Corner is the perfect place to capture some tricky pictures for your family. The visit takes around one or two hours and it’s a nice activity to enjoy with your close ones. If you’re looking to have some fun during your day trip, this place is worth a visit!
All the activities are located in the southern part of the Island. That way you can either engage in a package tour at your hotel or create your own trip with the activities you like the most. Unless you rush into everything (which I wouldn’t recommend) you won’t have time to do everything I mention in only one day. But depending on what you would like to enjoy during your vacation, you can probably do half all those activities and have a lot of fun!
About The Author: I’m a young french student currently working for aFabulousTrip, a travel website which provides city guides for cities all around the world. I’ve visited Mauritius more time than I can count and from all the memories and people I met along the way, this island has a special place in my heart. You can follow us on our Twitter account.