The very thought of Mauritius conjures up vivid images of immaculate powder white beaches peppered with tropical palm trees. So, while a trip to the pretty island naturally has you relaxing in the sun and sand, on its cards, there are still many fun and exciting things to do in Mauritius that you just can't deny trying. Mauritius has tons of titillating activities including many adventure escapades, visiting various sites of aesthetic or historical value, nature walks and treks, and much more. The only catch is, you need to make an effort to tear yourself from one of your many basking sessions on quaint beaches to enjoy them.
The list of things to do here is quite long. From the many places to visit in Mauritius to shopping to dancing a night away in one of the many electrifying nightclubs on the island, you have a range of exciting activities to indulge in, depending upon every liking or change of mood.
For the tourists with a thirst for knowing the place, even more, there are innumerable places of interest that you must check out. The bustling capital city of Mauritius, Port Louis, offers its visitors many options for entertainment and shopping. It boasts of spectacular French architecture dating back to the colonial times, giving you an opportunity to instigate a satisfying tour of the paradise island. Along with it, there are many more places that are popular among tourists, such as the famous Grand Baie, the Black River Gorges National Park or Chamarel. Mauritius is the perfect amalgam of unique and mesmerizing sights and fun activities which in totality makes it such a desirable tourist destination.
For those who delve into the depths of intriguing history, this place is a must visit. Le Morne Brabant marks the peninsular area of southeast Mauritius which makes for a spectacular mountainous landscape. However, it is more famous for being a refuge shelter for the runaway slaves from the nearby places including the African mainland, south-east Asia, and Madagascar. The hilly terrain that holds several caves helped them to conceal themselves from their masters and stay protected. Serving as an impregnable fortress and a refuge against slavery, it attained the symbolism of resistance against the social evil. It was declared as a World Heritage Site, Mauritius’s first ever, by the UNESCO in 2008.
Location: Peninsular area at the southwestern tip of Mauritius
Known for: The region itself is remarkable for its lush vicinage, splendid beaches, hidden caves, lots of unexplored wildlife and some great luxury hotels where you can stay to enjoy all of these.
How to reach: Located at a distance of 55 km from Mauritius, it can be reached by a car.
Type: Historic Site
One of the most wondrous places to visit in Mauritius, Troud’Argent is a beach on Rodrigues Island. Extremely beautiful, with pure white sands and blue waters, the site finds its place at the top of the list of most popular tourist spots in the country. Equally loved by both tourists and the locals, the beach promises the most memorable and relaxed day out at sea. With the tropical sun shining bright and reflecting off the splashing waters at the shore, it is indeed a bliss to be lazing around on a chaise longue and sipping rum coco.
Location: Rodrigues Island
Known for: Its pristine beach. It is also the ideal place to go snorkeling in the clear waters and witness the bewitching beauty of the undersea life.
How to reach: You can make use of a ferry boat to reach Troud’Argent
If Mauritian history dating to its colonial era is what you seek, then do not miss out on Eureka. The perfectly conserved Creole mansion that was built in the 1830s is indeed a sight to behold. Today it has been transmuted into a museum that takes you gliding back into the island's spirited bygone days of a plantation. The architecture of the house is another aspect to marvel at with its superior, tropical ideal construction that is still effective in keeping the interiors pleasantly cool. The incalculable number of rooms, 109 doors and antique furniture that’s beautifully preserved even to this day are incredible to witness. Moreover, the numerous ancient maps, and a mildewed piano along with carefully manicured grounds and stone servant cottages just add to the list of the house’s impressive features.
Location: Réduit, Moka
Known for: Being an iconic 19th century building with furnishings and architecture that throw you back in colonial times. Its scenic location is also one to admire.
How to reach: By road, through various modes of commutations
Operating Hours: 9am - 5pm Everyday
Approximate Cost: INR 700-800
Type: Notable Building
Of the many beautiful and ardent natural environs of the rugged Mauritian mountains, Black River Gorges National Park deserves a special mention. One of the many magnificent attractions in Mauritius, the park is filled with lovely rainforests that boast of many quaint hiking trails and picnic spots. It displays a wide array of both flora and fauna, with many rare species too such as the Mauritian flying fox that draws in huge crowds of tourists from the world over. Serving as the most important wildlife and rainforest conservatory of the country, it is the home to many endemic birds and animals. The park is not only an essential ecological system but is also a celebrated tourist destination of Mauritius which is heavily frequented by avid hikers. The 60 km long hiking trail winds along the forest area to end at delightful picnic spots.
Location: Southwestern Mauritius, at Plaines Champagne road
Known for: Beautiful trekking trails and diverse wildlife, especially the Flying Fox
How to reach: On foot or by car
Operatinghours: 9:30am- 1pm
Approximate Cost: INR 4,000-4,500
Tips: Carry your hiking shoes, mosquito repellent cream, sunscreen and an extra set of clothes
Type: Animal Sanctuary
The roots of any place can be explored through its museums, and Natural History Museum does the same for Mauritius. It showcases a collection of some veritably fascinating artifacts which includes many ancient maps of the island and amusing paintings of the original fauna of the county- including that of a dodo. Along with these, you can also spot here the preserved bones of certain extinct birds, a curio of an engraving depicting some Dutchmen riding the back of an enormous tortoise and some salvaged objects- cannons, wine bottles etc. dating back to the Battle of Vieux Grand Port from 1810.
Known for: Artefacts including preserved bones of dodo, red rail and Rodrigues solitaire, and many ancient objects and engravings
How to reach: Through numerous modes of road transportation
Operating hours: 9am-4pm Mon-Fri and 9am-12pm Sat
Approximate Cost: Free
Although famous among tourists as a great shopping destination in Mauritius, the capital city of Port Louis is also a trove amassing several cultural attractions in Mauritius. Located here is The Blue Penny Museum which is the home to the first ever colonial stamp across the globe. Also, The Natural History Museum in the city lets you get a glimpse of the preserved skeleton of the extinct dodo bird. Port Louis is also the place to get a taste of the multi-culture and faiths of Mauritius through a visit to its many Indian or Chinese temples, churches and mosques. You can also experience the life here by going for a leisurely afternoon stroll with the residents or expats of the area. Take a walk uphill from the Signal Mountain which derived its name from the antennae located on the top, to witness the beauty of the city below during sunset.
Location: Central Mauritius
Known for: Its numerous shopping districts, museums and religious places
How to reach: Port Louis is located at a distance of 47 km from Mauritius airport and can be easily reached through various modes of road transport.
Type: Cultural Centre
Until about 20 years ago, Grand Baie, a quiet fishing village of Mauritius, is now a bustling tourist spot of the country. This lovely sheltered bay that is also given the sobriquet of ‘Le Trop,' appears happily bobbing up and down with the many big and small boats in its clear waters. The village has emerged as one of the most prominent tourism hubs of the nation and is famous for the many entertainment options and hot shopping districts, along with several unusual sightseeing spots, beaches, and excursions in the nearby areas and a kid friendly ‘Aquarium’ where you can enjoy feeding the fish and sizing a shark.
Apart from letting you enjoy rum tasting, the interactive museum of L’Aventure du Sucre located here will also allow you to learn the history of the island. Also, found only 275 m away from the institution, are the Pamplemousses Botanic Gardens which make for another refreshing visit. The garden which was built in the 18th century is famous for an enormous pond of Amazon lilies that are extraordinary to view.
Location: Northern Mauritius
Known for: Its immaculate beaches and shopping arcades
How to reach: Located 70 min away from Mauritius airport, you can reach it via bus or car and can explore it easily on foot.
A visit to the Isle aux Aigrettes or the Egret Island undeniably enters the list of the most interesting things to do in Mauritius. Believed to be the last resting place of the former avian inhabitant of the island, the dodo bird, this locale is a beautiful and tranquil site that one should veritably pay a visit. Formed by a small coral outcrop and bounded by the limpid ocean water, the island is the current home of gigantic Aldabra tortoises which can be seen doddering amicably under a dark canopy and the stunning pink pigeons that dwell in the semi-wild.
Location: Southeast coast of Mauritius
Known for: Being a nature reserve centre inhabiting Aldabra tortoises, along with its beautiful coral reef
How to reach: Via road
Operating hours: 9am-4:30pm everyday
Approximate Cost: INR 1,000- 2,000
Tips: Do not forget to bring enough drinking water, a hat, a camera and a comfortable pair of shoes
Loved by all, be it kids or adults, La Vanille Nature Park is a breeding park of its kind. Carved amidst lush foliage, you can experience the breath-taking event of holding a baby Aldabra tortoise or even a baby crocodile, iguana or a fruit bat! The insectarium and fossil museum located in the vicinity gives your kids a unique opportunity to play on the forest playground.
Known for: Giant Aldabra tortoises and nature shows including crocodile feeding
How to reach: Via road
Operating hours: 8:30am-5:00pm everyday
Approximate Cost: INR 900-1000
Chinese New Year is commemorated, with Port Louis being the focal point of the celebrations. People decorate the whole place beautifully with red lanterns, and one can enjoy the mesmerizing dance of the lion and dragon at the nighttime.
Holi is another Hindu festival that is fervently observed in Mauritius. The festival of colors and joy, Holi, is a much-awaited festival that everyone enjoys a lot, playing with colored powders, water and with music and dance all around.
It is an event that marks the beginning of fishing season. It is a prestigious festival for the Rodrigues' fisherfolk and opens up an excellent opportunity for joyous celebrations and lots of delicious food!
When: 1st week of March
Mauritius celebrates its Independence on 12th of March every year to mark their freedom from colonial rule and oppression and the foundation of their state on this day in 1968, as it is known today. Proud Mauritius citizens celebrate this day with the organization of parades and other patriotic events.
When: March 12
Another festival indigenous to Mauritius is Father Laval Day which is observed to pay homage to Jacques-Désiré Laval who arrived in Mauritius in 1841 as a healer and a missionary. On this day all Mauritians, irrespective of their faiths, head to his resting place in Sainte Croix in Port Louis to pay their respect.
When: September 9
Usually observed towards the end of September, Eid-Ul-Fitr is a Muslim festival that is celebrated with a lots of joy and vigour in Mauritius.
Diwali is a Hindu festival of lights which is celebrated with an ardent spirit in Mauritius. The Hindu population of the country lighten up their homes and surroundings with beautiful earthen lamps, electric lights and candles to mark the triumph of good over evil.
When: October or November
Mauritius is also known for its vibrant, engaging International Kreol Festival which is a four days long event that is celebrated every year since 2005. Commenced with the aim to celebrate Creole culture, it organizes many exuberant activities including traditional dances, music, and many exciting games, to end with a night of grand concert that's something to witness.
When: Early December
The Christians festival of Christmas celebrated every year on 25th of December is an occasion of much jubilation.
When: December 25
The trekking trail up to the Les 7 Cascades or the Sept Cascades is undeniably gorgeous yet challenging at the same time. The scenic beauty of the winding pathway depicting picture postcard perfect forests of South West Mauritius and leading to an even more bewitching sight of gushing waters of the seven consecutive waterfalls is ecstatic. Gifting you with one of the most memorable trekking experiences of your life, the route, offers some astonishing vistas. But at the same time, it also sneaks in some tough trekking parts. However, past the testing terrain lies the reward of picturesque waterfalls that come one after the other, quickly, gushing and in thick spurts. The pools formed at their feet are the ideal points to take a dip in its chilly but refreshing water.
Location: Sept Cascades forest area in Southwest Mauritius For: People above 12 years of age
Difficulty Level: Moderate to High
Approximate Cost: INR 2,000- 3,000
Tips: If it's your first time trekking here, make a note to bring along a guide with you to save yourself from getting lost in the woods.
Holidays in Mauritius are incomplete without a diving undersea with the cornucopia of vibrantly hued and varied fishes and corals surrounding you. It is a categorically breath-taking experience on its own, and a swim in the crystal clear waters of Mauritius doubles the fun and wonderment of the coup. While it is an added plus point to know how to swim to go ahead with scuba diving, it is still possible to indulge in the adventure activity with some basic training.
Location: Colorado and Roche Zozo at Blue Bay on the southern coast of Mauritius
For: Couples and Groups
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Approximate Cost: INR 6,000- 7,000
Tips: It is best to contact diving centers like that of Ocean Spirit Diving Centre or Tamarin Ocean Pro Diving for a safe and guided dive in the sea.
Among the most high-end things to do in Mauritius, is visiting Champ de Mars which is the oldest racecourse in all of the southern hemisphere. It is guaranteed to make your time memorable if not, through a serendipity of cheering for your favorite horse alongside a Mauritian socialite than for what's it worth- an exciting day out. Put your best dress on and set out on a Saturday to either watch the jockeys go on their sturdy horses or if you are up for it, then bet for a flutter on a promising horse.
Location: Champ de Mars Race Course in Port Louis
For: Family and senior citizens
Difficulty Level: Low
Approximate Cost: INR 200 for women and INR 600 (Prices change from season to season)
Tips: You do not need to be a fan of horse racing to enjoy here; the electrifying atmosphere mixed with a good supply of canapes and drinks will turn the moments worth cherishing forever.
Offering a unique and an unequivocally thrilling experience, tandem skydiving is an adventure sport you can indulge in for the ultimate adrenaline rush. The thrill of jumping out of a plane, combined with the panoramic view of Mauritius is inexplicable. The sight of the verdant forests, white shores and blue waters of the paradise island when hovering in the air, is a one to behold! It is undeniably going to stay etched in your mind for a lifetime.
Location: BelleVueMaurel in Rivière du Rempart District of the northern Mauritius
For: Group of friends
Difficulty Level: High
Approximate Cost: INR 20,000- 30,000
Tips: Make sure to get preliminary training from a reputed adventure sports center.
A graceful plantation house, St. Aubin dates back to 1819 when it used to be a surrounded by sugarcane plantations. Incipiently it sat adjacent to the factory, but it was later shifted in the 1970s. Though the estate doesn't produce sugar anymore, it is has a garden sprouting pretty anthurium flowers and vanilla pods, and a traditionaldistillery, producing Mauritian rum.
You can also learn about the mesmeric history of vanilla production and dine at the delightful table d’hote in the central manor house area. While the menu featuring fresh produce from the plantations is exceedingly moreish, the architecture, furnishings, and infrastructure of the dining room depicting the colonial era, makes for an appealing ambiance.
Location: St. Aubin at South coast of Mauritius
For: Family and couples
Difficulty Level: Low
Approximate Cost: INR 800- 1,200
Tips: Get a prior reservation. You can also stay for the night in one of the three bedrooms available on the plantation manse.
Blue Bay received the status of ‘Marine Park' as an attempt by the government to protect the lush underwater foliage and corals from the encroaching developments. Besides a decree barring the indulgence in any high-speed watercraft, the conservation plans are quite relenting with other water sports such as snorkeling. However, the local environmentalists believe that the bleaching of the corals is inexorable. This is the best spot in all of Mauritius for snorkeling.
Though Blue Bay Marine Park offers no official tours, you can easily explore most of its protected coral patches through snorkeling on your own. For those who hate to get their feet wet though, you can witness the underwater sea life through a boat with a glass bottom.
Location: Blue Bay Marine Park at southeast coast of Mauritius
Difficulty Level: Low
Approximate Cost: INR 1,000- 1,800 Tips: Wear comfortable light-weight swimwear. To get good pictures of yourself under sea, use an underwater camera.
Windsurfing in Mauritius’s Le Morne is both exciting as well as challenging. The challenge is on account of the control of the surfboard while standing on it and the regulation of its speed with regard to the direction and acceleration of the sails.
The waves at Le Morne offer the ideal spot for this thrilling adventure sport, which has made this region a favorite among water sports lovers. Before Le Morne, Tamarin Beach used to be the rage for surfing, but due to a substantial shift in the direction of the winds and waves, windsurfing too shifted its base. Windsurfing besides being a gratifying activity is also a superb workout since it can burn up to 1000 calories/hour approx. An excellent sport indeed, isn't it?
Location: LeMorne in Southwestern Mauritius
Difficulty Level: High
Tips: Before you begin, make sure you have learned to windsurf from an expert and have chosen a big surfboard for proper balance.
If an adventure sport is not your cup of tea, try spotting a dolphin instead. While it may not be as much of an adrenaline-pumping activity as a water sport, it is probably not any less, considering the thrill that it offers you. Besides, watching a dolphin with its charming antics, swimming alongside you is undoubtedly one of the most unforgettable moments one can experience in their life.
Location: Tamarin Coast
For: Family (Anyone above the age of 7 years)
Difficulty Level: Low
Approximate Cost: INR 5,000- 6,000
Tips: You will need a lot of patience and keen observation to spot a dolphin, however, the result is invaluable.
Standing opposite the marketplace of Mahebourg, Pyramide is one of the best places to indulge yourself with the lip-smacking street food of Mauritius. Mainly known for its aromatic and flavourful Biryani and spicy Kebabs, it is a quaint shop that's always bustling with people looking for a hearty fare for their mid-meals. While the biryani tastes heavenly, its kebabs are even better. These kebabs usually arrive in two forms- with or without a sprinkle of chili. However, no matter which of the two varieties you choose, each of them is sure to satisfy your palate for sure.
Must have: Kebabs
Approximate Cost for two: Rs. 100-200
Address: Rue de Labourdonnais, Mahébourg, Mauritius
Hours: 9.30am- 5pm Mon-Sat
Run by the French, Frenchie is among the most relaxed eateries on the paradise island. It serves its customers delicious carpaccios, quick bites, snacks and much more reasonably priced main meals that are all equally enjoyable. They serve breakfast too, but it is the Sunday brunch served between 11 am to 4 pm that steals the show. The food served in the brunch is outstanding with high demand from its usual as well new customers. The joint also has a modish cocktail bar serving good liquor. They also organize DJ nights on Saturdays, setting the perfect tune for the weekend.
Must have: Beef fillet and chocolatcoulant
Cost for two: Mains Rs. 350-500, Brunch per person Rs. 600-800
Address: Tamarin & Rivière Noire
Hours: 8 am - midnight
Lambic is a well-known restaurant in Port Louis, located in the heart of the city. Set in a beautifully refurbished home dating back to the colonial times, Lambic is perhaps every beer buff's dreamland. With tons of beers continually flowing in, both local and imported, including a particularly impressive selection of fine Belgium ones, the place is adored by tourists and locals alike for a good time. The food served here is the usual fish and meat-based dishes, except for specific local fare like Creole wild hare. The waiters are proficient in the art of matching your food with the right kind of beer. The ambiance is too set to win you over with its aged wooden beams, dark timber bar, glass-enclosed pantries that show hundreds of imported liquor behind its walls.
Must have: Flying Dodo beer and calamari
Cost for two: Rs. 600-1400
Address: 4 St Georges St, Port Louis, Mauritius
Hours: 8am-10pm Mon-Thu, 8am-post midnight Fri, 11am-10pm Sat
Placed in a high regard even among the locals, travelers on the lookout for some authentic Mauritian home-style food profoundly frequent Domainé. The food is delicious, and the prices are incredibly low. Those dishes that are marked as local specialties on the menu are the ones that are a must to try. These necessarily include chili lamb and OuriteSafrané (octopus cooked with turmeric, ginger, and garlic).
The place may be hard to find, and therefore a taxi or a private vehicle is recommended. Located in a pretty village, The Vale, it is like a maze of winding narrow roads that lead to the joint making it quite a challenge to keep those hunger pangs in check. However, reaching Domainé, in the end, will surely pay off.
Must have: Octopus and Lamb
Cost for two: Rs. 200-400
Address: Narainen St, Grand Baie, Mauritius
Hours: 4-11pm Mon, 11am-11pm Tue-Sun
This captivating dining area is situated within an old mill that is renovated to form Victoria 1840, a strange yet delightful art gallery. Canvasses portraying broad and carefree brushstroke that look downright stunning against the cracked and battered brick walls embellish the walls of this gallery space. Setting the mood supremely with its oddly charming ambiance, the food too ideally complements the surrounding with its luscious palate. It beautifully combines the traditional flavors of the island with modern contemporary foods that resonates well with the old-meets-new environs. You can also have your lunch reserved for two or more diners, with at least 24 hours' notice.
Must have: Duck, Braised Palm Heart and Crème Brûlée
Cost: Set menu Rs. 3000-4000
Address: Victoria Rd, Troud'EauDouce, Mauritius
Hours: 7-10:30pm Mon-Sat
Keeping up with a sublime emerging trend that Mauritius and Rodrigues have seen lately, Chez Robert etSolange is an open-air kitchen of the local fisherfolk. What makes it so different and exciting is that here you can dine under the open sky and enjoying
sea breeze hitting your face as you dig into the fresh seafood cooked right in front of you. The fisherfolk expertly prepare their freshly caught sea fare in the traditional Mauritian gourmet style. This place is one of the finest in Rodrigues that is set about 100 m away from the beach among a copse of tropical trees. If you want to splurge a little on lobster, Chez Robert etSolange is the right place, with approx. Rs 1500 for a kg of the good stuff.
Must have: Lobster and prawn skewers, and papaya salad
Cost for two: Rs. 300-1000
Address: Rodrigues Island, Mauritius
Hours: 8am-3pm Tue-Sun
Les EnfantsTerribles which translates into ‘Little Terrors' is one nightclub that can be considered as the elixir of life once the sun goes down. It has a lively dance floor that will make you footloose, even if you have never danced in your life before. With a chic lounge and a VIP portion that keeps flowing with ceaseless champagne, it is the place to be when in Mauritius.
Must try: Champagne
Operating Hours: 7pm-3am Fri and Sat
Location: Grand Baie, Mauritius
It is one place that lets you just be yourself with no defined dress or code of conduct and a chilled out casual aura about it. Just enjoy chilled glasses of beer, and make the most of your night.
Must try: Bouillon Crabes with Whiskey
Operating Hours: 6pm - 1:30am
Location: QuatreBornes, Mauritius
Kenzi Bar is the hippest place to groove the night away. With wooden furniture, cabana-style décor and warm ambiance, you are sure to get the sweetest experience of hippie culture. The smooth music, light finger food and sand floor apart from the open and amiable crowd, adds to the gala time you have here.
Operating Hours: 24*7 hours
Location: Avenue Petit Marie, Flic enFlac
It’s your typically energetic and lovable nightclub with flickering neon lights, flamboyant interiors and bouncy music playing round the clock. With a good Phoenix beer in hand, plates full of scrumptious food, and 4 nights in a week of DJ nights, BBC is one of the smoothest nightclubs in Mauritius to check out.
Must try: Phoenix beer and cocktails
Operating Hours: 10am – past midnight Mon-Sat. 6pm-2am Sun
Location: Grand Baie, North Mauritius
Both Le Grand Casino De Domaine Les Pailescasinoin Mauritius is one of the best casinos there are that offer ceaseless opportunities for you to gamble and enjoy your night. You can play numerous gambling games including roulette, blackjack and many more.
Operating Hours: 8am-4pm Mon-Sat. 2pm-4am Sun
Location: Pailles, Mauritius
Bagatelle is one of the finest destinations in Mauritius for luxury shopping. With over 130 stores featuring high-end brands, it is every shopper’s paradise.
Known for: Its events and hypermarkets organized over weekends and on public holidays.
Bargaining Skills: Not required
From lovely handicrafts to lighting products and apparels, Arsenal has got everything for the avid shopper. One of the choicest places to shop for cashmere products, it is also the place featuring many factory outlets of well-known brands.
Location: Pamplemousses District
Known for: Its various cashmere products
Bargaining skills: Need to be excellent
A popular shopping and entertainment destination in Mauritius, Centre Commercial Phoenix houses more than 100 stores of luxury brands and several well-known dining options.
Location: Vacoas Phoenix
Known for: Being a one stop destination for shopping, dining and entertainment
Bargaining Skills: Not required
Flic EnFlac is a superb destination to get the local flavour, as far as shopping is concerned through local Mauritian brands and many others.
Location: West Coast of Mauritius
Known for: Souvenirs crafted with seashells and picture postcards
Bargaining skills: Need to be excellent
As the name suggests, it is a popular market in Mauritius famous for its superb handicrafts. You can buy beautiful glass artefacts, exotic oils and herbs here.
Location: Caudan Waterfront
Known for: Intricate cane home décor items
Bargaining skills: Need to be excellent