For as long as we can remember, Mauritius has been synonymous with honeymoons spent lazing on ethereal beaches with powdery white sands and warm azure waters. While it does have some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world, there is no dearth of offbeat things to do in Mauritius – it isn’t called Paradise Island for nothing! Even though we had to tear ourselves away from our lovely honeymoon suite, we are glad we did. Hopefully this article will give you a peek into an oft-ignored, yet gorgeous side of Mauritius.
Without further ado, here’s our list of 10 Things To Do In Mauritius :-
1) TRY THE STREET FOOD
Mauritian Street Food is amongst the best in the world – there, we said it! A unique mix of Creole, African, Indian, and Chinese influences, the dishes offer bursts of intricate flavours. Spices, colours, and flavours come together to form a scrumptious (yet little known!) cuisine. Where else would you find a French bouillon laced with Indian spices?
Since we’re such foodies, we have a whole article dedicated to the Street Food of Mauritius (Opens in a new tab). Don’t read it when you’re hungry :-). Once you have had your fair share of street food in Mauritius, you must have a meal at Chez Tino in Trou d’ Eau Douce (Opens in a new tab).
2) HIRE A CAR AND DRIVE AROUND
Renting a car isn’t a very popular option in Mauritius. Most tourists prefer to move around in cabs driven by local drivers. However we would suggest renting a car if you’re even a tad bit adventurous. There is some serious fun to be had. Nothing compares to discovering a secret beach or stumbling upon an amazing restaurant does it?
Just a word of caution – don’t rely solely on your GPS in Mauritius (unless you want to end up in a sugarcane field with a stray rabbit for company!). Ask for directions – English is widely understood and spoken and Mauritians are used to giving directions to tourists.
Try renting a car with a local Mauritian company to save money. We rented a car with Pingouin Car Rental at extremely competitive rates. You can rent an economy car for as little as £25/day (includes GPS) and received impeccable service.
Once behind the wheel, explore the hidden villages and beaches of Mauritius. Make sure you drive along Mauritius’ Southern coast – it’s right up there with the best the island has to offer. Think black rocks, rugged panoramas, crashing waves, windy surfing beaches, and stunning Mauritian countryside.
We promise you, you won’t forget the feeling of wind hitting your face as you drive through winding roads to reach the southernmost tip of the island at Gris Gris.
3) VISIT TEA PLANTATIONS
Imagine being the only people on a winding road – a road surrounded by tea plantations and enveloped with fog.
As you drive on the mist-laden road, you see tea-pickers at work, rhythmically plucking leaves from bushes. The mise-en-scene at Bois Cheri Tea Plantations is indeed magical.
If you’re a tea enthusiast you could take a guided tour through the tea plantation. Make sure you dine at their terrace restaurant – it offers stunning panoramic views of inland Mauritius and an extensive variety of teas on the menu.
4) WALK THROUGH SUGARCANE FIELDS IN INLAND MAURITIUS
Vast expanses of sugarcane fields are amongst the first things one notices about the island. They seem to go on miles and offer a stunning backdrop to drives on the island. Sugarcane has a long history in Mauritius. It was introduced to the country by Dutch colonizers, popularised by the French, and developed by the British as the primary crop in Mauritius during the nineteenth century.
Make sure you wander through a few sugarcane fields while you are in Mauritius. It is easy to get lost in the narrow passageways of sugarcane fields, with hundreds of swaying sugarcane plants for company. Better still, visit L’Aventure Du Sucre – a sugar museum with its own sugarcane fields. It provides a comprehensive overview of the history of sugarcane and its importance for the island. It is possible to sample a variety of sugars here.
While you’re at it, don’t leave Mauritius without trying a glass of fresh sugarcane juice – nectar, it is that!!
5) TALK TO THE PEOPLE
The highlight of any trip to Mauritius is the people. They are warm, cheerful, welcoming, and very very helpful.
We were there for a week and we lost count of the number of times random strangers helped us with directions (did we tell you never to rely on GPS in Mauritius, unless you are driving on main motorways? ), explained the significance of a particular ritual to us or welcomed us to their country.
Random examples of generosity include free tapas at restaurants and a coconut seller who refused to accept money from us on finding out it was our first trip to Mauritius. There were huge smiles everywhere we went – that’s Mauritius 🙂
6) EXPLORE CHAMAREL
This little known village in South Mauritius holds many surprises.
The Coloured Earth, which is a geological oddity of sorts, is first on the list. Purples, yellows, oranges, and reds coalesce to form an uneven volcanic surface. You can stare dumbstruck at the wonders of nature or make friends with a giant tortoise – the choice is yours 🙂
The drive to Chamarel is punctuated by a number of waterfalls and gorges. Make sure you stop and walk to the viewpoints for rugged panoramas of the mountainous areas of Mauritius.
7) EXPLORE THE BEACHES
It would be unfair to leave Mauritius’ beaches out of this list wouldn’t it? The country boasts of some of the finest beaches in the world – they’re stupidly gorgeous. Seriously, nothing should be allowed to be that pretty.
Some of our favourites include the Belle Mare Beach, the hidden La Cuvette beach in the north, and the rugged beaches of the South, especially Le Morne. If you love kite-surfing, Le Morne is the place for you.
Go on – grab a margarita and a book and allow yourself to be one helluva lazy beach bum – we won’t judge you 🙂
8) RELISH MAURITIAN RUM
While there is no shortage of things to do in Mauritius, your visit is incomplete without having tasted (or shall we say relished 😉 ) the variety of rums on offer.
Jamaica might be known for producing the best rum in the world, but Mauritius isn’t far behind. It is a secret rum paradise. It has expansive sugarcane fields with rum being produced on site, delightful distilleries, and an amazing variety of rum on offer.
We sampled white rums, perfect for cocktails, and premium rums, matured in oak barrels for years.The rich caramel shades of the latter had us swooning for more 🙂
Make sure you read about our visit to Rhumerie De Chamarel (Opens in a new tab).
9) TRY UNIQUE WATER SPORTS
The expansive coast-line of the island means Mauritius offers a variety of water sports and activities including snorkelling, deep-sea diving, deep-sea fishing, parasailing, and scuba diving. But it also offers visitors a chance to experience some rather unique experiences – an Undersea Walk. Here one is suspended metres below the sea with a giant visor to provide a continuous supply of oxygen. It’s scary at first but soon you start walking around on the ocean bed, making friends with colourful fish and miscellaneous sea creatures.
If this description does not tempt you, you will surely be convinced by the video and pictures in the article about our undersea walk experience (Opens in a new tab) 🙂
10) ABSORB THE CULTURE
Mauritius is an endlessly fascinating blend of varied cultures. This rich diversity manifests itself in traditions and languages.English might be the official language but Creole, Hindi, French, and Bhojpuri are widely spoken in the country. Similarly you will find churches, mosques, temples, and Chinese pagodas scattered around the island.
Make sure you explore intricately carved Mauritian temples, educate yourself about colourful Mauritian folklore and festivals, and participate in the energetic Sega dance. Immerse yourself in the culture of the island and you are bound to fall in love with it 🙂
That’s it! We hope you enjoyed our list of things to do in Mauritius. Mauritius has so much to offer that it’s difficult to sum it up in one post.
Getting There – Air Mauritius offers direct flights from London to Mauritius and prices start at £800. The flight was comfortable and the staff was extremely attentive. We loved the food and the new-generation flat seats in their business class cabin.
FURTHER READING AND ACCOMMODATION
- Don’t forget to read our Guide to the Street Food of Mauritius for some seriously scrumptious eats
- For more information, have a look at all our experiences in Mauritius.
- Looking for a gorgeous place to stay? We stayed at the amazing Lux* Belle Mare. You can book here.
- Need help packing? Check out our guide to Packing for Mauritius
If you have any questions, drop us an email or ask them in the comments section below 🙂
We were guests of Air Mauritius and Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) in Mauritius. We are two extremely opinionated ninjas – so all views (good and bad) are entirely our own. Click on to read our full Disclosure Policy