When I had the chance to visit Mauritius, I fell in love instantly ! If Marc Twain said that God first created Mauritius, then paradise, he was not wrong ! The 2000 km² of the Indian Ocean island are just heavenly beaches, incredible cliffs, green nature and people with a big heart. If the official language of the island is English, it seems that everyone speaks French here. When I spent two weeks in Mauritius, I fled the big luxury hotels. I decided to visit Mauritius with my backpack, staying in Airbnbs all over the island. If you hesitate to visit Mauritius, discover the six reasons that should convince you to go.
6 Reasons to visit Mauritius
The incredible beaches of Mauritus
Going to Mauritius is above all preparing yourself to spend hours on sandy beaches. All around the island, there are heavenly places. The beaches are huge, covered by white sand bordered by turquoise and calm water. The coral reef protects the island from the waves and you can enjoy calm water for swimming or snorkeling. Only the south of the island escapes the rule because there is no more barrier reef : huge waves crash on the beaches there. The most beautiful beach for me, is the beach of Trou d’Eau Douce on the east of the island. Mass tourism has not arrived so far and there is a beautiful deserted beach. This is also where you can start a cruise to Cerf Island. this uninhabited island also offers breathtaking beaches !
My top 6 of the most beautiful beaches on the island :
- Trou d’Eau Douce beach – east of the island
- Cerf Island – east of the island
- Pereybere – north of the island
- Gris Gris Beach – south of the island
- Tamarin Beach – west of the island
- Flic-en-Flac – west of the island
The Mauritius food
When I discover a new destination, I love discovering local cuisine. Mauritian food is one of the most diverse in the world with influences from Africa, India, China and Europe. Among my favorite specialties, come first the Samosas that you can eat at any time. Whether it’s at the restaurant as a starter or on the beach from a truck, it’s a real treat. My favorite were cheese samosas ! I also had the opportunity to try many curry dishes. The specialty of the Island is “Kari Poul” : a Mauritian chicken marinated in curry. As a vegetarian, I succumbed to a vegetarian curry!
The history of Mauritius
Nowadays, Mauritius is an example of cultural diversity where Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and Christians live together. However, the island had no easy past since slavery was abolished only in 1835. You can discover the history of Mauritius everywhere by traveling through the island. If you visit a sugar cane plantation, the Fort Adelaide built by the English or if you walk around the streets of Port Louis, you will learn more about the past of the Island. For me, the most symbolic place was the mountain Morne Brabant. Today recognized as UNESCO World Heritage, this mountain is the symbol of the suffering of slaves and the fight for freedom. The legend says that a group of slaves committed a collective suicide from the top of the cliff to show their resistance.
One of my favorite hobbies is searching waterfalls. Mauritius has not escaped the rule! If you enter into the island you will find incredible waterfalls! The most famous is Chamarel waterfall which, unfortunately, you can observe only from a distance. Besides that, you can admire the Earth of 7 Colors. If you want to swim or jump from the waterfall, the Rochester Falls in the south of the island will make you happy. My favorite goes to Tamarin waterfalls and the famous hike of the 7 waterfalls. To access these seven waterfalls, you need a guide, good walking shoes, endurance and don’t feel dizzy. I loved doing this hike where you start from the top of the gorge to descend along the seven waterfalls, all more beautiful than the others!
The rum of Mauritius
Mauritius is famous all over the world for its quality rum. This is not a surprise when you know that sugar cane plantations occupy 90% of cultivable land. The visit of one of them seems to be a must for a trip to Mauritius. If you are like me and you are not fan of pure rum, you can enjoy it inside a Mojito. God knows I’ve tested mojitos from all over the world, but I’ve never had one as good as those in Mauritius! My favorite : the mojito from Gina Restaurant in Trou d’Eau Douce !
Magical coral reefs
If you come to Mauritius for its heavenly beaches, it would be a shame not to explore underwater as well. As I said, Mauritius is surrounded by coral reefs. It is therefore more than 50 dive sites that you will find around the island. Personally, I have never tried diving. With a mask and a snorkel, you will be equipped enough to discover a multicolored and thrilling underwater world. You will have the opportunity to discover beautiful corals, multicolored fish, sea turtles and even swim with dolphins around the island.
What I did not like in Mauritius
Okay, let’s try to find some negative points to this little piece of paradise on earth!
- Mauritius is a romantic destination : is that a negative point ? For couples, not at all. I went to Mauritius with a friend and our backpacks, with the idea of meeting many people. However, we quickly realized that people come here in couples or families. It makes things really difficult to meet people. Fortunately, we met many locals, who showed us the island or invited to musical parties on the beach.
- Not everyone is nice : whether it is to rip you off, offer you attractions at higher rates than they are in reality or even steal you, all Mauritians are not well intentioned. If you travel with a bit of common sense, those problems are quickly dismissed. Avoid walking alone at night, especially if you are a girl, compare prices before booking any trip and do not walk the streets with your brand new smartphone in your hands.
- Mauritius is small : to be totally honest, two weeks were more than enough to visit Mauritius. One week is enough for you to enjoy the beaches and discover the most of the island. If I have any advice to give you, it is to combine a trip to Mauritius with a trip to the Reunion Island. Flights are really cheap and shorts between the two islands.