7 sensational things you must see and do in Mauritius

From century-old tea plantations to sugar-white sand beaches and colonial cities, these are the best things to do on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius...

7 mins

1. Discover the capital, Port Louis

Port Louis (Dreamstime)

Port Louis (Dreamstime)

The island’s capital of ‘Por Loowee’ is a hotchpotch of colonial architecture, and the Natural History Museum is even home to a dodo skeleton. 

Other attractions include the artistic Blue Penny Museum and Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, home to 60 acres of exotic plant life, including giant water lilies.

For a complete, picture-worthy view of the capital, climb up to the Citadel. It's a 19th century military fortress, but is also well-known for its panoramic views of the buildings and lush green trees in the city below.

2. Explore the town of Mahébourg

Mahébourg's picturesque waterfront (Dreamstime)

Mahébourg's picturesque waterfront (Dreamstime)

Sip on a fresh coconut as you stroll the waterfront of this quaint village, where the Dutch first landed in 1598 and the Battle of Grand Port took place.

Mahébourg Museum captures the village's past if you're keen to learn more, and the Bazarre (shopping stalls) is perfec tway to embrace the locals' present. Finally, embrace preservation of the future: Île aux Aigrettes is an islet-turned-nature reserve, which promotes ecotourism.

3. Soak up the sun on Île aux Cerfs

Île aux Cerfs (Dreamstime)

Île aux Cerfs (Dreamstime)

It's a given that you'll be able to find dreamy beaches all over Mauritius. It's almost impossible to choose where to lay your sun hat for a few hours.

Famed for its sugar-white beaches and blue lagoon, this idyllic island goes beyond beauty and offers all manner of watersports and good snorkelling. An ideal day trip.

4. Trek through Black River Gorges National Park

A view over the vast and verdant Black River Gorges National Park (Dreamstime)

A view over the vast and verdant Black River Gorges National Park (Dreamstime)

A swathe of lush forest home to endemic birds and 60km of hiking trails, as well as a smaller version of Peru’s Rainbow Mountain – La Vallee Des Couleurs Nature Park.

It's a geological swathe of iron and aluminium deposits near to Chamarel that creates a photographic swirl of violets, blues, yellows and greens.

Also make time for scenic hikes along the lush, green mountain range (Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire is the highest point, and plan for a visit to Alexandra Falls.

5. Admire Château de Labourdonnais 

Château de Labourdonnais  (domainedelabourdonnais.com)

Château de Labourdonnais (domainedelabourdonnais.com)

A lovingly restored teak plantation house dating from 1856, that was restored between 2006 to 2010 to convert into a museum, documenting Mauritian life in the 19th century. 

The grand house has exceptional rooms to peruse, orchard gardens filled with tropical fruits surrounding the property, as well as its very own boutique rum distillery.

6. Hike the historic Le Morne Brabant

Le Morne Brabant (Dreamstime)

Le Morne Brabant (Dreamstime)

Le Morne Brabant is a peninsula located on the southwestern tip of Mauritius, home to a UNESCO-listed basalt monolith with a sad slavery-related history.

The monolith stands tall at 556m above the sea level, and underneath it are many caves you may be able to explore. Expect excellent hiking opportunities along the beach, too.

7. Visit Bois Chéri Tea Plantation

Bois Chéri Tea Plantation (Dreamstime)

Bois Chéri Tea Plantation (Dreamstime)

In the Mauritian village of Bois Chéri, in the south of the country, you'll find the oldest tea plantation on the island. 

Bois Chéri Tea Plantation dates back to 1892, and is 250 hectacres of factory. Visit in the cooler morning hours and then dive into the tea tasting and museum.

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