Bouncing around in the ‘Twitter sphere’ to check up on what’s being said about my delightful island of Mauritius, I noticed various comments from people planning holidays and honeymoons within the next few months. Most were simply brimming with excitement in anticipation of the visit, while others expressed their light-hearted jealousy of family and friends that had booked their trip of a lifetime . . . who could blame them?
However, a few had reached out in curiosity, hoping to learn about what Mauritius had in store other than the amazing beaches and delectable food. We’ve covered many topics in this blog including some that extol the cuisine of Mauritius, highlight the island’s rich history and even what to expect in terms of daylight hours throughout the year. What hasn’t been discussed is that which Mauritius has to offer visitors who enjoy leaving the sandy shores behind for a more adventurous or educational holiday. So, for all those looking to spice up their holiday to Mauritius with a few more outdoor photo opportunities as well as in their choice of dishes, here’s a rundown of a few of the island’s attractions.
If the island’s history tickles your fancy, then mosey on down to Mahébourg, located in the southeast, where you can glimpse the bell recovered from the shipwreck of Le San Geran that inspired the Mauritian romantic legend of Paul and Virginie, along with exhibits from Dutch, French and British colonial periods. Mahébourg itself is worth a visit to breathe in the sense of conflict over the island as you gaze out across the bay of Grand Port, where the famous naval battle of 1810 was fought.
Blue Bay is also found to the southeast of Mauritius and is the island’s only marine park. This is an ideal spot to snorkel or enjoy a glass bottom boat tour to view colourful fish and coral.
Of course, the famed flightless Dodo is no longer with us, but the pink pigeon still clings to existence; natural history enthusiasts would be remiss not to visit Casela Bird Park to see one of the world’s rarest birds. The park also houses more than 140 bird varieties, from five continents.
Undoubtedly, the wondrous coloured earths of Chamarel is a must see for visitors to Mauritius. This geological phenomenon was formed by volcanic activity and the subsequent cooling of rock layers at varied speed. A visit to the eponymous waterfall makes this journey a full and worthwhile daytrip.
With an abundance of walking and hiking trails, such as the two-hour ascent of Le Pouce – the thumb in English – or the Hindu pilgrimage route to Grand Bassin, you might be forgiven for wanting to open the throttle on your adventure by quad-biking or taking a jeep up the Moka mountains to the breath-taking nature park of Domaine Les Pailles. Drop in to the rum distillery and sample some of the island’s home-brewed tipples that are distilled from sugar taken from the nearby mill.
Be assured that these are only a select few attractions, with many, many more for you to pack in to your Mauritius vacation.
Bye for now