Ohhh Mauritius... Its pristine beaches, lush jungle, mix of cultures, exotic wildlife, scenic roads and green mountains. Its natural beauty. Its relaxed atmosphere. There are couuuntless reasons to fall for this jewel of the Indian Ocean. Let me share a few.
The planet is so wide and beautiful, sometimes it can be tricky to chose 'WHERE TO NEXT?'. The list of dream destinations is long, and to be honest, Mauritius was never on it. Until G discovered a new thrill: kitesurfing. Then came his list of best kitesurfing spots in the world, with Mauritius on top. That's when I've started to document myself and read a bit about the place -to discover this island is much more than a honeymoon destination. Yes, there is kitesurfing, but not only!
Our road trip in Mauritius has led us from surprise to surprise during twelve beautiful days. And even though we've explored a large part of the island, we feel like there is still plenty to discover, and would definitely be in for another trip...
10 THINGS THAT WILL MAKE YOU PACK & GO TRAVELING IN MAURITIUS... right now!
01 | The nature
Most people think Mauritius is all about beaches -like I did, first-, but the countryside actually holds a stunning nature. Prepare to gaze in awe with the breakneck waterfalls, the tropical jungle and the exotic flowers. The mountains offer numerous trail running and hiking opportunities -if you're a runner, you should check out the Dodo trail!-. However, keep in mind that the island is green for a reason, so pack some good hiking shoes and get ready to walk in the mud. Do NOT go with your flip-flops, even for a small hike -yes, G did that. and finished the Black River Peak hike barefoot... in 15 cm of mud.
02 | THE beaches
It is no legend: Mauritius holds some of the most beautiful beaches on Earth. The island is surrounded by a coral reef, which creates stunning colorful lagoons all around it. Early morning, when the beaches are deserted and the water is flat, it's perfect for a stand-up paddle session. [you can rent your boards in The Bay in Rivière Noire, then enjoy a scrumptious breakfast on the beach]
03 | The food
You know how important the food is when we travel -it's part of the culture! Well, in Mauritius, we've been reeeally serious about discovering the culture! There's no point being reasonable when it's that GOOD! Most of the restaurant we've tried, from cheap locals to fancies on the beach, were great surprises.The grilled fish is probably one of the best I've had so far (La Case du Pêcheur, Grand Sable). Shrimps with butter and lemon excellent (Chez Tino, Trou d'eau Douce). Bananes flambées, delicious everywhere...
04 | the kitesurf
The wind is steady from May to November, with the most beautiful spots and, if you go on the East Coast at the end of the season, you can have them all for yourself! If the legendary kitesurf spot in Mauritius is with no doubt Le Morne, G also enjoyed Pointe d'Esny and Poste Lafayette -and as I said, we still have a lot to explore! [if you don't kitesurf but your travel partner does, I would recommend to go in Mauritius in October/November, when the wind is still good and the weather hot and sunny.]
05 | The wildlife
Once the home of the flightless Dodo bird, now extinct, this tropical island in still holds and incredible wildlife. Whales and dolphins, endemic spices of birds, colorful fishes and giant turtles, it's a paradise for animal lovers! If you're a photographer, don't forget your telephoto, you will have the opportunity to capture some stunning images.
06 | The culture
The culture of Mauritius involves the blending of several cultures from its history: Creole, Hindu, Muslim, Chinese... which creates a beautiful atmosphere. You can visit many authentic creole houses on the island. We spent a pleasant afternoon in La Maison Eureka (Moka), visiting the house, the garden and hiking down to the waterfalls. I would also recommend a visit to Le Domaine Saint Aubin, where you can learn about Mauritius history, the fabrication of canne sugar, vanilla, rhum... And taste different local rhums!
07 | The thrill in the sky
It's not the cheapest place to skydive. But it's probably one of the most beautiful in the world! We finally jumped from an airplane together with G! The experience was nothing comparable with my first jump in Australia (East Coast). With Skydive Mauritius, you just feel like you're here to have a good time with a bunch of friends. In the plane, it was only the 4 of us -both of us in tandem- + the pilot. The flight is sensational. The views on the island spectacular! Then comes the jump. I have no words to describe the sensations. All I can say is: DO IT!
08 | The roads
Mauritius is a road trip destination! Rent a car and travel around -discover the itinerary of our 12 days road trip in Mauritius. All the roads are breathtaking, either you're driving on the coast or in the mountains. And if there were only one to take, it would be Route de Plaine Champagne, from Chamarel to Case Noyale. Don't forget your camera. Get lost. And enjoy the journey!
09 | The people
In Mauritius, you can make friends everyday. People know how to enjoy the simple pleasures of life here -it's the real island life! We met lots of awesome people, kitesurfers, hikers, photographers, cook, artists... Mauritius is all about mix of influences! + One thing we enjoyed after 4 years traveling almost exclusively in Asia was the language: people speak English, Creole... and French! :)
10 | THE sunset cocktails on the beach
Stop looking for the best Piña Colada in the world, I'm pretty sure I found it! It's hidden in The Bay beach bar (Rivière Noire). Go late in the afternoon on a Friday or Saturday, to enjoy a sunset with live music. Some of our best memories in Mauritius!