Located 2000 miles off the southeast coast of Africa, Mauritius is known as a honeymoon destination... but not only. It also happens to be one of the top kitesurfing destinations in the world. With these two qualities combined, we couldn't help but book our tickets for a (very, very) scenic road trip in Mauritius.
The main part of Mauritius island is surrounded by an outer reef, which creates magnificent lagoons -and a safety net for water sport enthusiasts who have a fear of sharks! If you can easily travel by bus, I would highly recommend to rent a car, as the roads are so stunning you will need to stop pretty much every two miles or so.
Whether you are into culture, nature, adventure or luxury, the island will not disappoint. Although don't forget to choose your timing wisely -we are not in Asia here, there are seasons! And, from my experience, September was still a little bit cold -but you know, since I live in Hong Kong, 20°C means winter to me so it really depends on your habits. Now, let me tell you about our 12 days road trip itinerary in Mauritius...
Itinerary of a 12 days road trip in Mauritius
Mauritius is an Indian Ocean jewel: fabulous nature, extraordinary wildlife, dazzling beaches, wonderful people and incredible food.
Poste Lafayette - Enjoy the beaches and the views all the way to gorgeous Belle Mare.
Bambous Virieux - Don't miss the seafood in La Case du Pêcheur -the chef manages to strike a brillant balance between flavorful and spicy.
Mahebourg - Take a walk on the waterfront, have dinner at La Vielle Rouge and get the house speciality -a delicious curry fish with peanuts.
Point d'Esny - Enjoy the sun and/or the wind -great kitesurfing spot!- on this beautiful beach.
Domaine St Aubin - Immerse yourself in the local culture with this combination of sugar factory, vanilla culture, farm and rum distillery.
Gris Gris - Enjoy the dramatic views + and some excellent (and cheap) crayfish at Chez Rosy.
Le Morne - A UNESCO World Heritage Site, a grandiose mountain and a dream kitesurfing spot.
Chamarel - Take the scenic road La Plaine Champagne to get there then discover the seven colored layers of sand, from yellow to purple.
Rivière Noire - Get a SUP session or a perfectly-made Piña Colada by the sunset at The Bay.
Tamarin - Visit Mauritius' oldest salt marshes, the Salines de Yémen. Go early morning.
Moka - Have lunch at the authentic Eureka creole house and hike down to the waterfalls for a swim.
Pamplemousses - Explore the famous botanic garden and admire its giant waterlilies.
ITINERARY OF AN IDYLLIC ROAD TRIP IN MAURITIUS
Most tourists stay only on the north coast of the island: it's more tourist-friendly and luxurious, usually the temperatures are higher, and there's less wind. Which means during low season, the rest of the island is really, really, reaaally quiet.
The East coast : from Poste Lafayette to Pointe d'Esny
Our road trip in Mauritius starts on the East Coast. As the distances aren't very long, we've based ourselves in Vieux Grand Port, high in the hill with a beautiful view of the Valley de Ferney.
Every day, we drive to a new destination. The roads are beautiful, and the villages local -neither tourists nor expats here! It's the most authentic part of Mauritius, were you can immerse yourself in the culture. The Pointe d'Esny and Blue Bay are lovely, you just can't miss these two beaches. And while you're there, you should definitely grab a (creole) bite at Chez Maryse. If you like hiking, you'll be happy, as there are plenty of hiking trails in Mauritius.
The East Coast is a must do if you want to avoid the crowds and discover the local life. The best is to start here then head to...
The South West : from Gris gris to tamarin
We took a day to drive from Vieux Grand Port to Rivière Noire, enjoying every details of the scenery.
First stop: the Domaine St Aubin. There are a lot of authentic creole houses to visit in Mauritius, Domaine St Aubin has the advantage of having it all: sugar factory, spice garden, mini farm, vanilla culture, mini museum, restaurant and the last but not least, a rum distillery. We spent 3 hours exploring around, finishing by an awesome rum tasting. Then it was time to hit the road again! Twenty minutes later, we were sitting in Gris Gris at Chez Rosy with the most fabulous crayfish in our plates. Cheap and delicious, a must-stop in South Mauritius! Then the insanely beautiful road follows the coast all the way to Le Morne. - Don't forget to stop at Macondé for a nice shot of the road.
For the second part of our road trip in Mauritius, we based ourselves in Rivière Noire, precisely in The Bay Hotel -that place where you can get Piña Colada to-die-for with sunset view + live concert on Friday and Saturday night. It was a perfect situation, from which we could drive around Le Morne, Chamarel and Tamarin pretty easily.
The Eureka house up north is really worth it if you have time. Oh and the road from Chamarel to Case Noyal. Breath taking.
- I won't mention Port Louis, the capital city, even though we did visit it. In my opinion, it doesn't worth a stop, it was not interesting, mostly busy, dirty and stressful. You don't go in Mauritius for the cities anyway.