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Mauritius. A word which evokes the feeling of a tropical paradise in my mind.
I really didn’t know much about Mauritius before we bought flights there. It was cheap on Air Asia, I hadn’t been and the word itself seemed magical. Otherwise I had no idea what to expect.
Then I went. And was so thankful I did!
Mauritius is what you would expect – a tropical paradise – but so much more. It’s beautiful, the people are lovely and there are so many more places to visit in Mauritius than just the beach.
Even better still is that it’s modern and easy to visit. This is a slice of tropical Africa that’s super simple with English spoken everywhere, good roads and is, quite simply, paradise.
Mauritius is worth adding to your list and adding to your travel plans soon! Below you will find my guide to what to do in Mauritius, information about visiting Mauritius with kids, how to get around and lots of other information so you can have as good a stay as we did!
Here is our list of the top things to do in Mauritius. To help you plan your own trip, I have grouped the tourist attractions in Mauritius by area. I also have a section further down with some day trip combinations.
I think it’s hard to think about Mauritius and not think about resorts. Mauritius is known for its beaches and staying in a great resort is a fantastic way to enjoy the peace, tranquility and beauty of this country.
We spent our first 6 days in Mauritius at the Club Med La Plantation d’Albion and we can’t recommend it enough. We had the perfect vacation of fun activities, rest, fabulous food and luxurious surroundings.
You can read more in our full review here.
Being an island, it’s not surprising that there are a ton of water activities in Mauritius. You can dive, snorkel, jet ski, visit nearby islands, kayak, see dolphins, go in a submarine and probably any other water activity you can imagine.
It’s not hard to find places to do this. You can do them through your resort or there are lots of options in places like Grand Baie.
The only attraction in Mauritius that I knew about before I visited was the beaches! And for good reason.
This small island has many great beaches. We absolutely loved the white sand and beautiful, clear water at the beach in Albion as well as the lovely beach in Mont Choisy (coincidentally by another Club Med). This beach is just perfect with white, white sand, perfect aqua water and trees lining the long beach so there is plenty of shade.
Mauritius is a gorgeous country which makes it an ideal place to take the perfect family/couple/individual photo shoot.
Flytographer is a service which matches travellers with local photographers so you can get the perfect holiday snap. We first used this service in Paris and have been wanting to again since adding a new family member. Mauritius seemed like the perfect location.
We are so happy we did this. We got some great photos thanks to Natalie which will always remind us of our perfect Mauritian holiday.
You can read more about Flytographer in our review here or check out the latest prices and the zillions of locations here.
Port Louis is the capital of Mauritius. It’s a small city, as far as capitals go, but there are enough Port Louis Mauritius attractions that it’s worth spending a half day here wandering around.
Most of the Mauritius tourism places to visit in this city are a short walk from one another so I recommend catching a public bus or driving and parking at Le Caudan Waterfront and then exploring on foot. Below, are the tourist attractions in Mauritius that we visited in this city.
One of the best places to see in Mauritius if you want to eat, hang out and learn about the local history is Le Caudan Waterfront.
This area, right in the middle of Port Louis, consists of nice shopping centres, restaurants, a casino and the Blue Penny Museum (more below). It’s a nice place to eat a leisurely lunch while people watching and soaking up the atmosphere.
The Blue Penny Museum is primarily dedicated to two of the rarest stamps in the world, the Mauritian one-penny and two-pence stamps of 1847. However, there is also plenty of information about the history of the island.
It’s probably the best museum on the island and worth adding to your list of Mauritius things to do and see.
The Postal Museum is also by the waterfront and is home to commemorative stamps and general postal paraphernalia. There is also some history of the postal service on the island making it one of the places of interest in Mauritius, although I would recommend the Blue Penny Museum over this one.
The Aapravasi Ghat is a tiny complex of buildings also located on the waterfront a short walk from Le Caudan. This is one of the best places in Mauritius to visit if you like historical sites.
Not much remains of what was the island’s main immigration depot for indentured labourers from India. In the 18th and 19th centuries, a staggering over half a million immigrants were processed here. 70% of current Mauritians can trace their roots back to here.
The site itself is not that exciting. There are some information boards but it was hard to get any real sense of what had happened here.
Although Mauritius is comfortably covered in supermarkets, Port Louis’ Central Market is one of the more interesting places in Mauritius. It’s a buzzing hive of commercial activity, great for people watching and wandering.
The market is divided up into different types of goods – like poultry, fish, fruit and vegetables – and is spread out over a couple of blocks. There’s a wide variety of things for sale and the market is a great place to go for souvenirs or things like hats or towels.
In the days of French Colonial administration, the Place d’Armes was where the gendamerie and militia paraded. When the British built Government House at its eastern end, it became the hub of British administration on the island. These days it is a busy road, dominated by the stately Government House at one end.
It’s easy to walk along to check out these Mauritius sightseeing places while walking around Port Louis.
The kids were excited to visit Port Louis’ Natural History Museum as there is supposed to be a reconstructed dodo.
However, the museum was shut for renovations when we visited.
We finished our list of Port Louis activities in Mauritius at this shady city park. Established in the 18th century as a place for the French East India Company to grow fruit and vegetables for its Port Louis colony, Les Jardins de la Compagnie makes a great place to rest during an exploration of the city which is what we did.
Just across the road from the Mauritius Institute with its natural history museum, the gardens are a popular hangout and people watching spot for locals and tourists.
If you are feeling hungry there’s a row of local food stalls on the south side, along Rue Reverend Lebrun. Most popular are the roti stalls which serve fresh rotis filled with various curries. Two or three of these make a filling lunch. The roti stalls tend to get some decent queues, especially Roti AKA which – in my opinion – are the tastiest rotis (at around 30 MUR depending on the filling).
With our rotis and a comfortable spot to sit, enjoying some time in Les Jardins was one of our favourite places to go in Mauritius.
Eureka is an old Creole plantation mansion in the town of Moka, just a quick drive from the centre of Port Louis.
Our guide book raved about it being unmissable so we added it to our list of where to go in Mauritius.
The mansion is impressive. It’s in a beautiful location with a stunning mountain backdrop. You can walk through much of the mansion which has period furnishings. The kids love seeing the old things.
Personally, I found it a bit underwhelming and, while I think it is worth a visit if you are in the area, don’t have high expectations. I would not call it one of the must visit places in Mauritius.
There is a waterfall you can visit as well. I’m told it’s an easy 15 minute walk from the house but our kids weren’t up for it so we gave it a miss.
When we visited, entry was MUR300 for adults and the kids were free.
At the edge of Curepipe is Trou Aux Cerfs where you can walk on the rim and look into the crater of a dormant volcano. There’s a road around the rim, and we could park a short distance away.
The crater is surprisingly deep at 100 metres given it is approximately 1 kilometre across. It’s a pretty cool experience to look down into this deep pit and to see all the trees growing inside. Looking outwards, you get great views of the island surrounding Trou Aux Cerfs.
The kids, especially Z, were excited to think they were standing on top of a real volcano – even if it hadn’t erupted in a very long time. While we didn’t stay long, maybe 10 minutes, it was one of the different Mauritius places to visit that stands out as making Mauritius unique amongst the places we’ve been.
A GPS helped immensely in navigating the back streets of Curepipe and narrow unsigned roads to get there. It’s essential if you want to drive here.
Grand Baie is one of the top places to visit in Mauritius north. It’s described as one of the most touristy spots in Mauritius.
We thought it would be a good place to base ourselves after leaving Club Med La Plantation d’Albion figuring we would want to be somewhere easy and central. However, it wasn’t quite how we expected.
It certainly is easy. There are lots of restaurants and a big supermarket.
The beach, however, is surprisingly small. It’s pretty, like pictured above, but that’s basically the entire beach. It’s tiny! We also expected lots of businesses around the beach with places to eat but it wasn’t set up how we are used to beach towns like this being set up.
We still enjoyed a nice picnic lunch one day on the grass next to the beach bought from one of the food stands on the beach. However, there wasn’t the outdoor restaurants we were hoping for.
So, while it is a handy place to stay with some good food options, I wouldn’t really recommend it. The beach at nearby Mont Choisy is far more beautiful, longer and nicer and isn’t far away.
Being surrounded by sea, it’s not surprising that Mauritius has an aquarium. The Mauritius Aquarium has a small collection of tanks featuring fish native to the nearby water. While the tanks are mainly small, one large tank – which was by far the coolest – featured sharks and large green turtles. This tank also features daily feeding shows.
The aquarium is pretty small and even a leisurely visit would be 30 minutes. There is a cafe on site, which has a food menu with a dozen or so choices at reasonable prices.
The aquarium is nicely done – you get to see some fish up close that usually would live too deep or remote to see. However it’s simple and there’s nothing that stands out which makes it hard to recommend it as one of the must do things in Mauritius.
That said, Z – who is into fish and animals – loved it despite its simplicity. He loved the big tank especially. If you are in Mauritius with kids then the aquarium might be worth considering as one of those easy and family friendly activities to do in Mauritius.
There are good toilets as well as a slide, some swings and a grassy area to play out the back. It’s stroller friendly.
The aquarium is located on the Coastal Road (road B38) in Pointe-aux-Piments. When we visited entry was 300 MUR for people 13+ and 150 MUR for kids 2 to 12. See www.mauritiusaquarium.com for more details.
Our guide book proclaimed the Botanical Gardens as one of the best in the world. This is not something I would agree with. However, it is a lovely option of the beautiful places in Mauritius and it is worth visiting on your trip.
These botanical gardens are famous for their lilies. There are giant water lilies that open to up to 2 metres wide! It’s fun to check them out.
There are also giant tortoises, deer, many palms, lovely green space and an old house with a small museum. We felt somewhat ripped off as the house was closed for renovation and the deer were not available making this a very expensive park at MUR200 per person 5 years and older, so MUR800 for our family.
It’s still worth a visit and it is a lovely place to sit and enjoy. I recommend taking a picnic. It’s located in Pamplemousses which is easy to visit from many areas of the island and is only a short drive from Grand Baie or Port Louis.
L’Aventure du Sucre is also located in Pamplemousses, close to the botanical gardens, and it is the best place to go in Mauritius to learn about sugar production and the history of Mauritius.
This is basically a museum located in the former Beau Plan sugar factory. This factory was founded in 1797 and ceased operations in 1999. Much of the machinery is still here and there is a ton of information about how it all worked and how Mauritius came into being with many things covered including details of slavery, indentured servants from India, the rum trade and, of course, how sugar is made.
The museum is quite interactive and there are things to look at as well as read. Still, it is quite heavy and you could easily spend a few hours going round it all.
At the end, there’s a fabulous shop area with sugar, honey, jam and rum tastings. There are actually 12 types of sugar to taste! And the honeys, jams and rums are superb – especially the chili honey!
There are kids’ questions and supposed kids activities but we found these too difficult for our younger kids.
The staff are friendly and around to answer questions.
We found this one of the superb things to do on Mauritius and one of our personal top rated attractions of Mauritius. We recommend trying to fit it in!
You can find more information on their website.
Another one of the main tourist beach towns in Mauritius is Flic en Flac. Although the beach area is pretty laid back, it is surrounded by restaurants and shops so there are loads of things to do in Flic en Flac. You can also do a range of water sports here.
Being in the west of Mauritius, the town is located about 15 km away from Port Louis and is well connected by bus routes. It’s a beach town offering everyone in the family a chance for relaxation, and one of the Mauritius attractions you should add to your list.
If you can’t make it all the way to Africa to do a safari then a trip to Casela will give you a taste. The adventure park, spread over 250 hectares, has a great collection of animals housed in beautiful surroundings. All in all it’s an amazing experience and definitely one of the fun things to do in Mauritius.
There are lions, cheetahs, giraffes, rhinos, giant tortoises, zebras plus a whole bunch of monkeys, fish, birds and more. For some of the animals you could get right up close – literally close enough to touch a few of them.
The big cats are behind two fences but we were still really close to a bunch of lions, including a huge white lion who roared at all the visitors. The giant tortoise pen was fantastic. We were able to go right up to them as they plodded along.
There’s an observation platform at the giraffe enclosure where you can look the giraffes right in the eye as they come up for a feed (you can feed them yourself if you want to pay extra). I can’t do these things justice in terms of how cool they are.
There’s also a mini safari where you are driven around in a large open range park within the park where you can see zebras, ostriches, impalas and best of all rhinoceroses wandering around. They are not always in touching distance, but it still induced some awe and thrill.
The park is divided up into different areas and there is a lot to see and do. The highlights for us were the petting zoo, the giant turtles, the big cat section, the giraffes and the safari. We didn’t spend much time on the rest and we still spent four hours here.
In addition to the animals, there’s a great playground and a hill ride that was closed for maintenance when we visited. There are a lot of extras you can pay for (some of which cost a lot) like going into the lion pens but you’re not forced to pay extra for a fantastic experience.
Facilities wise, there are plenty of toilets and places to get drinks or food (including a large restaurant). Outside food is not allowed (although we could keep our water) but prices for food and drinks were reasonable – especially given there is no other option.
While there are paths, and an effort has been made to make things as accessible as possible, strollers (and wheelchairs) will find it difficult.
We loved our visit to Casela. Getting up close to any one of the animals we did would be memorable enough. To get up close to so many in one day was simply amazing. It’s great for anyone of any age and one of the best kids activities in Mauritius.
When we visited the base ticket was 777 MUR for an adult and 500 MUR for kids. Visit www.caselapark.com for more details.
Chamarel is a little town close to the east coast. There are a few different Mauritius places to visit here (listed below) and it’s easy to visit the Black River Gorges National Park and Grand Bassin from here. Combining all of this makes for a good day trip.
There are also many places to eat in this town to break up the journey.
The Curious Corner in Chamarel is something a bit different in the wonderful Mauritius tourist places. It features an assortment of rooms with various optical illusions – like a room that lets you take photos that look like you’re sitting upside down on the roof or a mirror maze.
All up this attraction is enjoyable and a bit of fun although we didn’t spend a lot of time in the house – maybe 30 minutes all up. Given the total cost (1100 MUR or ~$44 AUD) it isn’t great value. It’s not at the top of our list of best things to do in Mauritius with kids but the kids did like it and it was all well done.
After the fun and games there’s a garden with a few more things to see and photo opportunities. The garden is home to a cafe with a good range of food at reasonable prices. While we waited a while for our order, the serving sizes were big and the food pretty good.
There’s a baby change room out the back but the venue isn’t stroller-friendly due to the stairs.
When we visited, entry was 350 MUR for people 13+ and 200 MUR for kids 5+.
Chamarel Waterfall is a pretty waterfall over coloured rocks and one of the easy Mauritius tourist attractions to visit.
It has a 95 metre drop and there’s a good viewpoint right by the road when travelling to Terres de 7 Couleurs from the main road. It is worth the stop.
Terres de 7 Couleurs (also known as Chamarel Coloured Earths) is one of the places of interest in Mauritius. It’s located a short drive from Chamarel and is home to a dazzling array of coloured sand making it one of the top attractions in Mauritius
The site has a walkway around the area and some viewing points as well as a cafe and gift shop. There’s also a cool giant tortoise enclosure.
I’ve read people saying the site is underwhelming. I enjoyed it and don’t agree. Just have the right expectations.
There’s an entry fee which is currently 225MUR for adults, 125MUR for kids.
This distillery is in a beautiful location and is another worthwhile Chamarel pit stop when looking for things to see in Mauritius.
It’s a working distillery which doubles as a museum for rum making and you can do a 40 minute tour which finishes with rum tastings. There’s also a restaurant.
You can find more information here.
One of our top Mauritius things to do and see is definitely to visit this Hindu pilgrimage site. We loved our time here.
Grand Bassin is a crater lake and is a holy site for the local Hindu community. There’s a big festival in February or March each year but visiting at any time is recommended.
There’s a few small temples around the lake, a nice path around some of it and the whole place does have a spiritual vibe. We enjoyed walking around and taking it in.
It’s located in the Black River Gorges National Park and a jacket is a good idea if you are visiting in winter. We found this the coldest of the places to visit in Mauritius.
You will need a car or tour to reach here. It’s pretty much on the way if you are visiting Chamarel from the northern part of the island.
Mauritius is full of natural beauty and one of the best activities in Mauritius for tourists is to witness it firsthand at Black River Gorges national park. The park is the largest protected park in Mauritius and home to a huge range of local wild life and flora. The protected area of the park is home to wild animals such as the roe deer, flying foxes and the wild boar.
There are four entry points into the park with the main one being in Black River. From there, you can do a walk/hike ranging from 4km to 10km – the latter of which will likely be too long for families with kids.
There is 60 kilometres of hiking trek in total, most of which is supposed to be well signposted and easy to follow.
SOUTH EAST MAURITIUS
Tea production is important in Mauritius, and The Bois Cheri Tea Factory is one of the Mauritius interesting places where you can learn more about this.
The factory is located in the south east of Mauritius. Here you can tour the tea factory, learn about the history of tea production in Mauritius and sample some local tea. There is both a museum and plantation with the chance to sample a variety of different types of tea.
You can also visit the Le Bois Chéri Restaurant where you can sample local cuisine and see panoramic views of the area.
One of the best tourist places in Mauritius just off the coast is Ile aux Aigrettes. This is a small island off the south east coast of Mauritius. The island is a nature reserve and is important as it is the last place with remnants of the dry coastal forest which was once found all over Mauritius. It is also home to some rare species of animals.
There are a few different types of tours you can do here which makes it easier to visit the island. It’s a great place to spend a few hours.
The National History Museum is one of the places to visit in south Mauritius. It’s small but interesting in a lovely colonial mansion set in large parkland.
The kids became very interested in dodos during our time in Mauritius and loved being able to see dodo bones and pictures. There are also old canons, weapons, maps, coins, parts of boats, paintings and information about the history of Mauritius.
It’s located in Mahebourg, not far from the airport. Entry is free.
Also located in Mahebourg is one of the interesting places to visit in Mauritius, the Monday Market. This local market is known for its silks and textiles.
We visited on a Thursday when it’s not as big as Monday and is focused on food rather than bric and brac (although there were still souvenirs for sale). There are some yummy local food stalls where you can pick up some street snacks. You should definitely add it to your list of south of Mauritius attractions.
The final of the tourist places in Mauritius we wanted to visit in Mahebourg was the Rault Biscuit Factory. Here, there are tours of their biscuit factory which first opened in 1870.
Unfortunately, this was closed when we visited. The sign promised it was only shut for three days so hopefully you don’t have a problem when you visit and still add it to your list of where to visit in Mauritius.
Mauritius is a brilliant place to visit with kids. We visited Mauritius with our three kids aged 12 months, 5 and 7.
There are many natural attractions in Mauritius which work very well with kids as well as many activities, like Casela, that are tons of fun with kids. We visited the majority of the sightseeing places in Mauritius above with our kids with no problems. There are also some playgrounds around the place like the one pictured above by the waterfront in Port Louis.
We found that kids were welcome everywhere and Baby J often got very positive attention.
At purpose built attractions, like L’Aventure du Sucre, taking a stroller was fine but generally it was easier to use a carrier. It was easy to buy baby supplies.
Below you will find a map outlining the best places to see in Mauritius and the best attractions in Mauritius described above.
If you are looking for resorts in Mauritius, we spent the majority of our time in Club Med La Plantation d’Albion. This resort is just perfect.
We loved our rooms, the crazy amount of activities, the fantastic Mini Club (kids club), beautiful beach, amazing food and great entertainment. Staying at a Mauritius all inclusive also made things so easy and we had our first holiday in a long time.
This Mauritius accommodation is also in a handy spot. It’s right next to a small town and there’s a lovely stretch of beach. It’s also a short drive from Casela World of Adventure and Flic en Flac. Port Louis is not that far away.
We really can’t recommend this resort enough. We had such a brilliant stay.
You can read our full review here.
We spent our first six days at Club Med La Plantation d’Albion. We visited nearby Flic en Flac and Casela World of Adventure but otherwise left our exploration for the next four days we spent in Mauritius.
Mauritius is small enough that you can basically visit everything on a day trip. However, the distances and driving times do add up so don’t think you can go everywhere in one day.
My best suggestion is to match attractions within the same region for the same day trip. This is basically what we did. This is how we spent four days:
Sample Day 1: West Mauritius
We started the day checking out of Albion and then drove down to Chamarel . Here, we visited all the Chamarel attractions above and then headed to Grand Bassin and Troux Auf Cerfs before finishing up in Grand Baie
Sample Day 2: Port Louis and surrounds
On this day, we visited all the Port Louis attractions above, Eureka and Mauritius Aquarium
Sample Day 3: North Mauritius
Our North Mauritius attractions included Mont Choisy beach, Grand Baie beach and the botanical gardens and L’Aventure du Sucre
Sample Day 4: South East Mauritius
Our final day in Mauritius incorporated the places to visit in the south of Mauritius listed above
We flew Air Mauritius to Mauritius from Kuala Lumpur which involved a short transit in Singapore.
It was very smooth and easy, although getting off for such a short transit was annoying.
The plane was comfortable and I liked how there was a mural of a tropical island on the wall. It made me feel like I was on holiday already! The kids received activity packs which they loved.
My only complaint is that I wish they came around with drinks more often. I was so thirsty and having to get assistance to just get a tiny cup of water each time was frustrating.
Driving in Mauritius is straight forward – especially if you are used to driving on the left. Roads around the island are generally in good condition and well lit, there’s plenty of signs for directions of speed limits and traffic is sensible and orderly.
Unlike other places I’ve driven, the motor bikes generally follow the same road rules as cars, rather than do what they want.
That said there’s a few things worth pointing out:
Mauritian Creole food is incredibly tasty and is the most common cuisine. It is similar to and derives from Indian cuisine, which was brought over by indentured labourers from India who were used on the sugar plantations. Curries, roti bread and rice are easy to find and delicious and typically (in our experience) not too spicy.
Vegetarian and non-vege curries are available, with the meat typically being chicken or fish with mutton often available and beef also available on occasions.
Curries rolled up in a fresh roti are a common meal or snack available from roadside stalls.
A sambal made from ground green chilies is a common addition. These green chili sambals can get really spicy!
Thanks to a small but notable Chinese community, Chinese food (or local takes on it) is also widely available and many menus will feature a fried rice and fried noodle option. Chinese restaurants are common.
Being an island, seafood is also an easy to find choice. Marlin is a common fish option. Seafood, particularly fish, is used in all cuisine types.
Western food, in particular pizza, is also easy to find. Toasted sandwiches and paninis were on a lot of menus, too.
Price wise we typically paid 150 to 300 MUR for a dish, regardless of cuisine or restaurant type with 250 MUR being a common price for many dishes. The highest price we saw anywhere was about 500 MUR at a high end restaurant.
Seafood is a notable exception to this – depending on the fish or seafood in question.
We didn’t have a bad meal in Mauritius.
We absolutely loved Mauritius.
From the attractions to the food to the accommodation to the people to just the ease of doing everything, we loved it all.
I get bored easily and I often write off small islands as destinations for us as I worry there won’t be enough to do. This isn’t a problem at all in Mauritius. There’s a lovely selection of things to visit in Mauritius and the gorgeous beaches aren’t going to get old.
I love how easy it is to explore Mauritius. This is a modern country with English and French everywhere. It’s easy to communicate and get around. We had no problems driving and found this the ideal way to explore this island.
Kids are very welcome. Our baby was treated like a rock star and we felt very comfortable everywhere we went.
We had a great time and already talk about what we’ll do next time when we go back. We look forward to exploring the other main island, Rodrigues, and perhaps also checking out the French island of Reunion.
We love Mauritius and we think you will too!
You can also read our guides to the Indian Ocean destinations of Seychelles and Maldives.