February 15, 2013

10 different activities to do in Mauritius

The island of Mauritius is well known for its gorgeous, picture-perfect beaches. But what many don’t realise is that this tiny island packs a punch – there is so much more to see and do than simply relaxing on the beach or enjoying the various water sports on offer.

The contrast in scenery - from the drier regions of the north-west coast and the lush green of the east coast to the dramatic volcanic mountains cutting through the centre of the island – create the perfect conditions for a host of different outdoors activities. Take the time to explore all the natural beauty and history of Mauritius, and then afterwards you can reward yourself with a laze on the beach.

Visit a sugar factory
While flying over Mauritius, you will see that nearly half of the island is covered by huge sugarcane fields. Visit L’Adventure Du Sucre – an authentic, restored sugar factory which takes you back in time to understand how the history of Mauritius and the sugar industry are so closely linked.

Top Tip: On your travels around the island, you might notice tall black chimneys made out of blocks of rock; they are remnants of the old sugar refineries. Nearly every village has one. Today, these chimneys are protected historical monuments.

Big Game Fishing
The Marlin fishing season is at its best from November to April, but there is a lot to entertain keen fishermen all year round.

Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens of Pamplemousses is a highlight of any visit to the north of Mauritius. It is the oldest botanical garden in the Southern hemisphere, where you can admire the famous giant water lilies and the Talipot Palm, whose flower only blossoms after 50 years.

Tea Tour
Discover Mauritian tea culture at Bois Cheri, a tea factory and museum. A guide will explain the stages of tea production and afterwards you can enjoy a tea tasting with panoramic views.

In the south of Mauritius, lies the ‘Riviere des Galets’. Several zip lines fly over the river at heights of about 30 metres, giving adventure lovers a birds-eye view of the natural surroundings. A pause at the river gives you a chance to refresh yourself with a swim under the waterfall or in the clear natural pools.

Casela Leisure Park
Prepare yourself for a day of invigorating fun in a stunning natural environment of indigenous bush, waterfalls and ponds. The circuit has been designed to present exciting challengs for participants but is achievable by all over the age of 8. Climb wooden ladders, dangle on a rope over a waterfall or whizz down a zip line into a refreshing mountain pool.

Casela Nature and Leisure Park is also home to a bird park, tigers, lions and a petting zoo and offers touring the reserve on a Segway or quad bike.

Culinary discovery
Explore Mauritian cuisine in a fun way – with your tastebuds! A popular culinary tour starts off with a visit to the Port Louis Central Market to shop for ingredients, then heads to Eureka, a magnificent colonial mansion where you learn how to prepare a typical Creole meal under the guidance of a trained chef. After your hard work in the kitchen, sit back and enjoy your meal on the veranda enjoying the garden and mountain views. 

Eureka House is also a beautifully restored museum which gives you a glimpse into colonial life on the island. There is even a section dedicated to quirky contraptions like a colonial-era shower.

Explore on horseback
The geography of Mauritius makes it ideal for exploring on horseback. Vieille Cheminee at Chamarel is in the south, where horseback trails include fields, plantations and rivers. Near Grand Bay the Leisure Park in the north offers riding over an estate of 1700 acres. 

Rum Tour
Rhumerie de Chamarel is the place to visit in Mauritius. Enjoy a guided visit to the rum distillery at this eco-friendly agricultural estate. 

See the most expensive stamps in the world
 If you’re a stamp collector or philatelist (person who studies stamp), then Mauritius has a little something to delight. In 1841, Mauritius (still under British rule) was one of the first countries to introduce the postage stamp. The red-brown one-penny and blue two-penny stamps (these rare stamps are the most expensive in the world) are today on display at the Blue Penny Museum in Port Louis. 

Photo credits: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, 11, 12, 13


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