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Places of Interest in Mauritius

Southern Sky Adventures: Places of Interest in Mauritius

Capitol is Port Louis


Belle Mare

This beauty lies on Mauritius’ east coast. It’s known for calm waters as there is a great, deep lagoon that runs between the shoreline and the beach. In addition to the lovely beach, Belle Mare has perhaps the best golf course on the island. There are two courses close by – one 18 hole, especially for the guests of the Belle Mare Plage Hotel and another 9 hole with some respectable greens.

The sand is pristine, and very white. This beach lies vacant for most of the week. Weekends bring residents from the surrounding homes and neighborhood. Get here early in the day and spend the whole time along the strand. Pictures don’t do justice. It’s simply breathtaking.


Black River Gorges Nature Reserve

Black River Gorges Nature Reserve (BRGNR) is a district of Mauritius on the western side of the island and hosts such famous areas include Tamarin Falls and the Chamarel colored earth. It is the third largest district of Mauritius in area, but the smallest in terms of population. It contains much of Mauritius’ unique tropical forests, including those found in the Black River Gorge. The name Black River derives from the fact that it is the driest district of the island as this region receives less rainfall than all the others in Mauritius. This fact has now worked to its advantage with several fisherman villages being progressively converted to tourist areas such as Flic en Flac, Tamarin and Le Morne.

Tamarin is the only area where surfing is possible during the month of July and August. Flic-en-Flac is the longest beach on the island and certainly one of the most beautiful in sitting on the west coast and yielding exceptional views to bright and colorful sunsets. Le Morne’s unique constant wind effects makes it a top kite surfing/wind surfing destination. Frequently both board and kite manufacturers can be seen trialing their next generation equipment in this prime location. The wind is prevalent through the winter months (May-Sept). On occasion, with the right wave conditions, the reef outside Le Morne can be surfed.


Chamarel Falls and Colored Earths

Chamarel Falls and the Colored Earth have the power to beckon travelers into the lush green grass and colored earth far from the mundane world. The trip to this part of Mauritius is a wonderful experience for all who venture. The experience creates its own niche into the mind.

The “seven-colored earth” of Chamarel is a geological curiosity and a major tourist attraction of Mauritius. The landscape at Chamarel is truly unique as it is the only place in world where one can find a clay earth of 7 colors at one place. The colors of these unique dunes are red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow, purple and red are predominant. Also when visiting the park travelers get to see a great view of the neighboring falls and of the lush vegetation all around. The Chamrel park also offers another attraction to be relished first, the Waterfall of Chamarel. It is a truly beautiful waterfall as some consider it as the best in Mauritius. Three distinct stream plunging down a free fall of nearly 300 feet down into the gorge.


Corps de Garde Mountain Nature Reserve

The mountains of Mauritius are what remain of the immense volcanoes whose summits have exploded or have been swallowed by abysses millions of years ago. They are of relatively modest height and they command rather than attract attention because of their unusual shapes and often scraggy contours. The appearance and location of some of the mountains have resulted in some quaint naming by discoverers and travelers giving free rein to their imagination.

The Corps de Garde Mountain resembles a figure with an impressive nose lying down …. on sentry duty. It is solidly bulky and overlooks Quatre Bornes and Rose Hill. On a clear dawn the rays of the rising sun reflects a rosy hue on the basaltic rock-face hence the origin of the name of the town of Rose Hill. The highest point is over 2,000 feet.


Domaine du Chasseur Nature Reserve

Hidden in the hills at Anse Jonchée near Mahébourg on the southeastern side of the island is a magnificent park covering 2000 acres called Domaine du Chasseur Nature Reserve. On forest-clad slopes at an altitude of 1,000 to 1,500 feet live stags and deer, monkeys and wild boars amongst a luxurious vegetation of ebony, eucalyptus, revenala, palm trees and wild orchids.

Rare species of birds such as the kestrel can be seen in the woods. The reserve also boasts 4 thatch-roofed lodge-type bungalows and an open restaurant overlooking the sea. A wide choice of venison and seafood is available.


Gabriel Island

Gabriel Island, known also as Îlot Gabriel, is located near the Round Island and the Flat island, at the extreme north of Mauritius, about 6 miles north of Cap Malheureux. The distance between Gabriel Island and Flat Island is only 2,500 feet. The size of the island is but 100 acres and the highest point is 90 feet. Gabriel Island is a protected natural reserve and is most famous for its beautiful unspoiled beaches, with crystal clear water surrounding the entire island. It is a very popular site for snorkeling, offers great dive sites, and is the ideal destination for a day of relaxation on the beach.


Grand Baie

With Mont Choisy close by, Grand Baie is a small peninsula on the northeast coast of the island. Just like the once sleepy town of Buzios, near Rio in Brazil, Grand Baie was a fisherman’s village not too long ago. The white sand of the beaches and the emerald waters of the ocean serve as the backdrop to this exceptional spot for relaxation. Drop in a few lovely coconut trees and this just might be paradise.

Just about everything is here. Boutique shops and sales of local crafts make this an ideal place to come learn about Mauritian culture. Development has included many hotels and resorts which range from elite to bungalows with kitchenettes. Also included is a marina complete with water sports, and with the Black River Gorges National Park nearby, visitors will have plenty to do if all one does is spend an vacation on this part of Mauritius.


Ile aux Aigrettes Nature Reserve

Ile aux Aigrettes Nature Reserve consists of a tiny coral island (65 acres) just off the coast of the town of Mahebourg. The island has been declared a nature conservation site and today is being preserved by the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation. Owing to the remarkable work accomplished by the Mauritius Wildlife Fund, the island has become an international standard for the protection of natural resources and endangered species. A few of the world’s rarest birds, including the kestrel, can be seen there. Visitors can also discover the extremely rare Pink Pigeon, the Green Gecko Phelsuma and the Aldabra giant tortoise. Some of the plants found in Ile aux Aigrettes grow nowhere else in the world and they form the last remnant of a coastal forest that once surrounded much of Mauritius. Eighteen Mauritian plant species which grow on the island are classified as endangered or very rare.


Isle Aux Cerfs

Île aux Cerfs Island, known in English as the deer island is an island near the east coast of Mauritius in the Flacq district. Ile Aux Cerfs is famous for its sandy beaches, beautiful lagoon and big selection of activities and facilities. In Ile Aux Cerfs visitors are sure to have a day of relaxation and fun on one of the picture-postcard beaches, and to enjoy a swim and snorkeling in the lagoon. This paradise island of Mauritius constitutes about 250 acres of land. Nowadays, there are no more deer on the island, but visitors will find there some of the world’s beautiful beaches and ,as such, it is one of the must place to visit and see in Mauritius.


Jardon des Pamplemousses

Mauritius Botanical Garden, also known as Jardon des Pamplemousses, is one of the most popular tourist attraction in Mauritius, and is located near Port Louis. It is the oldest botanical garden in the southern hemisphere. The spectacular garden was built by Pierre Poivre in 1767, and covers an area of around 80 acres. The botanical garden is most famous for its giant water lilies, spice garden and unique collection of 85 varieties of palms from Central America, Asia, Africa and the islands around the Indian Ocean.


Le Mourne Peninsula

Le Morne Brabant is an isolated peninsula at the south-western tip of Mauritius. Its most distinguishing feature is the imposing 500 yard basaltic mountain that rises alone from the center of Le Morne peninsula and bears the same name.Slaves used Le Morne peninsula as a hideaway in the late 1700s and early 1800s. In 1835 soldiers arrived to proclaim that slavery had been abolished. The story goes that the slaves thought the soldiers had come in another attempt to take them into captivity, and threw themselves off the mountain to a watery grave. The area has now been declared a World Heritage Site because of its slave history.It’s also one of the last remaining refuges of an extremely rare type of hibiscus; the Mandrinette. Le Morne has been developed into a particularly upmarket tourist destination.Helicopters ferry guests to and from the peninsula’s hotels – Le Paradis, Dinarobin and Les Pavillons. These overlook the most idyllic beach on Mauritius, which stretches for 3 powdery miles along the azure seashore.


L’Etoile

Domaine de l’Etoile is a natural landscape covering 18,000 acres of land in the eastern, although inland, side of Mauritius. An open-sided restaurant serving traditional Creole dishes is the starting point for the various hiking, quad biking, horse riding, mountain biking and archery trails that criss-cross the mountainous landscape.A large river flows through the domaine as well as trickling streams and flowing waterfalls. Discover indigenous vegetation like the ancient ebony trees and look out for wildlife such as deer, boar and monkeys as you follow rocky trails to top of magnificent view points that allow you to look out over the mountains, valleys, natural vegetation and sugar plantations of Mauritius to the blue sea beyond the coast.Choose guided hiking trails of varying length, from 1 to 4 hours. You can add interest to your walking by taking aim at various archery targets realistically shaped as wild animals.Alternatively take to the hills on a guided horse ride or mountain bike. The adrenalin junky may prefer conquering the rocky tracks by quad bike – raincoats provided for those wet and muddy days!


Port Louis

Port Louis is the capital city and main port of Mauritius. It was constructed in the year 1735 by the noted French governor, Mahe de Labourdonnais and is today Port Louis is the largest city in Mauritius. Port Louis is surrounded by a mountain range, called the Port Louis Moka Range which makes it worth visiting. Port Louis has conserved many historic and colonial buildings through the years; one of them being a fortification named Fort Adelaide or La Citadelle, built by the British in 1835. The main tourist attractions in Port Louis include the Caudan Waterfront, Port Louis Bazaar, Police Barracks, the Mauritian Chinatown and the old Port Louis theatre. The new Caudan Waterfront is considered by many to be the main tourist attraction in Port Louis. With trendy shops, cinemas, restaurants and a casino, it has become the hub of the city. The capital also has three museums: the Blue Penny Museum, the Mauritius Natural History Museum and the Mauritius Stamp Museum. Also, the biggest and oldest post office in Mauritius is found in Port Louis near the Caudan Waterfront. At the city center there are number of French styled buildings, which enhances the charm of Port Louis.


Tamarin Bay

Huge surf comes right through a break in the surrounding coral reef and finds its way to the Bay of Tamarin on Mauritius’ southwest shore. Because of the topography of the island at this point, the breakers can be sweet. But don’t count your surfers, just yet. They are few and far between, mainly because Tamarin Bay, or Baie du Tamarin, is shallow salt flats. Yes, the beach is very nice, and there are some nice facilities nearby. But Tamarin Bay has sort of a rough around the edges feel for Mauritius.

Nonetheless, Tamarin Bay Beach is worth a visit. Beyond the palm and casuarina trees lies some grand landscape. Close by you’ll find the forest and mountains – well, part of the volcano that was here eons ago. It’s worth the time to check it out by trekking to the trees and taking in nature at its best.

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