The area around Grand Bay (=Grand Baie) was the first one to develop mass tourism, and up to this very day, it still remains the centre of tourist attraction. The small town in the North is bustling with locals and tourists alike, as it boasts many leisure activities and charming boutiques, as well as a vibrant nightlife and – of course – the famous beach La Cuvette.
Only a few kilometres away from Grand Bay, Pereybère attracts with its manifold culture and its lively bar and restaurant scene, and it is also considered by many to have the island's best beach. The area is well equipped to accommodate a host of tourists, as a long list of hotels and resorts as well as countless sports and leisure activities are to be enjoyed at this paradisaical, palm-fringed seaside.
The Grand Bassin, Ganga Talao, is a crater lake in a secluded mountain area in the heart of Mauritius. Visited by many pilgrims during the festival Maha Shivaratri, it is of religious importance for the Hindu faith in God Shiva, and since 2007, Shiva itself towers over the impressive lake, pictured as a giant statue as another goddess, Durga, does since 2017.
This small and privately owned island in the east of Mauritius is a little slice of heaven, and it is easily accessible by boat. Even though its name translates as "deer island", it is no longer inhabited by the animals, but rather contains incredible beaches, restaurants, a plethora of leisure activities and also a world-famous golf course.
Located along Flic en Flac to the south of Port Louis, this beach stretches for almost 8 kilometres, and boasts a coral reef that forms a beautiful lagoon with crystalline water. The whole village is quite developed, with 5-star hotels, restaurants and all the facilities and services you can expect from a major tourist destination.
Housed inside an old sugar factory, this small museum offers a glimpse of the island's history, and its sugar cultivation in particular. While learning more about how plantations shaped Mauritian industry and society in the colonial era, you will also discover how people lived and worked back in the day.
Île aux Aigrettes is an island in the Southeast of Mauritius, and although it is quite small, it is home to a multitude of rare and diverse plants and animal species. Being a nature reserve since 1965, this islet attracts tourists and locals alike, both of whom come to see the famous pink pigeons, giant tortoises and the last surviving piece of Mauritian dry coastal forest.
Inside the Maritim Resort & Spa Hotel, you will find fascinating ruins that, back in the early 18th century, were built as a fortress by the first French governor of Mauritius, Mahe de Labourdonnais, in order to protect the island from possible incursions. The fortress, which also housed an arsenal, exploded in 1774 and since then remains as a remnant of Mauritian history. Visitors are advised to contact the Maritim Resort & Spa before visiting in order to check availability.
The basaltic mountain at the peninsula Le Morne Brabant in the southwest of Mauritius is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it is not only of great importance as for its natural attractions but also due to its cultural legacy. This site is associated with the struggle against slavery and oppression, and is an emblem of the struggle.
In the Southwest of Mauritius lies the island's biggest natural reserves, the Black River Gorges National Park. Covering an area of 6,754 hectares, it dates back to 1994, when it was established to safeguard what remained of the native Mauritian forests, and to protect the island's endangered species, like the Mauritian flying fox and the Mauritian parakeet.
This Maison Créole serves flavours typical of the island's blended kitchen, and its menu is as diverse as the culture of Mauritius itself. While the broad selection of traditional dishes (and especially curries) invites you to deeply immerse yourself into the local cuisine, the beautiful and well-tended garden allows you to enjoy the nature at its best – with typical Mauritian teas that you can also buy afterwards.
In the garden of Beau Plan and at the heart of L'Aventure de Sucre, the sugar museum of Mauritius, you will find your very own treat, both savoury and sweet. With its festive and refined cuisine, The Fagourin is inspired by the manifold flavours of the unique Mauritian kitchen; they are willing to preserve local tradition as well as sustain their beautiful surroundings: a picturesque pond, century-old vegetation and a charming veranda overlooking the central plateau's mountains.
Le Café des Arts aspires to combine art and gastronomy in the same way the different cultures of Mauritius grew together back in the day. While infusing their menu with cultural and artistic value, they also include classic European dishes into their interpretation of traditional Mauritian cuisine. Art and creativity can be both seen on the plate and tasted in the dish; the restaurant is also part of an art gallery and a museum close by.
While the restaurant's appearance does not strike at first sight, its kitchen will win you over immediately. Dishing up Mauritian flavours from a family-owned cookbook, and waiting tables without as little as a fixed menu, Barbizon is said to be of Mauritian authenticity at its peak, so it is no wonder that it can get busy quite fast – booking ahead is recommended.
In the heart of the capital, Lambiac has opened the first microbrewery of Mauritius, and by serving both local and imported beer, they immediately win over a beer lover's heart. Their menu ranges from usual fish and meat offerings to exotic Creole dishes, which are always (!) supposed to match the beer, and not the other way round.
Amigo is the safest bet for enjoying excellent seafood specialities. Although its name comes rather from the founding family's initials than from its Spanish translation to "friend", every customer feels heartily welcomed, from the very moment of enters until the final goodbye, or rather - see you soon.
The influence of French tradition is more than plain to see upon entering Frenchie Café, as they serve traditional dishes nearly all day long: for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Every Saturday night, however, the atmosphere gets more international, as DJs transform the restaurant into a hip and cheerful cocktail bar.
Chelsea's Cup n' Cake is a sweet tooth's paradise, as it offers cakes, pastries and milk shakes of all kinds and flavours. While its sweet and sugary goods are quite perfect for a break during the day, the cafe also offers savoury dishes for getting your day started or for a snack later on.
Right at the city's heart and close to the harbour, Cafe de la Presse serves nearly everything that your heart could possibly desire: a weekly changing lunch menu with dishes of all kinds, and a never-ending variety of cakes and pastries of all shapes and sizes. Be brave and try out an intriguing dessert that is quite possibly only served here.
Right next to Grand Bay beach, Îlot Café awaits you with a huge menu and treats of all kinds: homemade cakes, fresh salads and various sandwiches. The wood-dominated interior and furniture create a casual and cosy atmosphere that invites you to enjoy your stay and even leave a few written words behind, on a timber flower pot or the wall right next to you – it is genuinely encouraged.
At the Northwestern coast of Mauritius, the Lemon Tree Café introduces another influence on Mauritian culture that holds no connection colonial conquest: Portuguese delicacies, such as pasteis de nata or chocolate mousse. In fact, they focus on sweet assortments, and are rumoured to serves some of the best cupcakes on the island, but they also offer fair (and savoury) breakfast and lunch menus.
At Delibake, the artisanry of baking is still alive, as every lunch and every pastry is handcrafted with heart, fresh ingredients and a deep-rooted passion. While you will already discover warmth in your cup and joy on your plate, you will certainly enjoy the spectacular view over Grand Bay in this very same way.
With a sparkling pool right next to the beach, this lounge bar offers both residents and guests a great spot for enjoying the sun during day and (early) night. Being the first beach club on the island, this location does not only attract people by offering cocktails but also by providing dance music on the weekends, played by both resident and international DJs.
At The Beach House in Grand Bay, the beach itself – as the name already reveals – cannot be any closer, and the drinks can rarely be any better. With a huge variety of white, red and sparkling wines as well as numerous colourful cocktails, the mind-blowing view over the ocean and the fancy, yet cosy interior, The Beach House is an easy pick for an evening out.
In a traditional Creole house, with wooden beams and chandeliers made from up-side-down wine bottles, Moustache Bistro combines Mauritian tapas with modern wine culture. With photographs of celebrities, embellished with moustaches – and yes, that is where its name originally comes from –, this bar provides eccentric yet cosy surroundings where you can enjoy both dinner and drinks.
Bagatelle Mall is the island's largest mall, featuring over 130 stores as well as a large food court and different leisure options. With high quality and both local and international retail brands, the modern complex attracts visitors of most different shopping habits, who enjoy a comprehensive experience in this majestic setting.
Le Caudan Waterfront is one of the oldest malls in Mauritius, located at the docks of Port Louis, and thus right at the heart of it all. The complex hosts a huge variety of shops, casinos, cinemas, restaurants and even a hotel, as well as some events during the year, such as bazar sales, where vendors from all across the island sell their homemade goods. Make sure to visit the craft market for artisan products, and enjoy the vibrant and dynamic atmosphere.
Arsenal is a tiny district in the North of Mauritius with not even 4,000 inhabitants that, nonetheless, is one of the islands' most popular shopping destinations, among locals and tourists alike. Widely known for its produce of cashmere, this village also offers other artisan products of remarkable quality that can either be acquired rather expensively or – depending on your haggling skills – at bargain prices.
A stone's throw from the harbour, Port Louis' Central Market is rightly famous for its authentic produce selection, not only offering fruit and vegetable varieties but also curiosities like Chinese herbal medicines and aphrodisiacs. Being the centre of local economy since Victorian times, this market got renovated in 2004 without loosing its charm that is still nestled in its stone walls, paved alleys and many of its shops, including great craft stores and Mauritian food stations. Make sure to come early to have the best selection.
Phoenix mall is the one-stop destination for shopping indulgences, as this is where it all happens, with great entertainment and excellent food. The vast complex houses world famous brands as well as eateries featuring delicacies from all over the world, so that it indeed is the perfect venue to fulfil all and any of your needs.
Curepipe is a bustling commercial hub in the heart of Mauritius island, famous for not only its volcanic crater but also its abundant retail shopping. Offering many duty free shops as well as modern and ethnic clothing stores, shopping complexes, large arcades and the Curepipe market, which attracts locals and tourists alike with affordable produce of high quality.
While citizens of most European and African countries do not need a visa for touristic travels, a visa can be required either prior to travel or upon arrival – use the website of the Passport and Immigration Office to check for individual requirements. All persons coming to Mauritius for purposes other than tourism, visit or business need to apply for a visa/permit before undertaking any travel. Holders of Diplomatic Passports other than those issued by the Government of Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen, and Laissez-passer issued from internationally recognized organizations are exempt from visa regulations. A visa does allow the bearer to travel to Mauritius, while the final admission for entering rests upon the Immigration Officer at the point of entry.
Located in the southwest Indian Ocean, Mauritius is warm and pleasant throughout the year, and the water temperature is also ideal for swimming and sporting activities. In general, the western and northern regions are warmer and drier than those in the east and south. However, each period has its marks, and the summer months from October to April are the best ones for beach holidays. During winter, from July to September, you will, in contrast, profit from the off-peak season by securing bargain prices.
The international airport Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam is located 5km southwestern of Mahébourg and 35km southeastern of Port Louis. Airport taxis will take you to almost every town, while the public bus services only provide routes to the biggest settlements, such as Port Louis and Curepipe. You can also go on your own, as you will find car rental companies among the services provided on site, as well as currency exchange booths and ATMs.
The public transport in Mauritius is run by the National Transport Authority that owns two bus companies, United Bus Service (UBS) and National Transport Corporation (NTC), with frequent routes through the entire island. Bus transportation is quite cheap and allows one to mingle with the locals. There are two types of buses: standard and express, and the latter ones are both air-conned and much faster. The buses usually operate from 5:30am-8pm in built up areas and from 6:30am-6:30pm in the countryside; however, there is a late service between Port Louis and Curepipe until 11pm.
When taking a taxi, negotiation is key, as meters are rarely used and you can easily be ripped off – always insist on turning on the meter or negotiate the price first. One of the biggest services is Taxi Mauritius Tours but there are several other companies located across the whole island. Taxi Mauritius Traffic Centre Saint Pierre, Moka, Mauritius +230 594 060 00 Taksi Mauritius Cote D'Or Road, hermitage, Mauritius +230 5255 6255
Mauritius Post ltd (MPL) operates across the whole island. Their shops can be recognized by their yellow and blue logo, and they sell every product and attendance, from stamps and packages to pick up and financial services. A central office can be found at Port Louis but the official website informs about every other subsidiary and its opening hours.
Pharmacies can be found across the whole island, and they are always marked with explicit emblems. A central one, Newton Pharmacy, is located in Port Louis but there are several other ones in every bigger town – while they are usually open from 8am-5pm on weekdays, they close on Saturdays at 2pm already. Mauritius Pharmacy Rue Louis Pasteur, Curepipe, Mauritius +230 670 227 0 Sun Pharmacy Route Royale, Riolet, Mauritius +230 261 346 5