Mauritius had been on my travel radar for a while and I finally decided to visit the island of turquoise waters, white sands and home of the lost Dodo bird last December. Before you even think of it, let me just say there’s more to Mauritius than just being a Honeymooners’ paradise.
Located off the South East coast of Africa, this tiny island overwhelms you with its unspoilt beauty and nonchalant calm.
The idea of a complete luxe resort vacation is what Mauritius is made up of, and to make the most of this experience I decided to stay at Pointe Aux Piments, which is one of the best coastal stretch there . Despite homing numerous luxury resorts and smaller accommodation options, it has managed to retain that original feel of a typical coastal village in Mauritius. Pointe aux Piments is the perfect location if you want enjoy a tourist infrastructure yet also want to experience that original ambience typical of Mauritius. It also boasts of some of the finest sunsets you will ever see.
After checking into Le Meridien Ile Maurice my home for the week, I decided to chalk up my ‘Things To Do’ list. Lazing around in the Nirvana pool seemed like the perfect way to begin my vacay, but of course nothing like an authentic Italian lunch and local ale to kick start the day, especially after the one and a half hour drive from the airport.
The property itself offers you a lot of activities that can keep you busy; daily snorkeling trips, wind sailing lessons, glass bottom boat trips, kayaking, fishing, scuba diving and a whole lot water sports can make your stay here worthwhile. I’d suggest that you take some time off on your first day, relax at the resort that you are staying in and go for a swim at the beach (almost all good hotels have a private beach).
You can head to Grand Baie in the evenings to enjoy some nightlife and boutiquey shopping. You must also visit the ‘Grand Baie Bazar’ to pick up some knick knacks and souvenirs. It is a 45 minute drive from Pointe Aux Piments.
A whole day must definitely be reserved for visiting Ile Aux Cerfs, which is famous for its sandy beaches, beautiful lagoon and pristine waters. You can spend the whole day swimming, sunbathing and sipping some delicious cocktails from the beach bar. Most guided tours give you only a limited amount of time (read 2 hours) here at the island, so its better to visit on your own than pre-book with an agency if you want to spend more time on the island. Your hotel should be able to help you with this. Another popular island is the Ile Aux Benitiers which is famous for big game fishing.
And now that you are done with the beaches and the islands how about some adrenaline rush? If jumping off a plane 10,000 feet above sea level is your thing then definitely make time for some skydiving at ‘Skydive Mauritius‘.
Ensure to book in advance as this place is very popular and almost always full. Just so that you know, the tandem jump was one of the highlights of my trip! If that wasnt enough then head down to the Casela Nature Park for a one on one interaction with the big cats and photo memories to boast of back home!
Most pre-booked tours do not include either of these trips, although if you ask your agency they can add these at an extra cost.
Amongst the other things to see in Mauritius is the ‘Seven Colored Earth’ at Chamarel. It is a relatively small area of naturally formed sand dunes comprising of seven distinct colours .
While at Chamarel one must also visit the Rhumerie de Chamarel. The Rhumerie welcomes guests for an all-encompassing tourism experience ranging from a guided visit of the distillery and rum tasting to a tasty meal at L’Alchimiste, its own stylish and creative “A la Carte” restaurant.
Also make some time to visit one of the many model ship factories where you can buy some finely crafted model ships apart from taking a tour of the factory. If your vacation is incomplete without shopping then you are in for a bit of luck, Mauritius happens to be a manufacturing center for many luxury labels like TODs, Paul Smith, Prada, Hugo Boss etc. Yes! That means you can grab a piece of designer wear at less than half its original cost.
Otherwise there is “Le Caudan Waterfront” at the heart of the Capital city-Port Louis where you can grab a drink, take a walk along the harbour, enjoy a meal at one of the many fine restaurants, try your luck at the casino and admire artists’ work while enjoying shopping.
Ideally just enjoy the beaches, as they are amongst the finest in the world.!
- Carry lots of Sunscreen and no SPF 50 is not strong enough (I learnt that the hard way!).
- Lots of locals are familiar with Hindi, English and French so you won’t have trouble getting around.
- Strangely most hotels provide complimentary water only on the day of arrival so ensure to pick up water at the local stores, yes you can call for water at the hotel too i.e. if you are willing to shell out Rs.400 for every litre!
- Food is priced ridiculously at most places so pre-booking you dinner at the hotel you will be staying at makes sense.