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Sunday, 26 May 2013

5-Day Trip Planner to Mauritius and useful contacts

Mauritius is So much Fun, there is so much that you can do

There comes the time when every trip must end. When you feel ready to go back home, shower in your own bathroom, sleep in your own bed and get back to routine. That time never came when I was in Mauritius! I had spent over 2 weeks there, and did not want it to end! In fact, I had wished to just stay there! Mauritius was so much fun, and so relaxing at the same time, I personally loved it as you can see from my posts. and I totally recommend that you visit this gorgeous island, do all the fun things there are to do over there and explore its culinary scene.

Now I know that we don't always get to have enough time to devour a place, so I have put down for you a 5-day trip planner in which you will get to visit all the locations that you must not miss out on. 5 days are manageable and these five days are packed with activities both basic travel activities and culinary activities. I have taken into consideration that in Mauritius you must have some time to relax by the beach, and really do nothing but live the island tourist experience  and have included that for you too. These are my suggestions, and my most recommended places, but feel free to change around in the plan to suit your personal preferences :)




Le Saint Geran One & Only Hotel

Day 1

  • Land in Mauritius and settle down in the hotel or villa. Spend the day relaxing by the beach as this day is free for you to do whatever you fancy. 
  • If you are staying in a hotel, then the hotel most probably has a show by the bar in the evening - after dinner - these shows are usually very entertaining and give you a glimpse into Mauritian talents. 
  • If you are staying in a villa, then you can watch one of these shows in the nearest hotel, as I did this time. I was staying in Belle Mare, East Coast area and right next to the villa was the One & Only Saint Geran Hotel, where we went for a really amusing show one night (known to be one of the best on the island). The previous time I visited Mauritius we stayed in the Hilton resort in Flic en Flac, South Coast and it had a really good show too. Check online to decide.
  • Otherwise go out and dine in one of the good restaurants in your area. (see my list of tried & tested excellent restaurants in different areas here)

Saint Aubin Vanilla Plantation

Day 2 - Route du The
  • Head out south to the Route du The, and start off at Domaine de Aubineaux, where you will see the colonial houses that have been turned into museums to show case the Mauritian life style back when it was a french colony. Colonial houses are a huge part of the island's culture and reflect on the time when the island was first inhabited.
  • Second stop is the gorgeous Bois Cheri Tea Plantation, where you will go on a tour in the Bois Cheri tea factory, then see the Route Du The Museum that tells the story of global tea and how it was brought to Mauritius. Then you will go to the terrace for the tea tasting. The Bois Cheri Restaurant has some gorgeous views and you can have lunch there. There is a gift shop by the restaurant, where you can buy the Bois Cheri tea among other things.
  • The final stop is St. Aubin. Where you will see the famous Vanilla Plantation. You will watch a short film on the production of Vanilla, then go see the plantation and their botanical garden. If you happen to be on the island during Vanilla harvest time, you will get to see the process of production first hand. You must buy some vanilla if it is still available. There is a gift shop there, where you can buy vanilla and other products as well as the famous Saint Aubin Sugar Cane Rum.
  • Once done, head out to Gris Gris to see the fabulous ocean from atop a mountain. Gris Gris is an area where the ocean is very wavy and is just breathtaking. Grab a pineapple with red chili powder from the stall by the view point and munch away as you enjoy the scenery. The view point is just around the corner from the famous restaurant Chez Rosy in Souillac, where I highly recommend you dine, as you must try her Octopus Salad, Octopus Vindaye or Aubergine Curry
  • Head back to the hotel.
Read the full post of La Route du The here

The Sugar Adventure
Day 3 - L'aventure du Sucre & Port Louis
  • Go on the adventure of sugar. Of all the activities to do in Mauritius, this is the one not to be missed! Sugar has forever defined Mauritius and this adventure gives you the best understanding of this island and its people. Start at the L'aventure Museum. Allow time if you like to know the details as the museum is huge, and there is quite the lot of reading to do there. However, you might want to just swiftly go through it, which is also fine. Once done with the museum, go to the gift shop, where you get to taste a variety of rums, sugars and desserts made with their sugars. Here you can buy the Aventure selection of unrefined cane sugars.
  • You can either have lunch at the restaurant there, or for a more local experience - which I recommend - go to Chez Beni which is a restaurant just around the corner from l'aventure museum. Chez Beni is famous for their lobsters. The father is the fisherman, the mother the cook and the son the waiter. Absolutely amazing food (fresh and alive fish and seafood). Make sure to try their house rum, you will think it is juice, but it is potent so make sure to drink responsibly.
  • After lunch you can head to the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden (a hike in nature) or head out to Port Louis. 
  • Once in Port Louis, go straight to the Port Louis Produce market. What an enchanting experience amongst all the fresh produce of Mauritius. This is the most organised produce market in Mauritius, yet one of the richest too. Once done, head out to explore the street market and China Town. In China town, there is No.1 Chinese restaurant, which offers the island's best dim sums. You can snack on those if you like, otherwise, do try the local Street food, Samosas and Dholl Puri...etc. 
  • Once finished, you can hit the mall for a little bit of shopping, they have some good malls in Port Louis, or you can go to the casino for a laugh and an hour of fun. I recommend that you go sit at one of the waterfront restaurants, where you can lay back and enjoy the local Phoenix beer and the scenery of the ocean and the city. You can either have lunch at the waterfront (pub food and intercontinental options), or you can have dinner at the Chinese restaurant in China Town.
  • Back to hotel.

Grand Bassin Hindu Temple

Day 4 - Rhumerie du Chamarel, Grand Bassin Temple, Alexandra Falls
  • Bear in mind that the Chamarel Rum Distillery closes at 4:00 pm, so if you are planning to go and take the distillery tour you must be there before 3:00 pm. In which case you might have to choose between the other 4 locations as time will be tight. This is an award winning rum distillery and you will learn how they make and distill their rums. You will get to taste 7 different types of rum, and to buy some of their rums and other products at the gift shop. Their restaurant is known to produce some delectable menus, and especially desserts in the making of which they use their rums.
  • 7 coloured earth is a large sand pit, where the earth (sand) is coloured like a rainbow. Literally the earth looks like a rainbow. The 7 coloured earth restaurant is one known to have the best views in Mauritius. So you can either go and have lunch there if you didn't at the distillery, or you can skip this part and have a more local style lunch at Chez M, which is very close to the distillery. I don't recommed Chez M's salted fish Vindaye, but their octopus curry was very tasty.
  • Grand Bassin is the a large Hindu Temple, where they have the world's largest statue of Shiva. There you will get to see some ceremonies, and see Mauritius' largest water reserve. There are many monkeys on the loose there too so hold on tight to your cameras and little belongings lol.
  • Black River Gorge is a view point of green Mauritius from atop a mountain. There you will see cane fields, and other mountains, and will get to walk through a small craft market too. This is an optional activity for a nice natural view.
  • Alexandra falls is a must see, because it is beautiful. Despite being relatively small, the scenery is breathtaking, especially when the sun is out and the rainbow resides in the middle of the waterfall.

Grand Baie
Day 5 - Grand Baie
  • Grand Baie is in the North of the island and is the party house on the island. All night life takes place in there, so you might want to stay till late. You might even want to make sure your accommodation throughout your trip is in Grand Baie if you are looking for longer night time activities. The rest of the island tends to be more relaxed and everything will be closed by midnight and sometimes before then. 
  • Grand Baie Bazaar is a large market for craft and souvenirs. If you are looking to buy keepsakes and little souvenirs, this is the place to go. You must always Bargain in Mauritius, what starts out as 6000 Rs will end up sold for 500!
  • Grand Baie also has a Kite Surfing Club if you are into the sport. Lots of wave-flying fun. They also offer classes if you haven't done it before!
  • Lunch at the Beach House restaurant is a must try when in Grand Baie, so after being done with the bazaar go to the beach house for lunch. They offer a wide selection of beverages and an intercontinental menu. The menu actually offers bits and pieces of almost all cuisines. The atmosphere is casual and fun, the place is almost always packed, so go early. The best thing there is that it is straight on the beach, and you can sit in the sun, take a dip in the sea and come back to your table! Really fun...
  • In the afternoon, head out to Trou aux Biches beach, which is just perfect for sun bathing and a stunning sunset. The beach is full of people especially on Sundays, and is so much fun. The sea there is perfect for snorkeling too.
  • Once done, head out to Chez Marco's Pizzeria for some delectable pizzas and other Italian treats. Chez Marco is just across the road from the beach. Otherwise, head out to Le Capitain restuarant and enjoy their Octopus Salad and the delicious assorted seafood platter all the while listening to their band of two playing excellent music of classic rock and favourite oldies.

Trou aux Biches Beach

2 Alternative Plans for day 5 
  • Catamaran Trips are one of Mauritius famous activities. Departure is usually either from Grand Baie, Port Louis, or Trou des douce. It depends on which boat you book. These trips usually include a BBQ and drinks on board, snorkeling opportunities and stopping at an island to spend the day. I have not tried any of these trips as I had scheduled them towards the last few days of my trip, and the island was under Cyclone warning so all boat trips were cancelled! Therefore, I cannot recommend any specific trip, but you can check online for options.
OR
  • Casela Natural Park, where you get to walk with the lions! Yes you will take a long hike in the company of lions! It is really exciting, and something that is really different. I would do it again any time! If you are not into trying your luck with lions, you can go on a Jeep Safari tour in the park, where you will get to see the various animals, including the lions. You can either have lunch at the Casela Park, or go to Flic en Flac and try their famous burgers from the caravan by the beach, known to be Mauritius Best Burgers.

To make your planning even easier, make sure to contact the driver Nassir who will happily drive you to all these destinations, recommend restaurants and activities for you. Such a lovely gentleman whose been so helpful and made our trip that much less stressful. Nassir will pick you up from anywhere and anytime and will always have a smile and many options for places to go. I also found that he charges you way less than other drivers on the island. These are his contacts:Mobile: +2307032644 email: naujeernassir@gmail.com


When in Mauritius, you must try the varieties of street foods


Hope this helps you get started with the planning, and encourages you to visit beautiful Mauritius.

If you have just dropped by, then I have been posting about traveling culinary to Mauritius on my Culinary Travel Blog, and have been posting Mauritius recipes on this blog so take a look the links are all below. I also have some Taste of Mauritius Giveaways that I will be giving out this Friday 31st May 2013, check this link for how to enter the draw and this link for photos of the Mauritius Giveaways.

I love nothing more than hearing from you, so do let me know what you think of these Mauritius posts, both the traveling posts and the recipe posts (the links below in case you missed any). Which is your favourite post, recipe or activity?

Relative Links
Mauritius Travel Posts


Mauritius Recipe Posts



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