From exploring the colourful capital, paddle boarding and cooking traditional food, to sampling the island’s top rums, checking out the natural wonders and relaxing on paradise beaches, there’s plenty to keep you busy in Mauritius!
I’ve just returned from a mock-honeymoon! No, I’m not getting hitched anytime soon, but the trip I went on felt like one of those incredible paradise getaways that are saved for the most special of life events. Mauritius was as dreamy as the photos I’d seen before I went. The sand was soft and white, the sea was clear and turquoise, and the people were warm and welcoming.
Over the course of a week we enjoyed breakfast on the beach, walks at sunset, waterfall hikes, sunset yoga, and very tasty meals – from street food to gourmet delicacies.
We split our time between Heritage Le Telfair – a gorgeous 5* luxury resort in the south of the island, and going on adventures. With just a week on the island, here are a few things you absolutely cannot miss!
The Mauritius Hot List: Get Out On The Water
The best way to get into the island spirit is to venture out in the water, and in Mauritius there are plenty of fun activities to try out (depending on how brave you are!) As there’s a reef protecting a lot of the beaches, you won’t find any big waves until you go a little way from the shore. Along some parts of the reef (particularly in the south where we were based) you’ll find a long row of kite surfers catching some serious height! Wakeboarding and water skiing are also popular, but my favourite activity was stand up paddle boarding. I find it really relaxing, and with the water lovely and warm, falling in didn’t seem so bad either! At Heritage Le Telfair you could try out plenty of other activities including sailing, kayaking and snorkelling. Plus, on our final day we hopped on board a glass bottom boat and were lucky enough to see plenty of tropical fish and a very cute turtle!
The Mauritius Hot List: Visit Port Louis
To really get to know Mauritius, take a trip to its vibrant capital Port Louis. You’ll see the locals picking up their shopping, going to work, kids heading to school, insane amounts of traffic, colourful port areas and more! Compared to the rest of the island, it’s not particularly ‘pretty’ but it is real, and for me, this is all part of the travel experience. A highlight was exploring the food market on a Saturday morning. It had a real buzz as vendors sold fresh coconuts, limes, Asian vegetables and tea. I loved seeing all the exotic produce on offer, including the famous tea man who had a tea to help every ailment, from heart palpitations to cellulite!
The Mauritius Hot List: Head Off On A Food Tour
Mauritian cuisine is an incredible melting pot of Indian and Chinese cultures, and some of the tastiest meals are found on the streets. Street food is cheap, delicious and certainly shouldn’t be overlooked. To find out the best places to try, we headed off on a Taste Buddies food tour. It was a great way to really get to grips not only with the culture and the cuisine, but learn about the people who’ve set up their food stalls in the city. Each had an interesting story and it gave the food more meaning once we knew the stories behind it. Over the course of a few hours, tour guide Nic introduced us to farata (Mauritian roti filled with vegetables), coconut water, sugar cane juice, dholl puri (yellow split pea wrap), peanuts, fried vegetable dumplings, and sticky rice with peanut salt. I’d definitely recommend it as a way of exploring Port Louis.
The Mauritius Hot List: Practice Your Swing
I’d never really imagined playing golf on holiday, not unless it was of the crazy golf variety, but when we had a chance to play on one of the top championship golf courses in the world, I decided to give it a swing! I took a golf induction at Heritage Golf Course (soon to be hosting the AfrAsia Open) and learned about technique and posture while hitting a few balls on the driving range. It was surprisingly fun, although I’ve still got a lot to learn.
The Mauritius Hot List: Explore The Waterfalls
Everyone knows Mauritius for its pristine beaches, but it’s got a wild side too! Hike up into the forests and nature reserves and you’ll find rivers, rapids and the odd waterfall too. This one was up in Chamarel, close to the intriguing phenomenon the Seven Coloured Earth.
The Mauritius Hot List: Marvel At The Seven Coloured Earth
Well, what a crazy sight! The Seven Coloured Earth in Chamarel is a natural phenomenon where the colours have evolved with weather conditions and soil composition. As a result the dune-like earth is coloured red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. It’s something you HAVE to see if you’re visiting the island.
The Mauritius Hot List: Sample The Island’s Rum
During our time in Mauritius, we spotted fields full of sugar cane. Similar to the Caribbean islands, Mauritius also has a good reputation for its rum production. Tucked away in the mountains on the south side of the island is the Rhumerie de Chamarel – one of the island’s newest distilleries. They make high quality rums, with a mix of flavours, some incorporating the island’s abundant spices. As well as picking up a few bottles, you can tour the distillery and sample some of their collection.
The Mauritius Hot List: Take A Cooking Class
As a total foodie, I was over the moon to have the chance not only to eat my way around the island, but to cook some traditional dishes too! We donned chefs hats and aprons, and learned from the pros at Heritage Le Telfair. We kicked off by making a tasty palm heart salad served with smoked marlin. Then, after enjoying so many great curries on the island, I was excited to cook up my own chicken and prawn curry. The spice blend was so tasty, and we added quite a bit of chilli to get it to a really great spice level. For dessert, it was back into the kitchen to fry some bananas with a big splash of island rum. While it was fun to learn some new recipes, it was even more special to listen to what the Mauritian chefs had to tell us about the island’s unique cuisine, their backgrounds and their fave dishes.
The Mauritius Hot List: Relax
…well this is Mauritius after all! Many people visit on holiday and spend half their time at the beach and then rest by the pool, and there’s nothing wrong with that! The beaches are beautiful, with soft white sand, palm trees and tropical waters. With a reef protecting a lot of the beaches, the water is calm, perfect for swimming, snorkelling or just floating around.
Thanks to Heritage Resorts for hosting me on this trip. As always, opinions are my own.
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