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Road trip on Mauritius

Road trip on...

Mauritius

Mauritius is a small jewel in the Indian Ocean, approximately 2,000 kilometres east of Mozambique. With miles and miles of white sandy beaches, amazing dive sites and beautiful hotels beneath swaying palm trees, this is indeed a paradise island. 

Hit the road
Mauritius 02 Intro
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A diving, hiking or relaxing holiday?

Mauritius is a remote island, yet many visitors will find elements that remind them of home. Over the years, the island has been influenced by Dutch, French and British colonials. African and Indian influences persist until today. Although the island is small, we have 7 great travel tips so you can spend at least a week exploring. 

Route: approximately 220 kilometres with national parks, beaches, dive locations, rock formations, ravines, waterfalls and crater lakes.

Mauritius 02 Intro Map
Mauritius 03 Videobg
Mauritius 03 Il Aux Aigrettes 1
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Tip

Stay at the Preskil Beach Resort, located near Pointe Jérome on a crystal clear lagoon. Guests can book a private catamaran that will take them to Île aux Aigrettes or to the beach paradise of Île aux Cerfs, 20 kilometres further north. 

Île aux Aigrettes

Giant tortoises on an ecological island

The atoll of Île aux Aigrettes gives us a glimpse of Mauritius before humans settled there. As the coral island was declared a nature reserve in 1985, the only ones to spend the night are 20 giant Seychelles tortoises and rare indigenous birds, such as the pink pigeon and the Mauritius fody. During the day the island is a popular destination for eco tours by boat from Pointe Jérome. 

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Video Route A B Eerste Video Heeft Geen Fadein Van Achtergrond

    

Île aux Cerfs

Rustling palm trees and white sand

Île aux Cerfs, covered in palm trees, is everything we expect from an exotic island. Once home to deer, tourists now form the majority of wildlife. To escape the crowds, walk a little bit further along the 4-kilometre-long beach. The best way to reach the island is from Trou d’Eau Douce, a fishing village on the east coast of Mauritius. 

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Tip

At night visit the Republik Beach Club & Grill at the Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort near Trou d’Eau Douce for a great dinner and a party. 

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Mauritius 06 Ileauxcerfs
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Mauritius 07 Pamplemousses
Romeo Reidl / Getty Images

Pamplemousses

Botanical heritage

The 282-year-old Jardin de Pamplemousses, located in the interior of Mauritius, is one of the most renowned botanical gardens in the world. A large number of flora was planted by visiting dignitaries including Nelson Mandela and members of the British Royal Family. 

Mauritius 08 Pamplemousses
Romeo Reidl / Getty Images

The variety of palm trees is truly impressive, but the real eye-catcher is a pond full of giant Amazonian water lilies. The leaves of this water lily can reach a diameter of 3 metres. 

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Flic-en-Flac

Diving paradise

You will find the best dive locations just beyond the emerald green lagoon off the coast of Flic en Flac. A popular location is Rempart Serpent, or the serpent reef. The name is not a reference to sea snakes but to the shape of an opening in the reef. 

Mauritius 09 Flic Flac
photofort 77 / Shutterstock.com
Mauritius 10 Flic Flac
Mauritius 11 Flic Flac

Divers will usually spot clown fish — think of Finding Nemo — as well as more rare scorpionfish and stonefish. Another attraction is the Cathedral, an impressive underwater cave, where the few rays of sunshine that penetrate underwater cast a magical light inside the cavern. 

Tip

Flic en Flac is accessible to travellers of all budgets, but Wolmar Beach, south of the centre, is the place to splurge on a luxury holiday. Especially the Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa, where each villa comes with a private pool. 

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Mauritius 12 Le Morne
craft images / Alamy Stock Photo

Le Morne Brabant

A magnificent peninsula

The rugged south-western tip of Mauritius boasts a dramatic rock face that rises 556 metres above the ocean and then vanishes again underwater. Once the many caves hidden among the steep wooded cliffs were the perfect hiding place for runaway slaves. 

The name of the mountain, Le Morne (the Sad One), still reminds us of their suffering. In 2008 the location was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site; a walk and climb to the top will be rewarded with one of the best views on the island.

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Chamarel

Seven shades of soil

Approximately 4 kilometres south-west of the town of Chamarel you come across a unique geological find: Terres des 7 Couleurs. This area of 7,500 square metres was formed millions of years ago when a molten lava mass solidified. Since then the surface has eroded with a distinct ribbed pattern revealing a variety of colours, many more than the 7 colours suggested by the name.

Mauritius 15 Chamarel
Mauritius 16 Chamarel

A kilometre further south the Riviere du Cap disappears into a 95-metre-deep ravine. A descent down the Chamarel Waterfall is a popular challenge for abseilers, who celebrate their adrenaline-filled drop with a refreshing swim. 

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Mauritius 17 Blackriver

Those who don’t have the time or the energy to explore the 60-kilometre-long network of trails can opt for a mini road trip through the park. Be sure to take a moment and enjoy the fabulous lookouts along the way. 

Mauritius 19 Blackriver
directphoto.bz / Alamy Stock Photo

Black River Gorges National Park

The green heart of Mauritius

Although the Black River Gorges National Park only occupies 2 percent of the island’s surface, it is home to the majority of indigenous flora and fauna. This includes numerous species of falcons, pigeons, parakeets and bats that are only found on Mauritius (and sometimes on the neighbouring islands of Réunion and Rodrigues). Other animals include non-indigenous deer, wild boar and macaques. The park also encompasses magnificent waterfalls and crater lakes. 

Mauritius 18 Blackriver

Tip

Near the eastern park exit lies the Grand Bassin (Ganga Talao), a Hindu sanctuary by a crater lake. This site hosts the massive Maha Shivaratri Festival which takes place annually in February or March. 

KLM

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