Discover the best things to do in Mauritius
A volcanic island forming part of the Mascarene archipelago, Mauritius is a little corner of paradise with long white sandy beaches and turquoise lagoons. Often regarded as an ideal holiday destination for fare niente, unlike its neighbour Reunion Island, which is renowned for its outdoor activities in the cirques, there is no shortage of things to do to have fun and make the most of its idyllic setting!
Get ready, this article is sure to give you ideas to enhance your stay in Mauritius with activities in every corner of the island!
Things to do in south-east Mauritius
Bordered by two large lagoons and with a still wild coastline to the south, the south-east of Mauritius offers beautiful scenery just a stone's throw from the island's international airport, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam airport. Between cultural and sporting activities, there's no time to get bored!
History and scuba diving from Mahébourg to Blue Bay
In the Grand Port district, Mahébourg is the ideal place to learn about the history of Mauritius and get your trip off on the right foot. With the National History Museum, Pointe Canon, the monument commemorating the naval battle at Vieux Grand Port, Île de la Passe and Île au Phare on the edge of the lagoon, and Pointe du Diable a little further north at Bambous Virieux, there's no shortage of things to visit in Mahébourg! A stop at the Waterfront, a walking area along Grand Port Bay, is also worth planning to admire the superb Mahébourg lagoon, one of the widest in Mauritius. In fact, you can take advantage of this lagoon on a pirogue trip from Pointe Jérôme, opposite Ile aux Aigrettes and its nature park.
The Mahébourg lagoon is also a great place for snorkelling and scuba diving, activities you should definitely do in Mauritius. A little further south is the Blue Bay Marine Park, another site not to be missed! Listed as one of the island's national heritage sites, it is particularly worth a visit for the superb Blue Bay beach opposite it, as well as the islet of Deux Cocos, which you can reach on a boat trip. The beaches of Esny and La Cambuse around the Blue Bay Marine Park are also great for swimming in the turquoise waters of the lagoon before heading down to Souillac and its wilder coastline.
Discover the wild coastline from Trois-Boutiques to Souillac
With its many sugar cane fields and cliffs forged by the swell, the coastline from Bouchon to Souillac offers magnificent scenery found nowhere else on Mauritius. Hiking along the coastline is one of the must-do activities there, while enjoying swimming breaks in natural pools on the shores of the Indian Ocean! And for those looking for a thrill, you can also go fat biking or quad biking from Trois-Boutiques! From Pointe Vacoas next to La Cambuse beach to Le Souffleur via the Pont Naturel, the view over the rough sea of southern Mauritius will leave a lasting impression on you.
Souillac, the southernmost town on Mauritius, is a good starting point for a guided walk along the south coast: you can discover the Plage Gris Gris, followed by the cliffs and the Roche qui Pleure, and several waterfalls such as Cascade V, which flows directly into the ocean, or the 10-metre-wide Rochester Falls. The town of Souillac itself and the surrounding area also offer plenty for families to do: between visits to the Jardin Telfair along the beach of the same name, the Robert Edward Hart Museum, the La Vanille Nature Park at Rivière des Anguilles and the Domaine de Saint-Aubin and its rum factory, you'll have plenty to keep you busy in Souillac! There are even a few sandy and pebble beaches on the way up to the village of Rivière des Galets, where you can enjoy the sea.
Things to do in South West Mauritius
Between lagoons and nature parks with protected biodiversity, the south-west of Mauritius is a must-see: whether it's Morne Brabant, the kite lagoon or the Rivière Noire Gorges National Park, you won't be short of things to do!
Protected sites and must-sees from Bel Ombre to Le Morne
If you love nature, one of the top things to do in Bel Ombre is to visit its nature reserve, which is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. There are many ways to explore the reserve and discover its treasures, on foot, in a 4x4 vehicle or on a buggy! You can also spend some relaxing moments on the beach at Bel Ombre, particularly in the Baie du Jacotet, as well as some more sporty moments by taking part in a kitesurfing course in the lagoon, for example. Kitesurfing is also a not-to-be-missed activity in Le Morne, in the kite lagoon you'll find as you head up the coast towards Le Morne, passing by the famous Rocher de Macondé and its bend, which are well worth a visit just for the magnificent view from the tip of the rock.
Le Morne Brabant, a mountain on the edge of the lagoon rising to an altitude of 555 metres and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a sublime landscape that you absolutely must make the most of by taking a hike to climb it: in fact, this hike is THE thing to do in Mauritius! At the top, you'll enjoy a panoramic view of the Morne lagoon on one side and the Rivière Noire Gorges National Park on the other. And to admire even more of Le Morne's breathtaking scenery, we strongly recommend that you also take part in a panoramic seaplane flight from Plage de la Prairie, where you can see the famous "Underwater Waterfall" from the air.
Le Morne offers other walks such as the one in the Ebony forest or the one from Piton Canot to Chamarel, near the Terre des 7 Couleurs, a must-see park in Mauritius. There are also horse-riding trips along Le Morne beach, some of which include a trip into the lagoon, where boat trips with snorkelling to Ile aux Bénitiers and Rocher Diamant are not to be missed! And for those who'd still like to have some fun and get their thrills around Le Morne, the Parc aventure Lavilleon in Chamarel offers a range of outdoor activities including via ferrata and zip-lines!
Nature adventure in the Black River Gorges National Park
The Gorges de Rivière Noire National Park, to the east of Chamarel, is a true hiker's paradise on Mauritius. On its hiking trails, which are suitable for all levels, you are sure to come across fauna and flora endemic to the island, including the Trochetia Boutoniana, the shrub in which the national floral emblem of Mauritius blooms: the "boucle d'oreille". A number of lookouts, such as the Macchabée and Plateau Resmousse, offer breathtaking views of the surrounding area, as does the summit of Mauritius's highest point, the Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire at 828 metres.
And for even more activities in the south-west of Mauritius in the heart of nature, the Vallée des Couleurs Park in Chamouny, south of the Black River Gorges National Park, is sure to meet your expectations: from sensational zip-wire courses to jeep, quad bike and buggy tours in a superb natural setting reminiscent of Chamarel's Terre des 7 Couleurs, you're sure to have a great time with your family or friends!
Things to do in West Mauritius
Loved for its long white sandy beaches, the west of Mauritius is above all the ideal place to go and watch the dolphins and sperm whales that occupy the waters of this part of the Indian Ocean, as well as the whales in season. But there are plenty of other things to do from Rivière Noire to Flic-en-Flac!
Water activities in Tamarin and Rivière Noire
On land, the Tamarin Falls in the north of the Black River Gorges National Park, also known as the 7 waterfalls, are a must-see natural site in Mauritius. It can be a classic hike, or a more fun and aquatic experience with an introductory canyoning session! Not only will you enjoy a refreshing dip in the falls, but you'll also get a breathtaking view of the Rivière Noire gorges from the heights.
On the ocean side, boat trips to observe and swim with the cetaceans are very popular, but there are other activities to do at sea too! One of the most incredible is to go dolphin watching in a sea kayak in Tamarin Bay, a must-do experience in Mauritius if you want to get up close and personal with these marine animals without rushing them. What's more, sea kayaking and stand-up paddling, also available from Tamarin beach, can take you up the Tamarin river for incredible views of the Rempart mountain, the Trois Mamelles and the Tourelle de Tamarin.
Relaxation and sporting activities at Flic-en-Flac and Cascavelle
Flic-en-Flac is an old fishing village known for its superb long white sandy beach that looks like a postcard. Lined with luxury hotels such as Sugar Beach Mauritius and La Pirogue Mauritius, the main activities on Flic-en-Flac beach are sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling in the dreamy turquoise waters. But fare niente has its limits! For a change of scenery, why not take a horse ride at Cascavelle, or visit the Casela World of Adventures Nature Park with the whole family and take part in outdoor activities such as canyoning or via-ferrata! You can also hike the mountains around Cascavelle, including Montagne du Rempart and Trois Mamelles.
Things to do in the north of Mauritius
From cultural and historical visits to outdoor activities, relaxation and discovery, as well as tasting local dishes, the north of Mauritius is full of things to do to enchant your stay!
Cultural stopover in Port-Louis
The capital of Mauritius, Port-Louis is well worth a visit not only for its history, but also for its liveliness and the sheer number of things to do! One of the first places to visit is undoubtedly the Port-Louis market, which is over 200 years old and offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture. Here you can buy souvenirs of your stay, and even sample local specialities in the area of the market dedicated to Mauritian cuisine: dishes not to be missed include dholl puri (savoury pancakes stuffed with pea curry, rougail, chatini and candied chilli pepper), briani (a fragrant rice-based dish served with beef, chicken or fish and a mixture of spices and vegetables) or fish rougail (a typically Creole dish). Try it with an alouda to accompany your meal!
Once your stomach is full, you can continue your shopping along the Caudan Waterfront, which offers a stroll along the Port-Louis marina. This is accompanied by cultural breaks in nearby museums such as the Blue Penny Museum, the Post Office Museum and the Mauritius Natural History Museum, as well as a stop at Aapravasi Ghat, the place where Indian workers landed on the island in the 19th century, which is part of UNESCO's World Heritage List. A visit to the Beekrumsing Ramlallah Interpretation Centre, which traces the history of these workers and the abolition of slavery, is also recommended. Finally, a cultural visit to the capital can be rounded off with a tour of the Port-Louis Citadel, also known as Fort Adelaide, offering lovely views of the city and its waterfront.
Surrounded by mountains, Port-Louis is a great place to take a nature break if you're looking for a change of scenery and the Jardins de la Compagnie aren't enough for you. The highly accessible Signals mountain offers a pleasant walk for the whole family, while the hike to Le Pouce (811 metres above sea level) from Moka or the hike to Pieter Both (820 metres above sea level) will be a little more sporty. To the north of the capital, the Rivulet estuary in Terre Rouge is an ideal place to stroll and relax while watching the birds of Mauritius in peace and quiet.
Inland, the village of Pamplemousses is known for being home to the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden: a visit is a must in Mauritius to enjoy a pleasant time discovering around 500 plant species! Nearby, you can also visit the Musée de l'Aventure du Sucre, which traces the history of sugar and allows you to taste rum. Once the cultural visits are over, the north-west coast of Mauritius has a number of beautiful white sandy beaches where you can relax and swim in the turquoise waters: Goulet beach, Balaclava beach, Pointe aux Piments beach, Trou-aux-Biches beach and Mont Choisy beach as you head up to Grand Baie.
Grand Baie is a lively seaside resort with plenty to do! Just take a stroll along Sunset Boulevard and you'll find a number of scuba diving clubs and boat excursion agencies for the north of Mauritius (Coin de Mire, Ile Plate and Gabriel Islet), all of which are must-do activities in Grand Baie. You can also hire an electric mountain bike to ride around Pointe aux Canonniers, stroll through the aisles of the Bazar de Grand Baie market, or simply take advantage of Grand Baie beach or La Cuvette beach to swim in the clear waters of the lagoon. But if you're looking for an original activity, snorkelling in a seabob in the bay is sure to amuse you, and a helicopter tour from Triolet, south of Trou-aux-Biches, will impress you with its panoramic views over the whole of Mauritius!
Heading towards the far north of Mauritius, the picturesque village of Cap Malheureux is also well worth a visit. It is known not only for its emblematic red-roofed church, Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice de Cap Malheureux, built in 1938, but also for the beach at Anse-la-Raie, which offers ideal conditions for kitesurfing and windsurfing. The beaches of Bain Boeuf and Pereybere are ideal for a quiet swim, with the added bonus of splendid sunsets at the end of the day, particularly from the Pointe d'Azur. Finally, diving clubs offer the chance to go diving at sites around Coin de Mire, Ile Plate and Islet Gabriel, of which Cap Malheureux is the nearest village.
Things to do in East Mauritius
The last stop on our tour of the best things to do in Mauritius, the east and its many lagoons still have plenty to keep you busy during your stay!
Between sensations and relaxation from Grand Gaube to Poste Lafayette
In the north-east of Mauritius, Grand Gaube is one of the departure points, along with Poudre d'Or, for catamaran trips to Île d'Ambre and Île Bernache, an activity you should not hesitate to try! Île d'Ambre is a great place to take a short hike and discover the local flora and fauna, while îlot Bernache offers great snorkelling sessions in the clear waters of the lagoon, full of fish. And to make the most of this site, you can also take a seaplane flight over it from Grand Gaube: breathtaking views of the north-east coast of Mauritius and its lagoons!
Between Grand Gaube and Poudre d'Or, the Goodlands market and its days dedicated either to fruit and vegetables or to clothes and fabrics will immerse you in local life. Afterwards, you can take a leisurely horse ride through the sugar cane fields around Poudre d'Or, before the thrill-seekers take to the skies for a parachute jump from the village of Belle Vue Maurel, not far from Roches Noires and its lava tubes, particularly the Cave Madame. Finally, to round off your day in style, take a break on the beaches of Poste Lafayette, Bras d'Eau or Poste de Flacq for a moment of relaxation by the lagoon. Unless you've still got energy to spare and are up for a little visit to the Bras d'Eau National Park!
Last stop at Quatre Cocos and Île aux Cerfs
Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Mauritius, Belle Mare beach in Quatre Cocos is a must-see stop on the east coast. Between relaxing in a sublime setting, swimming and snorkelling in the turquoise waters of the lagoon, and even parasailing to admire the beach and its coconut trees from the air, you won't be bored for a single second as there are so many activities to do here! What's more, there are a number of diving centres nearby to take you diving in the lagoon or offshore, as well as kitesurfing clubs along Palmar beach, between Quatre Cocos and Trou d'Eau Douce. And for a change from the water activities, you can take a walking tour of the Belle Mare ruins in the middle of sugar cane fields, or go for a quad bike ride from Centre de Flacq. A little further south, there are a number of walking routes to discover the GRSE (Grand River South East) waterfall and the heights of the village of Quatre Soeurs, with beautiful views over the lagoon, or the Domaine de l'Etoile offering zip-lining, horse riding and quad biking. But the must-do experience in the east of Mauritius is a catamaran trip to Ile aux Cerfs: renowned for its beautiful white sandy beaches, lagoon and golf club, Ile aux Cerfs offers incredible moments in a heavenly setting to round off your stay in Mauritius in style!
So, what activities are you planning in Mauritius?
As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Mauritius. And the list in this article is not exhaustive! Many other activities, such as canyoning at Eau Bleue near Mahébourg orwhale watching from Grande Rivière Noire, can be added to it, making your list of things to do in Mauritius even longer!
And if you're lucky enough to visit Réunion once you've completed your tour of Mauritius, don't hesitate to check out the activities on offer in Réunion to make your stay even more memorable!