When I think of a holiday in paradise, Mauritius is one of the places that always springs to mind. Since we celebrated Christmas at home with my family last year, it was time to head to Mauritius this year, and Joe very kindly invited my parents to join us and his family for a relaxing getaway in the sun.
We touched down after a 6-hour flight through the night, having not managed to sleep much. I certainly couldn’t complain about these views though, even if I’m not a fan of being trapped in the window seat!
Joe and I spent the first day catching up with his family, before my parents arrived from the UK. It’s around a 12 hour flight from London to Mauritius, but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s worth it.
Although I’ve explored a fair bit of the island, it was the first time for my parents, so we set out to see some of the beautiful country.
Black River Region
The Black River region, or Rivière Noire, is located on the west coast of the island. Some of the famous areas are the Tamarin Falls, the Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth, and the Black River National Gorge, as well as the Flic en Flac beach, which is one of the longest and most beautiful in Mauritius.
Black River Gorge
Chamarel Seven Coloured Earth
A geological formation, thanks to the torrential downpour it was more one-coloured than seven…but if you check out my previous posts from Mauritius you will see that the range in colour varies a lot more on sunny days!
Le Morne Beach
At the foot of the Morne Brabant mountain lies the beautiful Le Morne beach….miles of white sands, palm trees swaying gently in the wind, and clear blue waters.
Perfect for a spot of early evening sun, and who wouldn’t want to spend the day in that hammock?
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens
Try saying that name 3 times in a row! Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam was a Mauritian politician, statesman and philanthropist, and a leader in the Mauritian independence movement. The airport is also named after him, and so are the spectacular botanical gardens in Pamplemousse.
The gardens are famous for the long pond of giant water lilies (which my dad was particularly looking forward to seeing), and were first constructed in 1770.
Flic En Flac Beach
We were lucky enough to be staying in Flic En Flac, where Joe bought a beautiful apartment just a few minutes walk from the beach. On Christmas Day, while the turkey was in the oven, we spent a couple of hours relaxing on the beach. Don’t underestimate the strength of the sun in Mauritius, or you’ll end up as red as a lobster like me!
You can see the mountains in the distance, however do be careful walking along the beach and in the ocean as there is quite a bit of coral. If you’re after a taste of some local dishes, there are plenty of small food trucks selling Mauritian dishes for next to nothing.
You can walk for miles along the beach, and will find lots of lovely hotels, as well as beach chairs and umbrellas for hire. There are also plenty of activities available here such as kayaking and paddle boarding, but we spent most of our time relaxing, swimming and reading. We were very thankful for the huge umbrella when we got caught in a tropical downpour one afternoon!
7 Cascades Hike
One of the days Mum and I decided to have a little break from the beach, and go on a hike through the Black River region, to find the 7 cascades, or waterfalls. We opted for the slightly shorter hike (which was only 5 waterfalls rather than 7) but which was still fantastic.
It could be a little tricky following the route without a guide, as a lot of the way was along very steep up- or downhill paths, where you would suddenly emerge into an opening with a waterfall gushing down.
You can even swim in a couple of the waterfalls, which the tour agency forgot to mention when we booked the guide, so neither of us had our swimsuits. We did however enjoy a fish pedicure in one of the natural rock pools!
Ile aux Benitiers
On our last day, Mum and I opted for a boat ride to a small island. Sadly Dad had already left us on Boxing Day to go back to work, so wasn’t able to join us for the hike or the boat trip.
There are plenty of agencies offering boat trips to the islands, and the most common ones are Ile aux Benitiers (West Coast) and Ile aux Cerfs (East Coast). Most involve dolphin spotting, snorkelling, and a barbecue lunch on the beach.
We weren’t huge fans of the dolphin spotting, as sadly there were a huge number of boats following them in the water, which we didn’t realise when booking the trip. The poor dolphins were swimming as fast as they could to get away, and all of the boats kept following after, with some people even jumping in to swim after them.
The snorkelling was beautiful, and we saw plenty of colourful fish, although I’d recommend taking your own snorkel if you have one, as the ones provided on our boat were a bit leaky!
Once we arrived at the island, we had a couple of hours free time to stroll around (although it takes 3+ hours to walk all the way around the island, so we didn’t quite manage that) and get some sun, before a tasty BBQ lunch in the shade. Of course we endured another tropical downpour just before the boat left back to the mainland!
The best time of year to visit Mauritius is between November and March (summer in the Southern Hemisphere), when the temperatures are highest and rainfall is at it’s lowest (although we did get a few downpours, they tend to clear up fairly quickly!).
Have you ever visited Mauritius? Let me know in the comments below!