Ile Maurice, Mauritius Hotels and City Guide

Ile Maurice Hotels and Ile Maurice Guide with Ile Maurice maps, top attractions, room reservations and hotel deals at a wide range of the best Ile Maurice hotels

Ile Maurice - Attractions

Attractions & Sightseeing in Mauritius - Port Louis

The best way to explore this noisy but compact city is on foot as the traffic is daunting for anyone but a Mauritian and traffic jams are par for the course. Carry a bottle of water with you as Port Louis swelters in the summer months.

A statue of the French Governor Mahé Labourdonnais presides over elegant Place d’Armes (renamed Place Sookdeo Bissoondoyal), the historical palm-lined main boulevard linking the port to Government House, a stately pillared colonial building with cool verandas begun in the early 18th century under the French governorship of Nicholas de Maupin and enlarged by Labourdonnais and later by the first British governor Farquhar.

A statue of Queen Victoria stands in front of the building. Close by on Place Nelson Mandela is the splendid Municipal Theatre which has a superb painted dome and stages regular performances. It was designed in neo-classical style by French architect Pierre Poujade and dates back to 1822. Note the streetlamps, architectural legacies of the colonial past.

Off Chaussée Street in the heart of Port Louis, are the Company’s Gardens, once the French East India Company’s victualling garden. Magnificent banyan trees, statues of Mauritian luminaries by local sculptor Prosper d’Epinay, and fountains are features of this a tranquil park. Unfortunately it is a hangout for undesirable characters and should be avoided at night. Other buildings of note are the Catholic St Louis Cathedral and Anglican St James Cathedral.

Things to See in Port Louis

The Central Market
Farquhar Street
Open: Mon-Sat 0600-1800, Sun 0600-1200

Dating from 1844, the market is situated in an atmospheric but dilapidated part of the city, a world away from the sophisticated Le Caudan Waterfront close by. Fruit and vegetables, spices and herbal teas, basketwork, fabrics, and clothing, handbags, cushion covers, tablecloths (some imported from India), form a burst of colour while the aroma of spices, incense and food assails the senses. Fortunately a road separates the main market from the meat market which requires a strong stomach, particularly on hot steamy days. This is a market for locals, but if you do decide to buy, bargaining is expected as vendors will raise their prices dramatically for tourists. Be aware of pickpockets.

Chinese Quarter

Every city in the world has its Chinatown, and Mauritius is no exception. Close to the ornate Jummah Mosque, the largest on the island, Chinatown was founded in 1944 in Rue Royale not far from the Central Market. Small shops stock Chinese silks and porcelain, dragons and Buddha statues, medicinal herbs and food. Restaurants abound and Food and Cultural Festival takes place in Chinatown each year.

Muslim Quarter

Wander through the maze of winding alleyways in this evocative old part of town situated a little way east of the central business district near Fort Adelaide in Plaine Verte.

Fort Adelaide

Built by the British between 1835-1840 to protect the island from possible civil unrest, the citadel commands an excellent view of the city and the harbour and is now the venue for local and international concerts and dramatic sound-and-light shows.

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical GardensPamplemousses
Open: Daily 0830-1700
Admission charge

Situated 11km northeast of Port Louis and named after the first prime minister of the independent Republic of Mauritius, the 60-acre national botanical gardens are today simply referred to as Pamplemousses, formerly The Royal Botanical Gardens. Pierre Poivre, French Governor and keen horticulturist, planted the garden in 1770 with seeds and plants he had collected from around the world.

The giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies in the long Lily Pond are a main attraction in the garden, their leaves reaching an incredible diameter of up 3m on stalks that can be 8m long. The lilies flower briefly for two days.

Famous for its 85 different varieties of palm trees, a magnificent old banyan tree, baobabs, mahogany and teak trees, and more than 650 plant species, ponds, shrubs and a spice garden, ensure Pamplemousses‘s shady avenues will restore any weary soul on a steamy day.

L’Aventure du Sucre
Beau Plan
Open: Daily 0900-1700

Once a sugar factory, this inter-active museum just north of Pamplemousses Garden, is dedicated to the history of the sugar industry. There is a souvenir shop and a restaurant overlooking lovely gardens.

Kaylasson Temple

North of the city near Abercrombie, the Tamil temple is an exotic example of Hindu architecture, boasting enormous ornate domes against a backdrop of the Moka Mountains.

Domaine les Pailles

A former sugar plantation, this stunning 3,000-acre estate nestling at the foot of the Moka mountain range on the southern outskirts of Port Louis is a cultural and heritage park. The leisure centre offers banqueting and conference facilities, a casino in a plantation-styled building, a bouquet of restaurants, including Le Clos St Louis in a colonial-style mansion.

Sugar-cane fields, a nature reserve, a model of an ox-driven sugar mill, a rum distillery, spice garden, and a quad-bike track and mini-golf are other attractions. Visitors can opt to see the estate by horse-drawn carriage, a miniature railway or Land Rover. Or you can hike through wooded gorges and along mountain trails where you can see deer, monkeys, and possibly the rare Mauritius kestrel, as well as ancient ebony trees.

Night safaris can be arranged and horse riding is available. There are cottages for accommodating small groups on the mountainside and camping facilities also exist.

Eureka Creole Mansion Museum

Located near the small town of Moka, stands a colonial wooden mansion built in the 1830s set in stunning gardens overlooked by the Moka Mountains, now a museum. Displays of fine bone china and crystal glassware, old family portraits and photographs, books, elegant antique furniture and rugs are reminders of the genteel lifestyle led by French and British aristocrats during the 19th century.

Spend time wandering around the sublime gardens and down the Moka River ravine to the waterfall which tumbles into a popular bathing pool. Enjoy a 5-star Creole meal on the stylish veranda while imbibing old-world charm. For real spoiling, spend a night in this magnificent mansion which is a splendid example of the many colonial Creole houses dotted around the island.

The Le Caudan Waterfront

The blend of gracious colonial and modern architectural designs and palm-lined boulevards add to the exotic ambience of this vibrant waterfront. Not only a shopper’s delight, an entertainment centre and meeting place for local artists and tourists, it is also a business centre.

It encompasses hotels, a casino, cinemas and a museum. With over 170 shops and boutiques, street entertainment and a plethora of restaurants to suit all gastronomes, the Waterfront is a one-stop destination for visitors. Sit at one of the many alfresco restaurants shaded by umbrellas on the water’s edge as you watch the busy harbour and imbibe the atmosphere of Mauritius.

Dias Pier, a new addition of the waterfront, consists of 55 boutiques, 16 commercial banks and offices.

Blue Penny Museum
Open: Mon-Sat 1000-1700, closed Sundays and public holidays
Admission: Adults Rs225, students (produce student card) and children aged 7-17 Rs100
Groups (10 and more): Rs175 pp; family (2 adults, 2 children) Rs500

The excellent museum showcases memorabilia of Mauritius’ seafaring history and culture with exhibits of stamps, marine maps, old documents, paintings and sculptures. It is home to two of the world’s most rare stamps dating from 1847. Sound and light special effects and multimedia screens aid the displays. There is also a souvenir shop.

Hotels in Ile Maurice, Mauritius

Paradise Cove Hotel & Spa

Paradise Cove Hotel & Spa

Anse la Raie, Ile Maurice, Mauritius

Oceanfront resort built around a natural cove and private beachfront. Secluded coves are available for couples. The Boat House provides all water sports such as Catamaran, Deep Sea Fishing and more.


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