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Points of Interest in Mauritius: The Top Five Cultural Attractions

October 25 2017

Points of Interest in Mauritius: The Top Five Cultural Attractions

Famous for being a hotspot for memorable family holidays on the beach, secret escapes for celebrities and honeymoon sojourns, Mauritius offers everything you could possibly want for the quintessential island holiday. From its alluring tropical waters to its undulating landscape flanked by vivid green sugarcane—it’s literally got something for everyone. And with a rich history, multicultural people and strong influences from India, Africa, China and Europe, it’s both interesting and diverse. If you are looking for the most authentic cultural experiences and points of interest in Mauritius to enjoy during your stay, here are five of the ultimate cultural attractions to see while in Mauritius:

Eureka Creole House

You can’t fully appreciate the island of Mauritius without understanding its interesting, chequered past—the Eureka Creole House stands as a reminder of, and provides insight into, the island’s colonial history. Constructed in the 1830s, by a British man by the name of Mr Carr (although over the years it changed hands quite a number of times) this picturesque house-turned-museum is set on a centuries-old plantation surrounded by lush gardens and waterfalls that originate from the Moka Mountain range and river. Explore the various wonders of the excellently preserved old mansion (which holds ample rooms with a whopping 109 doors and windows). Gorgeous period furniture imported by the French East India Company, Chinese and Indian household items, antique maps and an incredibly old piano are some of the highlights, as well as an interesting shower-type invention.

Port Louis

Another must-see for travellers on the search for authentic cultural experiences and points of interest in Mauritius is Port Louis—which is teeming with cultural and historical sites. The capital city of the island, surrounded by the small mountain range named the Port Louis Moka Range, is also the largest city in Mauritius, and unsurprisingly, the location of its main port. Founded in 1735 by the French governor at the time, Mahe de Labourdonnais, the city has some important historical and cultural sites, beautiful French buildings, colonial monuments (such as Fort Adelaide which has been around since 1835) and interesting museums. The three museums well worth visiting are the Stamp Museum, Blue Penny Museum (which centres on the Mauritian art and history but is so named because of its collection of Blue and Red Penny stamps) and the Mauritius Natural History Museum. Here you can see skeletons or pictures of extinct or endangered species, one particularly interesting skeleton for those visiting Mauritius is that of the dodo).

Other interesting sites include the old Port Louis Theatre, the racetrack Champ de Mars (the second oldest race club in the world) and the post office located near the popular Caudan Waterfront. It is the largest and oldest post office on the island. Extra stops to add to your itinerary while in Port Louis is the incredible Mauritian Chinatown and the bustling central market in Port Louis.

L’Aventure du Sucre

Sugar was one of Mauritius’ greatest exports until the sugar market in South America opened up. In fact, it was the main source of revenue for a long time, which is why the importance of sugarcane is woven into the fabric of Mauritius’ interesting past, L’Aventure du Sucre, or the sugar mill museum, in Pamplemousses is an important point of interest. Here you will learn how the history of Mauritius unravelled and how sugarcane, rum and slavery all played their part in creating the Mauritius as we know it today. Relish the vistas from the museum restaurant as you dine on marvellous authentic local food.

Aapravasi Ghat

This interesting UNESCO World Heritage site and national monument is the last remaining immigrant depot in Mauritius, created once slavery was abolished in the second half of the nineteenth century. Mauritius was the first of the British colonies to receive contracted, or indentured labourers, and was technically the “guinea pig” for this idea (or what was known as the ‘Great Experiment)’. The British wanted to show that this system was far superior to slave labour, and once they felt they had proved this, it was adopted in French, Dutch and Spanish colonies the world over. With this immigration depot having received more than half a million immigrants between 1834 and 1920, many Mauritians believe their ancestors would have arrived at this site. In order to commemorate this, the 2nd of November has been proclaimed a public holiday, with an official ceremony held here annually, marking the arrival of contracted labourers to Mauritius.

Rhumerie de Chamarel

Mauritius is hugely famous for many diverse reasons such as textiles, the dodo bird, immaculate beaches, world-class luxury resorts and of course, sugarcane plantations. But export-grade sugar was not the only product that came from these plantations. Rum has been produced in Mauritius from molasses for some time. But in 2006, when the Mauritian government lifted a ban on distilling sugar cane juice, the rum industry really got the sugar rush it was looking for and the market was introduced to Agricole rum. Making the Rhumerie de Chamarel one of the best points of interest in Mauritius. While the Rhumerie de Chamarel is the newest addition to the rum distilleries on the island, it’s one of the best to visit in order to learn more about the manufacturing process and the importance of Mauritian rum. More importantly, you will be afforded the opportunity of sampling the rums and so discovering which of the various offerings infused with local flavours is your favourite.

Le Morne Cultural Landscape

In the southwest of Mauritius, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Le Morne Brabant or Le Morne mountain casts its shadow over the popular beach as a reminder of its past. Simultaneously, it stands as a symbol of freedom, a monument to the suffering of the slaves and an icon of resilience and resistance. One of the main points of interest in Mauritius, Le Morne Brabant was the hiding place for many escaped slaves (referred to as maroons) during the 18th and 19th centuries. The runaway slaves would form small settlements on the top of the mountain and in the small caves that are found along the basaltic slopes. When the abolition of slavery became official, representatives from the army went to Le Morne Brabant to inform the slaves. Tragically, many of the slaves, who thought the army had been sent to re-capture them, decided to commit suicide instead of risk being returned to slavery.

Le Morne Brabant is also known for its huge variety of endemic plants, one of which, the Trochetia boutoniana, is the national flower of Mauritius. This spectacular mountain, with all its symbolism and mysterious past, further contributes to the already incredibly beautiful landscape and the popular area of Le Morne, which is also home to one of the finest beaches on the island.

If you are looking for incredible accommodation that will give you easy access to some of the most fascinating points of interest in Mauritius, then look no further than one of our four fabulous Sun Resorts. With properties on both the east and west of the island, our resorts provide the ideal location for a base from which to travel to all the other wondrous sites on the island. Contact us for more information or to book a holiday of a lifetime.

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