Road Trip to the North of Mauritius
February 14 2019
February 14 2019
Mauritius is an island destination that is as diverse as it is beautiful. An eclectic culture, tea plantations, tropical rainforest-like national parks, a delightful culinary scene and a fascinating history, all framed by breathtaking volcanic surrounds; there’s no other destination in the world quite like Mauritius.
This world-class destination has something that many other island destinations don’t; beyond the pristine beaches and the shimmering lagoons, there is so much to explore; from colourful cities and peaceful, exotic gardens to religious, cultural and architectural sites—there something here for everyone.
If you are interested in seeing some stellar sites in Mauritius, then a road trip to the north of the island is a sensational idea. This will allow you to indulge in a perfect balance of historical, cultural and architectural Mauritian experiences and wonders. Here are some of the stops we recommend on a road trip to the north of Mauritius:
While not exactly considered ‘north’, Port Louis is a must-see when on a road trip to the north of Mauritius. The bustling capital city has a plethora of phenomenal activities, sites and shops, that include everything from the colourful central market and unrivalled Mauritian street food to museums, important historical sites and the Caudan Waterfront. This fascinating city might need a full day in and of itself to explore, but if nothing else, it’s definitely worth stopping by.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens
Technically situated in the northwest of Mauritius, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (or SSR) Botanical Gardens in Pamplemousse is a must-see on a road trip heading to the north of Mauritius. One of the finest places to visit in the north of the island, the SSR Botanical Gardens are simply magical and amongst the best botanical gardens in the world. Hire a professional guide to take you through the huge tropical gardens and give you a breakdown of some of the weird and wonderful species of flora and fauna that can be found beyond the decorative gates. A veritable Garden of Eden, this is a fabulous stop on a road trip to the north of Mauritius.
L’Aventure du Sucre Sugar Museum
Very close to the SSR Botanical Gardens in Pamplemousses, you’ll find the glorious L’Aventure du Sucre Sugar Museum. The Beau Plan Sugar Estate officially stopped sugar production in 1998 after a whopping 177 years in the business and was converted into the interesting and important museum it is today, which is considered one of the best places to visit in the north of the island. Much of the old factory machinery is still there and people who previously worked at the factory are around to give you insight into the process that was used by the factory to turn sugar cane into sugar crystals as well as answer any questions. During your visit, you can also taste 15 varieties of unrefined sugar—interestingly, of those 15, two of them were actually invented in Mauritius.
The Domaine de Labourdonnais
One of the best places to visit in the north of the island is undoubtedly the Domaine de Labourdonnais. This picturesque estate dates back to 1774—when Mauritius was under French rule—when it was started as a sugar plantation. It has since evolved into the agricultural estate it is today. The 540-hectare property boasts 15 different fruit varieties, grown in the orchards (the fresh produce can actually be bought in the La Corbeille grocery store) as well as a stunning little cafe, La Terrasse, which makes for the perfect breakfast or brunch stop.
After your breakfast in the lush tropical garden, enjoy a guided tour of the gorgeous 19th century Chateau de Labourdonnais and end with a delicious product tasting! A site where culture, history and nature all seem to co-exist in harmony, this is the perfect Maurtian road trip stop.
A road trip to the north of Mauritius wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the famous village of Grand Baie. Weave your way through impressive sugar cane fields and past interesting sites all the way to the bustling seaside town, popular with tourists. With an array of excellent Mauritian restaurants and cafes, it’s a good place to stop for a snack, sumptuous meal or cup of coffee. It’s also a famous shopping spot, so it’s certainly the place to look for special items to take back home. This old fishing village has quickly grown into a modern little town with all sorts of offerings, and you might find it hard to limit your time here and get on to the next road trip stop!
The scenic coastal route
As you head out of Grand Baie to continue on your road trip to the north of Mauritius, you'll take the scenic route that winds down the north coast from Balaclava to Poudre d’Or. This stunning coastline gradually changes from alluring powder-white beaches to dramatic coastlines and makes for a scenic route like no other. Stop in Péreybère for a dip in the crystalline lagoon waters, visit the small red-roofed church in Cap Malheureux to see the intricate little chapel and to enjoy unparalleled views of Gunner’s Quoin island and marvel at the kite surfers making the most of the beaches along the coast.
Taking a road trip in search of the best places to visit in the north of the island is a phenomenal way to experience Mauritius and these immersive and authentic moments are sure to stay with you for the rest of time.