This crater lake lies 550 metres above sea level, and is also known as the Ganga Talao by the island's Hindu population; it is also the most important pilgrammige site on the island. On the shores of the lake are several colourful statues of Hindu Gods, as well as small temples. The highlight is undoubtedly the 33-metre high Shiva statue at the entrance, which was built in 2007 and is the tallest statue on Mauritius.
This imposing, 556-metre high mountain is also called the Table Mountain of Mauritius, and is a natural memorial to the end of slavery. The mountain stretches from the ocean towards the island interior, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. The region is particularly popular amongst tourists for its hiking routes, which have been open to tours since 2016, and offer an incredible view from high up of the whole island. The ocean here is also notable for being a popular surfing spot.
The party beach of Mauritius has much to offer tourists, including clubs, bars, souvenir shops, and activities, ensuring that nothing is missing for tourists here. One particularly popular option is underwater walking amidst the coral reefs, watching exotic fish species. The boat tours start at different times throughout the day from Grand Baie, and bring you to a platform in the ocean, from which you will begin your undewater adventure.
Blue Bay certainly lives up to its name! The water here shimmers in different blue tones, putting visitors under a spell. The white, sandy beach here is not the highlight, but rather the incredible underwater world, with corals, fish, and other sealife. The area around the bay is the largest lagoon on Mauritius, being 22 kilometres long (around 14 miles), while the 4 square-kilometre Parc Marin lies nearby too. Since 2008, the marine park has been a natural reserve, and is an excellent diving and snorkelling spot too.
This botanical garden is one of the oldest in the southern hempisphere, and is a real must for any plant lovers out there. On this 3 square kilometre estate, orchids, talipot palms, and giant monkey trees grow. Giant tortoises can also be found here, as well as exotic bird species. The ponds of the park also contain giant water lilies, and there is a large tropical spice garden to round things off.
The colours of Chamarel are a real natural spectacle, and one that all visitors to Mauritius should be sure to visit during their stay. The multicoloured hills were formed over hundreds of years of rain, washing away all soluble material in the rocks. Iron and aluminium oxides have remained, forming the different red, yellow, and violet colours that you can see today.
The famous chapel at Cap Malheureux is a popular spot for honeymooners thanks to its unique red roof. Hundreds of couples tie the knot in this chapel each and every year, fulfilling their tropical wedding dream by the ocean.
Many myths and legends surround the second-tallest mountain on Mauritius, whose western flank overlooks the capital Port Louis; this is largely due to the spherical rock which balances on its peak, 820 metres (2690 ft) above sea level. It is not just this fact that makes the mountain a national symbol of the island, but the surrounding nature as well. Hiking and climbing here are particularly popular activities amongst tourists.
This beautiful, historic mosque is located in the middle of Port Louis, and combines multiple stylistic elements in its construction. One the one hand, it was developed with typical oriental ornaments, on the other side the minaret is supported on colonial-style pillars. These days, the quarter of the city where the mosque is located, Plaine Verte, is almost exclusively home to muslims. For tourists, the area is worth visiting for its cuisine, with fast-food establishments offering oriental delicacies at affordable prices.
The idyllic fishing village of Albion is well worth a visit; here, visitors can see the only red and white lighthouse in Mauritius. More impressive than the 100-year-old tower itself is the view of the cliffs from the grounds of the lighthouse. With a bit of luck, or if you register in advance, you can even enter the lighthouse itself and enjoy a view of the north coast and the ocean from above.
As an aventurous destination, Mauritius is naturally not lacking in zip-lining. The mountains of Chazal or in the Domaine de l'Etoile nature park both offer tourists the chance to go zip-lining over the trees of the jungle. Visitors will enjoy stretches of up to 750 metres in each of the parks, which lead over rivers and mountains, guaranteeing action and adventure for the whole family.
The waterfalls at Chamarel are surely some of the most beautiful in the world. Falling 100 metres into a ravine, spray and mist emerge from the pool, forming an incredible scene. The ravine is lush and green, and the higher plains surrounding the St. Denis and Viande Salée rivers, which flow into the waterfall, are formed of dense rainforest. From one of the different viewpoints, visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view on Mauritius' nature here.
In the centre of the Trou aux Cerfs crater lies an 80-metre deep hole which, over the years, has filled with water and is these days a rather idyllic-looking lake. The surrounding green rainforest park attracts numerous tourists each and every year, while there is a fantastic panoramic view of Mauritius and the surrounding Indian Ocean from the crater itself. The paved street in the path is ideal for walking around the volcanic region.
This nature park was founded in 1985, and these days plays host to crocodiles, giant tortoises, macaques, chameleons, moneys, and colourful butterflies. It is also the largest breeding station in the world for Aldabra Giant Tortoises. One example here is the 100-year-old Domino. Observing a feeding of the nile crocodiles here is for many the absolute highlight.
Whether you're walking along the beach to idyllic sites such as the Crying Rocks, hiking up the Malenga stairs, climbing the Le Pouce peak, or taking a tour of the Black River Gorges National Park, hiking on Mauritius is a real experience for all nature lovers. The peaks of this volcanic landscape is ideal for hiking, taking you past beautiful waterfalls such as Rochester Falls, the Hesketh Bell Waterfall, and the famous Tamarin Falls.
The central market in the Mauritian capital, Port Louis, is a real sensory experience, and an absolute must-see for all holidaymakers to Mauritius. Besides traditional goods and spices, you can also buy souvenirs here. The meat stalls are above all a spectacle for tourists, although one that takes some getting used to, with chickens on hooks and bloodied sheep heads being a normal sight for locals but can come as a shock to tourists. A real insider's tip is the Mootoosamy herb stand, with over 60 different herbs that you can buy here, all of which have healing properties (according to the stand's owner at least).
Incredible white beaches and wonderful turquoise water. The Île aux Cerfs is a small piece of paradise just offshore from Mauritius. It's not wonder therefore that the island attracts up to 1000 visitors every day. The journey across the lagoon with the catamaran takes around 20 minutes, taking you past beautiful mangrove forests on the way. The island is home to an 18-hole golf course, an inviting prospect to those who enjoy the sport.
This mini museum turns the world upside-down and is a real attraction, especially for families with children. Enjoy various illusions, such as a mirror maze, a room where the ceiling is the floor, and other fun change-ups. The garden of the Curious Corner is also anything but normal; here, you can find a spot to sit and feel like Alice in Wonderland.
The coastal waters around Mauritius contain a truly breathtaking underwater world, with dolphins, sperm whales, and the rather rare beaked whale. All of these animals can, with a little luck, be seen as part of a tour. Boats can be booked on almost any of the tourist beaches which will take you to the watchin g spots. However, please be aware of unlicensed tours, or ones that are particularly cheap; many of these unlicensed tour operators will drive in the protected habitats of the animals so that tourists, who are usually unaware, can swim with dolphins.
The impressive beach of Flic en Flac is the longest on Mauritius. At 20 km in length, the white sand here stretches across much of the western coast of the island. The adjacent town of the same name has also evolved past its humble fishing village origins to be come a larger settlement with hotels, restaurants, bars, and nightlife. Those who wish can sit on the beach until the early hours drinking refreshing cocktails.