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Why Mauritius is more than a honeymoon destination

Refilwe Pitjeng says the Indian Ocean island nation is a place of wonder, fun and spirituality.

Umbrellas with the Mauritian flag colours at the Port Louis Waterfront in Mauritius. Picture: Refilwe Pitjeng/EWN.

PORT LOUIS – This week Mauritius celebrated its 50th independence anniversary in Mahébourg.

Mauritius is an Indian Ocean island nation best known for its beaches.

When someone mentions the word Mauritius you can’t help but think of white soft sand and blue crystal-clear waters. Perhaps a dreamy place to spend your honeymoon! It is like paradise.

However, paradise is not only for newlyweds, it’s for friends, families and for yourself. There is plenty to do on the island and the warm, friendly people make the destination a must-visit.

Eyewitness News visited some spots in Mauritius and if you are thinking of visiting the island, here some places you should definitely check out:

PORT LOUIS

Port Louis is the capital city of Mauritius. Charming French colonial architecture can be seen around the city.

The Caudan Waterfront is a lively dining and shopping precinct where vendors sell local produce and crafts at the huge Central Market.

When shopping there, make sure you look around before you buy because some charge exorbitant prices for the same thing you could get at the next stall.

The capital has sites such as the Champs de Mars horse track, Eureka plantation house and 18th-century Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens where you could have a picnic or take a stroll.

MAHÉBOURG

Mahébourg is a small city on the south-eastern coast of the island where you can do your shopping at bargain prices.

For Rs1,000 (Rupees) you could walk out of the city with bags and bags of merchandise and souvenirs. After all of that shopping you might have worked up an appetite, look no further! You must try seafood restaurant Chez Patrick Resto!
The food takes some time to arrive, but when it does the marlin fish could move you to tears. That’s how good it is.

If shopping is not your thing, then you can enjoy a dip at Blue Bay which is about 10 minutes from Mahébourg. It is a busy beach, but the blue waters and soft sand will make you stay.

MAPOU

Château de Labourdonnais (try saying that out loud). Château de Labourdonnais! Okay, this is a restored Victorian mansion on a sugarcane plantation with a restaurant and a gift shop.

This mansion dates to 1859 and it’s amazing how it was renovated and well preserved with the original furniture and some of the architecture. The gardens are beautiful, and you will get a tour of the island’s history.

RIVIÈRE NOIRE DISTRICT

For incredible geography, the seven colours are a must see.

This natural phenomenon is a popular tourist attraction. The colours evolved through conversion of basaltic lava to clay minerals.

It is a relatively small area of sand dunes comprising sand of seven distinct colours (approximately red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow). An amazing fact is that even when it rains, the colours will never mix.

CHAMAREL

Chamarel is a village in Mauritius located in Rivière Noire District and the name of a high-end rum.

You will want to visit Rhumerie de Chamarel Restaurant & Rum Distillery in the area.

The restaurant boasts a simple yet elegant menu with the most decadent chocolate dessert I have ever had! Did somebody say rum? After that death by chocolate, further, indulge your taste buds by tasting Chamarel rum.

There is a variety of flavours; from apricot to vanilla and cinnamon, you can’t go wrong. Bottles at the distillery are sold at Rs750. Yum!

Mauritius is so much more than just a honeymoon destination, it is a place of wonder, fun and spirituality.

The island’s religions are Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.

You can’t help but notice the many colourful temples around the island and the shrines on the side of the road.

There are many activities to suit different folk, for example, snorkelling, zip-lining, hiking, shopping and, of course, swimming in the stunning beaches across the island.

The weather is tropical meaning it’s hot, humid, wet, windy, then hot again all in one day!

There are many things that one can enjoy about visiting a place; it can be the rich history, the food or the sightseeing, but one thing you cannot take away, is the people; their smiles, hospitality and warmth.