By Juhi Bansal
Read Part-1 of Planning a Trip to Mauritius
I am back with a day to day itinerary for Mauritius. Before I share this I would like to reiterate two things. We do not go through travel agents or holiday planners. I plan all my stays, itineraries and travel myself. It is a result of hours of research on the internet to see what may or may not work for us.
Two, we largely do a self catering, self drive/public transport on most of our trips. I get asked this quite often- do we cook on our trips? Well, self catering does mean we have a fully equipped kitchen but we always play it by the ear. We normally do a mix of making breakfast ourselves or stepping out to the closest boulangerie before we start our day driving around, have lunch on the go wherever we are and then depending on how tired we are- dinner is either ordered in, cooked by the husband using local ingredients or turned into an evening out with a nice dinner and live music etc. We do not like the same buffets breakfasts and dinners and that is why avoid staying in hotels especially if the trip is longer than 3 days. An airbnb or self catering villa has almost all comforts of staying in a hotel plus having your own house in a foreign land!
Ok, back to the day to day itinerary:
We were in Mauritius for 8 days because we wanted a laid-back, slow itinerary. You could pack all of the below in 5-6 days as well.
Day 1: After landing around noon, we picked our car from the airport and drove to Accommodation 1 in Pointe Aux Piments. We chose to stay in because all we wanted was to relax on the private beach and do some fun activities like glass bottom boating etc.
Day 2: Drove to South for Accomodation 2 stopping on the way at Flic en Flac, Tamarin and Le Morne beaches. Do remember to spend some time in all three towns.
Day 3: Drove the Baie du Cap Road on South-East coast. The coastal road is amazingly beautiful. Stopped at the Gris Gris and Blue Bay beaches on the way. Do drive through the towns of Souillac and Mahebourg. While it wasn’t a part of our original itinerary, we decided to spend the second half in Casela Amusement Park for the little one. It has a small safari, aviary, zoo and lots of rides.
Day 4: Spent the day in the town of Chamarel. Started the day with Seven Coloured Earth and Waterfalls and then hopped over to the Curious Corner for some downtime. (nothing out of the ordinary so you can skip if you don’t have the time). Then came my favourite part! Rum tasting in the “Rhumrie de Chamarel”. Also, try the jams there. Drove to Accomodation 3 in the North of the island via Black River Gorges National Park, Trou aux Cerfs (volcano) and the town of Curepipe, Triolet and the Mont Choisy beach.
Day 5: Spent the day in the beautiful town of Port Louis trying local food and window shopping at Le Caudan Waterfront.
Day 6: Drove to the East to get on the boat for Il aux Cerfs island and spent most of the day there. Also tried Undersea walking. Stopped on the way back at the town of Flacq.
Day 7: Drove around Cap Malheureux, Pereyrebere, Pamplemousses. Checked out the Red Roof Chapel.
Day 8: Walked the Sunset Boulevard and spent time at the malls. Drove back to the airport.
We drove about 1100 kms in total over the 8 days in Mauritius. While we were on the road for about 2-3 hours at an average, sometimes even more, we didn’t feel it at all. Infact, almost every day either started or ended with a leisurely couple of hours at the beach.
If you have lesser number of days you can still pack all this in but it will be quite rushed.
You may want to skip Casela and Curious Corner if you don’t have a kid travelling with you.
I would suggest spending a lot of time driving around exploring smaller villages and town.
The trip to ll aux Cerfs island is missable especially if you’re on a budget. Almost all beaches in Mauritius are quite beautiful and I didn’t see any extra benefit of driving the distance, then taking a boat and making all the extra expense. It will cost you about MUR 4000 per person for a return boat trip and lunch at the island.
Mauritius Vs Seychelles Vs Maldives
Million dollar question. Let me ask you a question- what is it that you’re looking for? Peace and quiet, luxurious property and service par excellence? Maldives is your place. However, you’re stuck on a small island for the duration of your stay. You can island hop but the experience is repetitive and definitely not worth the money. We honeymooned in Maldives and it was one of our best experiences ever. However, we were bored to our bones (yes I admit it!) after our 4th day there.
Seychelles is a place where you can self cater and self drive in addition to the battery of luxury hotels and it is again full of breathtakingly beautiful white sand beaches and blue waters. However, shopping is limited there (there is a non-existent market in Victoria or super expensive local “designer” stores) and practically no night life especially if you’re not staying in a top hotel.
Mauritius is affordable and has a variety of activities apart from the super beautiful beaches. Also, they have huge malls, movie theatres, eateries and night life (all inexpensive) which means you can spend a long duration of time without getting bored.
I think the answer to this question is simply- what phase of life are you in? what are you expecting from your holiday? And who are you travelling with?
All of the above places have a little bit of my heart and I hope to go back to each one of them one day.