North of Mauritius
Discover the North of Mauritius
The Northern region of Mauritius is famous for its wonderful beaches, considered as the best of the country. There are also a few other places of interests in this region.
SSR Botanical Garden in Pamplemousses
One of the North's most visited tourist attraction is undeniably the 24 hectare Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, renamed SSR (Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam) Botanical Garden, which is the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere.
Created in 1735 by Pierre Poivre, a French horticulturalist at the request of Mahe de Labourdonnais, Governor at that time, the garden has been renamed after SSR, the first Prime Minister after independence in 1968 and whose funeral platform lies in the Botanical Garden. The garden hosts 500 different species of exotic plants, including the Giant Amazonica Water Lilies, whose flowers open white one day and turn red the next day, as well as the Talipot Palm, a tree that flowers once in its lifetime after 60 years. Other attractions worth seeing are the Golden Bamboo, the Fish Poison Trees, the Marmalade Box Tree or the Chewing Gum Tree, as well as the art gallery. There are also different types of animals there. Various fish can be seen in the ponds, as well as deer in the feedlot, and giant Aldabra tortoises. An ancient sugar mill has also been rebuilt in this botanical garden. The Botanical Garden is situated 11 km (7 miles) away from the Capital City and can be easily accessed by bus or by car.
L'Aventure du Sucre
This museum has the advantage of exhibiting the history of Mauritius and that of sugar cane production, and how both are inextricably linked.
This interactive museum is interesting to visit due to its vivid pictures and movies.
It is situated in an ancient sugar cane mill and the old machines that used to produce sugar can also be visited.
A shop is also found on this spot with original souvenirs, as well as unrefined sugar and local rum tasting.
Those tempted by refined local food will be delighted by Le Fangourin restaurant next to the museum. Visitors can have access to the souvenir shop and the restaurant without going through the museum.
Opened from 9am to 7 pm, 7 days a week, it is situated just north of the SSR Botanical Garden, less than a kilometre away.
Grand Bay has become over the years one of the main tourist centres of the island. With a motorway leading directly to the coastal resort, the visitor can find everything he wants, from banks, a wide range of shops, restaurants, beach activities and supermarkets. It is also nice to wander along the Sunset Boulevard to enjoy the shops and the nice panorama.
Grand Bay is also one of the references in terms of nightlife with a wide variety of bars, live music and nightclubs like the Banana Cafe, Buddha Bar, Insomnia among others. Grand Bay also offers a variety of hotels and very nice beaches.
The Labourdonnais Orchards, Mapou
For those who want to escape the hectic trend of Grand Bay, the Labourdonnais orchards, close by offer a quiet visit among tropical fruit trees like bananas, litchis, coconuts, pineapples, as well as vegetables like tomatoes, eggplants, etc. Flower lovers should visit the greenhouse where colourful flowers like anthuriums, bougainvilleas and hibiscuses can be seen.
Fruits and flowers from the orchard are sold, and fruit products like fruit juice, jams, fruit paste, pickles, and sorbets are also on sale there. Guided visits are available, as well as bike rental to visit this 50- hectare orchard.
Cap Malheureux has acquired a reputation for hosting the famous Red Roof Chapel, this cute little chapel, Notre Dame Auxiliatrice with its red wooden roof and impressing woodwork, as well as a holy water basin made from a giant shell. Cap Malheureux is the northernmost point of the island, and is the spot where the British landed in Mauritius in 1810. Tourists love visiting this chapel and taking pictures of the picturesque look with Gunners Coin, a small islet offshore, dominating the background.
For those driving through Goodlands, the Historic Marine Boat factory is worth visiting. This factory, where replicas of old sailing vessels are made is quite famous in this area. These model ships are exported to the whole world, and can be seen in the factory, where one can also have a look at the artists who are busy building these model ships. A large brightly coloured Hindu Temple is also worth visiting in Goodlands.
The northern region also hosts La Nicoliere, a big water reservoir offering panoramic views on the Northern part of the island. There are also some biking treks available, organised in La Nicoliere Reserve.
Poudre d'Or is famous today for having witnessed the shipwreck of the Saint Geran in 1744, and for which a memorial has been set up. This event has inspired the famous novel "Paul & Virginie" by Bernardin de St Pierre. Today, Poudre d'Or is also home to the oldest religious building in the area, as the first church built in the vicinity dates back to 1847.
Triolet is a very busy village of the North. Lots of clothes and food shops can be found there. In Triolet, the biggest Hindu temple is also to be found. Built in 1891, the Maheswarnath Shiv Mandir can be visited, and temple servants can act as guides and show the different divinities to visitors.
Pointe aux Piments
Pointe aux Piments is a quiet village where the sole aquarium of the country can be found with the island's marine fauna. In this aquarium, an interesting tank can be seen with sea turtles, as well as other creatures.
It is opened from 9.30 am to 5 pm from Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 3 pm on Sundays and public holidays.
Those who want to see the feeding sessions should get there before 11am.Pointe aux Piments also hosts many luxurious hotels, and beautiful sunset views can be seen from there.