Generally, when I spend a week at a beach front resort, I want to do, well nothing. That’s sort of our way of traveling. But, I was very surprised to find how much there was to do in Mauritius. I found myself learning a lot about the culture and environment of this unique island, more so than I expected.
Top Things To Do In Mauritius
Exploring a Nature Preserve
This was a bit of a surprise for me. It was even more of a surprise that we enjoyed it. Heritage Resorts has a private nature preserve called Frederica. It’s possible to take a Mauritian-style safari, in a 4 wheel drive, purpose-built truck. During our safari, which included a ride part of the way up, and then a one-hour hike, we saw what I termed the “Mauritian Big 5.” Our safari included wild hare, wild boar, deer, pheasant, and the only native mammal to the island – bats.
After our hike, they set up a sunset yoga for us. But, the weather did not cooperate. It was rainy and windy. Instead, we enjoyed a little snack with some healthy wellness drinks, while waiting for the sunset over the mountains. After, we took a mini night safari on the way back to the resort, where we saw hundreds of deer under the driver’s lamp. Their alien-like eyes glowed in the dark. Other than getting caught in the rain, it was a lot more enjoyable than I imagined, being that we are not really adventure travelers.
Mauritius Food Tour
During one warm afternoon, we drove a little over an hour from the Heritage Le Telfair to the Mauritian capitol, Port Louis. Because I found myself comparing Mauritius to the Maldives, Port Louis would win hands down against Male. Our Taste Buddies Mauritian food tour took us on a historic walk through Port Louis. Our guide, Nick, not only educated us on what to eat in Mauritius, but also on its unique history. After all, Nick is 8th generation Mauritian – very cool.
Take a Mauritian Cooking Class
Nick taught us all about Mauritian street food and the historic Creole cuisine of the island. Then, at the Heritage Le Telfair we learned to cook. We made a very very typical Mauritian speciality of smoked marlin with hearts of palm, and a Mauritian chicken curry. We finished up with tasty fried bananas, cooked in orange juice and local Mauritian rum. Plus, the chef sent us home with two jars of their special curry powder!
Eating Local Mauritian Cuisine
This all leads up to the tasty local Mauritian cuisine. Many time at luxury resorts you end up eating a lot of the same foods you do at home, the burgers and pizzas and the like. Sure, Eric enjoyed a tasty mega burger at the Heritage Resorts Golf Club, but I enjoyed a tasty curry sitting right next to him. I enjoyed several spicy curries, amazingly fresh seafood and tuna, and even tasted the local Mauritian rum. I was surprised at how much great food there was to eat in Mauritius.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Much like imagining Eric and I hiking through a nature preserve, imagine the two of us (neither of us the model of physical fitness right now) doing a little stand up paddle boarding. But, we did it.
I was super nervous, particularly because I am not the strongest swimmer, and the currents were rather strong. I started just paddling on my knees until I got the feel of it a bit more. Towards the end, I managed to stand up. A proud moment. Then, I rewarded myself with a local beer. Eric did better than I did, and was able to stand up for longer. But, he also had an enormous wipe-out at first.
People say that SUP is actually harder than it looks. I disagree. It looks hard. And, it is hard. But, we did it!
Shopping in Port Louis
We stayed on the south end of the island, about 45 minutes from the airport, and a little over an hour from Port Louis. I loved being down south because it was remote, quiet, natural.
But, that means pretty much all shopping needs to be done in Port Louis. There is a little outdoor shopping mall, with restaurants and views over the port. And, it doesn’t take long to walk to the local market from there either. That was pretty cool, particularly because we were there on a Saturday and it was bustling. It’s a locals market, but it is possible to purchase spices as souvenirs, and some famous healing teas.
Wine Tasting in a Sugar Plantation Home
This was another surprise. Sure, we’ve drank good wine at luxury resorts, and even done a little wine tasting. But, it was an entirely unique experience to do a wine tasting in an old sugar plantation home, Le Chateau. The Le Chateau sommelier walked us through some unique wines, in the wine celler. After, we enjoyed a French-Mauritian inspired dinner, with silver and china. I felt so elegant.
Golfing in Mauritius
When we lived in Chicago, we used to golf a good amount. Locally as well as when traveling. I enjoyed it, although I was never any good. I pretty much enjoyed the cute pastel outfits I got to wear. But, it was great to take a golf lesson at the Heritage Resorts Golf Club. The golf pro was very knowledgable, and patient. And, he taught us a couple tricks I had never heard before. Next stop? Exploring the PGA courses and golfing in Costa Brava perhaps?
Sit and Do Nothing – The Best Thing To Do in Mauritius!
All that said, it wouldn’t be a holiday at a luxury Maldive resort without a good amount of sit and do nothing time. And, we managed to squeeze this in too. The beach was lovely, even if the water was a little cool during the shoulder season. We enjoyed the heated pool. And, our sit and do nothing time included little treats occasionally brought to us by the pool staff, like fresh fruit skewers and infused water. I probably could have used a little more sit and do nothing time, but I’ll save that for my next visit.
Coconut Cocktails at Sunset
And, we captured some lovely sunsets while at Heritage Resorts. The best sunset view was from the beach area outside of their Asian-fusion restaurant, Gin-Ja. But, we also enjoyed a fab coconut cocktail at sunset from the Coco Shack, just down the beach at neighboring Heritage Awali. The bar is surrounded by a handful of swings, where we could sip margaritas straight from the coconut, while listening to the waves lap the beach.
I could get use to this, from sit and do nothing, to loads of interesting things to do in Mauritius.
Garden View Suites at Heritage Le Telfair start around €115 per person, per night. They also offer half board and all-inclusive style packages.
We were hosted by Heritage Le Telfair during our holiday in Mauritius, but all opinions are, as always, my own. There is so much to do in Mauritius that we didn’t even try. It will have to wait until our next visit.