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North Mauritius Island Tour Highlights, Tips & Map

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About the Tour

North West Mauritius tour is one of the most offered and popular things to do on the island. It is a good way to see the busy side of Mauritius as Port Louis and Grand Baie are those parts of the island that barely rest. Despite that, probably the most notable attraction, typical of the North West Tour, is Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden. It is a good place to learn more about the potential biodiversity of the island because most of it was destroyed for the colonial plantations.

Further on, you’ll get a chance to visit the very edge of Mauritius and see the beautiful Northern islands. The cherry on the top of the tour will be two entirely different places of worship, representing the tolerance and coexistence of different cultures on the Island. Mauritius North West tour covers a very wide range of what the nation island has to offer: from crowded Port Louis Central Market to lovely and pristine northern beaches of Mauritius.

Le Chateau de Mon Plaisir in Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden has an ancient structure status by Mauritius standards. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Tour Details

Map of Mauritius

Northern islands from Cap Malheureux. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Mauritius National Botanical Garden

The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden was founded in 1735 by Pierre Poivre, a French naturalist and botanist, making it the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere. It was originally built as a private pleasure garden for the governors of Mauritius and only later the garden was later opened to the public in 1828. The garden is named after the first prime minister of independent Mauritius – Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam.

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

The garden is located in the town of Pamplemousses, about 11 km from the capital, Port Louis. The garden covers an area of 37 hectares. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden is the oldest and largest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere, and it is also one of the largest in the world.

The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden is a great place to learn about the plants of Mauritius, and it is also a great place to relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. There are several walking trails through the garden, and there is also a children’s playground. The garden is home to a large collection of plants, trees and flowers from all over the world. It hosts more than 3,000 species of plants. The most famous attraction in Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden is the giant water lily pond. The pond is home to the largest water lily in the world. The lily is called the Victoria Amazonica.

Flowers of Victoria Amazonica live only for 48 hours: one day as a female (white) and one day as male (purple). Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Port Louis

Port Louis is the ever-busy Capital of Mauritius. It is probably the only place in the island where you can forget that you are actually on a remote island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Naturally, Port Louis is one of the more well-known cities in the country. With a population of about 124,000 people, it is the largest city in Mauritius. Many travelers come to the city for its beaches, golf courses and diving sites, but probably the most famous tourist attraction is Port Louis Central Market.

Port Louis from Trou aux Cerfs volcano. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Aapravasi Ghat

The Capital of Mauritius also houses one of the two UNESCO objects on the island – Aapravasi Ghat. It was built in 1834 by the British government as a landing point for newly freed slaves and, later, as a site for the arrival of indentured laborers from India. It is the earliest surviving material manifestation of what would eventually become the largest 19th-century labor migration scheme in world history. The Aapravasi Ghat was designated a World Heritage Site in 2006.

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Grand Baie & Pereybere

Though not my cup of tea, the area around Grand Baie is very popular among tourists and even locals. This is the place for parties and nightlife on the island, a modest sin city of Mauritius if you will. Just don’t be fooled, despite its image, the area around grand Baie and Pereybere has much more to offer than just fun.

Grand Baie from a driving car. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Grand Baie

The town of Grand Baie is located on the northwest coast of Mauritius, at the base of a long bay, near the capital Port Louis. The town is a popular tourist destination, offering a wide range of amenities, including shopping, nightlife, and dining options. Grand Baie has a long and rich history, dating back to the 16th century when it was founded as a fishing village. Today, the town is a thriving center of tourism and commerce and is home to a number of hotels, resorts, and restaurants.

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Pereybere Beach could be the most popular beach in Mauritius by the locals. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Pereybere

Pereybere is a town situated right to the north of Grand Baie, you won’t even notice once you move from one town to another. It’s well-known for its sandy beaches and lively atmosphere. The village itself is made up of small shops and restaurants, as well as a few hotels. Pereybere is a popular destination for both tourists and locals, but the town is most known for its beach, bearing the same name.

Pereybere public beach is accessible by car, and it is approximately 100 m / 328 ft long and approximately 30 m / 100 ft wide. The beach is bordered by a coral reef and is suitable for swimming, sunbathing and snorkelling. Pereybere beach is also a popular spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing. It is the most popular beach in Mauritius among the locals.

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The Red Church

Many of us have seen many churches, and such a small one as Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice de Cap Malheureux, wouldn’t be anything special in predominantly Christian countries, but here, in Mauritius, it is a sight, which must be seen. One of the reasons is the location of the so-called Red Church, – not that many churches are surrounded by turquoise ocean colors, black rocks, and an island in the background. Another reason is that the church itself somehow adapts to the laid-back environment of Mauritius. It is like seeing a church on a vacation on a beautiful island in the Indian Ocean.

26.3% of the population in Mauritius register as Roman Catholics. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice de Cap Malheureux was built in 1881. Despite the mesmerizing setting, most likely it wasn’t the reason why the Church was built here, nor it was its geographical location on the Northernmost tip of Mauritius but rather it was built here because of the battle that took place here in 1810 when the British surprised the French by attacking the island at this location rather than confronting the main harbor – Mahebourg. Ever since this location is known as Cap Malheureux (eng. Cape of Misfortune).

The Northern Islands in the background are Gunner’s Quoin, Flat Island, and Gabriel’s Island. If you want to visit them – you need a different tour. The Northern Islands tour is among the most popular ones in Mauritius.

Gunner’s Quoin from Cap Malheureux. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Tamil Temple

Though Mauritius is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnical island nation, by far, Hinduism is the dominant religion. From the Westerner perspective, Hindu places of worship could be further divided into Hindu and Tamil (Note: Tamil people are fighting for recognition as an independent religion in Mauritius.). The temples of the latter group could be easily distinguished by their colors. Although there are many Tamil temples across Mauritius, Sri Draupadi Amman Kovil Pavillion is the biggest and arguably the most beautiful one outside the Sacred Lake.

Compared to Sri Draupadi Amman Kovil Pavillion, Red Church is a modest building. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Tamil Temple is one of the most popular temples of Mauritius and is also one of the country‘s National Heritage Sites. It is dedicated to the Hindu deity Draupadi, who is also known as Draupadi Amman. Sri Draupadi Amman Kovil Pavillion was built in the early 19th century by indentured laborers from South India. It is a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists from all over the world.

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Mauritius North Island Tours

There are many different recipes for the Mauritius North tour but if you know what you want, you can adjust with your driver. From my experience, the Botanical Garden, the Red Church, and Tamil Temple are must-see destinations on this Tours and everything else could be adjusted based on your needs.

There are two ways to book tours in Mauritius: one is online and another is to ask for this tour by any local driver, possibly, at your hotel. There’ll be no problem, it is one of the most popular tours in Mauritius. The benefits of booking the tour online are the price and quality guarantee. Note that, tours booked on GetYourGuide could be fully refunded up to 24 hours to the tour date.

Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Personal Experience

As I mentioned before, the North West of Mauritius doesn’t exactly represent those kinds of things for which I tend to visit remote islands surrounded by the ocean. Given that, the Mauritius North Island tour was a very convenient way for me to see how life boils in the Capital and lousy Grand Baie area. To put it straight, I would rather choose to live in a more natural paradise-like side of the island and visit the North on a day trip because, despite its image, North Mauritius has a lot of interesting and exotic things to offer.

On the other hand, if you prefer noisy nightlife and shopping, North Mauritius is the place to spend your vacation on the island. In that case, the South West Mauritius tour would make more sense as the top thing to do on the island. For a rather small island nation, Mauritius has a very rich and colorful culture. North West Mauritius tour is a very good way to see one side of it and I’m glad I did it. I absolutely recommend it to anyone who doesn’t plan to spend some of their nights there.

Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

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