The Labourdonnais Orchards, Mapou
Discover a wealth of tropical fruit trees, colourful and exotic-scented flowers at this beautiful orchard, close to Grand Baie.
After a busy day viewing the anthuriums, bougainvillas and hibiscuses, sample the orchard’s freshly-made jams and fruit juices.
Note that mountain bike or hiking excursions can be organised here.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam (SSR) Botanical Gardens
Re-named in 1988 in recognition of the much-loved Prime Minister who led his country to independence 20 years earlier, the SSR Botanical Gardens are one of north Mauritius’ most visited tourist attractions.
Famed for their giant Victoria amazonica water lilies, whose gargantuan leaves expand as wide as three metres in diameter, and for the amazing Talipot – a plant that flowers only once every 30 to 100 years – the gardens also feature some fine example of mahogany trees and rare Latanier palms from Madagascar.
The Red Roof Chapel, Cap Malheureux
Cap Malheureux is the most northerly point of the island and the place where General John Abercrombie landed his troops when the British first attacked the island. A tiny chapel famous for its red roof, the Notre Dame Auxiliatrice – commonly known as the Red Roof Chapel – is worth a quick visit. Be sure to look out for its intricate interior woodwork and for its holy-water basin fashioned out of a giant clamshell.
Maheshwarnath Temple, Triolet Shivala
As well as being the longest village on the island, Triolet Shivala also boasts the biggest Hindu temple. First built in 1819 in honour of the Gods Shiva, Krishna, Vishnu, Muruga, Brahma and Ganesha, the brightly-coloured Maheswarnath provides an interesting stop-off point.
Paul et Virginie Monument, Poudre d’Or
The most famous story in Mauritius folklore, ‘Paul et Virginie’ was inspired by the shipwreck of the St Géran, which came to a watery end just off the north-east coast at Poudre d’Or. A small monument marks the spot where the boat sunk.
Legend has it that while Paul, the son of a slave, waited for Virginie, his bourgeois sweetheart, to return from overseas, her boat the St Géran floundered on the rocks. Paul apparently swam out to his lover, but she modestly refused to remove her clothing to swim back to shore with him. Eventually her Victorian clothes dragged her down into the depths and she was drowned. Paul subsequently died of a broken heart.
There is more to Pamplemousses than its delightful botanical gardens. Deriving its original name from the Pamplemoussier citrus plant that was imported by the Dutch who first colonised Mauritius in the 17th Century, this northern town has a rich historical past.
Interesting places to visit include the Old Cemetery, the 18th Century Saint François of Assises Church, and L’Aventure du Sucre: a fascinating museum that chronicles the history of the Mauritian sugar industry while offering additional insight into the island’s wider history, including slavery and rum production.
Many people believe that the beaches of northern Mauritius are without compare. Some of the finest examples include the stunning Trou aux Biches – shaded by casuarinas trees – the arching curve of Mont Choisy beach, which runs from Trou aux Biches to Grand Baie, and the divine Pereybere cove.
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