Given the island’s varied history, in Mauritius, there is an abundance of museums and cultural points of interest to visit.
Martello Tower at La Preneuse
The Martello Tower at La Preneuse was built by the British between 1810 and 1846 to protect them against their sworn enemy, the French navy. Since being restored in 1999, the tower is now accessible for guided tours.
As a UNESCO World Heritage site and a commemorative landmark of the harsh slavery period in Mauritius - the mountain of Le Morne is a must see. Protected by isolated wooded and almost inaccessible cliffs, the escaped slaves formed small settlements in the caves and on the summit of Le Morne mountain. Traditions associated with the maroons have made Le Morne a symbol of the slaves’ fight for freedom, their suffering and their sacrifice, all of which have relevance to the countries from which the slaves came – the African mainland, Madagascar, India and South-East Asia.
Eureka "La Maison Créole" Moka
This historical mansion built in 1830 with no less than 109 doors will provide you with a glimpse into the lifestyle of the more affluent Mauritians during the colonial era.
The Folk Museum of Indian Immigration
Aapravasi Ghat (UNESCO World Heritage site)
This museum evokes the influx of coolies who came to work as labourers after the abolition of slavery in Mauritius in 1835. Today their descendants account for two-thirds of the Mauritian population. This well-documented folk museum shows in detail the daily life of Indian workers during the nineteenth century.
National History Museum
A French colonial building from the eighteenth century houses the National History Museum. Old maps, engravings, crockery, pirates' swords and even fragments of shipwrecks, recount the rich maritime history of the island. The crown jewel of this fascinating museum is the bell recovered from the wreck of the St Géran.
Constructed in 1856 for sugar cane transportation, Cavendish Bridge, commonly known as the “Pont de la Ville Noire”, literally “the black town bridge”, was originally constructed from wood while all other bridges in Mauritius were made from steel. Between 1908 and 1911 it was transformed into a reinforced concrete bridge, an innovation at that time. At 155 metres it is said to be the longest bridge on the island.
Battery of Devil's Point
Under the French occupation, 27 defence guns controlled access to the island. The fearsomely effective battery of the Devil's Point for a long time prevented the English from approaching Grand Port.
The Dutch landing spot
The Dutch were forced to land in Mauritius in 1598 after a violent storm drove them to the shore of the uninhabited island. There is a monument to mark the point of their first landing on the coastal road near Ferney, Mahebourg, in the south-east, with the majestic Lion Mountain in the background. Take a walk over the little bridge and appreciate the view of the little islands off the shore.