Ever wondered if you were given 24 hours in a destination such as Mauritius, what would you do? Today we received a very imaginative email from our friends at Air Mauritius which we just had to share with you to let you create that holiday in your mind to steer you into actually taking it!
For a moment, let’s just imagine you have 24 hours to spend in Mauritius... Perhaps you’re on a cruise, in transit to somewhere else, or you took the wise decision to include a stopover in your business trip itinerary. Regardless of the reason, if you find yourself in the fortunate position of having an entire day to spend in Mauritius, then you need to make the most of it.
Start your 24 hours in Mauritius early in Port Louis, soaking up all the sights and sounds of the daily market. Discover a whole new world of exotic fruits and vegetables, breathe in the heady scents of hundreds of different herbs and spices and sample some typically Mauritian street food like gajak (deep fried vegetables with chili), roti chaud (flatbread filled with butterbean curry) or a glass of alouda (a sweet, traditional Mauritian drink made from flavoured milk and agar agar).
Once refreshed, head to Royal Road, the main thoroughfare of Chinatown, where you can browse tightly-packed shops stacked with all kinds of fascinating goods or even get your future predicted by Mrs. Kwok, the nation’s most beloved fortune teller.
Then stroll back down to the 170 stores of the Caudan Waterfront and witness one of the country’s best traditions at the M.A.S.T – where exquisitely crafted wooden ships are handmade before your eyes – before stopping for a delicious seafood lunch overlooking the water at Le Capitaine.
It’s time to discover a bit of colonial Mauritius, with a trip to the Bois Cheri tea plantation. Established at the end of the 19th century, the 250 hectare site produces up to 700 tons of tea every year. You can watch the tea-pickers at work, take a guided tour, sample all manner of unusual teas on the open-air terrace and get some stunning views of inland Mauritius thrown in too.
If you’re looking for a more energetic way to spend the afternoon, why not try your hand at one of the activities Mauritius is best known for? The island is considered one of the world’s top golfing destinations, so you could always squeeze in a round at a world-class course like Le Touessrok or The Legend at Constance Belle Mare Plage.
Or to really get the adrenaline flowing, try your hand at something new like kite surfing, windsurfing, wakeboarding or stand-up paddle boarding. The best location in Mauritius for all of these sports is the wide flat lagoon at Le Morne peninsula on the island’s southwest tip. Here, you can rent equipment or take a lesson with Le Morne Kite School who will help you gain the key basic skills so you can have as much fun on the water as possible.
If you’ve only got one day on the island then be sure to set time aside to watch the sun go down. There are many Mauritius sunset spots, but one of the best ways to witness this nightly spectacle is on a sunset catamaran cruise – there’s simply nothing like being out on the Indian Ocean with the wind in your hair. Sunset cruises take place all around the island, but the most popular locations are around Blue Bay Marine Park in the south east, and Grand Baie in the north.
Some cruises offer a dinner option too, but if you’d rather eat back on dry land we recommend choosing somewhere with a menu that reflects the best of Mauritian’s multi-cultural heritage, like the Chinese-Mauritian Domaine Anna with its beautiful over-water thatched gazebos, or the much-raved-about Creole seafood curries of Chez Tino in the fishing village of Trou d’Eau Douce.
Tired yet? End your day with a nightcap at one of the island’s many bars. For beers, wine, champagne and cocktails accompanied by the sound of lapping waves, we like the Beach House Bar in Grande Baie, with its retro-rustic interior, mismatched furniture and swaying palms.
So, now that you have the picture in your mind, do we hear "Mauritius here I come?"
First published by Air Mauritius- Kenya