Whether it’s wandering some of the world’s greatest museums, exploring cutting-edge galleries and traditional artisan houses, or watching the latest blockbuster at a film festival, we have our finger on the pulse of all the hottest cultural happenings.
Grand Bassin, also known as Ganga Talao, is a small mountain lake about 600 metres above sea level, in the district of Savanne. It is a holy lake for Hindu Mauritians, who believe that it communicates with the waters of the sacred River Ganges in India.
By the lake there is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and other Hindu gods including Hanuman and Lakshmi. The Hindu community performs a pilgrimage to the lake every year during the festival of Maha Shivaratri. Overlooking the lake is a 33-metre figure of Mangal Mahadev, the tallest statue in Mauritius.
Eureka Creole House
This is one of the largest Creole houses in Mauritius, with 109 doors and windows, set in a magnificent garden surrounded by waterfalls. Originally built in 1830, the Eureka House was restored and opened to the public as a museum in 1986. It displays music, art, antique maps, Chinese and Indian homewares, and other curios, such as a colonial-era shower.
Sugar Cane Museum & Factory
Once as valuable as gold, sugar has a profound legacy in Mauritius. A tour of the old Beau Plan sugar mill, now a museum, lasts about 1.5 hours, at the end of which visitors can enjoy sugar and rum tastings.
Following the trail of L’Aventure du Sucre (the Sugar Adventure), you can trace 250 years of rich Mauritian history, through old machines and films evoking the island’s early years. (The factory was in use until the 1970s.) The Sugar Adventure is suitable for all ages, and of interest to both locals and tourists.
Rhumerie de Chamarel
In southwest Mauritius, the Rhumerie de Chamarel lies in a valley surrounded by sugarcane plantations. Marvel at the rum distillery’s unique design, which blends wood, stone and water features to promote a sense of harmony with nature.
National History Museum
The colonial mansion that houses this museum once belonged to the Robillard family, and played an important part in the island's history. In 1810, injured commanders of the French and English fleets were brought here for treatment after the Battle of Vieux Grand Port.
The story of the French victory is detailed in the museum, showcasing artefacts, from cannons to wine bottles, that were salvaged from the British frigate Magicienne, which sank in battle. The museum also displays early maps of the island, a shipwrecked cache of Spanish coins, as well as paintings (and bones!) of Mauritius' indigenous fauna, including the famous dodo. One highlight is an engraving of Dutch gentlemen riding in pairs on the backs of giant tortoises.
Recent additions to the museum’s collection include a retrofitted train carriage and a replica of Napoleon's boat used in the infamous battle against the English.