mauritius north island tour itinerary

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With so many amazing things to see in Mauritius it can be hard to fit it all in. Fear not, I’ll tell you exactly how to explore the North of the island with ease.

As you travel around the north of the island you’ll encounter bright colorful Indian temples, beautiful old colonial mansions and lush green botanical gardens, the north of Mauritius has it all and I’ll explain exactly how to see it.

So without further ado, here is our Mauritius north island tour itinerary.

Our Visit

When we visited Mauritius, we quickly realized that there was actually a lot to see on the island, but the attractions were all over the island meaning we would have to choose whether to stay in the North or the South.

With 2 small kids, we didn’t want to be stuck in a car for hours getting from place to place so we decided to spilt our time on the island and do a week North and a week in the south.

How to see the North of the Island

It’s easy to rent a car on the island and if you’re a Brit it’s even easier as they drive on the same side as home, however, when we compared prices at the excursions desk, we realized it cost the same to hire a driver for half a day as it did to rent a car.

This was a no brainer for us as we could let the driver quickly take us to all the places we wanted to see in a day without getting lost. It cost us £100 a half-day (6 hours) which included 2 kids’ car seats.

mauritius north island tour itinerary beaches

I’m sure it’s possible to book car hire cheaper if you book in advance which we didn’t so prices were higher when we got there.

We wanted to see so many places but not rush so we booked a driver for 2 half days, it is possible to do it all in a day but with young kids, we wanted to space out time out a bit.

Where did we visit & how much?

It’s easy to rent a car on the island and if you’re a Brit it’s even easier as they drive on the same side as home, however, when we compared prices at the excursions desk, we realized it cost the same to hire a driver for half a day as it did to rent a car.

We decided to split the itinerary up into 2 days so we had enough time to see everything without rushing.

Here is what we did over two days…

Day 1:

  • Chateau De Labourdonnais
  • SSR Botanical Gardens
  • Notre Dam Auxiliatrice

Day 2:

  • Buddhist Temples
  • Port Louis
  • Eureka le Maison Creole

Here are our recommendations in more detail of what you should see when you visit the North of Mauritius:

Day 1 Mauritius Tour Itinerary

Here’s what we did on our day 1 split, we wanted to take our time with this tour as we were really excited to explore Chateau De Labourdonnais and the Botanical gardens.

Chateau De Labourdonnais

If you love exploring colonial houses, then this is the place for you. This beautiful house was built in 1856 and was inspired by Italian Neko-classic architecture.

As soon as you see the house you feel like you have stepped back in time. The house has been in the Wiehe family for over 150 years and underwent restoration work in 2006 to show the lifestyle of the families who lived in the chateau in the nineteenth century.

mauritius north island tour itinerary Chateau De Labourdonnais

The moment we stepped onto the tree-lined avenue we were blown away by the beauty. I felt like I was in the Deep South back in the 1800s.

The house is home to over fifty varieties of mango trees that have been there for centuries as well as spice plants and a vast variety of other exotic fruits. It’s an amazing place to wander around, the kids loved spotting all the fruits and exploring the orchards.

If you are bringing kids, be sure to take them to see the giant tortoises here at the chateau, my boys were fascinated by them.

mauritius north island tour itinerary Chateau De Labourdonnais

At the end of your tour, you are invited to sit and try some of the domaines distillery’s produce such as jam, rum, and fruit juice, it’s all included in the price of your ticket.

Unfortunately, with two little boys wanting to run around we were unable to indulge in this experience however we were able to buy some of the produce in the gift shop afterward, perfect for family souvenirs.

There is also a restaurant on site serving the most delicious meals inspired by traditional family recipes and the fruit and vegetables from the domaines orchards.

The restaurant is open 7 days a week 8am-5pm and open for reservations in the evenings, couldn’t think of a more romantic place to dine.

If there is a group of you going the chateau can arrange activities such as rum making, sorbet tasting and treasure hunts for the kids. There’s a large car park not far from the chateau and a paying booth before you can go in.

Important Information:

  • Prices Adults: 400 Mauritian rupees (£9.00, $11.00)
  • Prices Kids: Ages 4-12: is 250 Mauritian rupees (£5.50 $7.00)
  • Opening times: 9am-5pm
  • Closed: 25th December, 1st-3rd January
  • Website: domainedelabourdonnais.com
  • Time spent here: 1 hour

SSR Botanical Gardens

The Sir Seewoosagur botanical hardens is located in Pamplemousse not too far from Port Louis. It is the oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere dating back to 1735.

As soon as we entered the Botanical Gardens we were blown away by the sheer beauty of the place. Home to an array of native tropical planets it’s a delight to just stroll around and take in the natural beauty.

mauritius north island tour itinerary SSR Botanical Gardens

The gardens were originally private but were opened to the public and became the nation botanical gardens of Mauritius. There are over 650 different types of plants speed across 37.5 hectares of land including the famous Baobabs and the giant water lilies, we found these breathtaking!

I’ve never seen water lilies so huge in all my life, they can grow up to 3 meters in diameter and their flowers bloom for only 2 days before sinking to the bottom!

There is also a spice garden and medicinal plants to learn about. There are also a number of rare and endangered endemic species. I wish we had more time here as it’s a great place to explore and learn about, we saw lots of school trips there learning about the gardens when we went.

mauritius north island tour itinerary SSR Botanical Gardens
mauritius north island tour itinerary SSR Botanical Gardens

It’s a place you can enjoy all year round with plants blooming in the winter as well as the summer. The kids will love the array of birds and animals around the gardens including the tortoises, turtles, deers and even bats!

You can opt for a personal tour around the gardens where you will learn everything you need to know about the gardens and monuments scattered around that date back to the colonial period. A guided tour will cost

One of the main attractions here is the variety of different palm trees, 85 to be exact brought in from all around the world!

Chateau De Mon Plaisir is located within the gardens, it was used as office space and even has plants planted by nine other than Nelson Mandela!

Important Information:

Opening times: 08:30am-17:00pm daily
Cost: 200 rupees, children under 5 are free.

Notre Dam Auxiliatrice

Notre dam Auxiliatrice is a beautiful little Roman Catholic Church located in Cap Malheureux. Only 10 minutes drive from Grand Bay bay, It’s easily recognized by its bright red roof and is one of the most visited churches in Mauritius. The church sits in an idyllic location looking out to the turquoise sea.

mauritius north island tour itinerary Notre Dam Auxiliatrice

Cap Malheureux (which translates to unfortunate place due to many ships sinking here) was built in 1938 in memory of those who died in a shipwreck.

It’s also where the commander in chief landed with his troops when the British attacked the island for the second time in 1810.

mauritius north island tour itinerary Notre Dam Auxiliatrice

Many tourists, as well as locals, gather on Sunday mornings for Mass and many newlyweds come to get shots for their weddings here due to its stunning location.

It’s a great little photography spot and place to relax with the kids, I’d highly recommend a little stop here.

Important Information:

Time spent here: 1 hour 30 minutes

Day 2 Mauritius Tour Itinerary

The highlight of day 2 was Eureka le Maison Creole, without a shadow of a doubt. This place is unbelievable and should not be missed. Here’s our itinerary for day 2.

Buddhist Temples

Be sure to stop at one of the many Buddhist temples along the way. We stopped at Sockalingum Meenatchee Ammen Kovil in Port Louis, this is a Tamil temple that stands as a testament of the deep-rooted faith of the Tamil Hindus of India.

The temple is full of color and light instantly making you smile and relax, we had just got out of the hospital with our son when we visited here, and I felt so much better after out stop.

mauritius north island tour itinerary Buddhist Temples
mauritius north island tour itinerary Buddhist Temples

The shape of the temple is similar to a pyramid and complies to the requirements that the temple must extract the shape of the human body. Its six stations represent the bodies organs which must remain pure and healthy.

The temple of Dravidian architecture is dedicated to the god Shiva and It’s a fantastic landmark of Mauritius, a must-see if you are on the island as its such a unique and interesting place.

Important Information:

Time spent here: 20 minutes

Eureka le Maison Creole

Now I have to say this place absolutely blew me away! I remember walking through the front of the house to the back garden and turning around and my jaw just dropping to the ground!

Honestly, have to say it’s one of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen. The traditional colonial house sits with the backdrop of the lush green mountains and a stunning waterfall.

mauritius north island tour itinerary Eureka le Maison Creole

The colonial house was built in 1830 and belonged to British and french aristocratic in the 19th century. It is located by the river Moka, which can be reached by a trail at the back of the house leading to the most beautiful 4 waterfalls.

We did this walk with a 5 and 1-year-old in flip flops and it was a bit sloppy so I’d recommend bringing a pair of walking boots to be safe. The river banks are natural habitats for water lilies so be sure to keep your eyes open for them. Eels, carp, and tilapia can be found in the waters in large quantities.

The stunning house is alleged to be the biggest in the island with 109 doors and windows!!

mauritius north island tour itinerary Eureka le Maison Creole waterfall

I felt like I had stepped back in time when we visited, the house it’s filled with antiques and old photographs from years ago, it’s absolutely fascinating.

In the gardens, they have little deck chairs to relax on and let me tell you it was perfect sitting listening to the waterfall whilst taking in the views. I found it so calming and peaceful here.

It’s not a place that you initially think of whilst thinking of Mauritius but it was by far my favorite place on the island.

The house was restored in 1986 when it was opened to the public. The grounds have many different plant life including pal trees and mango trees and the interior of the house is a must-see, make sure to book a tour to learn all about the history of this place.

There is also a restaurant on site serving authentic Mauritian cuisine and a gift shop to take home some special memories.

Important Information:

Time spent here: 1 hour 30 minutes

Port Louis

Port Louis is the cosmopolitan capital of Mauritius with an array of designer shops at great prices to stylish waterfront restaurants.

The main reason we wanted to visit Port Louis was to see the floating colorful umbrellas through the streets, we had seen pictures of the place and wanted to check it out for ourselves. The city is buzzing and full of life with many cultural treasures to see including a host of interesting museums.

If you fancy stepping back in time, go for a wander through the neighborhoods and check out all the old colonial houses.

Plaine Verte is a place loved by tourists as it is the main square where you can try so many delicious authentic foods and drinks.

mauritius north island tour itinerary Port Louis
mauritius north island tour itinerary Port Louis

There is also a small china town to explore dating back to the 1780s, the Chinese still occupy an important position in the day to day life in Port Louis and it’s an interesting trip to make to see the rich commercial life of the Chinese community.

Important Information:

From March to December horse racing is a big part of the Mauritian community where you can go and watch races with the family at weekends.

Time spent here: 1 hour 30 minutes

Our top tips for your trip

Here are my top tips getting the most out of your day trips around the north of Mauritius. In no particular order…

Don’t rush

If you’ve got the time, you should consider splitting your itinerary up into more manageable sections as we did. Rather than rush around trying to squeeze all the sights into one day, we decided to split it into two. This way we were able to fully appreciate each place and take in their beauty and history.

Keep hydrated

Day trips are long and it can be quiet exhausting, especially if you’re going to try and fit it all in one day, therefore I’d recommend keeping hydrated at all times. Take a few bottles of water with you just in case, our driver had cold water waiting for us which was great. There are plenty of shops and garages along the way so don’t worry if you forget.

Pack the essentials

Get a good backpack so you can carry the essentials out with you, from your camera and water to mosquito spray. When you see the waterfalls you will definitely need to top up! Take some snacks with you too, if you really want to save money, take some food from the morning breakfast with you.

Take enough sun cream

It gets extremely hot in Mauritius so make sure you apply plenty of suncream before your tour. I’d also recommend you take a bottle out with you so you can reapply whilst you explore. It goes without saying bring a cap and some UV protective sunglasses.

Get a tour guide

Although you can rent a car easily enough, I’d recommend getting a taxi tour guide as there’s not much difference in price and you’ll get the added benefit of local knowledge. They will also take you to non-touristy places and hidden gems only locals know about, not to mention you’ll learn about all the history, their culture and nature.

Essential travel gear

A Good Camera

Canon EOS 4000D DSLR Camera w/Canon EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 III Zoom Lens + Case + 32GB SD Card (15pc Bundle)

The first bit of travel gear I’d always recommend is getting a good camera like the Canon EOS 4000D (View on Amazon).

Mauritius is absolutely stunning and you’ll want to capture every moment in high-quality to show family and friends.

Hydration Backpack

CamelBak M.U.L.E. Mountain Biking Hydration Pack - 20 Percent More Water Per Sip - Easy

Consider getting a hydration backpack like the CamelBak M.U.L.E (View on Amazon).

This will hold a huge 3 liters of water, so no more routing around in your backpack for big bottles of water!

Quality Walking Shoes

Salomon X Ultra 3 GORE-TEX Men's Hiking Shoes

There are some amazing hiking trails in Mauritius and you’ll be doing a lot of walking, so I’d recommend a good pair of walking or hiking shoes like the Salomon X-Ultra 3 (View on Amazon).

Hiking Backpack

Osprey Stratos 24 Men's Hiking Backpack

It’s always good to have a great backpack and they don’t get much better than the Osprey Stratos 24 (View on Amazon). Yes, you can probably get a cheaper one, however they don’t last and a poorly made.

This backpack is perfect for a trip to Mauritius, it’s ideal if you decide on going hiking and also for day tours and carrying the essentials.

Sun cream

Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lotion, New Formula, SPF 50+, 8 Ounces

It’s very important they you keep your skin protected from the sun, Mauritius is very hot so make sure you take a bottle of suncream out with you.

I would recommend getting a Factor 50 or sunblock which is sweat and water-resistant, like this one here (View on Amazon)

Mosquito Repellent

Repel 100 Insect Repellent, Pump Spray, 1-Ounce, 6-Pack

I never travel around tropical countries without my deet, I apply it before I go and also as soon as I get out the car to see the next spot. Check out Repel 100 on Amazon for the ultimate protection.

Final Thoughts

We stayed at the Zilwa Attitude hotel in Rivière du Rempart, Northern Mauritius. From here the round-trip driving time was two hours long. So, it is more than doable using our rough “time spent” in each attraction to hire a driver for a day.

We spent 6 hours total at all the attractions and 2 hours driving. A driver for a full day will be 9 hours total. Like I said before we split it up into 2 days so we didn’t have to rush and so the kids could have some time at the beach and pool when we got back.

Overall, we had an amazing time and loved both of our trips. It’s up to you if you want to squeeze it all into 1 day, I guess this depends on how long you’re staying for.

For us, I’m glad we did the split as it allowed us to fully enjoy each place without rushing. Let me know what you decide to do for your trip and I hope you’ve enjoyed this post!