MAURITIUS: tips to reduce the cost of the destination and our itinerary with practical info

 

 

 

MAURITUS COSTS AND ITINERARIES – HOW WE COULD SPARE MONEY

Mauritius: the dream we had for a long time but that we thought to be still far because it’s a not cheap destination. But as we didn’t expect this year we have found the right occasions at the right moment, so we could leave the 4th of June 2017 with our 10 years old daughter.

 

 

 

OUR ITINERARY STEP BY STEP

June 2017

 

Day 1: relax after the long flight (11 hours direct from Milan) and afternoon at Trou aux Biches beach. Ps: returning the flight takes about 13 hours because it stops in Rome, travelling with Meridiana.

Day 2: Isola dei Cervi and Belle Mare, this last one fleetingly.

Day 3: tour in the North

✔ Temple in Triolet (on the way)
✔Pamplemousses Garden: botanical gardens with a great variety of strange trees and the waterlilies

Port Louis
✔ Malheureux: the typical little church with the red roof
✔Perybère beach where if you’re lucky can find artists who make sand sculptures
✔Grand Baie: delicious, touristic and well known town in the North

Day 4: Tour del Sud
✔ Vanilla Park: park of the giants tortoises, of crocodiles, lemurs and many others.
✔ Colonial house of St. Aubin: visit to the typical house, to the gardens and to the vegetables garden; in the end they’ll show you how they work the sugar cane and how from this one you can obtain the rhum: very beautiful and interesting path.
✔ Gris Gris: the wildest area of Mauritius with cliffs overlooking the sea.
✔ Alexandra Falls: waterfalls I didn’t appreciate so much.
✔ Tamarind Falls (these last ones scheduled but not done because of the bad weather; people say they’re very beautiful).

Giorno 5: Entroterra Sud
✔ Extinct volcano of Trou aux Cerfs: panoramic view.
✔ Sacred lake of Grand Bassin: temple not to miss.
✔  Black River Gorges: panoramic point.
✔  Seven colured earth of Chamarel with the waterfalls.
✔  Le Morne: famous mount for the suicide of several slaves and the background of all postcards.

Day 6: Escursione di mare:  swim with dolphins and Benetièr island for a barbecue on the beach and relax.

Giorno 7: relax in Trou aux Biches
In the afternoon walk to Mount Choisy beach, full of local people, and relax.

 

mappa generale con le attrazioni principali

 

This is our itinerary based on our personal tastes. If you want you have several alternative things to do, such as:

 

✔ Casela Park: possibility to see animals , to do a safari and to walk with lions. Moreover there’s the longest zip-line of Mauritius; someone told me there are other zip-lines in other places, but I don’t know exactky where. If you’re interested, should take information.

✔ Bois Cherì: the tea path,  visit to the farm and tasting.

✔ Blue Bay: glass-bottomed boat to see fish and possibility to do snorkelling.

✔Quatre Bones Market or Mahebourg Market: the typical ot touristic markets.

✔Mont Brabant: quite hard trekking (3.5 km, 470 mt. di dislivello) but with an amazing panoramic view once on top. Better to do it early in the morning because of the hot and wet weather.

✔Tamarind falls or Sept Cascades: they’re seven and the path is quite difficult while going, but you can only see a pair just to have an idea of them (above all if you have children) and to swim under them: it must be exciting!
A suggest: don’t go alone. On site you’ll find the local guides, go with them. Our local guide Prakash organizes this excursion: it’s his specialty!
Contattalo. Leggi la mia recensione su Prakash qui.

✔Flic and Flac: delicious town with a beautiful and wide beach, and an interesting position because it’s equidistant from the most important visit points. Moreover the town offers different services such as supermarkets, shops, etc…and right from here leave the boats that lead you to swim with dolphins.

 

 

 

WHY TO CHOOSE MAURITUS?

10 good reasons for this destination

  • It’s an island with a varied landscape, able to satisfy all tastes and people of every age: if you’re a lover of the sea life, you’re spoilt for choise as regards the beaches and the various water sport activity ( diving, surf, kite); if you prefer the mountain, you can do a trekking at the Mount Brabant with an amazing view; if you like walking and discovering new places, here you just have to choose which ones .

 

  • In  spite of Mauritius is mainly a naturalistic destination with a very peculiar ecosystem,  there’s also a cultural aspect like the Citadel and some museums in the capital Port Louis. You can also visit the market, the old town, a bit decadent but very clean, and the harbour zone with skyscrapers and modern buildings: a little Metropole!  
vista su Port Louis

 

  • Destination suitable for children : there are many attractions for them, like when Giada, our daughter, met for the first time the giants tortoises, the lemurs, the deers, the crocodiles, not to tell about her meeting with the dolphins into the ocean! Moreover, as it often rains, Mauritius is a very green island. You couldn’t skip the visit to the botanical garden of Pamplemousse, where Giada shouted her WOW after finding the beautiful and delicate waterlilies and other strange trees.
    In forgot: would you like to swim under the waterfalls? You can!  
tartaruga gigante a “La Vanilla Park”

 

  • Amazing beaches and sea; if you want, could reach other little islands around Mauritius to have a different perspective.
isola dei Cervi

 

  • Jet lag, scompenso dovuto al fuso orario, minimal: only +2 hours than Italy during the legal time; +3 during the solar one.
    Vaccinations not required.
  • Very good temperatures all over the year.
  • Spirituality and melting pot of different cultures: visiting the temples it’s beautiful to show children that it’s possible to live all together,  even if people belong to different cultures or religions. As the historical period we’re living, I’d say this is a positive example of what people could do, if only they would take care of heart values more than of the economic ones.
Tempio Ganga Talao o Grand Bassin

 

  • Local people are friendly and happy. Mauritius, compared to other parts of Africa, is an happy island: people live with a certain prosperity, maybe that’s why we felt safe during the tour. They don’t want to sell us something obliging us to spend money, as it happens in other parts of Africa. Another beautiful thing is that they don’t have any problems with the photos: they permit you to take photos and are very happy to smile to your camera.
mercato di Port Louis

 

  • Very tasty food with a great variety: Creole and Indian so it’s spicy, but not only. My daughter and I always found something not spicy to eat with a very good taste: grilled but not fat meat grilled fresh fish, samossas (hamburger with an unforgettable taste), exotic sweet fruit, vanilla. Simple dishes but very good, accompanied by the traditional drinks of the island.
rhum a St. Aubin

 

 

IN WHICH ZONE TO STAY

 

  • first option: you can decide to have two basis, one in the North and one in the South. To do this, you have to stay on the island at least a pair of weeks, in my opinion;
  • second opton: to have only one base near Flic en Flac, that is quite equidistant from all zones. Without doubt Flic and Flac is more touristic but also lively for the evenings and there are shops, chemists, and so on.
  • we stayed in the North but only for economic reasons, not for convenience: here below I’ll explain to you the convenience of our choise.

 

 

 

 

ACCOMODATION

CASUARINA RESORT & SPA – TROU AUX BICHES

 

Casuarina Resort & Spa: it’s a little family run resort, so I’m not talking about the great resort of the century, I mean the classical one with h24 entertainment,  great buffets for lunch and dinner and a lot of tourists. The Casuarina is very easy and minimal, surrounded by green areas,  and with rooms that from outside are similar to the “trulli” of Alberobello: little and very white houses.

If you buy the ALL-INC package  have the right to unlimited meals and drinks, also alcoholic; otherwise there’s the SOFT ALL – INC package in which drinks out of meals are not included. We chose the first option and we didn’t regret: for us it’s always the best choise, and considering the whole stay , you can surely spare money.

 

The strenghts of this resort in our opinion:

  1. first of all it has a good value for money: it was thanks to this resort if we could reach a generally not cheap destination: what we spared compared to other resorts, we used to pay the excursions and were happy. I only tell you that in another resort in Flic and Flac, they asked me about 5000 Euro comprehensive of resort and flight for one week; at Casuarina, for the same services, we paid 3700 Euro: I think this is an aspect to consider if you don’t have a great budget to spend like us!
  2. very clean: if you leave the towels on the floor in the morning, you’ll always receive clean ones. The room and the bathroom with toilet were minimal but wide.
  3. outside areas were always well maintained; there are two swimming pools with water not so warm, one of them containing a hydromassage, a bar area where you could see the shows in the evening or take a coffee.
  4. the restaurant isn’t very big but we always ate very fresh food; there was always a pair of choise between first and second courses, fruit and cakes as you want, possibility to eat spicy or not spicy. The breakfast was salt but also sweet.
  5. it has a private beach you can reach goimg out the resort and crossing the main road, 2 minutes on foot; not only, 5 minutes walking along the shore to the left, you’ll reach the most beautiful beach in Mauritius: Trou aux Biches, in front of the omonymus hotel full of couples on honeymoon and one of the most expensive on the island!
  6. it0’s near to the main attractions of the island: the botanical garden of Pamplemousses, Grand Baie, Cap Malheureux, la the capital Port Louis, Perybére beach and Triolet.
  7. WI-FI well working in  the bar / restaurant zone, not in the rooms: I think for that you should pay something extra.
  8. we noticed that weather was better in the North than in the South part of the island: we could for example lie in the sun in the North, while in the South were raining strong! I don’t know if it’s always so: I obviously talk for the week I spent on the island in that period!
  9. receptionists are very kind and helpful: they helped me free with the  check-in for the return.

 

Weaknesses:

  1. as I said before, it isn’t the classical great resort, so at the restaurant you can choose among two first courses and two second courses, but not among thousand courses; anyway everything was fresh and digestible  also for me (I have stomach problems everywhere). The miniclub for children is absent like, I think,  the general entartaiment during the day (we were always around the island so we are not sure about that), and the evening show was only one. For the rest there was background light music.
  2. the beach of the resort is not so beautiful and it’s quite small, so you can take deckchairs and sun umbrellas only if you come first: from the brochures it seems that resort and beach are not separated, but it isn’t sao; anyway it takes only two minuts on foot, so for me it was not such a problem! What instead is to take into consideration, is the bar of the beach almost non-existent: as we had the ALL-INC, it would have been nice if there was a little bar directly on the beach, not to return everytime to the hotel if we had to drink something!
  3. the only little shop of the resort seemed to me a bit poorly; we never tested the  SPA but our friends found it very nice.
  4. a bit far from the main attractions in the South and East part of the island: you always have to consider three hours maximum to go and return; anyway we visited everything without problems.

In my opinion, considere aslo the weaknesses, the Casuarina is a good place to stay: the difficulties are can be overcome, and you have the chance to spare money without renouncing to enjoy the island and its beauties! A destination which could become “low cost” and more accessible to everyone with these little suggestions.

 

 

 WHICH IS THE BETTER PERIOD

The climate is very good all over the year; it’s difficult to find cold temperatures, but keep into consideration that from November to April is the period in which it rains frequently, in spite it’s summer for them: the weather is wet and the temperatures ar around 30°, while the winter goes from May to October with a drier climate and tempreatures around 25°. Water is around 22° and 27°. During the winter the sun goes down early.

We chose the winter time and we found two days of strong rain; fortunately the other days were sunny. A friend of mine went in January, rain period, and saw the rain only once during the night. So, as you can notice, you can expect everything: I asked local people and they told me that the climate of Mauritius is very unpredictable and the clouds are often in the sky, above all in the inner zones.  Looking around me while I was  there, I noticed that Mauritius was a very green island: that’s why I thought the rain was something that belongs to Mauritius.

 

 

 

 

HOW WE ORGANIZED

  • As we travelled with a child, we preferred a safe accomodation: so we booked with our travel agency the flight and the resort in ALL-INC for 7 nights.
  • To move around the island we chose the local guide Prakash Isram found on Tripadvisor by a guest who has left very good review about him. Click here for further info about Prakash
    This choise to have a personal driver was just right: to drive around the island isn’t so simple because first they drive on the left; second the directions are not always mentioned, and third the chaos of cars when you arrive near Port Louis is something incredible, no to talk about parking…You could get just stressed and perhaps, if you get lost, you could see just a little part of what you have planned.
    Alternatively there are local buses, well functioning, but you are subject to time.
  • As regards the fllight, there are several companies flying to Mauritius with or without a stop : if you want an advice, after several researches in the web, we understood that if you leave from Milan, or Rome, the best solution is “Meridiana”. Even if it isn’t a great company (there was luck of space to put small objects in the net of the seat in front of you, the airplanes are super used and the seats in the economy class are a bit narrow, and the TV is in the centre so in common with other people) it has two advantages: an economic one (charter flight so less expensive tickets) and the other one regards the hours flight.

The flight takes 11 hours going and 13 returning beacuse it stops in Rome. If for example you choose Air Mauritus, you have to know that it stops in Paris, so you’ll take more time (about 15 hours); if you choose a company with a stop like Emirates, you’ll take two days going and two day returning because you have to wait at the airport for your connecting flight. Second thing these companies don’t operate charter flights, so the costs are much higher; in case you should book several months before (at least 6-8).

 

 

 

TOTAL COST OF THE TRAVEL (1 week)

About 1450 Euro per person

Includes:

  • flight a/r direct from Milan with Meridiana;
  • treatment ALL-INC by the resort “Casuarina Resort & Spa”: all inclusive included drinks out of meal;
  • local guide about 75 Euro per day x 5 days = 375 Euro (with 75 Euro the guide will take you wherever you want and he’s always there for your needs);
  • optional excursion to the Benetiér island about 75 Euro per person (35 Euro for children under 12) including the transfer to the island from Flick and Flac a/r  by speed boat  and barbecue on the island;
  • various attractions (Pamplemousses Garden, La Vanille Park, la tenuta Saint Aubin) about 30 Euro per head.

 

 

 

MY OPINION ABOUT MAURITIUS

Simply wonderful, unique and unrepeatable, even if many prefer Seychelles. I’ve never been to Seychelles, but I’ve been do Maldives, one of the most beautiful paradise on earth. However I was not disappointed by Mauritius even if, just in my opinion, the island is sometimes not as you expect. Why?

  • Beaches are not so beautiful as we imagine: among those I’ve seen, jut two or three are really beautiful like postcards, the others are normal: long but not so wide and often full of pine needles, but they are all public. Sea is very beautiful everywhere.
  • Tropical climate is not one of my favourite
  • Waterfalls are a delusion: small and undistinguished. I don’t know that of Tamarind: perhaps are the most beautiful in Mauritius, so I’ve heard.

However I still feel this island on my skin: its smells, its people, its colours. In a week we did and visited a lot of things, all different one from the other: from the town to the temples, from the colonial housings and from the rhum to the lively local markets, from the peace of some places like Ile aux Cerfs and Trou aux Biches to the funny time passed on the speedboats through the ocean.

A so rich and luxuriant vegetation mixed with a spiritual athmosphere has opend my heart to discover again my simplicity and my authenticity.
Everything here has another breath: you can feel the deep feeling of respect that people have for Nature, for the Universe e for the life events: you can’t get in touch with all this!

Our daughter that usually get terribly annoyed during our travels, except for something, here for the first time has felt the love for travels, the happiness when she have met the animals and the dolphins in particular, the wonder for the sand sculptures: I’ve seen her with open and curious eyes; that’s make me so happy!

Mauritius: where you get never annoyed!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THE MEANING OF TRAVEL FOR ME

In the last years I follow what Dalai Lama says:” At least once a year go to a place you’ve never been before”.

After years of sufferings and sacrifices, I’ve decided that life is too short and too unpredictable to continue waiting to do what I like and what makes me happy.

I like exploring the world where I live, take photos of it in general but also in its details, film it to hold back those subtle emotions that you could forget over time, and in the end share with you what I’ve seen and felt through my articles.

Travel is for me Love – Freedom – Gratitude

 

 

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