With the most romanticised beaches and abundant adventure sports, Mauritius is more popular as a honeymoon destination. Honestly, I was a little skeptical to visit Mauritius with family as I wasn’t sure how to keep my toddler away from boredom. But we were happy to discover Mauritius as an island of many layers with a promise to please everyone, including the young ones.

Mont Choisy Beach
Early morning at Mont Choisy Beach

Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean, off the southeast coast of the African continent. With a rich colonial history and multi-ethnic population, it is a dream destination of any culture lover and culinary seeker. For adventure lovers, there is an abundance of extreme adventure and water activities. And the tropical island does leave a mark on the romance seekers due to it’s natural and untouched scenery.

We visited Mauritius in search of some offbeat and unusual experiences best suited for families. So here is our list of top experiences to explore the ‘real side’ of Mauritius with family, as recommended by the locals :

Take a step back in time at Apravasi Ghat

apravasi ghat
Apravasi Ghat stands witness to the legacy of half a million indentured laborers brought to Mauritius from other British colonies to work in the sugar plantations.

Mauritius has two Unesco World Heritage sites and Apravasi Ghat is one of them. Located in the capital city of Port Louis, it is the what remains of the immigration depot that was the central point of the ‘Great Experiment’ conducted by the British Government in 1849.

Apravasi Ghat
The hospital block in Apravasi Ghat

The experiment was based on migrating indentured laborers from India, Africa, China and Southeast Asia to work on the island’s sugar estates after the abolition of slavery.

apravasi ghat
An exhibit showing the living quarters of the laborers

The Beekrumsing Ramlallah Interpretation Centre (BRIC) exhibits items that were found during the excavation of the site and shares the history and culture of the laborers and the British from the bygone era.

The story is being narrated by a kid who traveled to Mauritius with his parents work as laborers. A great idea to keep kids intrigued.

While historical museums can get boring for kids sometimes, we found this museum has kid corners with kid-friendly narrations to make the tour more interactive and fun for kids.

Indulge in the multicultural charms of Port Louis

Port Louis
The panoramic view of Port Louis from Citadel

The beauty of this city is in its diversity. The contrasting city has its share of elegant colonial structures that intertwines seamlessly with the modern buildings. Some of the older buildings are the Government House, St Louis Cathedral, an old wall adjoining the parking lot near Caudan Waterfront, Post Office etc. These buildings are all located in the close vicinity and can be covered in a day.

St Louis Cathedral
St Louis Cathedral in Port Louis amidst the modern buildings

Due to its multiethnic culture, the city also boasts of some very impressive worship centers. The St Louis Cathedral and St Xavier Catholic churches are some great examples of the gothic style architecture.

Plaine Verte Port Louis Saint Francois Xavier Catholic Church
Plaine Verte Port Louis Saint Francois Xavier Catholic Church

The Jummah mosque is one of the most beautiful mosques that we have seen with its grand chandeliers and beautiful motif designs in the prayer hall. The Chinatown area in Port Louis is another must visit when in the city for great shopping deals and Chinese food.

China Town
The early morning hustle in one of the streets in China Town

A trip to the city is incomplete without a tour of the central market where you can find fresh local produce and seafood. It may get a little confusing as the market is mostly crowded but is worthed to buy handmade products and souvenirs.

Rougaille
Rougaille

Do not forget to try the street food here especially the very famous dhal puri. We also tried the Rougaille, a creole style tomato curry with seafood and the Briyani (pretty different from the Indian biriyani).

Rent a car and drive through the sugar plantation heading south

Our rental car from ABC Car Rental, Mauritius

We have always found driving very comfortable while traveling with our kid and it was no exception when we visited Mauritius with family this time. You can cover the island lengthwise in about two hours and width-wise in about an hour.

Sugarcane plantation
Miles of sugarcane fields on both sides of the road

The roads throughout the island are very well maintained and the drive through the sugar plantations merging into mountains and Oceanside is absolutely stunning. When in Mauritius with family, do drive down to the southern part of the island and explore the tropical countryside, kite surf and visit the Le Morne UNESCO site.

The beautiful countryside with mountains, plantation blending into the turquoise blue of the ocean

The tea route in Mauritius is also very refreshing and takes you through beautiful tea gardens at Bois Chéri. The prominent old plantation houses that have been preserved to retain the original colonial charm.

Bois Cheri
Perfectly manicured tea gardens in Bois Chéri

Go Island Hopping and explore some local beaches

This one is an absolute favorite with kids and an absolute must when in Mauritius with family.

Blue Bay
Blue Bay Beach, the local’s favorite and perfect lagoon for swimming with kids

The public beaches come to life during the weekends when the locals come out to party. You will find busy family picnics and barbeque parties with loud creole music with African beats playing in the background.

Blue Bay Beach
An ongoing boxing match at the Blue Bay Public Beach

Taking the coastal road to visit the offbeat local beaches are a great way to soak in the culture. The island way of life seems to be laid back. Sometimes there is nothing better than sit back and relax, watching the colors of ocean change.

Island hopping tour
Speedboat excursion of the island

The island hopping tour takes you on a tour of five smaller private islands in a cataraman or speedboat a little away from mainland Mauritius.

Ile aux cerfs
Private beach at Ile aux cerfs

It’s a great way to spend a beach day and have some fun indulge in water sports in Ile aux cerfs. You can also snorkel in the lagoon and see some beautiful corals and colorful fishes.

lighthouse
The old light house in Ile aux Fouqets

Ile aux Fouqets also known as the lighthouse island was a French military base. The old lighthouse on the island was abandoned after a major fire incident.

Mauritius Street Art

Travel Tips for Mauritius with family

  • Mauritius has visa on arrival for most countries including India. For Indians, the visa is currently free of cost. Please do check the visa requirements on the Malaysian govt website before you travel.
  • The locals are very friendly and helpful. If you are confused or need help, do not hesitate to ask.
  • Unlike some online suggestions, we found Google maps working quite accurate in Mauritius.
  • Renting a car to drive around is a great way to explore the island. Our rental car was from ABC Car Rental and we had a wonderful experience with them. They have the largest fleet of vehicles in Mauritius and are known for their excellent customer service.
  • Mauritius drives on the left and the roads are amazing. Everyone follows the traffic rules to the tee and honking is considered rude.
  • If you are visiting Mauritius during winters, be prepared for some rainy hours.

This article has been written in collaboration with ABC car rental, Mauritius.

Mauritius with Family

74 COMMENTS

  1. Mauritius look stunning from your pictures. I would love to visit it someday. How much budget should I be looking at?

  2. Seems like you had a great time! The pictures are beautiful! Travelling with a toddler is always a challenge, but it’s better than staying home!

  3. Mauritius on first thought evokes images of an exotic honeymooners paradise. But yes there seems to be so much beyond this cliche. I was fascinated reading about the Apravasi Ghat and its history. The biodiversity of the country has been much in discussion as it has some of the most endangered and rare flora in the world.

    • Very true! Mauritius definitely has a lot of layers. It is such an important landmark in the history of the slave movement and indentured labor. It is quite interesting learning the history and culture of Mauritius.

  4. Really good to learn that is more than just the beaches, you are right that is has the reputation for romantic couple beach holidays only. Nice to learn about other sights to enjoy, with kids or otherwise.

  5. It is great to be able to explore any destination like a local. It might be so interesting to visit many local beaches in Mauritius. Great tips to help for first-time visitors. I’m loving the graffiti of the school kid. Interesting and historic place to explore as well.

  6. Gorgeous views of the mountains and sugarcane fields! Mauritius seems like a great place for a vacation with such a wide range of activities to do there – will definitely try to head there and see its beauty for myself one day! Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  7. It’s been a very long time since I visited Mauritius. This brought back happy memories, I hope to return there one day 🙂

  8. Lovely post! Mauritius is such a beautiful destination. We visited the country a couple of years back and we were amazed by its rich natural beauty and the variety of experiences it offers. We missed the Apravasi Ghat though and I wish I knew about it before my trip. It looks extremely fascinating and a great step back in time. Being a history buff, I love exploring such places. Thanks for sharing these amazing photographs! 🙂

  9. Oh wow Mauritius looks like paradise. Your photos are incredible, it seems like a lovely destination for a honeymoon or a romantic getaway.

  10. I’ve heard about Mauritius many times, but I never really saw pictures or read descriptions, and your trip story captivated me! what a lovely and interesting place!

  11. I love beaches and islands and mauritius has been on my radar forever. You have really laid out the must -do’s nicely in this article and the island seems to offer so much more than just beach. Now to figure out how to get 5 of us there.

  12. This is such a beautiful place! Love the cultural information you’ve weaved into your post! Definitely on my list of places to visit. Glad there is a place for lovers … and the result of lovers … family! ☺️

  13. I love that you visited so many different types of places. That’s something I strive to do whenever I visit somewhere too. It’s important to see the fun things, the relaxing things, the historical things, the cultural things, and to get a sense of what it is actually like to live somewhere versus just visiting.

  14. It has some really pretty sites. That is usually my favorite part of vacationing. The sites and taking landscape photography. Lovely images. The church structure is gorgeous. That private beach seems so nice and inviting!

  15. I have never been to Mauritius and it will be my bucket list. Glad that you have include a complete list and I shall refer to it when I plan my Mauritius trip in future.

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