Once in a lifetime

Taste the real life of Mauritius in Port Louis

Port Louis
by Susan Crown 

 Mauritius’ capital city, Port Louis, is a mandatory stop for anyone looking to get a taste of real life in the Indian Ocean nation. While its spectacular setting and mountain backdrop make the city worth visiting alone, it’s also packed with sights and experiences that make Mauritius holidays in this unique city mandatory, with a mix of cultures you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

 A Mauritius holiday usually begins on the Candan waterfront. This is where you’ll find most of Port Louis’ tourist shops, and where you’ll find the highest concentration of bustle and chaos in the whole city. It’s an exciting experience, but shows little of the real everyday life of the citizens of Port Louis. For a flavour of this, head to the Central Market where you’ll find local traders selling some beautiful, fresh and fragrant fruit and vegetables, as well as some very interesting artisan crafts. If you’re a little intimidated by the crowds (this is a real functioning market and not a tourist attraction by any means!) head to the more sedate Craft Market instead. Here you’ll find the goods are a little more expensive, but do tend to be crafted with extreme care and love. If you’re looking for some unique handcrafted gifts to bring home to friends, this is certainly the place to find them. For a colour and tasty sensation, visit the nearby Bombay Sweets Mart. Here you’ll find the local speciality, Caca Pigeon, or in English, Pigeon Droppings!

After the hustle and bustle of the city, you may be looking for a quieter, more contemplative experience. The perfect setting is the shrine of Père Jacques Désiré Laval, a priest who was beatified in 1979 by Pope John Paul II. A short distance outside of the city, the shrine has become something of the Lourdes of the Indian Ocean, and it is reported that many miracles have been performed here!

After a hard days’ sightseeing, head back into town to the bright lights of the Port Louis Casino. This tends to be the liveliest place in town as the evening wears on and you’ll find a great international mix of both locals and tourists here. Again, this is no tourist enclave so prepare for a wild night; the Mauritians are famous for their party spirit! 

At present he is a travel news editor at The Holiday Place a London-based UK tour operator specialising in Cuba holidays and other exotic destinations in the Indian Ocean, Africa and the Caribbean. Now, I consider myself to be a true Middle-Eastern and African expert and the news that I write reflect my love and keen interest on all things of this places.