There are a number of places to visit during your stay on the island. Apart from the many beach resorts with their sandy white beaches and blue lagoon, there are other <greener> sites that you might find interesting. The Black River Gorges, Macabee Forest and Yemen are regions, which you might discover on foot or by car. Trou aux Cerfs (an extinct volcanic crater), Chamarel (with its 7 coloured earth), Ile aux Aigrettes (an island of the South East Coast which is a natural reserve) are among the many sites you can experience during your stay in Mauritius.
There are also a number of museums, fortifications, churches, galleries, colonial houses that are opened to the public. These places are a heritage of our rich colonial culture and history. Moreover religious festivals, especially Indian festivals are very colourful. This is a good way to experience Eastern culture without stepping out of Mauritius.
Main towns & villages.
Port-Louis, the administrative and financial capital of Mauritius is situated in the North West of the Island. It is the only commercial port of the island. Founded by Mahé de Labourdonais, it was preferred to Grand Port (South East), because of its geographic location. Protected by a range of mountains on one side and bordered by a calm bay on the other, it was the ideal spot to build a city that could be easily defended if attacked. Mahébourg in the south and Port-Louis are the only historic and colonial towns. Fortifications like Fort Adelaide or La Citadelle as it is commonly known is a great view point to see the whole of Port-Louis. Built by the British in 1835, it is now a venue for shows and concerts. The Central Market is a must-stop for tourist. Our closest comparison to a souk, the central market is a place where you can buy handy crafts as well as eat a dholl puri and have a drink. But you can also buy clothes, fruits and vegetables, spices and even medical plants used by locals to cure every possible ailment.
Champ de Mars is another place to visit especially during the racing season (May to December). It is the oldest race course (1812) in the Indian Ocean and the second oldest in the southern Hemisphere. It is at the centre of all life during weekends when races are held and a thrilling experience to live.
Other witnesses of the colonial past of Port-Louis are its old colonial buildings, its paved roads, the National History Museum, the Government House and the Port-Louis Theatre constructed in 1822. Port-Louis should also be visited for its cathedrals, temples, pagodas and mosques a reflection of the diversity of the island and of Port Louis. More recently built, The Caudan and Port Louis Waterfront shelter a number of restaurants, cafés, bars, cinemas, duty-free shop, craft shops, and a casino. There is also Chinatown, a small village within the city, with its numerous restaurants, shops and other small businesses which immediately transports you to the Far East. Many streets in Port Louis also specialise in the sale of only one type of product. The shops of La Corderie and Desforges Street , for example, sell almost exclusively cloth and fabrics.
But the best way to know Port-Louis is still to walk around the city and see for yourself.