Looking forward to discover the hidden treasures of Mauritius island? What about hitting the road to experience its cultural, culinary, historical and architectural heritage? A luxury road trip can be a marvellous incentive to do so. Luxury Mauritius has devised a journey that will start in the North. Find more here!
# 1 – The domaine de Labourdonnais
To make the road trip day a masterpiece, nothing can be more agreeable than having breakfast in a tropical garden immersed in colonial history. So the first step of your wanderlust in the North is definitely the Domaine de Labourdonnais where nature, history and Mauritian culture meet. Founded in 1774 (during French colonisation when the island was named Isle de France), the 540-hectare property was initially a sugar estate then transformed with time. Today, agriculture rules there with, for instance, 15 varieties of tropical fruits grown in the 45-hectar orchards. You may find these products at the grocery store La Corbeille.
Nestled in the estate, a peaceful and charming cafe: La Terrasse. A simple cuisine and a friendly atmosphere will await you (as from 7.45 a.m. from Monday to Friday, and 8 a.m. on Saturdays), and breakfast will be made even more delicious in a serene atmosphere!
What about pursuing the experience after the meal with a guided tour of Chateau de Labourdonnais? It is just 2 minutes away and harbours a rich historical treasure. The manor and orchards were founded in the mid 19th century by Christian Wiehe. Renovated between 2006 and 2010, the Chateau still belongs to the family and its descendants still dwelled there some time back. The tour through history, flora, fruit gardens, gastronomy and Mauritian know-how follows an itinerary – showcased by French sociologist Claude Fauque and French scenographer Alexandre Fruh – to bring 19th century insular living at its best! It ends with a product-tasting at the bar with rums, jams, fruit pastes and juices from the distillery and orchards.
#2 – The 20 Degrés Sud
What’s next? What about hitting the road through sugar cane fields and modern infrastructures while heading further North to reach the 20 Degrés Sud Relais & Châteaux à Grand Baie. Refinement and intimacy will welcome you as soon as the huge wooden gates open! The hotel spa can a soothing prelude to a next stop on your road trip. Surround yourself with lush greenery and an zen aquatic atmosphere to discover the charming hotel’s wellness ritual with hamman, massage and a stop at the infusion bar!
For lunch, restaurant l’Explorateur will grant you with a culinary journey. Choose to sit comfortably on the stoned terrace next to the pool or with an ocean view on Grand Bay on the other side, and get indulged into a refined cuisine delivered by a passionate and creative chef which focuses on sea and local products.
#3 – Shopping in Grand Bay
Now it’s time to get into Grand Bay, the key touristic attraction of the North. Once a fishermen’s village, it is now a seafront resort with all modern amenities and entertainment. A shopping spree with the view on its bay – coined in the 17th century by the French settlers – and the all year-round anchored luxury vessels and fishermen’s pirogues. What a delight!
Our favourite shops: Obane – Poncini – Adamas – Café Coton – Taf’ta (robes de soirée) – Sportfisher – 69 slam – Madison’s – In’Am – Karl Kaiser – Piu Piu.
# 4 – The beach route
Time now to drive along the beaches of the North coast! As a matter of fact, from Balaclava in the northwest to Poudre d’Or, the north of Mauritius amazes the visitors with its ever-changing landscapes of beaches, bay and rugged coastline. This time, a genuine experience will be made from Grand Bay while going northeastwards to discover the nice beaches, starting with Pereybere. Why not having a swim in its turquoise warm waters.
A few more sightseeing stops: in Cap Malheureux to visit its small emblematic red-roofed church and an unobstructed view on Gunner’s Quoin. Then, Anse La Raie and Calodyne beaches for photo sessions… and you might even watch the kite surfers at the good turf moment!
#5 – LUX* Grand Gaube
Looking for a perfect sundowner in the North? Cocktails at LUX* Grand Gaube, of course. The 5-star hotel – which has been revived at the beginning of the year – compiles the good ingredients to make of this road trip a success. In a tropical setting where timeless and contemporary decors harmoniously mix, discover the LUX* group Beach Rouge concept, with your toes deep in the fine sand.
Diner will be served in the place to be: INTI! In a cosy living room surrounded by an outdoor oasis, you will get acquainted with a fine-tuned cuisine between Peruvian and Argentinian specialties: Hot Salsa barbecue, «Ceviche, Tiradito & Pisco» bar and pastry buffet accompanied by Latin lounge music.
Just sit down facing the ocean and end this beautiful day at the heart of Mauritian “art de vivre”!