Mauritius is a mountain with forests and extinct volcanoes, breaking rocks and boundless plains, plateau and unique nature reserves, numerous waterfalls and lakes, coral reefs and serene Golden Sands of the vast beaches...
Mauritius is an island country in the Mascarene group of Islands, lying in the Western part of the Indian ocean, 800 km East of Madagascar. The country consists of the Islands Mauritius, Rodriguez, Agalega and Kargados carajos. The relief of Mauritius sublime. The centre of the island lies on a high plateau with a range of low mountains (the highest point is the peak of the rivière Noire - 828 meters) and three low mountain range. A large part of the island is flat, to the North and to the East is occupied by fields of crops. Along the coast stretches a wide strip of white sandy beaches, secluded little coves. The total area of the country 2045 sq. km, 1865 sq km falls on the island of Mauritius, 105,7 sq km - the island of Rodrigues.
The Capital Port Louis.
Mauritius has earned the fame of the place for luxury holidays - lots of fashionable hotels, hundreds of miles of beautiful beaches, framed by coconut groves, the special atmosphere of the island and the charm of its inhabitants - all this attracts the island of thousands of tourists.
Port Louis is located almost on the beach, at the foot of the Moka mountain range and mount Peter-Bot (821 m). The town is small and of limited interest to the tourist is not, but still worth a visit to see the made in green and white colours Mosque Jumma (1805), the Cathedral of St. James, the Museum of the Institute of Mauritius La Chassis, the photography Museum, Postal Museum, the Museum of masks, the Hindu-Tamil temple Maheswaram (Tirol), the original shell Museum, sacred to the Indians of the island of the giant trees "peepal", St. Louis street Church Street entertainment complex "Kudan waterfront", the ancient citadel Fort Adelaide and Champ de Mars with its walls, picturesque Chinatown on the North of the capital and picturesque houses of the colonial era. The city centre is located around the square of Arms, on which stands government House is the official government residence. For the government House is the beautiful Parliament building, where the sittings of the legislative Assembly of Mauritius. Next, surrounded by gardens, stands the building of the National Museum. The special charm of the city give its markets, not the cheapest in the country, but the most noisy and colorful. Indoor street market Facwar, a market on the Rue de La Cordery, shopping and tourist complex "Kudan waterfront" area Codes "gallery " Craft Market", as well as thousands of small private traders than got, located on almost every corner. In the area of interest is located to the South of the capital manor Pai with the old distillery and a kind of Museum of folk life, some charming houses Creole architecture in Moka, the top of the STS (812 m) with splendid panoramic Playground, Botanical garden (25 ha) with the "Lily pond" on the site of the former estate of Governor Francois May, the Church. Francis (1756, the oldest Church on the island and castle of Mont Plaisir in Pamplemousses. From Port Louis to Morne-Brabant road, one side of which extends a strip of beaches on the other mountain plateau. The beaches near the village of FLIC-EN-FLAC is simply gorgeous. The Bay of Tamarin more wild, more primordial than the Bay in other areas of the coast. Because of the strong currents, swimming is unsafe here, but for fans of surfing is a Paradise.
The business center of the island - city Kurpie, one of the first cities built in Mauritius, located at 550 meters height above sea level on the Central plateau. There are embassies, large companies and luxury mansions. Here deserve the attention of the municipality building, built in the colonial style, the Royal College, reminiscent of the architecture of the façade of Buckingham Palace (1813, one of the oldest schools of the time), city Hall (1902) on the area of the Municipality is an elegant construction of Creole architecture, public library, where there are interesting manuscripts relating to the history of the Mascarene Islands. There is a Botanical garden, which contains a large number of tropical plants. To the West of the city is the crater of a long extinct volcano of Trou-AUX-Cerfs (depth of 85 m and 200 m in diameter). At the southern entrance to the town is a small indoor market, where on weekends noisy fair. Here is most of the workshops that manufacture one of the "visiting cards" of the island - models of ships. Near Curepipe is an area of luxurious villas and residences embassies Floreal. Below in the valley lies the "shopping city" Rose hill, which houses a large outdoor market "Arab town, lots of shopping centers, theatre La Plaza, a beautiful Church and the residence of the Archbishop of Port-Louis.
The West coast is the driest area of Mauritius, so it retained most of the original somewhat less visited by tourists. Morne-Brabant - the most Western extremity of the island, lying however, just 48 km from the capital. This area is amazingly beautiful scenery, luxurious lagoon, world class beaches and exotic nature. FLIC-EN-FLAC beach is a favorite vacation spot of Mauritians its lovely beaches and the nearby nature reserve "Casela bird Park. In the region of FLIC-EN-FLAC is more than four dozen interesting places for diving is a whole field of underwater caves "Cathedral", "snake wall", the Straits of Saint-Jacques, 4 sunken vessel at depths of 20 to 40 meters, etc. Near Wolmar is the same reserve (700 hectares, opened in 1999), protecting the local fauna, as well as conducting pedestrian, Bicycle and car trips. In the Western part of the island with many interesting natural monuments - the relic forest Makabe (Mahabi Balamb, the largest nature reserve in Mauritius), national Park Black river Gorges, the island Benicia, Tamarind Bay, mount Mourne-Brabant (550 meters), as well as excellent areas for sea fishing. Park Riviera de Angeles allows you to see crocodiles, giant tortoises, chameleons, monkeys, bats amongst lush tropical vegetation.
North coast from Pointe-AUX-Piman to cap Malheureux, is the most visited tourist area. There is almost always Sunny, as usual for these places wind "clipped" the Central plateau, although the terrain is almost flat. The district of Pointe-AUX-Piman (Cape of Spices) interesting rocky coves, the relative calm and turquoise lagoons. EB-about-Tortue (Turtle Bay) is a true luxury resort (although the beaches here are too small). Trou AUX Biches and Mont Choisy famous three-kilometer beach of the finest sand. Peninsula Pointe AUX cannoniers (Cape Gunners) forms an area of secluded small beaches surrounded by modern resort complexes. Pereybere and Grand Baie - nightlife and shops, restaurants and sports clubs is a bustling and cosmopolitan resort centers. West of Grand Baie is common to Mont Choisy beach, stretching along the coast to Pointe AUX cannoniers. It is interesting to visit the headland of cap Malheureux (Unhappy), the landscape here is more wild and almost deserted, and located where the Church is considered one of the "visiting cards" of the island. On the contrary, Du mountains-the World from the ocean rises the picturesque rocky island. Slightly North in the ocean lies an impressive group of Islands Koen de mire, Ile Ronde, Me-o-Serpents, Gabriel, Ile-Cards, Ile d'ambra, and others, which are nature reserves. Here, in addition to the wild coast, preserved natural ecosystem of the Islands are very popular water lagoons, perfect for diving.
The South of Mauritius is less visited by tourists than the Northern part of the island, however, this district is the most beautiful, green and the most interesting. Mahebourg is a charming town built on the South East coast of Mauritius in the beautiful Bay of Grand Port in 1805 and named in honor of Governor May de La Bourdon. Above the Bay rises the mountain Lion, the outlines of which actually resemble a sleeping lion, next to the shore scattered small Islands, one of which in 1810 was played battle between the French and the British. In the city, besides its picturesque sleepy streets and shops, you should visit the Museum of naval history, and building 1771, confectionery factory (founded in 1870), the Church of Notre-Dame-des-anges or the old cemetery, where lie the remains of the first French colonists. Wonderful lagoon and a beautiful sandy beach lie to the East of the city, in the direction of blue Bay. Summer is here excellent conditions for diving, and in winter, strong winds blow that promotes Windsurfing. Beautiful natural Park of Le Val is located in the district of the borough of Vieux Grand Port. In Bois-Sheri, you can visit the tea factory and get acquainted with all stages of the processing of the tea leaves, and buy great local tea Bois Cherie". On the coast lies the magnificent beaches of fine sand beach and Morne many consider the best all over Mauritius.
Closer to the Central part is hilly, lush plain of champagne and mountainous plateau of Piton de La rivière Noire. The mountains are low, with fancy shape vertices, which bears the curious title: "Cat and Mouse", "thumb", "Three nipple" and so on Grand Bassin sacred city of Mauritians of Indian origin Hindu - Shrine is located near the lake, where, according to legend bathed fairies. In front of the temple stands the statue of the bull of Lord Shiva, and on the top of a small hill - the figure of the God of Animanga. Near the village of Chamarel are beautiful waterfalls and natural phenomena "colored earth" on the sugar plantations Bel Ombre and Valley 23 flowers in Mar-of-the Aiguille. A few kilometers from Sayaka are waterfalls of Rochester, as well as the "Weeping rock" near Gris-Gris.
The East coast of the island is considered one of the best vacation spots - hence, of the district of Vieux Grand Port, began the colonization of the island, there is a wide variety of landscapes, powerful coral reef extends almost along the entire coast, constant light wind from the ocean soften the heat, and the number of tourists is not as great as in the North. The main natural attractions of the East coast are pristine forest Domains du Sasser and land Ylang-Ylang, Montagne du lion (Lion mountain, 480 m), waterfalls Grande rivière Sud-est at the mouth of the same river, deer island and the Cape of the Devil. Deer island has turned from a piece of untouched nature in richly built tourist facilities of the resort. From Pointe d ' esny, Trou d'eau Douce or from blue Bay here there are regular boats passing by Islands Fouquet, White Heron (bird sanctuary), Fairway (the ruins of the Fort, Lighthouse, Flamingos and other From Palmar to the Pointe de Flacq stretches luxury long beach. In the prestigious resort turned a once quiet fishing village Pointe de Flacq, whose magnificent lagoon surrounded by private beaches, hotels, Golf courses, a series of pools connected by waterways, dive centers, tennis courts, and 37 hectares of tropical Park. The best place for Windsurfing - district of Mourne.
Rodrigues island (18,3 6.5 km) is located in the Indian ocean, 650 km East of Mauritius. Oncemy in the center of the low Lemon hill (393 m), the island is flat, but indented with small valleys with steep slopes, ending at the coastline with numerous bays and headlands. The island's capital Port-Mathurin, situated on the North-West of Rodriguez. the city resembles the set of a Hollywood - there is almost no transport, houses built in some incredible old style and are painted in bright colors, the clothes of the locals are fantastic, and above all this is an indescribable silence (relative, of course) quiet provincial town. The main attraction of the city - he himself, as well as its quiet streets, old buildings and hundreds of belonging to the Asian shops and stores. In addition to the capital, should visit the magnificent Bay of Grand Baie (5 km East of Port-Maturin), Pointe-cotton ("cotton Cape"), a fabulously beautiful Baie-about-Witr ("Cove oysters"), mangroves EB-Malgas, huge wild beach Grave, the beaches of Saint-françois and Fume about Pointe-cotton, the Catholic chapel of Sacre Coeur (1939) in Saint-Gabriel, Victoria falls at Saint-Famil, "coral plain with numerous caves in the South-West, the magnificent Bay of Baie-Topaz and Cape Mapou. In the Straits between coral reefs and in the open sea outside of a lot of interesting places, "accepted" local dive centers, as well as many areas for deep-sea fishing.
Deep sea fishing is one of the main attractions of Mauritius. At any time of the year you catch record copies of blue Marlin, fish, hammerheads, tuna, Barracuda and others. The best time for fishing accounted for November-April and September-November, and the "empty" are June and July. Clubs that offer deep-sea fishing, provide for fishing boats and motor yachts, fully equipped with everything necessary. The best places to fish are in the Bay at the South-Western coast, from rivière-Marlin-Noir to Morne-Brabant. You can go to sea and with some local fisherman, the fishing can be even more interesting and more effective "official", and it will be cheaper.
National parks and reserves in Mauritius
FLIC-EN-FLAC beach is a favorite vacation spot of Mauritians its lovely beaches and the nearby nature reserve "Casela bird Park. Near Wolmar is the same reserve (700 hectares, opened in 1999), protecting the local fauna, as well as conducting pedestrian, Bicycle and car trips. In the Western part of the island with many interesting natural monuments - the relic forest Makabe (Mahabi Balamb, the largest nature reserve in Mauritius), national Park Black river Gorges, the island Benicia, Tamarind Bay, mount Mourne-Brabant (550 meters), as well as excellent areas for sea fishing. Park Riviera de Angeles allows you to see crocodiles, giant tortoises, chameleons, monkeys, bats amongst lush tropical vegetation.
Near the Northern coast, in the ocean, lies an impressive group of Islands Koen de mire, Ile Ronde, Me-o-Serpents, Gabriel, Ile-Cards, Ile d'ambra, and others, which are nature reserves. Here, in addition to the wild coast, preserved natural ecosystem of the Islands are very popular water lagoons, perfect for diving.
Beautiful natural Park of Le Val is located in the district of the borough of Vieux Grand Port in the South of Mauritius.
The main natural attractions of the East coast are pristine forest Domains du Sasser and land Ylang-Ylang, Montagne du lion (Lion mountain, 480 m), waterfalls Grande rivière Sud-est at the mouth of the same river, deer island and the Cape of the Devil.
Tropical marine, hot, but easily portable thanks to the abundant moisture brought by trade winds from the ocean. Summer (November to April) is hot and humid - +25 C at night, +30 C and above during the day, the humidity reaches 80%. Winter (may to October) cooler - +17 C at night, +23 C in the daytime, and more dry. The weather during the day may change several times, but cold will never be. Rainfall from 1500 (Western and Northern part of the island) to 5000 (Eastern) mm per year, mainly in the period from December to March. Period cyclones lasts from December to mid April, but the destructive power they usually do not have. The best time to visit Mauritius - September-November and April-June.
Time here is from November to March ahead of Moscow for 1 hour, from April to October, the time difference is absent.
State are English (used in official documents), French (the most common) and Creole (considered the language of everyday communication). You can also listen to Hindi, Urdu, Chinese and other
The Mauritian rupee (MUR or Rs)100 su. In circulation are banknotes in 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 2000 rupees coins in 1, 5 and 10 rupees, and in 5, 10, 20 and 50 su. Small coins due to inflation, more and more are becoming obsolete, but in the interior they are still in circulation.
To enter for a period not exceeding 15 days, a visa is not required because it is issued at the airport for a period of 15 days and can be easily extended. At the airport, you must present your passport (must be valid for at least 6 months after the end of the period of stay in the country), return ticket, invitation of the host or tour-voucher and fill in an entry form. For independent travel for 15 days visa is also not required, but you must receive an invitation voucher from a resident of Mauritius or the document confirming the reservation in the hotel. At departure from the country, the charge is $ 17.
Religion: more than 50% of believers - Hindus, about 30% are Christians, the rest are Muslims and Buddhists.
Most holidays are religious in nature and do not coincide with the generally accepted calendar, so their data in different years falls on different days.
1-2 January - New year.
January-February - the spring Festival (Chinese New year).
February-March - Hindu celebration of Maha shivarathri.
12 March - independence Day of Mauritius.
April - festival of Holi.
April-may - Ugadi (Hindu New year).
April-may - day (working day).
may 1 - labor day.
9 September - celebration godly Jacques désiré Laval.
August-September - Ganesh Chaturthi (Vinayaka), the birthday of Ganesha.
October-November - the Hindu "festival of lights" Diwali.
November 1 - all saints Day.
December 24-25 - Christmas.
Weekend in state institutions - Saturday and Sunday.
Mauritians are very welcoming and friendly to tourists. The island is often called "Japan Indian ocean" for the reluctance of local people to say "no" even on the most trifling matter. Therefore, so as not to put maricica in an awkward position, you should ask questions in a clear and unambiguous in order to avoid the "wrong" answer. Before visiting mosques and Hindu temples should dress modestly and be sure to remove your shoes before entering the temple. You should not talk loudly or laugh near places of worship. To photograph the temples are not officially forbidden, but it is better before shooting to ask permission from the clergy. Also caution should be taken to photographing local people - not all of them will take a bit quietly. In the country have dinner quite early, at 11 : 00 most of the offices are closed on break until 12.15.
Mauritius is increasing and virtually unchecked sold on the beaches (supposedly sellers shells) special narcotic grass. To eat and to have it with you is a serious violation of the law, for which the police can impose a large fine or even expel, regardless of whether it concerns a foreigner or a local resident. Police on the streets a lot, and the crime rate is very low. Pick-pocketing and petty theft are found almost exclusively in the major tourist areas, and most of all - because of the apparent carelessness of "victim".
The island produces quite cheap and high quality jewelry, and clothing, as well as many souvenir of national style, which is considered excellent Souvenirs. Also "pure Mauritius" souvenir considered a luxury model ships made by local craftsmen at the highest level. To bargain in most places is not only possible, but necessary.
Mauritius does not apply the five-star hotel classification system. Category b is defined conditionally, in accordance with the standards of the Swiss Hotel Association, but meet the highest demands. Even in bungalows and a small budget studios accommodation very comfortable. Public and hotel beaches are cleaned every day not only from dust, but also from fragments of corals and algae, and in some places the sand even daily sift.
Traditional cuisine Mauritius
The originality of the local cuisine gives an incredible mix of culinary traditions of Asian, African and European schools. The basis of Mauritian cuisine is rice, but he certainly is supplemented with various spices, pungent and sour sauces, various fillers seafood and vegetables. Sauces satiny, Sabayon, scold, Wendie used everywhere, as well as various fruits.
The main dish of the country - all the same curry in the form of rice with chicken or other meat, shrimp or oysters, vegetables and essential spices, seasoned with vegetable oil and herbs. Very similar to it "biryani rice with meat, vegetables or fish, seasoned with spices. Very popular as a snack "Puri" - a kind of sandwiches (both cold and hot) from a special flour with different ingredients, ranging from salads to meat or fish cuts, but not necessarily with any sauce. Everywhere offer Chinese noodles "min Frith", methods of preparation of which is inconceivable number.
Fish and seafood take on the tables of Mauritians not less than Fig. The surrounding waters abound with fish of all kinds, of which the most revered tuna, sea bream, sole, mullet (mullet), Marlin and other Fish smoked, roasted on the fire and coals, eaten raw with lemon juice, stewed and boiled with various additives. A special delicacy is considered freshwater crayfish "camerone", crab, lobster, octopus with windie or curry, snails, various shells, sea urchins, etc. They are a hundred different ways, but always with spices and green.
The variety of vegetables is phenomenal! On the island grow sweet potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, small green cucumber with adhesive peel "Lalo", manioc, squash, pumpkin, squash, cabbage palm (local culinary pride) and other, often completely unfamiliar European vegetables. And, of course, a tremendous abundance of fruits of all varieties.
Interest and local products from flour - a kind of triangular cheesecake "samosa" (samsa) puff pastry with vegetables, meat or fish cakes with sweet potato pie, pies, potatoes and eggplant, donuts with spices, small tartlets with pasta seafood cakes with coconut crumbs, etc.
National drinks are coffee (quite unusual for European taste, but all the bars and restaurants can cook and standard black coffee), fruit juices, condensed milk "at" with spices, local light beer ("Stella", "Phoenix", "blue Merlin ' and other), white rum "green island" and tinctures on herbs.
Political system Mauritius
Mauritius is a parliamentary Republic. The head of state is the President, the legislative body is the unicameral Legislative Assembly. Part of the Commonwealth.
About 1.7 million people - Indo-Mauritians (68%), Creoles (27%), and other immigrants from Asia and Europe.
Exempt from duty: clothing and personal property used by other tourist things necessary for the person to stay; 250 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grams of tobacco; 1 litre of spirits and 2 litres of wine or beer, 25 ml of spirits. Weapons and ammunition must be declared. For transportation of animals must have permission of the veterinary service of the Ministry of agriculture.
Medical aid Mauritius
Special vaccination is not required. In rural areas (except for the island of Rodrigues) theoretically there is a risk of malaria in a mild form.
In Mauritius in parallel, there are state and private medicine. State medical assistance public free of charge (including medications), but its level is not very high. Private medicine is more qualified, but not cheap, so international medical insurance is strongly recommended. Usually in hotels has its own doctor and have a pharmacy.
Working hours Mauritius
Banks are open from 9.15 till 15.00-15.30 on weekdays, and from 9.15 to 11.15 on Saturday.
Shops are usually open from 9.00 to 17.00 (Port Louis) or from 10.00 to 18.00 (in other cities) on weekdays, on Saturdays from 12.00 to 17.00 in the capital and in other cities tend to work longer. Department stores are open on Sundays from 9.00 to 12.00. Once a week (usually on Thursday afternoon) the stores are closed for "cleaning day".
Choose to rent a car, remember that the island is a small, narrow roads, drive on the left. Taxi counters in the car no better bargain.
Potable water Mauritius
You can drink water from the tap, it is pretty thorough cleaning, but still it is recommended to use bottled drinks.