Mauritius North Tour - Full Day

Cultural & Theme Tours in Chamarel

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Tour description provided by Viator

Discover the North region of Mauritius on its many sights.This tour offers you to discover and visit all the main tourist sights, attractions and places of interest of the North of Mauritius.This is a Private Tour, only for you to go in a private vehicle.As part of this tour you will visit many attractions and sights in one day: • Mauritius National Botanical garden • Visit and tour of the Sugar estate & Museum • Visit of the city of Port Louis – The Capital of Mauritius • Port Louis’ waterfront area including Caudan Shopping complex • Port Louis main market • Port Louis craft market • Fort Adelaide Port Louis (La Citadelle)
ItineraryThis is a typical itinerary for this productStop At: Citadelle de Port-Louis, Port-Louis, Morbihan, BrittanyNamed after the Queen Adelaide, the fort has been built between 1834 and 1840, under the direction of William IV.At 240 ft. above sea level, Fort Adelaide, also known as 'La Citadelle' has fulfilled the strategic purpose of guarding the harbour against enemy attacks and fires that broke in the city.From the Hill you can have a panoramic view of the City starting from the Champ De Mars race track.After we will head to Marie Rein De La Paix situated on the foot of Signal Mountain. A view from the above the Port Louis Harbor awaits you. You will also find the ancient architecture of the road mad e with rocks. Duration: 40 minutesStop At: Le Caudan Waterfront, Port LouisA historical site, the peninsula called Le Caudan was created around a fossil coral islet, hosting a powder magazine, an astronomic and meteorological observatory, quays, warehouses and various small enterprises over the last 250 years. The daily routine of this popular harbor followed the pace of the sugar industry until the creation of the Bulk Sugar Terminal in 1980. From these 150 years of millions of sugar bags transiting by boat, train or trucks, carried by hundreds of hands, only a few old walls still stand today to speak to the mind…Several popular spots of Le Caudan Waterfront bear a strong historical significance. The first meteorological observatory of the Indian Ocean now hosts the Food Court and the Namasté restaurant. The building hosting the Blue Penny Museum was the former Docks office.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Blue Penny Museum, Port LouisThe Blue Penny Museum is an art and history museum that is wholly devoted to Mauritius.It houses some prestigious collections, which are true testimony of the historical and cultural wealth and diversity of Mauritius, in a stunning layout. The museum was inaugurated in 2001 and has been designed with unyielding attention to quality in the selection of the works on display, the written descriptions, the layout and the development of interpretation aids. To begin with, visitors will take a step back into the era of great maritime explorations in the Indian Ocean before moving on to an overview of the three colonial periods in the history of Mauritius. Your journey into the past continues with a foray into the Port Louis of the 18th and 19th centuries. What unfolds next is the tale of the history of postal services, namely with the very first postage stamps to be issued in Mauritius, the world-renowned Post Office stamps. The tour of the museum ends with the beautiful yet tragic story of a mythical couple, Paul and Virginie. The Blue Penny Museum is one of those rare places providing visitors with a captivating glimpse of the art and history of Mauritius. It is therefore a must-stop for anyone who is curious about discovering the country in depth.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Mauritius Postal Museum, Port LouisThe exchange of mails between Mauritius and the outside world dates back as far as 1638 – the year the first people came to settle in the island.Letters were placed inside upturned bottles hanged on trees which were then emptied or filled by sailors.That’s what the Dutch recorded in their journals when they started populating the still uninhabited island of Mauritius.The “postal depot” was located at Tonneliers Island (then called Kuipers Eylandt), near Port Louis harbour.Since then, the history of postal services in Mauritius has been marked by major events.So let’s go for a short trip to the Mauritius Postal Museum and discover these important milestones!Mauritius Postal MuseumMauritius Postal Museum – A Neo-classical Victorian architecture inaugurated in 1870 and which until recently housed the General Post Office.The Creation of the First Postal Services in MauritiusNicholas Lambert (1741-1806), director of the Imprimerie Royale (Royal Printing), initiated the creation of an inland postal service and the first post office opened its door on 12 December 1772 when Mauritius was a French colony.The Bureau Général des Postes et Gazettes, a private undertaking, was in charge of delivering locally printed newspapers and letters coming from abroad to the inhabitants. Delivery was performed on foot by “Noirs Facteurs” (slave postmen).Postal activities gradually spread across the various cantons (districts) of Isle de France (the name given to Mauritius by the French). But as from 1795 the services started to dramatically deteriorate when rural post offices were closed down by the local Republican administration following the French Revolution.To worsen the situation overseas communications were disrupted when the British blockaded Mauritius as from 1804 as a strategy to invade the island.The Mauritius Post Office under British RuleIn the British Period room of the Mauritius Postal Museum, the development of the postal services under the British rule is resourcefully documented.Shortly after the conquest of Mauritius by the British in 1810, the Poste Général (General Post Office) established by the French became a Civil Department of the colonial administration.The General Post Office was opened in Port Louis in 1870.One major innovation in the postal services was the introduction of a prepaid postage system by the use of stamps.On 20 September 1847 the first adhesive stamps – the Blue and the Red Penny - were conceived and printed for the first time by Joseph Osborn Barnard. Mauritius became the fifth country in the world, after Great Britain (1840), Brazil and Switzerland (1843) and North America (1847), and the first colony to print stamps.Red Penny Stamp MauritiusRed Penny Stamp MauritiusBlue Penny Stamp MauritiusBlue Penny Stamp MauritiusThe orange-red one penny and the deep blue two pence bearing the profile head of Queen Victoria are known as the Mauritius “Post Office” stamps and derived their name from the wording reading “Post Office” printed on them instead of “Post Paid”. They are among the rarest postage stamps in the world.Other important landmarks carried out under the British rule were the conveyance of mails by railway in 1867, the introduction of telegraph and telephone.In 1893 the first overseas telegraphic links became possible through telegraphic undersea cable between Mauritius and Seychelles.In 1933 the first airmail left Mauritius for Reunion Island.Postal Museum of MauritiusPostal Museum of MauritiusMauritius Post – Men in UniformsToday The Mauritius Post Limited is a state-owned company offering traditional as well as modern postal services.A Philatelic Bureau is located at the museum where philatelic items are on sales.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Aapravasi Ghat, Port LouisAbout the Aapravasi GhatThis historical site is a symbol of Mauritian identity since the ancestors of more than 70% of today’s local population arrived on the island through this immigration depot. The depot was created to receive indentured laborers coming to work in the sugar plantations during the early post-slavery years of 1834-1920.The Indentureship involved a mass migration of workers from India, China, Africa and South East Asia to work in colonies. Mauritius was the first country which had successfully recoursed indentured labour. Other British, French and Dutch colonies then adopted the system. Consequently, there was a massive worldwide migration of more than 2 million indentured labourers, of which Mauritius received almost half a million. Other colonies such as Guyana, South Africa, Trinidad, Cuba, Peru and Reunion Island proceeded with indentureship.Aapravasi Ghat (Visit & Tour)In April 1987, the Aapravasi Ghat was declared a national monument by the Government of Mauritius and in 2006, the Aapravasi Ghat became the first indenture site in the world to be inscribed on UNESCO’s famous list of World Heritage Sites.The buildings of Aapravasi Ghat are among the earliest explicit manifestations of what would become a global economic system. It represents not only the development of the modern system of contractual labour, but also the memories, traditions and values that these men, women and children carried with them when they left their countries of origin, to work in foreign lands. However only the partial remains of three stone buildings from the entire complex have survived- only about 15% of the building still authentically exists today.While visiting the Aapravasi Ghat, you will get the chance learn more about the historical events through the Beekrumsing Ramlallah Interpretation Centre (BRIC). There are displays of artifacts such as pipes, phials and medicine bottles (from the hospital on the site), leftover gin & rum bottles (probably drank by British officers) and other remains found during archaeological excavations at the Aapravasi Ghat. You may also view a replica of the ship, similar to the one that the contracted workers had to endure.Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesStop At: Jummah Mosque, Port LouisThe Jummah Masjid is a mosque in Port Louis dating from the 1850s, with substantial additions built through the 1890s. It is located on the Royal Road, and is described by the Ministry of Tourism’s guide as one of the most beautiful religious buildings in the country.Throughout the year, the Jummah Masjid is visited by Islamic personalities, scholars, naatkhwan, etc. One of the visits which the Masjid receives is that of Maulana Shah Abdul Aleem Siddiqui Madani and his son Maulana Shah Ahmad Noorani Siddiqui every year, during the month of Rabi’ al-awwal. Muhammad Owais Raza Qadri, the naatkhwan from Pakistan has also made various Naat Programs in the Masjid. Maulana Syed Ahmad Ashraf Jilani, Maulana Syed Kaleem Ashraf Jilani, Maulana Syed Aleem Ashraf Jilani have also visited.The Jummah Masjid houses the Mazar Shareef of Syed Peer Jamal Shah (a waliullah from Cutch Naliya,India) in the backyard of the mosque. This is a dargah where people come & pray.The Jummah Masjid is known for live broadcasts of Jummah Prayers every Friday, taraweeh prayers during the month of Ramadan, Eid Prayers, and spiritual programs like Majilis for the first 10 days of Muharram, the first 12 days of Rabi ul Awwal, Mehfil e Ashurah & various ‘Urs Shareef held throughout the year.Duration: 40 minutesStop At: Central Market, Port LouisPort Louis Central MarketThe Central Market of Port-Louis (also known at the Port Louis Bazaar) is one of the most crowded markets in Mauritius and the most visited market by tourists. The Port Louis market is the best place to purchase local made products and for trying local made foods. The things on sale here are cheap and the market brings you close to the local life in Mauritius. The market is a very a popular meeting point of locals and tourists.Port Louis Central MarketThe Port Louis market has several sections, part on the main street and part is a closed market until a big roof. There is a section that sells fruit and vegetables, a section for meat and sea products, an emporium upstairs that sells souvenirs and a section selling clothes.To see all the sections of the market you will have to visit inside the main market building, but also visit the market main yard and also to walk along the main market street.The Port Louis is a great place to find many different interesting products. As for the many textiles found at the market, some of the sellers will insist that they are genuine brands which they have received directly from the factories (the reality is that most of the textiles are actually fakes).You can also find local crafts, religious artifacts, knick-knacks, spices and other artifacts. There is also a food hall that will sell vegetarian food such as Dholl Puri, Biryani, Haleem and selection of additional local dishes.Duration: 1 hourStop At: L'Aventure du SucreA tour at the L’Aventure du Sucre (Sugar Adventure) promises you an exciting and fruitful visit at the old Beau Plan Sugar Factory which was once operational from the 18th to 20th century. The sugar museum beautifully nestles in the remote area of the popular Pamplemousses village which is also known for its enchanting historical botanical garden, the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden.The L’aventure du Sucre is an initiative undertaken by three Mauritian sugar groups, notably Constance La Gaiete Co Ltd, Deep River Beau Champ Ltd, and Harel Freres Ltd who wanted to present to Mauritians and tourists the historical and cultural side of the sugar cane production in Mauritius. It is worth mentioning that the sugarcane industry had contributed massively to the Mauritian economy in the past. Sugar was once considered as one of the most valuable products in the world especially during late colonization periods.Besides, learning about the history of sugar plantation you will have the privilege to learn about the island’s history and its evolution, from the time the Dutch set foot on Mauritius, until today. It covers the establishment of Mauritius, starting from the Dutch, French and British settlements. You will also learn about the stories, triumphs and difficulties that people went through while creating the sugar industry on the island; this englobes slavery, indentured labourers and their harsh treatments.This visit is worth being spent with family and children to learn about the Mauritian history and culture. Normally, it takes about two hours to complete the tour and it eventually ends with a tasting of the different sugars and Mauritian rum.Sugarcane in MauritiusSugar plantations are widely grown in tropical climates like Mauritius and the Caribbean islands. Over 1000 years ago sugar was already known to the Indians and Chinese. This valuable commodity travelled from the Far and Middle East to the Mediterranean. It was mostly planted to produce rum or sugar.Mauritius used to be a prosperous sugar plantation colony. The island had witnessed an epic history with its many sugar cane mills across the country, but today the number of sugar factories has declined. Presently about 72 000 hectares of sugarcane is cultivated in Mauritius. The sugar industry is not just about growing sugarcane and producing sugar, but also about generating energy for the island.Once an incredibly sought-after commodity, sugar has played a crucial role in the history, and development of Mauritius. The first sugarcane crops were introduced from Java by Dutch settlers in the 1600s. French colonists arrived shortly after the Dutch abandoned the island in 1710, and by the time of the Napoleonic Wars in the early 1800s, there were around 60,000 slaves working in the island’s sugar industry – much of the country’s population at the time. Most were replaced by indentured labourers from India after the abolition of slavery in the British Empire during the 1830s.Before the advent of tourism and textile manufacturing in the 1960s, sugar remained the major industry in Mauritius – and to this day is still an important economic driver, though increased mechanisation and consolidation of the mills has led to far fewer numbers being employed.Historical Background of L’Aventure Du SucreDuring the colonial period, Mauritius was expanding massively in the sugar production through the British colony, yet after many years of its independence the island saw a drastic decline in the industry. Many sugar factories were closing down.In 1998, the Beau Plan Sugar Estate ceased to operate after 177 years of contributing in the sugar industry of the island. The factory was converted into a museum which is today known as L’Aventure du Sucre. This old estate has been restored and does an excellent job conveying the complex story of sugar and how it is intertwined with the roots of the Mauritian people- going back 4 centuries, woven into the history of the island itself.With an authentically re-created ambience, the different stages of sugar production are exhibited and explained, from the early cultivation of the canes and the role of slavery in growing this vital crop, to the creation of the finished products and their eventual exportation to Western markets. Much of the original machinery – pipes, vats, vessels – are still on display, including two locomotives and a large wooden barge which was used to transport sugar from Mauritius to Madagascar (its last voyage was in the year 2000).Visit of L’Aventure Du SucreIt would take you approximately 2 hours to complete the ‘sugar tour’ inside the Beau Plan mill, but you can also spend your entire day over there. During the visit you will have the opportunity to watch evocative films from the early years before discovering all there is to know about the sugar industry in Mauritius.The tour is laid out in such a way that you feel like you are walking through the history of Mauritius, starting with the discovery of the island, the early settlements, the slave trade, the arrival of the indentured labourers, life on the colony and the independence of Mauritius, followed by its recent history.The museum also covers the sugar production process and its resulting products. You will even take a walk and view the machines used in extracting cane sugar from the fields to the mills; the clarifiers, the evaporators, vacuum pans, crystallizers, centrifuges and even the chemistry lab. All along you will be reading and seeing how sugar transforms from cane to the many sugars we know and consume. This is truly the single most informative activity you can do when in Mauritius as it really covers everything.L’Aventure du Sucre also includes a large display of arts depicting sugar, from as early as the 15th century up to the modern day. These paintings are a marvelous show case of the importance of sugar to our lives. They explore how sugar, once a rare and precious commodity, was limited to upper classes and royalties, and a measure of a nation’s wealth and prosperity. It’s use in the sculptures and the decadent table arts of the aristocratic communities, to even its power over nations and their eagerness to possess and control its source.Children are guided by the museum’s two mascots: Floryse the Mongoose and Raj the Indian Mynah, who will entertain them with stories, field any questions, and test their knowledge with a short quiz, rewarding correct answers with a quick toot-toot on the old steam train.Visitors will get to sample the different types of unrefined sugars. If you love baking, you will love the rich flavours of these sugars, which are so much more delicious than the regular ones. For the adults, the tour ends with a complimentary rum tasting. There are various sugar rums, spiced & aged rums and even flavoured rums are available. The vanilla and coffee flavoured liqueurs are highly recommended.Facilities at L’Aventure du SucreThere are many on-site facilities such as Le Fangourin restaurant located in a lovely lush setting overlooking the mountains of the central plateau. With its perfectly preserved vegetation, its picturesque pond with lush greenery and geese, the restaurant offers a stress free environment conducive to relaxation.The Fangourin cuisine is inspired from unique flavors while maintaining a rich Mauritian culinary heritage; a cuisine that is both refined and festive, that infuses new flavors while preserving the Mauritian culinary tradition. The Fangourin also offers services ranging from cocktails and hors d’oeuvres to full dinners.The Village Boutik of L’Aventure du SucreThe authentic artisanal shop-the Village Boutik offers a range of craft products made by the locals which helps to perpetuate their know-how built up over many generations. Craft skills have a history behind them, constituting of an intangible legacy and are very much part of the country’s cultural heritage.Visitors generally appreciate and show interest about the story behind the attractive gift boxes which are made out of ‘vacoas’ (a local screwpine) by fishermen who weave them by hand before their wives stitch a fine lining inside.You will also have the chance to learn about the sugar cartons which are made by hand, with minute attention to detail, by a small craft company in the North of the island. In short, each product has an interesting story behind to tell.House of New Grove- L’Aventure du SucreL’Aventure du Sucre now has the House of New Grove in its Village Boutik, a fine, contemporary designed space to show New Grove’s prestigious range of rums. L’Aventure du Sucre by New Grove’s amber-coloured rums are aged in oak barrels and include Very Special (VS), Very Superior Old Pale (VSOP) and Extra Old (XO) varieties. There are also exotic liqueurs flavoured with coffee, vanilla and Rodriguan honey, which are greatly appreciated, as well as the superb La Solera made from a blend of rums the oldest of which is more than twenty five years’ old. One of the collection’s great successes is a range of rums featuring special sugars (molasses, demerara and golden bakery). There’s nothing like them anywhere else in the world and they were specially developed for L’Aventure du Sucre by the cellar master, Christian Vergier. They and the aged rums (vieux rhums) are particularly popular with visitors to the island.Duration: 2 hoursStop At: Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical GardenMauritius National Botanical Garden is home to an incredible variety of tropical plants, many of them indigenous.The Botanic Garden, formally known as Sir Seewoosagur Botanic Garden, is one of the most visited attractions in Mauritius.The garden is located in the proximity of Port-Louis in the district of Pamplemousse.Mauritius National Botanical GardenThe botanical garden was initially opened as a private garden by the French governor of Mauritius nearly 300 years ago, later to become the national botanical garden of Mauritius.The botanical garden stretches over endless acres of land and it may take you more than a week to cover the whole garden. It is populated with more than 650 varieties of plants among which are the famous Baobabs, the Palmier Bouteille, the ineluctable Giant Water Lilies, dozens of medicinal plants, a large spice garden and many more.One of the main attractions of the botanical garden is the 85 different varieties of palm trees brought from different corners of the world. Other indigenous species of plants are also exhibited here.Guides are available at the entrance of the garden, offering a full tour for as little as 1 euro/hour per person (payment for the guides is done at the entrance of the botanical garden). We highly recommend using the guides’ services.Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

What’s included

  • Local guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Transport by air-conditioned car upon request
  • Fuel surcharge
  • Landing and facility fees
  • Bottled water

What’s not included

  • Food and drinks
  • Lunch
  • Souvenir photos (available to purchase)
  • Entry/Admission - Le Caudan Waterfront
  • Entry/Admission - Blue Penny Museum
  • Entry/Admission - Mauritius Postal Museum
  • Entry/Admission - Aapravasi Ghat
  • Entry/Admission - Jummah Mosque
  • Entry/Admission - Central Market
  • Entry/Admission - L'Aventure du Sucre
  • Entry/Admission - Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden
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