Eureka, Colonial House and museum, Mauritius, Africa

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Top choice in Mauritius

If you're only going to visit one attraction related to Mauritius' rich colonial history, choose Eureka. This perfectly preserved Creole mansion was built in the 1830s and today it's a museum and veritable time machine providing incredible insight into the island's vibrant plantation past. The main manor house is a masterpiece of tropical construction, which apparently kept the interior deliciously cool during the unbearably hot summers, and boasts 109 doors and more rooms than a Cluedo board.

Rooms are adorned with an impeccably preserved collection of period furniture imported by the French East India Company – take special note of the antique maps, a strange shower contraption that was quite the luxury some 150 years ago and the mildewed piano with keys like rotting teeth.

The courtyard behind the main mansion contains beautifully manicured grounds surrounded by a set of stone cottages – the former servants' quarters and kitchen. Follow the trail out the back for 15 minutes and you'll reach the lovely Ravin waterfall.

The estate's unusual name is believed to have been the reaction of Eugène Le Clézio when he successfully bid to purchase the house at auction in 1856.

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