PORT LOUIS (CAPITAL OF MAURITUS):
The heart and soul of Mauritius … Port Louis will leave you spellbound. The ingenuity of Mauritian vendors is quite charming. Their creativity is extraordinary. Have a look at Port Louis’ pavement ‘shops’. What masterful creations!
Discover things to do and see with the itinerary I have prepared for you together with a short description of the points of interest.
Ready? let’s go.
Before it gets too hot let’s visit the Citadel fortress on top of a hill within the city. There you’ll have a scenic view over Port Louis, the ‘Champ de Mars’ famous for horse racing, mountain and harbour. It will give you a good insight of the Mauritius capital and her surrounding attractions.
THE CAUDAN WATERFRONT:
End the day’s excursion at the Caudan waterfront alongside the harbour in Port Louis. A five minute walk from the Central Market.
The Caudan is a modern complex with an interesting architecture. Lots of shops and restaurants away from the hustle and bustle of the real Port Louis.
Thirsty? Have a drink at the Keg and Marlin Bar a popular pub at the Waterfront. If you are into stamps and still have the energy visit the Blue Penny Museum at the waterfront. It’s here that the famous Mauritius ‘blue and red post office’ stamps are on display.
Please note that to protect these rare stamps the display is lit for 10 minutes every hour on the half hour. For example 9 30, 10 30 and so on. You’ll be mesmerized by our lively market. First walk alongside souvenirs stalls obviously a popular tourist attraction. Lots of shops where eager vendors are even more convincing than our beach vendors.
You wonder how you have lived without this packet of aromatic spices or that colourful woven basket.
MARIE REINE DE LA PAIX:
Marie Reine de la Paix is an open church located on the Signal mountain with an amazing breathtaking view of Port-Louis. Tie your shoes and prepare yourself mentally as you have a fair amount of steps for reaching the church not more than 100 steps of walk up the hill. You think it is tiring? Once you reach the top, you’ll see it is totally worth the effort, a very scenic and panoramic view of the Port Louis city awaiting you with such fresh air.
On April 28, 1940, the special Carrara marble statue made by Ferdinando Palla arrived from Italy under the applause of an enthusiastic crowd. The 3 meters of white marble statue at the top represents Mary holding a world globe. When mass is celebrated here it attracts huge number of people from different places.
Pope John Paul II officiated his first Mass here during his visit to the island in 1989. The Monument was inaugurated on the Feast of the Assumption in 1940, and was dedicated to Mary Queen of Peace in thanksgiving for keeping the country safe during World War I. On 09 September 2019, the pope Francis visited Mauritius and preside mass at Marie reine de la paix on the slopes of a mountain overlooking the city. A Large crowd of more than 100 000 followers according to the organizers was gathered in the front of Marie Reine de la Paix. That’s roughly 10% of the entire population of Mauritius.
Benches are scattered all over there, just imagine you are siting on one of them and admiring the gorgeous scenery, Nice right?
If you visit Mauritius, this place is a must! And yes, it is free to visit!
The Citadel also called Fort Adelaide was built by the British in 1830 when Mauritius was a British colony. Her cannons face the surrounding area in case of a French invasion …
On your way back from the citadel, take a leisurely walk through nearby paved streets. Have a look at these delightful wooden buildings from Mauritius’ colonial past. Here time stands still.
SHOPPING DUTY FREE:
Why wait to go on a trip to enjoy duty free products? We have the most popular products sold in duty free right here in Port Louis so come take a look!
HORSE RACING IN MAURITIUS, CHAMP DE MARS:
Horse racing is very popular in Mauritius and take over the week-ends of many ‘racegoers’.
The Champ de Mars Racecourse is a horse race track in Port Louis, Mauritius. It was founded on 25 June 1812. The main road leading to it is a landmark known to racing enthusiasts as “Rue Government”, Champ de Mars racecourse is nestled at the foot of lovely hills.
The Mauritius Turf Club is the oldest horse-racing club in the Southern Hemisphere and the second oldest in the world. The horse racing season usually starts in March and ends in the first weekend of December.
With an average of 8 horses per race (some may even go up to a maximum of 11 horses), about 60 horses participate on each racing day. Most of the horses come from South Africa, although some are also acquired from the UK, France and Australia, thereby boosting competition levels.
The Champ de Mars track follows a very selective right hand oval path. It is 1298m in circumference and 11m to 13m wide – it is a relatively small track. Races are run on distances from 1000m to 2400m. A maximum capacity field of eleven horses is allowed to race on the track. Four “classic” and four “semi-classic” races are run each year during the racing season. Recently a few Group Races have been added to the list. The most popular event remains The Maiden Cup, tradionally run over 2400 metres. The first “classic” race of the season, the Duchess of York Cup, is held at the start of the racing season and is reserved for newly imported horses. “Classic” races draw large crowds to the Champ de Mars.
Today, the Champ de Mars attracts tens of thousands of people on each racing day during the racing season from late March to early December and has become the ultimate meeting place for racing fanatics from all over the island and even from abroad.
Since horse racing is the most popular sport in Mauritius and a lot of the islanders are passionate about it, you can expect to have an average of 30,000 visitors on a raceday. The electrifying ambiance and the enthusiasm on race days is an amazing, palpable experience.
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