Discover the authentic facet of Port Louis, a pleasantly surprising and vivacious city!
The day starts at 08.30 a.m. and ends at 12.30 p.m.
Without the administrative and military genius of Mahé de Labourdonnais, Mauritius would not have become what it is today. Born in Saint-Malo on 11 February 1699, he was appointed General Governor of Isle de France in November 1734. He founded Port Louis, which later became the Island’s capital.
The excursion takes you along to discover the capital of Mauritius through all its developments, of the time of the French, the English and the Indian workers until the independence in 1968.
You will visit La Citadelle(Fort Adelaine), Port-Louis Central Market, Caudan Waterfront Shopping Mall, Government House, Port-Louis Cathedral & Threatre, China Town and Aapravasi Ghat.
Fort Adelaide was built in a strategic location overlooking the harbour of Port Louis which made it easy to look out for any incoming enemy vessels. The British are thought to have built this forte in fear of a civil war from the remaining French settlers on the island. You get a stunning view from the Forte overlooking the whole of Port Louis.
Being the main city in Mauritius, Port Louis Central Market (also known at the Port Louis Bazaar) is the home of the largest market, where you can find fresh food items, local dishes, and various handcrafted goods that are useful to locals and serve as souvenirs for tourists. Port Louis' rightly famous central market, the center of the local economy since Victorian times, is a good place to get a feel for the everyday life of many locals. Watch the hawkers at work and buy some souvenirs. Most authentic are the wonderful fruit and vegetable sections (including herbal medicines and aphrodisiacs)
Le Caudan Waterfront offers a unique shopping, leisure and work hub, in the capital, on the water’s edge. Since its opening in 1996, it has shown undeniable know-how and expertise in commercial activities and entertainment. On top of being an undeniable must for shopping, Le Caudan Waterfront is also a business centre, a melting pot for local artists and the favourite meeting place for gastronomes, tourists and locals looking for leisure and entertainment.
The Government House in Port Louis is one of the oldest building we can find still standing graciously and dates back since the French colony. Whilst it wasn’t originally like it looks today, the Government House began construction under the first french governors of the island, namely Nicolas de Maupin (1729 – 1735) and Mahé de Labourdonnais (1735 – 1746) and served as the residence of the latter. It served as the venue for the Governor’s official business, as well as the many receptions and functions hosted by the occupant.
Port Louis city has many stories to tell, visit the Saint Louis Cathedral among the oldest church in Mauritius. Built in 1814/15 and promoted to Cathedral in 1847, the church is the final works of Governor Sir Robert Farquar. The construction of the church in the shape of a latin cross when viewed from above complied to plans drawn from 1736-1739 . One thing that unfortunately has lost its glory of the days is about the fountain found at the front of the Cathedral. This obelisque with four lion heads on each side used to carry water from the ‘Pouce Stream’ towards this part of the city, among others. The ‘monument’ is still present nowadays but doesn’t provide any water… one of the other works of the Governor Vicomte de Souillac.
The Port Louis Municipal Theatre is one of the oldest theatres and playhouses of the southern hemisphere. Talking about the history behind, Joseph Laglaine, health officer on board a french warship, was the first who thought of bringing a troupe to perform in Mauritius, at that time, Isle de France.
The Chinese have traditionally occupied an important position in the life of Port Louis, and the area between the two 'friendship gates' on Royal St forms the centre of the city's Chinatown. Here you'll take in the rich mercantile life of the Chinese community, busy Chinese restaurants and grocery stores, and streets echoing with the unmistakable clatter of mah-jong tiles.
Located on the bay of Trou Fanfaron, in the capital of Port-Louis, the Aapravasi Ghat is the remains of an immigration depot, the site from where modern indentured labour Diaspora emerged. The Depot was built in 1849 to receive indentured labourers from India, Eastern Africa, Madagascar, China and Southeast Asia to work on the island’s sugar estates.