Mahébourg is a historical coastal agglomeration that bears the spirit, charm and lifestyle of a fishermen’s village. Its name comes from the first French governor of the island – Mahé de Labourdonnais, and parts of its today’s urban layout date back to the times when it was the capital of the then French colony.
The big lively village presents a mix of colonial and traditional Creole architecture and a recently built waterfront that runs along the wide expanse of Mahebourg bay offering an unhindered view of the Grand Port mountain range backdrop and its landmark Lion mountain and from where one can catch sight of the numerous and famous islets studding the bay - the pisturesque Mouchoir Rouge, historical Ile de la Passe and Ile au Phare and Ile aux Aigrettes nature reserve.
On Mondays – Mahébourg’s highly popular traditional market day, life throbs with increased animation and the voices of merchants calling out to customers and passers-by; the place fills with the whiffs of the whole array of oriental spices and street food, the pungent scents of traditional dried seafood, the colours of tropical fruits and vegetables as well as clothes, crafts and a paraphernalia of all sorts.
Mahebourg Naval Museum
The imposing 18th century colonial house, where the French and English wounded were tended to during the historical battle of Grand Port in early 19th century, has been converted into a museum. It offers an interesting recollection of the maritime history of Mauritius through a period porcelain collection, ancient maps, lithography, paintings, artifacts, weapons, navigation equipment and bells of famous wrecks as well as models of illustrious ships.
The traditional cassava biscuit factory
Located in the north-facing part of the Mahébourg, the famous Biscuiterie Rault, was founded in 1870, making it the oldest biscuit factory in Mauritius. Holding on to its ancient lay-out, recipe and traditional baking on hotplate stoves fuelled with dried sugar-cane leaves. the factory proposes a demonstration tour with tasting around a cup of Mauritian tea.