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My gluten-free journey to Mauritius

In this blog I will tell you everything about my 16-day tour in the beautiful country of Mauritius!

Read what I've done, where I've stayed and how I navigated this country gluten-free. At the bottom of the blog I have listed my practical tips to find gluten-free food in Mauritius.

On the plane

We flew from Dusseldorf to Mauritius with a layover in Dubai. A flight that would take about 16 hours in total. Unfortunately, on the way there, we missed our connecting flight in Dubai due to the disturbances at the airport. That was a bit of a disappointment, the next flight was at 10 o'clock the next morning which meant that we had to spend 8 hours in Dubai. They were not very familiar with gluten free at the airport, luckily I had brought some snacks with me just to be safe. Read what I took with me in my suitcase in this blog.

Apart from this, I had a very pleasant experience flying with Emirates and my gluten-free food on board was well arranged. Read more about it in this blog.

Astroea Beach

After a long journey we arrived at the airport of Mauritius. Here we received our rental car and went to our first accommodation, which fortunately was only a fifteen minute drive from the airport. It was already evening when we arrived so we went to bed early.

Unfortunately this property had few gluten free options despite we informed them in advance, luckily I had some gluten-free bread with me and they did have yogurt at the breakfast buffet. At dinner it unfortunately went wrong and I was accidentally served something with gluten, I spent an evening sick in bed. Thankfully the next morning I was feeling well again. The staff was very shocked by this so I hope they are more careful in the future.

We would have loved to visit Ile aux Aigrettes from this accommodation, but unfortunately this was not possible due to the stormy weather. Instead we visited Mahebourg and went to Pont Natural. We didn't spend very long in Mahebourg, it has a beautiful coast and an extensive market, but otherwise it was not our thing.

Pont Natural, on the other hand, was definitely worth it! You have to drive quite a bit off road to get there, but that is an experience in itself. On site you have a spectacular view of the waves crashing against the rocks and the 'natural bridge'.

The next day we continued to our second accommodation, on the way we went to the viewpoint 'Gris Gris' and we visited 'La Vanille Nature Park' where we were allowed to feed turtles and lemurs. A super fun experience!

Lakaz Chamarel Exclusive Lodge

This accommodation, located in the south, was without a doubt the highlight of our tour. I was slightly nervous about the food after it went wrong at our previous stay. But this accommodation definitely made up for it! On arrival the chef told me they had a briefing with the kitchen staff about my dietary requirements.

Every morning they brought me homemade gluten-free bread and pancakes. Dinner was a la carte, without me having to ask, someone came to discuss the menu with me and they adjusted the meals where necessary. I had delicious meals!

Now that the worries about the food were gone, I was able to enjoy the beautiful surroundings in which this accommodation is located. The complex has a 'view top bar' which is only open for the stunning sunset, a great experience!

We hiked for a day through the Black River Gorges National Park, a beautiful area with amazing views. It had just rained heavily so it was slippery on the way, good walking shoes are a must!

The next day we visited the Chamarel waterfall and the Seven Colored Earth, very unique. On day three we made another hike through the Ebony Forest Reserve with the (literally) highlight being the viewpoint Sublime Point where you have a beautiful view over Le Morne and the coast.

Coin de Mire Attitude

At this location we finally had 26 degrees and sun! This was more than welcome after the changeable weather in the south. Local people had already predicted that we would probably have better weather in the north and it turned out that way.

We were able to lie on the beach, snorkel and we did a glass boat tour where we spotted a sea turtle!

In the south we had changeable weather, partly because it was winter in Mauritius during our trip. During the day it was around 20 degrees with regular showers, in the evening it cooled down considerably. Still, we liked this because we like to do activities and that went better with these temperatures than with more than 30 degrees in the summer. When we got a few beach days at this location, it was more than successful for us!

On the way to this hotel we went to La Vallée Des Couleurs Nature Park to ride a quad, walk over a Nepalese bridge and zipline. This park was quite touristy (and expensive) but they were fun activities to do.

With a bunch of other Dutch people we met in the hotel we made a trip to Grand Baie. Many bars were closed due to the winter season, but we were able to eat a delicious gluten-free pizza at Pomodoro.

In Grand Baie I visited the SuperU supermarket where they had a wide range of gluten-free products.

At the hotel, I was given gluten-free bread every morning and the chef went to the buffet with me in the evening to explain what I could and could not eat. Unfortunately, the allergen tickets on the buffet were not always correct, a missed opportunity. That's why I asked the chef every night to tell me what I could eat.

Veranda Palmar Beach

Our fourth and last accommodation was all inclusive and located in the north-east of the country. When we arrived at the hotel, the chef was waiting for me to discuss what I could and couldn't eat, a great feeling!

Every morning I also got gluten-free bread here and during lunch and dinner the chef visited the buffet with me to explain what I could and could not eat. I also got the option to have things prepared separately for me in the kitchen. When we went out for an afternoon, I was given an extensive gluten-free packed lunch.

From this hotel we made a hike through Bras d'Eau National Park where we spotted monkeys.

In addition, we went to the island of Ile aux Cerfs for an afternoon. You can take a public ferry to the island, which is a bit hidden. However, don't be fooled by all the (much more expensive) options that are offered to you. You can just go back and forth for a few euros. When you arrive on the island it is quite touristy and all kinds of activities are offered. However, if you continue along the coastline for a bit, you will end up on quiet, beautiful beaches that you have all to yourself!

Practical tips

#1 - Bring a gluten-free diet card in English and French

The people are very willing and happy to think along with you, but they are not always familiar with what gluten-free food means. Cross-contamination is your worst enemy, because many chefs know what gluten is, but the preparation leaves something to be desired. So discuss this well!

#2 - Choose a hotel that is familiar with gluten free

We stayed on a half board basis, which gave me some peace of mind because I didn't have to look for a restaurant every night. I only sat down with the chef at the beginning of my stay to discuss my dietary requirements. Read reviews on Tripadvisor and inquire with the hotel about their gluten-free options in advance. Do not only trust the allergen labels at the buffet because they are not always right. If you have doubts, ask the chef!

#3 - SuperU and Intermart supermarkets have a large gluten-free range

Near the airport I went to a Kingsavers which is also a large supermarket but unfortunately they didn't have gluten free products.

Later I went to SuperU in Grand Baie and they had a large section of gluten-free products here. I have read that Intermart also has gluten-free products, but this was no longer necessary for me.

#4 - Take gluten-free products with you in your suitcase

It's always nice to have emergency supplies with you. Even without medical baggage you can take a lot of food with you. This will prevent you from going out hungry and maybe deciding to eat somewhere where you're not entirely sure how they handle your food. Read here which gluten-free products I took with me in my luggage.

#5 - Do your research beforehand!

In the FindMeGlutenFree app I found one address that I gratefully used. In addition, there is a Facebook group called Gluten Free Mauritius from which you can get a lot of information.

We really enjoyed this trip! Do you have any questions or additions? Let me know below or send me a message.


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