Rodrigues, the small unspoilt and authentic island of Indian Ocean

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Being the smallest amongst the three islands of the Mascarene Archipelago, Rodrigues is located some 560 KM east of Mauritius. The island has gained its autonomy in 2002. The Peacefulness, the authenticity and the legendary hospitality prevailing amongst the inhabitants of this island (it might as well be called large village!) make Rodrigues a wealthy island. Escape there for an assured relaxation …

Rodrigues is a quintessential destination

The historic part

Rodrigues was named after the Portuguese explorer Diego Rodrigues who discovered the island in 1528. According to him, the Dutch visited the island several times to rob Rodrigues of its natural resourceful wealth, among which there were the turtles.

Rodrigues, a gem

From the airplane view, be bewildered by the monochromatic turquoise and green layers designed by sea waves. Admire the irregular contours of the coral reefs, sand banks and the nearby islets. Composed of clear crystalline lagoons, mountains, valleys and caves, the Rodrigues Island is like a precious stone floating onto the Indian Ocean.

Its romantic scenery and its sweet islander’s lifestyle make it a dream destination for honeymooners or a romantic getaway. Certainly the pristine white sandy beaches of Rodrigues cannot be compared to those present of the other islands of the Indian Ocean. Nevertheless, Rodrigues has preserved the picture perfect backdrop of charm that other islands have lost over time. With its slopes, authentically secluded nature, the island seduces tourists for another kind of discoveries and experiences. It is still preserved from mass tourism and major real estate projects but for how long? Meanwhile, it is quite common for Mauritian families to invest in a land in Rodrigues.

The tourism attractions

Alas, the Solitaire bird, described by François Legat as “tasty and unable to fly”, ended with the same fate as the Mauritian dodo. However, the 1,200 or more giant tortoises basking in the sun at the François Leguat Giant Tortoise and Cave Reserve will make you forget the plight of these poor birds. In this reserve of rare plants species, enjoy your leisure time while strolling among the turtles.

Nature is valued through the different tourism attractions in Rodrigues with the Caverne Patate, well-known for its fascinating geological formations created over the centuries. Climb up the Mont Limon and you’ll fall in love with the panoramic view of the island, or explore the sea bed landscapes created by the coral reefs. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Trou d’Argent, where, on your way, you will admire various sandy coves framed by cliffs.

Get up early on a Saturday morning to discover the authentic market of Port Mathurin, the capital of the island and also the only port of Rodrigues.

Every day’s life

Buses are rare, hence there is an increasing number of motorcycles on the roads. The 4 x 4 are more practical due to the topography of the valleys and rocky highways of the island. The inhabitants of Rodrigues, are not stressed and prefer to walk from one place to another. Hitchhiking is in their habits as they are friendly and helpful. Fisheries, livestock and agriculture are the pillars of Rodrigues; the public sector is omnipresent. The fishermen enjoy their hard day’s work by laying their nets in the lagoons, catching octopuses and sharing some local rum among their friends after a hard day’s work.

Rodrigues, like every creole island, is musically inclined. People sing, dance and play musical instrument. Music, rich in tradition, was born from the fusion of various musical styles: African, European and Malagasy. Inherited from various eras colonial, one can dance on various music with evocative names: Mazok, Kotis, Laval, Polka, Quadrille and the Sega and Sega Kordéon, among others.

Boarding houses, from local lodges and guest houses to simple hotels, accommodation in Rodrigues is homelike. Hotels (few) as the Cotton Bay Hotel in Pointe Cotton and Mourouk Ebony Hotel in Port Southeast, Mourouk Anse, are among the famous ones.

Cotton Bay Hotel

What to eat in Rodrigues?

Rodrigues’ cuisines distinguish itself by the systematic use of local products. A typical meal should include maize, the staple food. Corn puree is served with octopus rougaille or fish broth, without forgetting the famous red beans. Pork, especially the buccaneer pig, is another specialty of Rodrigues. Ditto for the kono-kono, a finely chopped shellfish and renowned for its aphrodisiac properties... Eucalyptus honey, green papaya salad, the Rodriguan pie and the small silts, which made the reputation of the island, are a must to taste on your trip to Rodrigues.

Make a small detour to La Terrasse Verte located in Graviers. There, you will enjoy simple dishes under the arbor or in the room. For seafood lovers, visit the restaurant at Chez Robert. Products with a guaranteed freshness, as well as garnished fish and juicy lobsters are served in this small restaurant situated at 50 m from the beach of Saint Francois.

The Rodriguan pie

Rodrigues is a lovely island, isn’t it? It is not recommended for travelers who do not appreciate slow and green tourism, but belongs to those who understand that it has a heart and a soul. Rodrigues has so much to offer, but you need to appreciate it at your own pace to live once a lifetime holiday experience...