Port Mathurin - Rodrigues
Located on the northeast coast of Rodrigues Island , the small town of Port Mathurin is one of the smallest capitals in the world. The city takes its name from the first inhabitant of the island, the French colonist Mathurin Bréhinier. Colonial-style houses and shops with colorful facades give this town a certain quaint charm.Sights include its market, while the town also has the island's only bus station and a viewpoint on Mount Fanal, south of the town. There is a Roman Catholic church, an Anglican church, and a small mosque. Other landmarks of Port Mathurin include Marie, Queen of Rodrigues, a statue of the Virgin Mary located in Pointe Canon.
Brief History of Port Mathurin
The village of Port Mathurin has an interesting history. In 1691, François Leguat along with other Frenchmen landed on Rodrigues Island and they set their first foot at what is now Port Mathurin. The village was later founded by a French colonist in 1735. Port Mathurin was named after one of the early French settlers, either Mathurin Bréhinier or Mathurin Morlaix. This village has 22 localities within its zone, within neighboring settlements including Fond La Digue, Montagne Fanal, Pointe Monier, Camp du Roi and Baie Lascar.
Port Mathurin - Location
Port Mathurin, the small capital on the north of Rodrigues island, lies 650km off the northeast coast of Mauritius. The Plaine Corail airport is about 20km from Port Mathurin and the drive takes around half an hour.
Climate in Port Mathurin
The rain is very rare in Rodrigues. From November to April is the summer season in the Southern Hemisphere, temperatures range between 28 ° C and 32 ° C under hot and humid weather but it is also the period when the risks of cyclones are most important particularly in January and February. July to August is the coolest month and the average temperature is around 20 ° C
Beaches near Port Mathurin
The closest beach to Port Mathurin is Anse aux Anglais which is one of the most endearing places on the island where you will find a variety of nautical activities to engage in there, such as snorkelling, boating activities and fishing.
With its road lined with coconut palms and its blazing sunsets, this village concentrates a good part of the tourist activities of Rodrigues. Continuing east, the charming beach of Caverne-Provert allows you to reach the beautiful Anse Grand Baie, bordered by coconut trees.
Other beaches in the north of Rodrigues near Port Mathurin are:
- Anse aux Caves
- Grand Baie
- Baie aux Huîtres
- Baie Malgache
- Caverne Provert
- Pointe du Diable
Port Mathurin Highlights
Trou d'Argent beach located on the east coast of the island, is a tiny cove sheltered between two gigantic cliffs. Sporting a rocky coastline with cliffs where you can often see stray goats and cows grazing, the Trou d'Argent is a must-visit tourist destination near Port Mathurin that is a long way away from the crowded hustle and bustle of most other beaches in Mauritius.
Hotels in Port Mathurin
The cosy hotel offers you a budget accommodation during your stay in Rodrigues. Reflecting the local architecture, the hotel is very convenient for those who wish to get all the facilities around such as restaurants, nightclub, bakery, transport facility, local market and shops. You will have the chance to experience the local life of the Rodriguans while sojourning at the hotel.
Conveniently located just a stone throw away to the buzzing colourful capital of Port Mathurin and the central bus station, along with one of the best cuisine on the island with legendary friendly service, Escale Vacances is for all types of guests as they are more than just an Escale (stopover).
Nested in Mont Vénus, on the Northern coast of Rodrigues Island, at 1 km from the capital, the 4 star hotel overlooks Port Mathurin, its harbour and surroundings.
Close to Port Mathurin and other tourist sites of the island, this 3-star beachfront hotel offers excellent value for business travellers, solo travellers, romantic couple getaways or special family holidays.
This beachfront hotel is a haven of peace, nestled in a beautiful tropical garden in an idyllic corner of the Mascarenes Islands. You will experience the peaceful way of life in Rodrigues.
Auberge du Lagon
Auberge du Lagon is a cosy guest house located at Jeantac, alongside an unfrequented beach which is an ideal place for fishing and scuba diving.
Places to visit in Port Mathurin
Built back in the 1800s, and also known as the oldest buildings to still stand on the island, the mansion was previously used as the residential headquarters for the British Chief Commissioner during the colonial British rule.
The rooms of the building are now used as offices for the Rodrigues Regional Assembly, so it is not exactly a tourist destination that you can visit and enter. However, it is a heritage building after all, and you can fairly make out the style and structure of the building by looking at it from outside, and its distinct British architecture stands out among the buildings in and around the area.
Port Mathurin’s biggest attraction remains its open-air market, which is at its prime every Saturday morning, gathering farmers and cultivators, craftsmen and artists from the whole island. The market buzzes among stands selling salted fish, dried ourite (octopus), condiments and freshly loaded vegetables or fish. It’s the greatest weekly event for the locals and an unforgettable experience for visitors.
If you do not have the opportunity to be present that day, you can always take a tour of the Bazaar located at the entrance of the city. Open every day, it offers various small typical Rodriguan souvenirs: exotic fruits and vegetables, handicrafts, basketwork and local culinary specialties.
Things to do in Rodrigues
Hiking - A bliss for hikers as Rodrigues has kilometres of rugged coastline, winding roads and paths, an incomparable charm. Trou d’Argent and Anse Bouteille are the must-visit sites.
François Leguat Natural Reserve - At the extreme south-west of the island, in the desert area of Plaine Corail, the site of the François Leguat reserve is absolutely remarkable. At the bottom of gorges where one can count more than 11 limestone caves, in the valley, there are native species of tortoises.
Surrounding islets -Boat trips to discover the Ile aux Chats, Ile aux Coco, Hermitage Island among others.
Day trips can be booked on Mauritiusattractions.com
Zip-lines - Come and enjoy a unique and exhilarating zip-line adventure in the south of Rodrigues. It is the ideal activity for adventure and nature lovers. You will discover the breath-taking views of the lagoon of the south coast of Rodrigues Island, the waterfalls, the green valleys and the discovery of the beauty of the island of Rodrigues.
Kitesurfing - The fantastic lagoon of Rodrigues is also suitable for all kinds of activities and water sports including: windsurfing and, more recently, kitesurfing which is very popular.
Caverne Patate - natural cleft provides access to the cold, damp tunnel that leads to the cave, about 100m underground. The stalagmites and stalactites, sculpted by time, are lit up, projecting dragons, lions, buddhas and other strange silhouettes onto the coral walls in the stunning silence. Be sure to wear shoes with good traction and bring a flashlight.