10 days trip in Rodrigues Island
After a 10-day trip to this little gem of Indian Ocean, here is the information about our trip to Rodrigues island: where to sleep, eat, activities…
To begin with, if we had to sum up Rodrigues Island in a few words, we would say: We Valide!
Well ok, that’s a bit light… so in more words:
Calm and tranquillity, kindness, safety, magnificent beaches, walks and hikes, diving, scooters, idleness, fishing, kitesurfing (in season), lime juice, octopus salad and even a bit of shopping…
Yes, the island lends itself perfectly to relaxation, even if you decide to take a good tour of what the island has to offer. And then for those who don’t like long journeys, no worries on this side, Rodrigues island is 18km long by 8 wide, so you shouldn’t get lost, or not for too long!
The island is part of the Republic of Mauritius and uses rupees but enjoys an autonomous status, and we can fell it. During our stay, it seemed to us that the Rodriguans are almost closer to the Reunionese than to the Mauritians, that is to say!
Okay, to get to the heart of the matter, here is some information that could help you prepare for your trip to Rodrigues island.
Accomodation – where to sleep in Rodrigues?
A priori for those who went there several years ago, accommodation in Rodrigues was quite complicated. On our side, we found that there were a lot of choices for all budgets everywhere (less in the West). Afterwards we went there outside school holidays, so if this is not your case, we advise you to do it a little in advance anyway.
On our side, for accommodation, we chose to spend 3 nights in 3 different places. So here are our addresses during our trip to Rodrigues island:
1. Guest House (Rodriguais) – South, Anse Mourouk
We started with Diocese and Ken in Anse Mourouk in the south of the island (a paradise for kite surfers, when it’s the season). A great guest house with a caring family from Rodrigues. Super well located (in front of the bus stop) and well equipped, we recommend without hesitation.
90 for a room with private bathroom, air conditioning and small terrace for 2 with breakfast and dinner included. Very good and plentiful.
2. Guest House (French – Maurician) – South-East, Gravier
Only a few kilometers east of Anse Mourouk, this time we go to Case Corail. A pretty guest house run by Hervé (and sometimes his nephew Léo). We took the room with a small terrace. We were welcomed with a lot of love by their adorable little dogs.
2 mins from the bus stop and Gravier’s minimarket and a few minutes from the start of the famous hike linking Gravier to Pointe Coton (Trou d’argent, bottle handle, etc.)!
70€ for the room with terrace, fan, shared bathroom for 2, breakfast included. We also ate with them 2 of the 3 evenings (20€ extra per person). Aperitif, starter, main course, dessert, wine, rums… Very well received. They also rent electric scooters.
3. Domaine de La Paix Hotel – North-East
For our last 3 nights, we chose a little more privacy to end up as a couple at the Domaine de la Paix. We had a nice independent bungalow in the garden with a nice view. A little out of the way if you haven’t rented a car or scooter, otherwise 10 minutes from Port Mathurin.
€110 per night for a bungalow with kitchen, private bathroom, air conditioning, deckchair, for 2 with breakfast included (different prices depending on the room).
All prices are given for information only, they may differ depending on the period (holidays, week/weekend, etc.) or changes in prices.
Activities – what to do in Rodrigues island?
Oulala, it’s very small and yet we were not bored for 1 minute. Despite some feedback we got, we could easily have stayed longer in Rodrigues. We did a lot of things, but without rushing. We even left some activities for next time!
1. Walks and hikes
Apart from the walks along the coast (where we met Rodriguan fishermen), there are many very pretty hikes on the island. Nothing too difficult for good Reunionese walkers… Indeed, the summit of the island, Mont Limon, is between 393 and 398 meters, so that’s fine eh (yes, the altitude changes according to the sources).
Gravier > Pointe Coton (East coast)
Be careful, round trip it takes a good part of the day if, like us, you take time for lunch (at Robert and Solange), swim at each creek, take pictures….
(hike’ infos here (in french and just one way)).
The different coves are each more beautiful than the other and we were lucky enough to be accompanied by our 2 4-legged guides (well, that’s 8 legs now): Choupi and Lady from Case Corail!
Saint Gabriel > Anse Baleine (center > South)
We also did a nice hike, from Saint-Gabriel Cathedral (the largest in the Indian Ocean) to Anse Baleine. Okay so that was the plan, we are not sure we have arrived exactly at Anse Baleine. But apart from that, the fact that finding the start was also folkloric (without the locals we would never have found it) and that the yellow marking disappears and reappears as it pleases… it was TOP. Luckily we can see the sea…
In short, crazy landscapes, no particular difficulty apart from falling on your feet… we loved it. When we got downstairs, we had a good cold beer at the shop and splash!
Take a tour of a peak on the island, Mont Limon. They announce only 15 mins walk (we had to take 5) and the panorama is worth the detour.
Many possible dives around the island. We only did the South with Bubba Diving! Benoit didn’t seem super talkative at first, but he turned out to be very professional, reassuring and friendly. The water was a little cloudy due to recent swells but we don’t regret anything. Special mention for the chocolate coral which turns from brown to white in a few seconds when touched!
>> 2400 rupees per person
3. Islands’ excursions
Île au Chat, Hermitage, Coco, aux Sables… there are day trips to discover these small islands. The program of the one we did from Anse Mourouk with Andy from Etik Kite Surf: snorkeling at the Aquarium, visit and lunch at Île au Chat then visit Île Hermitage. We had a nice group, we had a great time (thank you Yassine and Annie)!
>> 1500 rupees per person
Fishing being one of the main economic activities of the island… do not hesitate to jump into the sea! We went fishing for morgates (squid) with Fred, a friend of Leo at sunset. We weren’t very efficient but we had a great time, thanks guys!
5. Port Mathurin saturday morning market
A major meeting place for Rodriguans, the Saturday morning market in Port Mathurin is not to be missed. So it’s not just Saturday, ok. But this is where there are the most stands and entertainment. There are also some nice little craft shops in the area… but that’s quickly done, at the same time, the town center is proportional to the size of the island!
At Citronelle (towards Mont Lubin) we stopped at “Valeries” to buy delicious jams tasted at Case Corail (you can find some in some supermarkets in Port Mathurin… but I can’t tell you which one).
6. Scooters’ rental
The island lends itself very well to scooter rental. Little traffic (but be careful people drive a bit fast), the roads are in pretty good condition and the landscapes are magnificent. And as the island is small, it is easier to get around and discover it quickly. Personally, we rented directly from the hotel (which we wanted to avoid at the beginning) and we got it for 32€ for 2/3 days (from Monday 4 p.m. to Wednesday 4 p.m.) with delivery and collection at the hotel . The guy not great on time but nothing to complain about…
7. The suspension bridge at « La Ferme »
During our scooter ride, we stopped at this small suspension bridge that you can cross for a few euros. You can also jump from the bridge for more excitement! A priori it is managed by the same company as the zip line and the via ferrata.
8. Take the bus
So yes we laugh and we don’t laugh at the same time! Apart from the last 3 days when we rented a scooter, we did everything by bus (or on foot). Well we tell you, it puts you directly on Rodriguaise time. In any case, the buses are beautiful, the journeys cheap and you can meet great people (we’ll talk about that below).
9. What else:
And yes, you will tell us… « but then, Ze Caillou, they didn’t even tell us about the François Leguat turtle reserve, the zip line, the via ferrata » ! Well that’s it, done!
It looks cool, so we kept some activities left for our next visit… but at least that’s said! You see that there are plenty of things to do in Rodrigues island!
Restauration – where to eat in Rodrigues island?
As with accommodation, the catering offer has a priori expanded on the island. It does not mean that you will have choices everywhere and all the time. But clearly, we always found a restaurant, a tavern, a shop to have a bite to eat.
Besides, we liked the local cuisine… lots of seafood… hummm! And unless you really don’t like it, don’t leave Rodrigues without tasting the ourite salads or ourite in sauce… (ourite=octopus). Ourite pickers are traditional in Rodrigues island!
And we’re not talking about the delicious Limon. We were a little skeptical, like « it’s good, we know it! », because in appearance, they look a lot like our 974 “citrons galets (little lemons)”… But really they are super tasty… besides, it’s not nice… it leads to the consumption of “ti punch (cocktail)
In the evening, it is still more complicated to find open restaurants, so do not hesitate to inquire before arriving in front of a closed door. We say that, we say nothing!
Atmosphere and night life?
Regarding the night life, it will be quickly seen… no bars or clubs in Rodrigues island except in Port Mathurin. And still there are few and only the weekend. So all you have to do is come as a team or have hit the jackpot with your bed and breakfast roommates!
Very important… the people of Rodrigues are incredibly kind. Here the atmosphere is cool, people all say hello to each other, they keep telling you that life in Rodrigues is peaceful, safe, and frankly it feels great. For that and the landscapes, it looks like Reunion long ago… people say « from 50 years ago »… so sorry we don’t have that perspective yet, but we validate from the top of our 35 candles blown out!
Transport, gas station, currency?
So for transport, either you opt for car or scooter rental, or on foot… or buses. We did that the first week (week which was including 1 weekend and 2 public holidays). And I might as well tell you that you shouldn’t be in a hurry. Weekdays, between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., that’s fine! On weekends, if it’s not far, walk there!
Personally, we love public transport so it didn’t scare us. But when there are bus stops but no timetable board, it means something! In any case, the buses are beautiful, well maintained, the people are lovely (we meet great people) and the journeys are very reasonable. Try to have some change, even if they generally have what it takes.
Few ATM on the island. So if you want to withdraw money, find out beforehand so as not to go back and forth for nothing. In any case, our spot was Mont Lubin (Port Mathurin of course) nothing in Mourouk or Gravier for example
So here it is the rupee. To give you an idea, in April 2023, €1 = approximately 49 rupees. So a meal at a restaurant at 300 rupees… well that’s €6, not to bad? (and oh, it’s not everywhere like that, and even less so if you take lobster)!
Ah and last point… ditto, there are no gas stations everywhere. So you won’t do a lot of kilometers for sure… but it’s good to know. From memory, there is one at La Fourche and Port Mathurin (that of Mont Lubin is out of service for the moment).
There you go, I think we’ve told you everything… or almost…
Like, we told you that Nina had a dance battle with a local girl at the birthday of a friend of Leo’s… well ok, we may not have told you everything… but that’s already not bad!
Hope this article could help you prepare your next trip. If yes, do not hesitate to share it or let a comment. Enjoy!