If the word souvenir makes you think of mass-produced fridge magnets and tea towels think again, uncovering stylish, local products can be an exciting part of your holiday.
Rather than grabbing what you can at the airport on the way home, consider souvenir shopping as an art; a way to connect with the culture of the country you’re visiting.
Make time to visit local markets, craft shops and galleries and you’ll be rewarded with unique, stylish mementos of your holiday.
Premium rums in Mauritius
Anyone can grab a bottle of Mauritian rum from Duty Free but why not take the time to visit the Rhumerie de Chamarel distillery in the stunning south west of Mauritius?
Take a tour around the distillery and discover how rum has been made on the island for nearly 200 years. You’ll even get the opportunity to try a range of premium rums and liqueurs flavoured by local vanilla, coffee or coconut before you buy.
Woodcarving and laajehun in Maldives
Maldives has a rich tradition of woodcarving going back hundreds of years traditionally used to decorate the local fishing boats (dhonis) and mosques.
Today many woodcarving artists create smaller works which make perfect mementos of the island and can be bought at Malé’s central Local Market.
Wood lacquering, or laajehun as it’s known locally, has also been practiced on the islands since the 17th Century and today intricately designed and lacquered items are still made in the traditional style on Thulaadhoo island, a two hour boat trip from Malé.
Supporting local producers
Whether it’s buying arts and crafts directly from the artist or visiting independent boutiques selling local goods, spending money with local businesses is a good way of contributing to the country you’re visiting.
In Mauritius we support local business with boutiques in Constance resorts run by local retailers. In’am is a Mauritian luxury fashion brand specialising in sumptuous cashmere in a range of traditional and modern designs while at Poivre D’or local foods and specialities are sold alongside local jewellery, clothes and traditional Mauritian crafts.
Flavours of the Indian Ocean
Across the old spice routes of the Indian Ocean herbs and spices are grown which embody the fragrance and flavour of these beautiful islands.
Visit the stunningly positioned Jardin du Roi Spice Garden in Seychelles with its panoramic view over Mahé and not only do you get the chance to see a working plantation growing vanilla, citronella and nutmeg but you can also buy spices to take home.
In Mauritius locally produced spices, preserves, sweets and other flavours of the island can be bought from Poivre D’Or in their two stylish, rustic shops on the island or in their hotel boutiques at Constance Belle Mare Plage and Constance Le Prince Maurice.
Take home the scent of your holiday
Whether it’s the sweet scent of frangipani, the spicy notes of ylang ylang or the distinctive aroma of coconut, nothing will transport you back to your luxury island holiday faster than the smells of the Indian Ocean.
You’ll find essential oils for sale at many of the bustling, vibrant street markets across the region but if you’re looking for something a little more luxurious then stop off at one of our U-Spas for a range of beauty products exclusively designed for us using local botanical ingredients.
- See our guide to the Top 3 markets in Mauritius
- Discover the best markets in Mahé, Seychelles
- Check out our guide to 8 things to do in Maldives.