The islands of the Indian Ocean reflect cultural influences from Africa, the Middle East and Asia, amidst breathtaking natural beauty. Luxurious hotels, private islands and wooden beach huts are scattered across calm turquoise waters. A holiday here and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in paradise.
Mauritius reveals its wonderful true colours. A drive around the Island offers an insight into a different taste of Mauritian scenery. From the centre of Curepipe, a tarred road leads gently up to and around the rim of Trou-aux-cerfs, an extinct volcanic crater, whose floor is now heavily wooded. From there, you can enjoy a magnificent view of the whole island and its mountain ranges. The next stop is a colonial house built in 1888 with a mini Eiffel Tower in the garden, which now houses a Private Collection and a duty-free shop with a range of collectables and art objects from around the world. The drive South takes you to Grand-Bassin (Ganga Talao), the Ganges reincarnate and pilgrimage places for the Hindus. The trip continues through the forest reserve of Plain-Champagne, with a stop at a viewpoint over the Black River Gorges. As you travel through thick Chinese Guava groves, you arrive at Varange Sur Morne, the halt for lunch. Perched like a silver butterfly over a sea of greenery and originally a gamekeeper’s lodge, this restaurant offers a breathtaking view over the South and West, where the only surviving native forest of the island is found. After an enjoyable lunch, go through the Trochetia nature trail to see some endemic and medicinal plants. The route takes you on to discover the magnificent Chamarel waterfall emerging from the moors on the way down to the unique seven-coloured earth of Chamarel. The unusual mounds of undulating land stretching in contrasting rainbow-coloured layers of soil are believed to be the result of weathering and volcanic origin. The way back takes you down a winding road that unveils the West coast – the Morne mountain and Benitier Island – and the coastal road passes the fishing villages and the famous salt pans of Black River.
There is more to this idyllic island than fabulous beaches. Choose from an exciting array of Mauritius activities. Hiking, horse riding and quad biking are fantastic ways to explore the island’s gorgeous scenery. Go big cat spotting or tour a traditional Mauritian rum distillery and sample the produce.
Set within beautiful manicured gardens, the 9-hole course of the One & Only Le St Geran hotel is the perfect place for golf enthusiasts to practise their putt on holidays in Mauritius. The 4.5 star Constance Belle Mare Plage represents excellent value for money, with two internationally renowned championship golf courses.
Mauritius water sports
You are quite simply spoiled for choice when it comes to water sports in Mauritius. Many tour operators, and hotels offer terrific options such as canoeing and kayaking. We tried snorkelling and scuba diving in crystal clear waters when nearing the end of our vacation, we took a leisurely yacht cruise, taking in the exquisite coastline.
Cobalt blue seas and powder-soft white sands make Mauritius beaches some of the most idyllic in the world. The east and west coasts offer simply stunning bays, while the shallow lagoons to the south are terrific for snorkelling. Find tranquillity on the secluded beaches of the rugged north coast.
Things to do in Mauritius
With its miles of soft white sand and stunning cobalt blue seas, Mauritius is a paradise for beach lovers. You can relax with a game of golf or an indulgent spa session. Land and water sports options abound for the active.