The island paradise of Mauritius, set in a turquoise ocean, offers an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Its very name conjures up an image of tropical luxury such as walking barefoot along white sand beaches, swimming in shallow lagoons and indulging in pampering spa treatments. Beyond the sand-rimmed lagoons and picturesque beaches, Mauritius also offers: historical sites and cultural diversity varying landscapes from the central plateau with its forested mountains to national parks filled with indigenous flora and fauna and a wealth of activities for those looking to get away from the beach and pool. However, the island’s greatest asset is the relaxed charm of its people - the beat of their music and the fusion of their cuisine make this a perfect holiday destination.
What to seeMauritius is the most developed of the Mascarene Islands, and for the best shopping and restaurants on the island visitors should head to Grand Baie. The capital, Port Louis is filled with colonial-era buildings and Triolet, the longest village on the island, is where you will find Maheswarnath, the biggest Hindu temple built in the 19th century in honour of the Gods Shiva, Krishna, Vishnu, Muruga, Brahma and Ganesha. At Vieux Grand Port, the oldest settlement in Mauritius, see the ruins of the first Dutch fortifications and uncover an important part of Mauritian history. Another important heritage site on the island is Eureka, a perfectly preserved Creole mansion that was built in 1830 and is located in the central plateau region.
The island protects its natural resources and endangered species and is home to some of the world’s rarest birds, including the kestrel and the pink pigeon. Watch these endangered birds that live amidst the vegetation of the Domaine des Grand Bois, alongside stags, boars and monkeys, or explore the Yemen Reserve, home to many species of Mauritian fauna. Discover the waterfalls, nature trails, native forests and endemic plants of the 6,574 hectare Black River Gorges National Park and visit the Ganga Talao volcanic lake. Ganga Talao is also an important pilgrimage site for many locals of the Hindu faith who will walk here during the Maha Shivaratri festival.
Discover the tiny island of Ile aux Cerfs, which is a real gem in the Mauritian landscape and explore some of Mauritius's best coastline along the Le Morne Peninsula, which is capped by one of the country's most dramatic peaks. Mauritius is a real paradise for those who want to soak up the sun or enjoy the sea and there are many opportunities to discover the country's hidden sea treasures including wrecks dating back to the 17th century, colourful coral reefs and a multitude of fish.