The very name Mauritius conjures up images of tropical luxury: walking barefoot along white beaches, swimming in shallow lagoons and indulging in spa treatments.
The majority of hotels offer a huge array of aqua sports (mostly complimentary), have a good number of restaurants to choose from and offer excellent long and short stay beach packages, but Mauritius has so much more.
The cosmopolitan capital of Port Louis has plenty of character, with wonderfully preserved colonial buildings, a lively market and colourful Chinatown. A range of shops sell everything from local handicrafts to designer jewellery and the city’s restaurants and food stalls offer a magnificent variety of cuisine from Creole and Indian to Chinese and European.
Experience walking trails
Primarily known as a beach destination, few people are aware of the walking opportunities around the island’s interior. Black River Gorges, the islands sole national park, is a wild expanse of thick forest, home to over 300 species of flowering plants and 9 endemic bird species as well as waterfalls, volcanic lakes and a number of nature trails. The best time to visit the park is during the flowering season from September to January.
Enjoy spa therapies
Mauritius is the ideal destination for those seeking rest and relaxation. Most of the leading resorts and hotels in Mauritius have spa centres and offer spa therapies ranging from Ayurvedic and Indonesian treatments to traditional methods based on the theory of healing through the powers of thermal water. Shanti Maurice, The Oberoi, Le Prince Maurice and The Residence are amongst the famous spas in Mauritius.
Unwind on sandy beaches
Much of Mauritius’ 160km coastline has idyllic white sand beaches that gently slope into the warm, clear waters of the Indian Ocean. From Grand Baie in the north and Blue Bay in the south to Flic en Flac in the west, visitors will find many areas to relax, with plenty of activities nearby for those who are more adventurous.
Spot flora and fauna
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.
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