Its very name conjures up images of tropical luxury and stupendous extravagance. You will get that and so much more. There are the beautiful Mauritius cobalt-blue seas, white sandy beaches and luxury hotels. The island is loaded with historic sights, cultural diversity, geographic variation and almost limitless activities to distract you from the daily grind of beach and pool. But perhaps its single biggest asset is the relaxed charm of its warm and welcoming people. The smells, noises and bustle of the mercantile capital Port Louis, Africa’s wealthiest city, are never far away, while the busy garment markets in the Central Plateau towns of Quatre Bornes and Curepipe and Black River Gorges National Park’s dramatic virgin forests give the lie to Mauritius being just another beach destination.
About 2000 kilometres off the south east coast of Africa, the official name is the Republic of Mauritius. It is the most densely populated country in Africa. The legendary dodo bird was found only in Mauritius before it became extinct and it remains the national animal of the country. Created by underwater volcanic eruptions, the first people to set foot on Mauritius were Portuguese. Mauritius doesn’t really have a high or low season, so we like to recommend it from March to December. Cyclone months are January and February so best avoided!
West is best as many say, away from the shores of the windy east coast, it is the most diverse, calm and spectacular region known for Black River Gorges National Park, Tamarin Salt Pans and waterfalls to name a few natural phenomena plus of course beautiful stretches of beach. It is also a shopping mecca, close to Port Louis and the town of Cure Pipe. The west is also known for its still lagoons and calm waters so it’s ideal for diving and deep sea fishing.
This is the tourist mecca of the island, bursting with bars, restaurants, shops and good accommodation. In the 17th century, the Dutch used to call Grand Baie ‘De Bogt Zonder Eynt’ which meant the ‘Bay without end’ and that is still true today. It’s the perfect setting for a sundowner drink from one of the waterfront bars.
A world away from the busier vibe of Flic en Flac in the west and Grand Baie in the north, the east feels more untouched by mass tourism. It boasts some of the most spectacular beaches and luxury hotels plus a sleepy fishing village called Trou d’Eau Douce. With the good comes the not so ideal and that’s the trade winds that are in full force between July and August.
Take a tour around the southern part of Mauritius, known for its wild beauty and charm. You’ll get to reach the highest own, Cure Pipe and step down to see Trou aux Cherfs’ crater, a dormant volcano covered with lush vegetation. Discover Black River Gorges forest and ascend the winding road to La Rhumerie de Chamarel for a taste of local rum. Enjoy views, wildlife and waterfalls along the way.
Spend a day on beautiful catamaran with BBQ lunch, swims in the calm cobalt blue sea, beach lazing and snorkelling. This fun filled catamaran cruise operates daily. A trip outside the reef takes you to Ilot Gabriel, a tiny island ringed by a flawless beach lapped by crystal clear waters that are rich in marine life. Alternatively, set sail down the East coast for some magic with stops at waterfalls and then Ile aux Cerfs with plenty of swim and snorkel time in between. The other option is dolphin coast sailing where you explore the islets dotting the lagoon off the mainland, exploring the hard to get areas and sighting dolphins along the way.
For water enthusiasts, Mauritius is certainly an underwater paradise. With turquoise lagoons, protected coral reefs, safe swimming and good visibility it is ideal for all ages. There are multiple dive sites, great snorkelling and the Undersea Walk plus motorised sub-scooters and the Blue Safari Submarine. If you prefer to stay above water, head out on catamaran, kayak or game fishing. For thrill seekers, parasailing is worth a try as you get excellent views of the island coastline.
Private Retail Tour
If you love shopping, this is your thing. A private shopping guide will take you to the Glass Gallery, duty free jewellery stores and local boutiques plus get a behind the scenes of ship’s modelling tour at an authentic factory shop. Cure Pipe’s city centre has a range of outlets to suit all tastes and budgets where you’ll end the tour.
Known for its colonial era, plantations and tea trading, why not explore the Saint-Aubin Plantation Hous and Bois-Cheri tea factory. Visit the beautiful vanilla and anthurium greenhouses, taste a sample of home made rum and of course learn about the process of turning freshly picked tea leaves into scented Mauritian teas.
A little Adventure
There are some fantastic adventure and adrenalin activities on offer for those who cannot simply relax and unwind. We recommend mountain biking, abseiling, canyoning, kayaking, ziplining through forest trees, quad biking through sugar estates and forests, kite surfing, parasailing, skydiving or why not hire a car and explore at your own pace or hop on a segway, the latest 2 wheeled craze on the island.
Birds Eye View
Get a birds eye view of Mauritius flying over in helicopter of microlight! After a security briefing, you’ll board the somewhat small 2 seater microlight seaplane or helicopter and take off flying low over the azure waters, coral reefs and island paradise. The pilot fits you with headsets so you can hear the pilot’s running commentary. Keep lookout for marine life like sea turtles and sting rays. Too soon it’s time to land yet the experience will never be forgotten.
Horseriding along the beach at sunset is a real treat and available to anyone, regardless of previous horse riding experience and ability. There is a guide with you at all times to ensure you are comfortable and safe. For experienced riders, you can even trot into the water! We work with the Centre Equestre De Riambel because their beautiful, well cared for horses, quiet beach and friendly staff make the Mauritius horse riding experience so memorable.
This über luxury hotel offers elegance and refinement that is reminiscent of a bygone era. Here you will certainly indulge in beautiful beachfront and barefoot paradise, swim in warm waters and laze on a stunning stretch of beach. With rooms and suites to choose from, the level of indulgence is yours. Each one is inspired by simplicity and calm to ensure you a wonderful Mauritius holiday. With a personal butler per room, you will want for nothing. Indian, Chinese, European and Creole influences see beautiful meals plated every time at the various restaurants and bars. The Sanctuary offers massages, custom made treatment programs and pampering plus a spa pavilion in tropical garden setting.
Shandrani Resort & Spa
In the unspoilt south, Shandrani is a welcoming five star retreat with a casual elegance about it. Its lovely setting on a private peninsula means there are not one but three beaches to explore and discover. It has outstanding selling features for all ages, perfect Mauritius family packages with spacious apartments, romantic rooms for Mauritius honeymoons and stunning land and water activities for nature lovers from snorkelling to flora and fauna walks. With five restaurants to choose from, there is something to suit every mood. Finally, it’s home to an exotic spa by Clarins that is set in lush tropical surroundings so you’ll walk away relaxed and truly well rested.
Trou aux Biches Resort & Spa
This is a great option for any luxury Mauritius honeymoon because it sits on 35 acres of tropical gardens that meet a strip of white sandy beach before the turquoise lagoon in the north west coast. From the moment you arrive, you’ll feel the love as this idyllic setting lulls you into holiday mode. It is pure luxury with beachfront suites with pools, gardens unties in crescents around multiple swimming pools (8 in total), two and three bedroom villas plus 6 restaurants and 2 bars to choose from. What more can you want? We adore the Hammam for special spa time, complimentary wifi keeping you connected and great watersports and land activities.
Lux Belle Mare
Perfectly located just one hour away from the International Airport along the east coast of Mauritius, is the luxury five star, Lux Belle Mare Hotel. Strung along a beautiful beach against a vivid Indian Ocean backdrop, this vibrant hotel offers breathtaking views over white sand and a sparkling lagoon. Built in clusters three stories high, the traditionally thatched 174 suites are all sea facing and can accommodate up to two adults and two children. In true resort style a plethora of facilities are available including a choice of four restaurants. The hotel has a LUX Me Spa, fitness centre and one of the largest swimming pools on the island (2000m²). Water and land sports are offered along with daily programs for all ages.
Four Seasons Resort
Located to the south west of the island, this sprawling resort encompasses private residences and resort villas dotting the edge of beaches. A scenic bridge takes you over the lagoon to a private island known as Ile aux Chats. There are five restaurants and bars to choose from, many accommodation options all with spacious interiors and luxury finishes. Activities on offer are sailing, horse riding, boating, kayaking, golf, fitness centre, swimming pool, tennis courts and numerous water sports. The Ernie Els Golf Course is the major attraction for many visitors.
Le Mauricia Hotel
A fantastic, family friendly and fun filled resort is beautifully positioned on the lagoon just 2 minutes walk from the bustling village of Grand Baie. Here, you have best of both worlds, time to relax at the resort and the opportunity to experience the buzzing local village life with shops, restaurants, markets and night life. This hotel has a great beach, two pools, onsite dive centre, wellness centre and multiple restaurants to savour local cuisine with seafood a highlight. With rooms, apartments and suites to choose from there is truly something for everyone.
Nestled on a secluded peninsula along the north coast, this romantic property overlooks islets, triple bay beaches, a picturesque lagoon and sensational resort accommodation and facilities. It’s a large property with 198 rooms and suite each one sea facing with balcony or terrace, spacious bedroom and ensuite bathroom. The main resort complex with its Feng Shui ambience and relaxing atmosphere is surrounded by beautiful gardens of coconut trees and banyans. There is a choice of three restaurants and two bars, Café LUX, beach service, room service and private dining. Guests have access to three swimming pools, LUX Me Spa, a cinema, golf driving range, high quality fitness centre, art gallery and helipad. An array of complimentary water and land sports are offered. Daily programs are displayed for adults as well as children, with a kids and teen club, evening entertainment by local artists and themed or DJ evenings.
Dinarobin Hotel Golf & Spa
At the foot of Le Morne mountain buffered by a beautiful lagoon sits this idyllic and charming resort. Accommodation is in suites offering you that little bit more, much needed holiday space. From junior to club, family and four bedroom villa suites with pool there is truly something for everyone. With six pools, four restaurants, golf club, onsite spa, sports centre and free wifi you could relax on Mauritius holiday forever!
Paradis Hotel & Golf Club
For those who don’t want to venture anywhere beyond the resort, this is the place. On the Le Morne peninsula of Mauritius, you’ll have access to a long stretch of sandy beach, lagoon, mountain backdrop, luxury accommodation not to mention onsite activities like waterskiing, sailing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, spa for treatments, beach volleyball, tennis courts and gym. Accommodation varies from deluxe rooms to beachfront and luxury suites and villas. Our favourite is the La Ravanne Restaurant. You arrive on a pirogue boat to the sounds of local musicians and colourful sega dancers. Dinner is then served at thatch roofed tables. This is Paradise…
Thanks Gail for a fantastic holiday to Africa. It was perfect starting in Mauritius with time to unwind, relax with some romance all before our awesome adventure safari.
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