A quick Google of Mauritius offers up everything you would imagine in an island paradise. Sparkling turquoise sea, white sandy beaches… any tension you may have been feeling in that moment seem to be lifted away simply by taking one look at this idyllic island. Mark Twain himself even quoted a citizen as saying that “Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; and that heaven was copied after Mauritius.”
Where is Mauritius?
Situated in the Indian Ocean, 600 miles off the coast of Madagascar, Mauritius has been enjoying a rise in tourism in recent years. It’s not hard to see why when you consider the island’s blissful scenery and myriad of activities. Mauritius owes its splendour to a volcanic eruption around 8 million years ago, creating rugged mountainscapes as well as serene beach havens.
We sent Rachael, our Travel Consultant, on a seven-night trip to explore the beauty of Mauritius. Read on to learn why this island needs to go onto your travel bucket list!
The island of Mauritius
The island itself varies quite dramatically from the west to east coast. The west coast is quite dry, so this is where you will see many of the golf courses. However, the east coast is more breezy, with some of the better beaches and luxury hotels situated here.
At 790 square miles, you can travel from one end of Mauritius to the other in a couple of hours. When travelling through the middle of the island, you’ll find less accommodation options as it’s all mountain peaks and national parks. The climate changes completely, suddenly going overcast, cloudy and rainy as you make your way up higher. Having said that, you won’t be cold – our British summer is Mauritian winter, but even in winter the temperature remains around 27 degrees!
Where to stay in Mauritius
Whatever your needs, you’ll find somewhere perfect to stay in Mauritius. All the hotels on the island are completely different styles, from upmarket five star hotels to those with a Hawaiian feel.
If you’re planning a trip to Mauritius, spend some time considering what you really want from your holiday. Some hotels that you’ll find will be very lively, whereas others will be more laid back and relaxed. If you’re a golfer, there are hotels with golf course facilities that you can make the most of, and there are also plenty of options for families to enjoy. You can also rent properties or villas which can be perfect for a family or a large group of friends.
On Rachael’s visit, she tried out over 20 different hotels and villas to get a feel for all the different options. Here are her top picks:
Constance Belle Mare Plage
Located on a glorious white sandy beach, Constance Belle Mare Plage provides a wide range of exclusive accommodation from luxurious prestige rooms to exquisite private villas.
Lux Grande Gaube
Situated in the north of Mauritius, Lux Grande Gaube is built around a very picturesque crescent-shaped bay which is fringed with golden sands and tropical gardens.
One and Only Le Saint Geran
One & Only Le Saint Géran reopened its stately gates to welcome guests with brand new restaurants, revolutionary living quarters and luxurious public spaces. What remains is the famously generous hospitality of longstanding staff, the exclusivity of the location on the private peninsula, and of course the unrivalled views.
Mauritian perfection, seek out the soul-soothing destination of Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa. Located in Trou d’Eau Douce Bay overlooking the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, the resort offers 200 rooms and suites and three exclusive villas, all contemporary by design with unsurpassed comfort.
If you’re uncertain where to start, Thornton’s are able to help you find the best option for your requirements and price range.
What to do in Mauritius
Beach life and watersports
The best way to get to Mauritius is one of the direct flights from Air Mauritius, which takes around 12 hours. Once you’ve stepped off the plane into this island paradise, you’ll be spoilt for choice with things to do.
Alongside the essential sunbathing and paddling activities on one of the many picturesque beaches that Mauritius has to offer, there are many other things you can do that are suitable for all interests and ages.
For the water babies, the coral reef that surrounds Mauritius is perfect for snorkelling. You can also go dolphin or whale watching to spend a day on the sea, as well as trying out watersports such as paddle boarding and catamaran trips.
The capital of Mauritius, Port Louis, is a bustling centre that is ideal for shopping and eating out. The Blue Penny Museum is great for an insight into the cultural heritage of Mauritius, and you can also spend a good few hours strolling through various botanical gardens.
A great way to experience local culture is to go for lunch in a typical Mauritian house, and if you’d like to continue on your foodie adventure, a rum tour could be just the trick. Mauritius boasts a variety of different culinary options with influences from all over the world. Those with dietary requirements can be well catered for.
The great outdoors
If you’re looking for something a little more energetic than lying on a beach, the stunning natural beauty of Mauritius lends itself perfectly to activities in the great outdoors. The national parks are a fantastic way to explore Mauritius, home to some of the rarest flora and fauna in the world.
You can also take a trip to Le Morne Brabant, a UNESCO World Heritage Site esteemed for its cultural importance. It is believed that it was used as a refuge for runaway slaves in the early 19th century.
Another popular outdoors attraction is the Seven Coloured Earths, a sand dune made up of seven different colours of sand.
With any of these activities, you can book in advance with your Thornton’s alongside any other arrangements to ensure you make the most out of your holiday.
5 facts about Mauritius
- Mauritius’ claim to fame is being the only known home of the dodo! It’s thought that Dutch settlers discovered the bird in the late 1500s, but within 100 years the species was extinct.
- Formerly a Dutch, then French, then British colony, Mauritius gained its independence in 1968.
- The main languages spoken in Mauritius are English and French, but Mauritian Creole (a French-based creole language) is the mother tongue of most people.
- Mauritius is the most densely populated country on the African continent.
- Mauritius has been praised for its democracy, political and religious freedom.
Want to know more about holidays in Mauritius and how you can book your dream island getaway? Contact us now for more information!