Nestled in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, roughly 2000 kilometres off the south-east coast of Africa, lies the island paradise of Mauritius. Together with the islands of Rodrigues and Réunion, it forms part of the Mascarene Islands, located east of Madagascar. Over the years, Mauritius has become so much more than simply the former home of the now extinct Dodo bird. In fact, it has garnered a reputation for being one of the leading luxury vacation destinations in the world, and with its sparkling turquoise waters, sumptuous resorts, interesting sights and vibrant culture, it’s really no wonder why. Whether you’re after that perfect family-friendly island holiday, or that romantic honeymoon spot, you need not look any further than beautiful Mauritius. Let’s take a closer look at why this exotic place really offers something for everyone.
It’s only natural for sandy-white beaches to be the first thing that comes to mind when people think about Mauritius – and they don’t disappoint. Seemingly endless stretches of pristine shoreline are met by azure waters and dotted with tall coconut palms, thatched beach huts and wooden recliners, all beckoning to holidaymakers seeking a taste of the ultimate island experience. Beach bums and sun worshippers will find their rightful place here, cooling off in the warm ocean, exploring the many volcanic rock pools spread along the coast, and spending sultry days sipping on cocktails while the smell of hibiscus fills the air. They only need leave when the golden orb in the sky collides with the horizon in a spectacular display of iridescent pinks, purples and oranges – of course, unforgettable sunsets are just another perk of living the island life.
Thrilling water sports
The crystal clear waters are not only excellent for swimming, but also provide the perfect arena for water sports. From snorkelling to diving, parasailing, skiing, windsurfing, kayaking and paddle boating, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re an adrenaline junkie looking for your next thrill, or a marine-life lover waiting for your next underwater adventure. Mauritius is a particularly exciting place for diving and snorkelling, thanks to its remarkable coral reefs and array of sea creatures. But if your preference is to stay above water, you can enjoy a leisurely paddleboat in the bay or glass-bottom boat expedition.
When it comes to diverse and delicious fare, Mauritius often comes out tops. The cuisine is a blend of Indian, Asian and European (namely French) influences that reflect the history of the island, each bringing with them unique flavours. Seafood features in many dishes, as does vanilla, coconut and spices, and visitors can enjoy delicacies such as “Millionaire’s Salad” (made from heart of palm – the inner part of the palm tree) and pineapple served with chilli salt and tamarind paste. Generous buffets are commonplace at most Mauritian all-inclusive resorts and they’re a great way to sample the array of island eats available. You can also sample some of the world’s finest rum, made locally from the abundant sugarcane grown on the island.
There’s nothing better than being able to forget about all your worries and truly revel in the serenity that an island getaway offers. The slow pace, breath-taking natural surroundings and genuine warmth of the locals make it easy to relax and unwind, as does the luxury that awaits guests at the countless resorts peppered along the coastline. Sand, sea, sun and the odd bit of pampering is all you’ll need to revitalise your mind, body and soul.
If you’d like to get out and discover the wonders of the island, there are more than enough interesting excursions from which to choose. If you’re staying at an all-inclusive Club Med resort, you can enjoy trips into the heart of Mauritius. There are a few adventure-filled options for outings, ensuring that there is something on offer for everyone, whether it be a drive through the remarkably expansive sugarcane fields, or a visit to the culturally-enriched capital city, Port Louis.
These are just a few of the reasons why you’d be hard-pressed to find a perfect island holiday destination than Mauritius. Colourful, tropical and diverse, the iconic writer Mark Twain was correct when he wrote: “Mauritius was made first, and then heaven and that heaven was copied after Mauritius” – you’ll just have to visit and see for yourself.
Discover a typically untypical day in Mauritius, click here to find out more.
All images courtesy of Club Med.