With unparalleled tropical island luxury, idyllic white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, you’d be forgiven for spending your entire holiday lounging under a palm tree. But the island of Mauritius offers many sights and attractions and here are five that shouldn’t be missed:
1. Port Louis
The island’s capital offers culture and attractions aplenty. Take a stroll along the waterfront, where cruise liners and yachts gleam on the sparkling water beneath the impressive vista of the Moka Mountains. Then set your inner shopaholic free in the diverse range of shopping venues that include high-end stores and a treasure trove of markets.
Immerse yourself in the rich and varied culture of the island, which incorporates Indian, Chinese, French, British and African influences. Visit the World Heritage Site of Aapravasi Ghat and learn about the Indian slaves that were brought there. Then wander into Chinatown, visit the St Louis Cathedral or tour the Jummah Mosque to appreciate the island’s harmonious diversity.
Port Louis is also home to the only complete dodo skeleton in existence, at the Natural History Museum, while the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens, just out of town, are home to an incredible 500 species of plants.
2. The Black River Gorges National Park
Enjoy the breath-taking view of Plaine Champagne from the rainforest of this incredible nature reserve, among flowering plants, exotic birds and monkeys. Pause to breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the unparalleled beauty of the verdant jungle, stunning waterfalls, vast mountains and sparkling ocean, or pack your hiking boots for a true taste of tropical adventure.
3. Ile des Deux Cocos Island
To experience the desert island of your dreams, take a daytrip to Ile des Deux Cocos (the island of coconuts).
Take a trip on a glass-bottomed boat and see brightly coloured tropical fish swim beneath you, or get up close and personal by snorkelling with clownfish, butterfly fish and spiny surgeonfish.
4. Le Morne Brabant
Another World Heritage site, the 550-metre high basalt monolith of Le Morne Brabant peninsula, surrounded by blue and green lagoons, is perhaps the most photographed landmark on the island. Visitors can also discover some of the rarest species of plants in the world and learn about the importance of the area to runaway slaves in the 18th and 19th centuries.
5. The Chateau de Labourdonnais
Uncover the island’s French connection and see the elegant architecture and beautiful, bountiful gardens at this impressive neo-classical mansion, owned by the Wiehe family since it was built in the 1850s. No visit is complete without sampling the two varieties of rum produced in the on-site distillery.
An Island of Plenty
Luxury holidays to Mauritius provide a unique opportunity to indulge and unwind. However, they also offer myriad opportunities to see and experience some uniquely wonderful delights.
Photo Credit: matze_ott