Mauritius uncovered

Soak in all four corners of the magical island

Posted: 02.03.12

Mauritius will enchant and uplift your soul, making you feel you belong to the chosen few. Every visitor enjoys personal attention. Every encounter is an opportunity to discover a friendly face. Behind each smile lies the promise of a unique honeymoon. The contrast of a multitude of colours and tastes, the island, set in its turquoise sea, is an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Mauritius, a melting pot where past and present are smoothly blended together, offers an essential beauty that will compel you to return to its shores time and time again. Which part will you fall in love with?

North Mauritius offers a great deal to those wanting to escape it all. The renovated beaches are made into idyllic paradise coves of serene solitude. However, it also boasts a vibrant nightlife. Head to Grand Bay, where Mauritians go when they want a fun-filled night out of eating, drinking and dancing. The lagoon, sheltered from the prevailing winds, offers a host of water sports and is particularly good for snorkelling and diving. If you want to escape the sand, head to the Labourdonnais Orchards for a variety of tropical fruit trees, colourful and perfumed exotic flowers.

Largely untouched by mass tourism, East Mauritius is home to long stretches of beautiful beach falling at the gates of exquisite resorts. The relaxed Trou d’Eau Douce has retained the feel of a sleepy fishing village despite rubbing shoulders with grand hotels. It is the starting point for the country’s favourite boat excursion – the Île aux Cerfs- a paradise for water sports with the most beautiful beach in Mauritius. Don’t miss this tiny island, delicately poised on the ocean, a pearl in the Mauritian landscape. East Mauritius is definitely the most exclusive side of the island and the congregation of luxury hotels around Belle Mare attracts a wealthy crowd. If you venture inland you will find fields of sugar cane mingling with vegetable gardens up towards the mountains. The main town, Centre de Flacq, has a good open-air market and is also useful for banks, shops and transport connections.

With dramatic mountains that shoot up from the flat lands, this feels like a different island to the lazy beaches up North. That’s not to say it’s without its fair share of beaches. Tamarin hosts a small surfing community. Martello Towers represent the scene of the ancient rivalry between old colonial powers and the ingenuity of mankind. A winding road leads from Case Noyale village to the coloured earths of Chamarel; an undulating landscape of contrasting shades of blue, green, red and yellow, which are the result of the erosion of the volcanic ash. There’s also Casela Nature Park near Flic en Flac, and a museum in the old watchtower at La Preneuse, north of Grande Rivière Noire.

If you’re looking for some privacy then find time to escape to the South, which includes some of the country’s most wonderful scenery and wildest landscapes. While the area around Blue Bay has been a long-established favourite with tourists for its great beaches and crystal-clear waters, the majority of the south coast has no beach. Visit now, while it is Mauritius’ most unspoiled region. The area is the most ‘Mauritian’ in the country and the drive along the coastal road from Souillac to Le Morne really shouldn’t be missed for its incandescent beauty and views of the oceans stretching into infinity. Other highlights include a sleepy town of Mahébourg, the wonderful nature reserve Île aux Aigrettes and Lion Mountain, a dominating feature of the region.

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