Mauritius, a small island paradise in the Indian Ocean, is the perfect place to get away from the daily stresses of 21st century living. The volcanic island covers just 1 864 sq km and is home to lush forest, white beaches and a beautiful blue ocean. It was discovered in 1505 by the Portuguese and has since been occupied by the Dutch, French and the British.
Tourism is its main industry, therefore Mauritius holidays packages are often advertised extensively in newspapers and travel agent newsletters. Most of the island resorts are situated along the coastline. The bustling capital city of Port Louis is on the west coast and a major centre for business operations. The bulk of the population reside in the town of Curepipe, on the central plateaux.
Start your Mauritius holiday on the beach! With its white sandy beaches and clear turquoise water, Mauritius is a snorkeler and diver’s paradise. Take advantage of free water sports, offered by many hotels, or contact a scuba-diving operator to explore the reefs.
A visit to the Central Market should be next on your list of things to do during your Mauritius holiday. This colourful market, near the harbour in Port Louis, showcases the diverse population who occupy the island. Indian, Chinese and Creole traders all offer their merchandise. Try not to the visit the market to late in the day, seeing as it could get quite hot. While in Port Louis, stop at the Natural History Museum to see a replica of the legendary Dodo, a flightless bird which has been extinct since the beginning of the 18th century. The Dodo was found only on Mauritius and is believed to be a member of the pigeon family.
Ile aux Cerfs is a small island off the east coast of Mauritius and is a popular tourist attraction. The island features beautiful tropical vegetation and is equipped with a bar, restaurant and shops. Watersport facilities are available, as is an 18-hole championship golf course, designed by Bernhard Langer.
Nature lovers will enjoy visiting a number of parks and reserves on the island. La Vanille Reserve des Mascareigne is home to thousands of crocodiles and giant tortoises. The reserve participates in a project to re-introduce the animals to the island of Rodrigues. Of course, no Mauritius holiday is complete without Black River Gorges National Park. The thick pine forests are a safe haven for many birds and other wildlife. The Mauritius kestrel, green echo parakeet and Mauritius cuckoo shrike may be spotted here. The Seven Coloured Earth is another popular tourist spot near Chamarel. This is a beautiful display of certain metal oxide deposits, lending different colours to the earth.
After seeing and doing all that Mauritius has to offer, you might need another holiday to recover from your Mauritius holiday!