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Mauritius is all about the beaches. Sapphire-blue waters lapping on perfect shorelines, framed by palm trees and offering delicious warm sand to dip your toes into. But this is far from all that Mauritius has to offer. The island is steeped in history, is a melting pot of cultures, is packed full of unusual wildlife and offers lush volcanic peaks ideal for hiking. On the way to your hotel you will be mesmorised by the swaying fields of sugar cane, white Hindu temples and Jurassic Park-like mountain peaks that drop down to the neverending beaches.

How to get there

Emirates flies to Mauritius from the UK. The flight time is 7hrs to Dubai followed by 6hrs 30mins to Mauritius. Emirates offers a particularly excellent Business Class and First Class on it’s planes so it is easy to arrive in style. The main airport is Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport which is 1hr from the North coast, 40 to 50 mins to the South coast and around 1hr from the East and West coast. The time zone here is GMT +4 hours which means you suffer virtually no jet lag when travelling from the UK.

When To Visit

Mauritius is at its coolest from May to September, although temperatures rarely drop below 25C. December to April is when the island is at its hottest and most humid and when it also has the highest chance of rain.

Where To Stay

The luxury resorts on Mauritius are fronted by heavenly beaches and offer dreamy vistas across the Indian Ocean. They offer supreme levels of comfort and luxury, with discerning and discrete service. These hotels are spread around the coastline but the most high-end luxury hotels congregate on the eastern shoreline.

The sunniest part of the island is in the north, boasting chalky-white beaches and good proximity to Port Louis. Shaded by tall casuarina trees, Trou aux Biches is considered one of the best beaches on the island and Mont Choisy, a 2km stretch of white sand, also curves north from here. Up at the island’s most northerly tip is the peaceful fishing village of Cap Malheureux, or Cape of Misfortune, named for its history of shipwrecks. A lovely resort in this area is The Oberoi, Mauritius with palm-thatched villas overlooking the beach.

To the east you will find Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita and Shangri La’s Le Touessrok. This is the place to plan a day at sea, stopping off at Ile aux Cerfs. Blue Bay Marine Park is one of the best places to snorkel close to shore, or you can take a ride in a glass-bottomed boat. The reserve is also home to private Ile des Deux Cocos, complete with 1920s villa and managed by LUX Resorts, who can reserve it for an overnight stay, day trip, or exclusive event.

The “sunset coast”, which stretches along the west side of the island from Port Louis down to Le Morne Peninsula, has some of Mauritius’ most breathtaking scenery and is home to Black River Gorges National Park. Hotels found in the south and west of the island include the St Regis (pictured above), the Outrigger and the Sofitel.

Food in Mauritius

You must indulge in the delicious Mauritian cuisine, influenced by the French, Indian, Creole and Chinese heritage of the islanders. Expect everything from croissants to curries on the menu. Some local dishes to try include dhal puris, rotis filled with dal and pickles and served with curry, and the popular Creole stew of rougaille, with meat or fish, garlic, onion and thyme is delicious washed down with some local rum.

Things To Do On Mauritius

Whether you prefer to spend most of your time on the beach, or prefer an active holiday, you are missing out if you don’t take in at least one of the amazing activities that this island offers. We recommend hiking the Black River Gorges National Park, which is famous for its waterfalls and vistas. A catamaran excursion in Tamarin Bay to see dolphins playing is a must do trip and head to the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden to be blown away by the giant Amazonian pond lilies. For families, La Vanille Nature Park has hundreds of Giant Aldabra tortoises to wander among, while Casela Nature Park has canyon swinging, quad biking or a more sedate safari among some of Africa’s most famed creatures.

Within your resort, expect to be tempted by a huge range of water based fun including world class diving. There are also plenty ofland based activities such as championship-standard golf courses and horse riding.

Don’t miss the island’s capital, Port Louis. Head there on a weekday to see it at its liveliest. Absorb the colonial architecture and buy spices, saris and silks at the Indian market. Le Caudan Waterfront is a particular attraction, built from converted warehouses, this is a great place to grab lunch and do some more shopping.

Mauritius is an island that will seduce you without even trying and a trip is easily booked with Mauritius holidays. It is so perfect that you can’t fail to be romanced by its powder-soft beaches and tropical mountains and deep blue sea.

Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.