Mauritius

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Good-looking island

Mauritius’ number-one pull is its beaches – imagine sweeps of silvery-white sand backed by slim palms and you’ll be on the right track. Away from the edges, you’ll find sugar-cane fields, waterfalls straight out of a Herbal Essences advert, and thick jungle that hides families of macaque monkeys. And the island is volcanic, which means you can count on an impressive backdrop of jagged, deep-green mountains.

Underwater world

Offshore, the textbook turquoise waters play host to Disney-esque creatures. Slip on a pair of flippers and you’ll come mask to face with rainbow-bright parrotfish, skinny trumpet fish and stripy, Nemo-like clownfish. Sea turtles and dolphins sometimes put in appearances, too.

Coast to coast

The star of the north coast is Gran Baie, where you’ll find a lively restaurant and bar scene. Short bus rides put this spot in arm’s reach of the peaceful beaches of Calodyne and Anse le Raie. The east coast is best for beach lovers – the sands in Belle Mare are toothpaste-white and run for miles. Thanks to trade winds, it’s also a good surf spot. The island’s south-west corner is a family favourite, with resorts like Bel Ombre dishing up huge beaches and calm waters. Some of the best dive sites are here, too.

Melting pot

On the culture front, Mauritius is a bit of a mish-mash – you’ll find a jumble of influences here, particularly French and Creole. It makes for a pretty interesting mix, especially when it comes to food – everything from coq au vin to rice and beans crops up on menus.

Places To Stay In Mauritius

Belle Mare is a pint-sized village with a mammoth beach. Its stretch of serene sands spool right down to Trou d’Eau Douce in the south. This is unspoiled country – the snow-white beach is backed only by coconut palms, luxury retreats, and a clutch of championship golf courses.

Even by Mauritian standards, the peaceful village of Anse La Raie is a bit of a hideaway. Its rugged coastline creates tiny beaches that harbour pretty ocean views. Visitors come here for peace and quiet, as there isn’t much beyond the laid-back sands and chilled-out hotels. And even though it feels worlds away from tourist-centric Grand Baie, the harbour town’s only 10 minutes down the road.

The fishing village of Grand Gaube is on the very edge of north Mauritius’ tourist trail, so its laid-back vibe is light years from the hubbub of the west coast. A handful of exclusive hotels stick close to a coastline that’s made up of spiky headlands and sandy bays. And beaches are on the petite side, so each hotel has a few under its belt. Things are pretty peaceful around these parts, so the only things you’ll spy from your sunlounger are dawdling fishing boats and a stray kite surfer or two.

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Top 5 resorts in Mauritius

Top 5 hotels in Mauritius

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