Holidays to Mauritius drop you on an Indian Ocean isle, with that winning beach-adventure-culture combo.
If it’s top-notch beaches you’re after, you’re onto a winner with Mauritius. This place breathes fluff-soft stretches. But it’s no one-trick pony. The isle’s also got a rainforest full of waterfalls and zip lines, great diving and French-meets-Creole culture, so the food and sightseeing’s blue-chip, too. It’s easy to see why loved-up honeymooners can’t get enough of it.
East to west
Mauritius isn’t short of Insta-worthy beaches, but you’ll find the most talked-about along the west or east coast. All Inclusive holidays are a breeze in these parts. They’re full of swanky, top-of-the-range hotels – most of them huddle up to the sands, too. Talking of which, the beaches are polar bear-white with reef-sheltered lagoons. Belle Mare and Flic en Flac battle it out to be the best of the best. Plus, you’ve also got compact capital and shopaholic’s dream, Port Louis.
The south gets a big tick from both sunbathers and hikers. Take Bel Ombre, for example – its huge, sandy beach is parked in front of a thick forest. There’s a nature reserve just behind it and the Black River Gorges National Park beyond that. And that’s not the only green you’ll see – it’s got an 18-hole golf course, too. Meanwhile, nearby Le Morne pulls in the punters with its watersports and off-shore reef.
A lot of tourists end up on the island’s northern tip. And for good reason. The main magnet’s Grand Baie and its massive beach, posh hotels and cracking nightlife. The rest of the north has taken a chill pill. Calodyne and Grand Gaube give you a taste of make-up-less Mauritius. Think nap-friendly coves and little else.
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The beach at Belle Mare seems to have missed the less-is-more memo. This east coast town’s an extra-small on the size scale, with most of the action coming from a string of swanky seafront hotels. The beach, on the other hand, is more of an XL, and looks like something from a James Bond flick. A huge slither of vanilla-coloured sand’s edged by all of the major picturesque tick points – a tropical fringe of trees, bright turquoise waters and fishing boats bobbing in the shallows.
As far as resorts go, Grand Gaube prefers the quiet life. This sleepy fishing village, on Mauritius’ northern coast, keeps it traditional with a few restaurants and a fistful of coves. A couple of luxe hotels have cottoned on to its charms, so you’ve got some fancy-pants places to stay, too.
Flic En Flac
Flic en Flac knocks it out of the park in terms of scenery, dishing out turquoise waters, white sand and an Indian Ocean panorama as far as you can see. There’s also the odd mountain or three muscling in on the action, plus pods of dolphins that play offshore.
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