Mauritius exudes a heady mix of French, Indian, African and Creole influences, luxury resorts lie on white sandy beaches surrounded by turquoise waters. This picture-perfect island is surrounded by a limpid lagoon brimming with rainbow-coloured fish and moray eels, darting around magnificent coral reefs. Relaxation is assured on beaches such as Flic en Flac, shaded by casuarinas trees and icing sugar sands lapped by warm shallow waters.
The chatter of tropical birds echoes through the palm trees, accompanying waterside dining on spicy samosas, dal pancakes and smoked marlin combined with palm hearts. This fusion of food reflects the islands history; French, Créole, Indian and African influences abound. Sun-dappled days can be spent languishing onboard luxuriant catamarans, sailing amongst schools of dolphin playfully skimming the ocean’s surface. Contrasting with its crystalline border, a verdant interior of jagged peaks, thundering waterfalls, tea plantations and swaying sugar cane fields await. Its capital, Port Louis, sparkles with animated charm, crumbling edifices with an historic past and a cosmopolitan waterfront form the perfect contrast for leisurely discovery. Spice and fruit markets excite the senses with aromas of frangipani and exotic scents filling the air; mounds of lychee, pineapples and watermelons creating a vibrant palette of colour. Further inland, the botanical gardens showcase enormous waterlilies, bright bougainvillea and hibiscus. A winding road leads to the coloured earths of Chamarel, spectacular landscapes splashed with colour. Daydreams are made of this.