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.
Mauritius is a year round destination and experiences a warm subtropical climate, with relatively little seasonal variation in temperatures year round. May to October is dry with comfortable temperatures ranging between 18°C and 24°C with cooling tradewinds coming in from the southeast. Visitors during these dates will often benefit from excellent offers from the hotels. November to April is much warmer and humid with average temperatures ranging between 25°C to 33°C with an increase in rainfall. January and February tend to be the wettest months with the possibility of tropical storms although this is a rarity.
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While often compared with the Maldives, luxury Mauritius holidays are about more than just its beautiful beaches. Discover the wild nature, cultural traditions and local cuisines by exploring the different regions of this verdant island.
Nestled in a fertile valley influenced by its own micro-climate 300 meters above the coast of South West Mauritius lies the Rhumerie de Chamarel – a rum distillery surrounded by vast sugarcane plantations. Here, an experienced guide gave us a thorough tour of the distillation process, revealing how the sugar cane is cut down, selected and then fermented to produce the highest quality rum. At the end of the tour we were presented with the rum tasting table, where the opportunity to try the large selection of agricultural rums was too enticing to pass up; aged rums included VSOP, XO and single barrel, premium rums included spiced vanilla and exotic spiced rum, while coffee, mandarin, vanilla and coconut rum liquors were offered in cocktails at the end. My advice - time your trip to coincide with a visit to L’Alchimiste – their restaurant which only opens for lunch, or allow Carrier’s Concierge service to arrange private usage of the restaurant for an exclusive dinner.
Stay in Chamarel and you’ll also find Mauritius’s greatest natural attraction, the Seven Coloured Earth. Famous for being a geological anomaly, the small site of multi-coloured sand dunes continues to awe and inspire visitors’ year on year. If you’re keen to make the viewing of the coloured earth even more memorable, try visiting at sunrise. From the upper deck viewpoint located here at the Chamarel Seven Colored Earth reserve, you can also see the magnificent Cascade Chamarel – a waterfall with an (approximate) 83m single drop – the exact depth is highly contested!
This was, without a doubt, one of the most exhilarating and enjoyable experiences of my trip. Unique to Mauritius, Sea Karting is a water sport experience that looks - and feels - like a combination of riding a jet ski, speed boat and bumper car all at the same time. With only a throttle to get you going, and a complete inability to flip over, you are free to explore the coast of Mauritius under the supervision of a security boat nearby. Each Sea Kart can accommodate two adults and one child, making it the perfect adrenaline-fueled adventure for families and couples alike. When we eventually paused to admire the views all around us, it was blissful.
Although leaving the dock at 7.30am meant having to endure a very early alarm, it was completely worth it to be the first boat in the bay. I have never seen such large quantities of dolphin pods all in one space. The best part of the trip, without a doubt, was having the unique opportunity to swim with the dolphins in their natural environment; encountering them in the open sea, knowing that they were there of their own free will, was incredible. After having plenty of time to swim alongside them, we returned to the boat for a champagne breakfast, which felt like the ideal celebration after such an exhilarating experience.
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