Mauritius, a sparkling crystal in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, will fascinate you. The contrast of colours, cultures and tastes makes the island so charming that the scene is set for an unforgettable holiday. Here, you have the opportunity to experience unparalleled luxury: a level of refinement that is head and shoulders above that on offer in other tropical holiday destinations. Here, you will discover the true meaning of beauty a realisation that will compel you to return to Mauritius' shores time and again. Mauritius was named after Dutch Prince Maurice Van Nassau...
Mauritius at a Glance
Mauritius was named after the Dutch Prince Maurice Van Nassau.
Capital Port Louis
Location Latitude 20 south of the equator,Longitude 57.5 east.
Area 2,040 square kilometers.
Population 1.2 million, including Rodrigues and the outer islands.
Mauritius' white beaches are protected by a coral reef barrier that encircles almost all of the coastline, with the exception of the southern end, where it falls away and where wilder waters and dramatic cliffs can be observed. From the northern plains, the land rises to a central plateau dotted by lakes and extinct volcanic craters. A few uninhabited islets area are scattered around the main island.
Port Louis, Capital of Mauritius
Port Louis , the capital of Mauritius, was founded by the French governor and colonist Bertrand-Francois Mahe de La Bourdonnais in 1735.
Situated on the north-west coast, Port Louis is the business and administrative capital of Mauritius. Packed with office-workers during the day, it quickly quietens down after office-hours " allowing visitors to enjoy a night out along the famous Caudan Waterfront.
Those arriving during daylight hours should head for the bustling Central Market or Champ de Mars: the oldest racecourse in the Indian Ocean region.
The northern coast of the island is the place where the most development has taken place in recent years. Thanks to this work, Grand Baie has an abundance of restaurants and discotheques. If you like to party to the sound of good music, you will find plenty of options to choose from here.
The north isn't only about night life, however. It also boasts some of Mauritius' best-loved sights, including the charming red-roofed church that overlooks the lagoon at Cap Malheureux.
South & South-East
The south reveals a dramatically different landscape from the rest of the island: one typified by high cliffs in places that are battered by waves.These are created where the protective barrier of coral reef that surrounds Mauritius falls away on the seabed, so leaving the coastline exposed to a punishing Indian Ocean.
But the south is not singularly about cliffs and rough waters. Further round the coastline, heading westwards, are an array of beautiful beaches and top-rate hotels and resorts, in up-and-coming areas such as Bel Ombre.
East - The Jewel in Mauritius' Crown
A coastline comprised of exquisite coves and emerald lagoons, permanently enhanced by a cool sea breeze: life goes by at a slow pace in the east " whether you're a member of the fishing community or a holidaymaker.
Situated between the mountains and the sea, the east is characterized by charming little villages with poetic names like Petite Julie, Mare d'Australia and Queen Victoria. It also plays home to some of the country's best beaches, including Belle Mare, where you will want to spend hours basking in the sun, glorying in the sight of the long stretch of white sand.
West & South-West
Off Tamarin Bay or Flic en Flac, heading in the direction of Ile aux Benitiers, you can see the dolphins that come to these waters to rest and breed. The Morne Mountain, with its historical links to slavery, can also be found in this region as well as some fine hotels known for their wide choice of watersports.
Slightly inland, in the hills around Chamarel, is the rum distillery that bears the name of the village. Here, you can learn about rum production and taste some of the delightful produce.
Inland & Central Plateau -
In the 'highlands'you will discover the island's four other towns.In Quatre Bornes, head for the local market if you want to do some bargain-hunting. In Curepipe, where it is generally cooler than elsewhere on the island, try visiting the botanical gardens.
In the early evening the gardens of the Plaza "the municipal theater of the town of Rose Hill" fill up with families who come to relax and enjoy an ice cream. This is a heart-warming sight definitely worth beholding!
Vacoas, meanwhile, is most renowned for its Gymkhana Golf Club" the oldest in the southern hemisphere.
The Dodo - Raphus Cuccullatus
'As dead as the dodo'
Credit goes to this bird that put Mauritius, for the first time, on the world map. Though extinct for more than 300 years now, the giant bird still continues to stir amazement in visitors at the country's National History Museum, where one of the few remaining skeletons is on display.