If you’re near a window, look south-eastwards
for a moment. There, 6,000 miles over the horizon, deep in the Indian Ocean, lie
the blindingly white palm-edged beaches, blue lagoons, coral reefs, emerald
sugar-cane fields and purple mountain peaks of Mauritius.
Another world? Yes. But in just 12 hours you could be there!
When it comes to today’s faraway holiday
preference, a Luxury All Inclusive holiday to Mauritius is
definitely up there with the leaders. Nature has done its bit, of course, with
exotic tropical scenes that will etch themselves on your memory. A stylish
gallery of world-class resort hotels adds all the essential creature comforts
and leisure pursuits. Scattered along the 205-mile coastline and nestling
contentedly beside picture-book beaches, each has its own character. You’ll feel
instantly at home. That’s what Mauritius does
Mountains, deep ravines and gorges offer short
hikes and mountain bike trips (a chance to see some endemic birdlife and wild
monkeys) – while, offshore, supervised sea-kayaking excursions can be booked.
Exploring by car is a popular way to discover the island’s lush and often lofty
interior. Don’t miss the waterfront
at Port Louis
and do visit the National Park in the beautiful interior.
Nightlife & Party with
Most larger hotels (and many smaller ones)
ensure that their guests can enjoy live band entertainment and dancing on-site,
with regular Sega dance events. If you want more options to hand then the
liveliest area to stay is Grand Baie, with its restaurants, bars and
Gourmet Cuisine & Dining Out
French, Chinese, Creole, and Indian influences
have all gone into the exotic Mauritius culinary pot! Whether your
main course leans toward Indian curries or Chinese sweet-and-sour fish, they and
a host of exotic new flavours await the jaded palate. A colourful ethnic mix
means you can look forward to some wonderful palate, pleasing cuisine. Mauritian
cuisine is definitely worth experiencing during your luxury holiday in
World Class Golf Courses
There’s excellent golf to be enjoyed on at
least 12 delightful courses adjoining some of the leading hotels – the most
acclaimed of which are the Le Touessrok Golf Club on Ile aux Cerfs and the Belle
Mare Plage Golf Club. What could be
more pleasant than being on a dream island whilst having the opportunity to
improve your golfing skills?
World's Best Scuba Dive
Mauritius is surrounded by a coral reef with a rich
marine life – and offers shallow comfortable dive sites for beginners, as well
as walls, rock formations, caverns and wrecks for the experienced. Some of the
best diving is where the island reef breaks - especially between Souillac and Le
Bouchon (south coast) and at Flic en Flac (west coast).
Family Luxury holiday in Mauritius
Mauritius’ hotel beaches are reef-protected in the main
and normally ideal for supervised youngsters. Well-organised Children's Clubs
are the norm at the majority of resort hotels. Some hotels and resorts offer
babysitting services ensuring a fun holiday experience for the entire family on
the tropical island of Mauritius. Mauritius is the perfect family
Luxury All-Inclusive Holiday to
When it comes to all-inclusive holidays
options, a Luxury holiday to Mauritius offers you an embarrassment
of riches – with packages of varying comprehensiveness available at a range of
properties around the island.
Luxury All-inclusive holidays to Mauritius are cost-effective
Mauritius’ white-sand Indian Ocean beaches and fabulous
watersports may incline you not to travel far from your oceanside resort. Fight
that temptation! The island’s lush and often lofty interior, the buzz of its
towns and villages and the quality of its many land activities all demand some
time. Each coastline has its own character. The north with its long beaches and
calm lagoons is home to Grand Baie, the only 'resort' area, while on the east
coast is fabulous 6-mile long Belle Mare beach. While the relatively more
developed west coast, boasting its own string of perfect beaches. Exploring by car is a popular way to
discover the colourful holiday island of Mauritius. Don't miss the waterfront at Port Louis and do visit the
National park in the beautiful interior.
WHAT TO SEE DURING YOUR LUXURY HOLIDAY TO MAURITIUS
Mauritius’ busy little capital, set within an
amphitheatre of mountains, is a place of character and slightly faded elegance.
Named after the French Louis XV, it boasts some fine 18th century French
buildings, two cathedrals, a mosque, museums and the fortified Fort Adelaide
citadel with splendid views of the town, harbour and racecourse (yes, really! –
it was once a French military parade ground). The swirling Central Market – best
visited early - will provide a flavour of the island’s exotic ethnic and
cultural pedigree. Another ‘must’ is Le Caudan Waterfront, a popular leisure
Royal Botanical Gardens of
Not far from Port
Louis, the famous Pamplemousses Gardens have a fascinating history going
back nearly three centuries. Heavy with the fragrance of fruit and spice trees,
their 60 acres contain stately palms, ebony, mahogany, pandanus, a 200-years-old
Buddha tree and a pool of beautiful Giant Amazon water lilies.
A twisting road in the south-west of the island
takes you to the geological phenomenon of the 'Seven Coloured Earths' - an
undulating mound of multi-coloured sand, created by the weathering of volcanic
rocks. A scenic waterfall located amid jungle vegetation adds to the
Black Gorges National
Definitely not to be missed, this beautiful
Park fringed by coniferous trees and casuarinas is home to endangered species
like the echo parakeet, rare trees like the tambalacoque (dodo) tree – and, of
course, many monkeys and deer. Nature-lovers can walk for miles in the Black
River Gorge itself. Not far away is Lake Bassin, a volcanic crater and holiest
Hindu pilgrimage site on the island.
Park is known to ornithologists around the world,
and habitat of the world's rarest pigeon, the pink pigeon.
Curepipe & Trou aux
Curepipe is the place to come if you’re
interested in model-ship building and/or shopping! If not, the views of the
island from the ancient crater of Trou aux Cerfs are unbeatable and worth the
climb. In this area are the Tamarind Falls - seven falls tumbling into a deep,
quiet pool ideal for swimming.
When it’s time to let your hair down and party
into the night then the lively north coast beach resort area of Grand Baie is
where you’ll want to be. Grand Baie has a host of bars, restaurants and hotels,
which between them offer a pretty full programme of entertainment
Moka lies in the picturesque surroundings of
the lush Moka
Range Mountains and waterfalls. The 19th century
mansions of Le Reduit and Eureka House offer insights into Mauritius’ colonial history – and
A busy commercial centre and former colonial
town set on a pretty bay where you can relax and sunbathe. The Naval Museum is a particular attraction, while
nearby there are two beautiful nature reserves - the Ile aux Aigrettes and the
Domaine du Chasseur.
WHAT TO DO DURING YOUR LUXURY HOLIDAY TO MAURITIUS
Without question a Luxury holiday in
Mauritius can offer you some
of the Indian Ocean’s finest watersports
facilities and conditions. Waterskiing, windsurfing, snorkelling, deep-sea or
lagoon diving, surfing, sailing and more – name them and they’re probably here!
A number are often included in resort packages. The island’s superb underwater
landscapes and variety of fish and sea plants make diving highly popular – as is
deep-sea fishing (for which Mauritius offers both high-quality
equipment and catches of impressive size and variety). Ashore, sport-lovers can
take their pick of most major land activities, including golf, tennis,
quad-biking, horse riding and trekking. See also the At a Glance section for
more information on scuba-diving and golf.
Though the only dodo to be seen in Mauritius
these days (and a replica at that!) is in a Port Louis museum, the island offers
really rewarding bird-watching, including rare endemic species like the echo
parakeet and pink pigeon.
Mauritius’ historic Champ de Mars racecourse is one of
the oldest race courses in the southern hemisphere. Racing is highly popular
here - pulling regular crowds of 30,000 people every Saturday afternoon from May
On your Luxury holiday to Mauritius you’ll find both
traditional Mauritian Arts and Crafts (look out for those model ships!) products
and branded luxury goods in shopping centres in towns and beach resorts alike. A
number of attractively priced duty-free shops (for designer clothes, perfumes,
jewellery and electronic items) and colourful local markets like those in Port
Louis, Grand Baie and Quatre Bornes (where you can practice the national sport
of bargaining) provide a complete shopping spectrum. Le Caudan Waterfront’s Arts
& Crafts market is well worth a visit. Mauritius is a
major textile producer and in factory outlets around the island cashmere
sweaters and cardigans are often offered at irresistible prices.
Nightlife tends to focus around the beach
resorts (especially the Grand Baie area, which has a host of bars and
restaurants) and hotels, which between them offer a pretty full programme of
entertainment choices. Mauritius’ traditional and infectious
Sega dance features prominently, along with oriental dance performances. Some
hotels also have their own casinos. In Port Louis Le Caudan Waterfront offers
restaurants, a casino and two cinemas after dark - and you’ll also find casinos
at Domaines les Pailles (Port
Louis) and in Curepipe.
Its rich multicultural heritage is one of
Mauritius’ many attractive features.
So it’s no surprise that the events and festivals in this island nation should
celebrate this diversity, and blend in the major attractions of all cultures.
Here are some highlights among the many.
The New Year's festival of Thai Pongai takes
place on the first day of the month of Thai to celebrate the end of the harvest
season. Happy painted cows are served delicious rice pudding in a festival of
cleansing, purification and thanksgiving.
‘Ebony 2007’ at Citadelle (Port Louis) marks the
celebration of the Abolition of Slavery – and showcases Mauritian skills in the
making of clothes, jewellery and other accessories. This is also the month of
Thaipoosam Cavadee, the festival when Tamil worshippers sport anatomy-defying
piercings in an amazing display of religious fervour. February also brings Maha
Shivaratri, when hundreds of thousands of Hindu devotees congregate in a
volcanic lake to bathe statuettes of Lord Shiva. The Chinese New Year - also
known as the Spring Festival - is a another major February event, as families
celebrate the beginning of a new year with vows, fireworks, good food and
celebration. Fishing fans can keep an eye on the progress of the Marlin World
Cup and the South Indian Ocean Billfish Competition.
March 12th is Mauritius’ National Day, celebrated
throughout the island. Holika Dahan, or the Festival of Colour, sees Mauritian
Hindus celebrating good harvests and the Earth's fertility. Huge bonfires are
made on the eve of the festival, while the actual day is marked by loud
processions, singing, dancing, traditional songs - and a whole lot
The Festival D'Art Pyrotechnique is an
international firework competition held at Citadelle - and the organisers of the
Sydney Fireworks, among others, will be there!
The 2007 Reggae Festival features local bands
with their songs and live shows, in a style combining elements of reggae, ragga
and dancehall with the traditional musical heritage of the Mauritian Sega
Pere Laval’s Day sees thousands of devotees flock to
the shrine of the 19th century holy missionary Pere Laval, the 'Saint of
Mauritius' who fought passionately against slavery.
Diwali is one of the most important festivals
of the Hindu year, and Hindus all over Mauritius celebrate this event as
enthusiastically as they do in India. In the same month is
Id-ul-Fitr, the Muslim festival celebrated to mark the end of the fasting period