Luxury Holidays to Mauritius
The Perfect Tropical Island Hideaway!
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7 nights from £999pp
Travel: 01 Jun 16 - 15 Sep 16
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Travel: 01 May 16 - 30 Sep 16
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Travel: 01 Dec - 12 Dec / 01 May - 30 Sep 2015
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7 nights from £1299pp
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Travel: 01 Jun 16 - 15 Sep 16
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Travel: 14 May 16 - 30 Sep 16
NEW Junior Suite - Half Board - Economy flights from London - Private transfers – Airport taxes
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Travel: 18 Nov 15 - 15 Mar 16
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There’s an excellent argument to be made that Mauritius is the perfect Holiday destination for the British market. Right now this is even more true as there are some great offers out there, making the island even better value.
It is a long haul, but at about 12-hours flying time, not excessively so – just enough to give a real sense of getting away from it all – and once Their holidaymakers find a tropical Indian Ocean island with great year round weather.
It has British roots and the fact that the Dutch, French and pirates also had a hand in the creation of today’s nation of Mauritius gives the Destination an additional zing. Its melting pot mix of Indian, African, Chinese and French people have created a truly warm and welcoming environment for visitors and a dedication to hospitality that is amongst the highest in the world.
Having never succumbed to the lure of the mass market, Mauritius has developed an infrastructure of resorts that are stylish – often using echoes of local or Colonial architecture – and broad enough to satisfy the needs of all sectors of the tourism industry.
Couples, honeymooners and special occasion holidays are one of the strongest markets for the island but with kids’ clubs flourishing in most resorts families have taken to Mauritius with a vengeance. A proliferation of quality golf courses over recent years has added golfers to the list of holidaymakers heading off to the island, while the warm Indian Ocean is a welcoming playground for divers, sailors, snorkellers, kite surfers and others seeking fun above and below the water’s surface.
And with three airlines offering quality scheduled non-stop services from the UK, getting there is a breeze as well! Welcome to a tropical island hideaway. Welcome to Mauritius!
Events in Mauritius
Festivals, Cultural Events and Public Holidays
Mauritius is a blend of diverse cultures and religions. Our population coming from three continents has brought traditions and beliefs from their ancestral countries. Religious festivals are celebrated in a spirit of peace and harmony throughout the year.
December / January / February
This Tamil ceremony takes place between December and February. After ten days of purification, meditation and praying, penitents go to the temple where they walk slowly across a pit of burning coal – said to represent the outstretched sari of Draupadee – before dipping their feet in milk to cool down.
This is an important time for joy and sharing in the Indian calendar. During this frenzied but always good-natured event, men, women and children throw coloured water and powder on each other while wishing one another good fortune.
Signalling the end of Ramadan – the fasting period for people of Muslim faith – Id-El-Fitr sees participants exchanging gifts, giving alms to the poor, and visiting their families and friends to wish them good fortune for the months ahead.
Celebrated in honour of God Muruga, the son of Lord Shiva, Thaipoosum Cavadee is not only the most important festival in the Tamil calendar, but also the most spectacular. After ten days of fasting and prayers in January / February, devotees embark on a pilgrimage to local Kovils (Tamil temples). Throughout the procession, these devotees carry ‘cavadees’: carved, wooden structures decorated with leaves, flowers, fruits and photographs of saints, each designed to honourLord Muruga. The celebration has gained notoriety in recent years because many of the devotees pierce certain parts of their anatomy with fine needles, including their cheeks, backs and chests.
Chinese Spring Festival:
Chinese New Year Day is celebrated each year on a different date because of variations between the lunar and solar calendars. According to Chinese custom, no scissors or knives can be used on the day of the festival. Red – a traditional symbol of happiness – is the dominant colour, and food is offered to attendees to ensure abundance during the year. A wax cake is, for example, customarily shared between relatives and friends. Firecrackers are set off to drive away evil spirits, but the ‘pièce de résistance’ is the famous Dragon Feast – performed a few days into the New Year – when Chinese dancers and musicians take to the roads and perform the traditional Lion dances.
In this festival, thousands of pilgrims, all dressed in white, walk long distances and converge on the sacred lake of Grand Bassin, carrying the ‘Kanwar’ – wooden arches covered with flowers and small mirrors. Maha Shivratree is celebrated in honour of Lord Shiva. Hindu devotees fetch holy water from the lake and ceremonies take place over three to four days. The whole scene is reminiscent of the great rituals that take place on the banks of the Holy Ganges in India.
March / April
12th of March, National Day:
Independence Day is celebrated with great national pride all the way across Mauritius.
This festival celebrates the New Year of the Telegu – an Indian ethnic group – and is characterised by the preparation of elaborate family meals, cultural shows and the distribution of prayers, cakes and sweets between relatives and friends.
August / September
Celebrated by Hindus on of the fourth day of the lunar month in August / September, this festival commemorates the birth of the Hindu God Ganesh. Small replicas of the God, with its elephant head, are taken to the beaches or to riverbanks so they can be immersed before sunset.
Père Laval pilgrimage:
Every 9th September, Mauritians of all faiths walk or drive to Sainte-Croix near Port Louis to visit the tomb of the Blessed Jacques Désiré Laval – the ‘Apostle of the Black People’. The celebration around Père Laval, who is believed to have healing powers, reminds us of the fervour of the Lourdes pilgrimage in France. Interestingly, Father Laval was the first person beatified in the pontificate of Pope John Paul II.
October / November
Celebrated in October / November, Divali marks the victory of Rama over Ravana: of light (truth) over darkness (ignorance). It also commemorates Krishna’s destruction of the demon Narakasuram.
During this festival, small clay lamps are lined up on walls and balconies and in yards. They are lit at sunset and their golden beams – believed to guide the Goddess of wealth and good fortune into the lantern owner’s house – can be seen everywhere across the island.
Sightseeing in Mauritius
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 spot.
Royal Botanical Gardens of PamplemoussesNot 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.
ChamarelA 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 setting.
Black Gorges National ParkDefinitely 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.
Casela Bird ParkCasela Bird Park is known to ornithologists around the world, and habitat of the world''s rarest pigeon, the pink pigeon.
Curepipe & Trou aux CerfsCurepipe 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.
Grand BaieWhen 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 choices.
MokaMoka 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 splendid views.
MahebourgA 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
Sports in MauritiusWithout 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.
Bird-Watching in MauritiusThough 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.
Horse-Racing in MauritiusMauritius’ 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 to September.
Shopping in MauritiusOn 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 in MauritiusNightlife 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.
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