If sitting on a beach all day every day isn’t quite your cup of tea, but you really fancy a long haul holiday to a stunning island destination, Mauritius could be just what you are looking for. With many activities both in and out of the resorts, a luxury holiday in Mauritius can provide interest for a range of visitors.
The island itself is an independent state in the Indian Ocean, 900km east of Madagascar. The area is 1860sq km and is made up of a central plateau, gradually rising towards the South West where it reaches its highest point at 800m.
Excursions around the island will give you an insight into the islands rich and colorful history, and where better to start than the vibrant capital, Port Louis. The harbor on the west of the island lies sheltered in a semi-circle of mountains, and the town has plenty of character and proudly displays signs of its historical past.
If designer shopping outlets are what you are looking for, then a trip to Curepipe is well worth the visit. This is the islands main urban center and is worth a stop if traveling through it on route to somewhere else! It’s located in the center of the island between Port Louis and the airport.
Mahebourg is a village which is worth a visit, especially if staying in the southeast of the island. It’s still one of the islands main fishing villages, and you are at leisure to wander around the market stalls. You can even hire a bicycle and cycle there if you are staying at the Shandrani!
Catamaran Trips can be arranged from most hotels and are an excellent way to see the beauty of Mauritius from the relaxing waters of the Indian Ocean. You are encouraged to snorkel from the boat, and you also have time to relax on one of the beautiful beaches of the island.
A nature park close to Port Louis, Domaine Les Pailles, covers 3000 acres at the foot of a mountain range. There are deer and rare birds in the park, and if you like a bit of adrenaline, Land Rover ‘safaris’ and quad biking are also available.
The island has a stunning botanical garden called Pamplemousses, it’s known to naturalists throughout the world for its large collection of indigenous and exotic palms, and the giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies. It is well worth paying for a guide to take you around the gardens as their knowledge and tit-bits of information make the visit all the more enjoyable.
A unique feature in Mauritius is Chamarel, an area of undulating land stretching in contrasting layers of color, the patches of blue, green, red and yellow earth, all believed to be the results of weathering.
Mauritius is well known to ornithologists and the Casela Bird Park is set in the area of Black River, and stretches over 20 acres. There are more than 140 varieties of birds, from 5 continents. The main attraction is the Mauritian Pink Pigeon, one of the rarest birds in the world.
The beautiful flower of Ylang with its fragrant yellow flowers, is grown in a plantation called Le Domaine de l’Ylang Ylang. Here the perfume is distilled over panoramic views over the bay of Vieux Grand Port, where the neighboring islets can be seen.
Trips around the island can be booked from your hotel, with luxury holidays in Mauritius to a variety of hotels including the Shandrani can be arranged through Beachcomber Tours. For more information visit www.beachcombertours.co.uk or call 01483 445610.
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