If you’ve heard of Mauritius before then it must have been described to you as a pure paradise, and it well and truly is. Mark Twain once wrote:
‘Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius’.
And blimey was he right.
There are different types of travellers/holidayers, there’s the beach lovers, the resort lovers, the nature lovers the adventurers, and the extreme sports lovers and Mauritius is a little hub for all the lovers, and especially a popular haven for newly certified lovers. From the beautiful white sand beaches that surround the entire island to the volcanic mountains that will take your breath away Mauritius really does encompass everything you want from a holiday.
No doubt Mauritius is full of resorts from the simple but yet satisfying 2 star resorts to the unbelievable luxury 5 star resorts. Not looking for a beach stay? Then try the many relaxing, peaceful mountain villas which will literally take your breath away. For a luxury beach escape, check out Heritage Awali Golf & Spa
This resort was an all in all 5 star stay, from the exquisite food to the welcoming staff and not to mention the extraordinary settings. Awali has really hit the nail on this one. I’ve stayed in a lot of 5 star resorts and during peak seasons regardless of the luxury and the beauty the amount of guests can dampen your style. But for some reason at Awali, although being at full capacity, there was a rare calm that was felt across the resort that allowed you to reach that tranquil peace us city mice yearn for.
Although relaxation and reading was my main goal there are still plenty of activities to keep you busy. Water sports, day tours, quad biking, cycling, indoor and outdoor sports, I watched from afar and they seemed to satisfy the partakers. I did partake in one activity if you can call it that, the spa. Set in a little oasis of water and greenery, it gave me everything I wanted from a Spa, quiet and tranquil setting. Sauna, Steam room, plunge pool (my fav, after a steam of course) and also all the usual massages and treatments.
We had an all-inclusive package, so cocktails were very much so on tap and they were exceptional and served to you at the pool,in the pool or whilst lounging by the beach listening to the sweet music of the crystal blue sea. The food was as good as you can imagine it to be, an array of options from their a la carte restaurants to the never ending buffet. All sorts of cuisines available from the mouth watering dishes of Mauritian cuisine to the usual western ‘cuisines’.
Of course there are so many hotels and so many I could recommend so you will be spoilt for choice and a good mix of prices based on availability. But don’t be scared to book a cheap hotel or a cheap villa and do it by yourself as Mauritius has been designed for tourists so it is very easy to find your way.
A few great hotels that come to mind:
Belle Mare Plage
Oberoi Mauritius (pure luxury and pure relaxation
There is literally so much to do, my biggest recommendation is:
Road trips – rent a car and drive around the entire island discovering the hundreds of beautiful but unique beaches, drive into the wilderness and discover beautiful lakes, reservoirs and of course waterfalls. Drive up mountains (to a certain point) and take in the magnificent views. There are plenty of tour guides for the different mountains and the tourist maps are very helpful and google maps can get you places (to an extent) but also wheres the fun if you don’t get a little lost in the WILD.
Hike up all the mountains – especially ‘Le Pouce’, ‘Le Morne’ and ‘Lion Mountain’. You will definitely want to arrange a guides for these.
Black River National Park – The Black River entrance and the Petrin entrance (all easy to find on a map but completely different ends of the island but so worth doing both)
Quad Biking – There’s a few around the island in various parks, but I would recommend Domain D’etoile
Boat Trip to Ile Aux Benitiers – Visit and lunch on the beautiful island that sits in the Black River lagoon and normally the boat trip will include dolphin watching (depending of course on the season) and also to see the famous corals
Catamaran Trip to Ile Plate – other Catamaran trips are great too but this one is exceptional and includes two islands and going around Coin De Mire (see now you definitely want to do this one)
L’Eglise Montagne (Mountain Temple) – In Quatre Bornes, ask anyone they will be able to tell you where this is, a beautiful temple sitting at the foot of Corp De Guarde mountain.
Mauritius is inhabited by a booming mixture of cultures and each culture adds to the variety of delicious cuisine available on this beautiful Island.
Oh you will be spoilt for choice, from high end restaurants to little pop ups the locals call ‘snacks’. If you want authentic mauritian food then you need to go to the ‘snacks’ theres plenty all around the island.
Rotin Snack (Q Bornes, Berthaud, Western Boundary Road)
Green Island Beach Restaurant
You must try the array of street food, you will 100% be safe (stomach wise). Street food is pretty much available everywhere: in the markets, little pop up stalls here and there. Just grab a taxi and ask them to take you to get some of the street food below:
Roti – ‘indian’ roti with a Mauritius twist filling
Dhal Pouri – Same as the roti but made with dhal
Gateux Piment – Think falafel but not – amazing in a piece of bread.
Dipain Frire – literally fried bread great with some tomato chutney
Boulettes – steamed little balls of all flavours, you can’t miss this.
Chana Pouri – Fried ball with a surprising dhal filling
Gateux Oreilles – I really don’t know how to describe this but it’s so worth it.
and there’s this amazing drink called ‘Alouda’ – milk based so might not be for everyone but it’s exquisite.
Regardless what you are looking for Mauritius is the answer. Something for everyone in the family, in your relationship or amongst your friends. Only downside it is pretty pricey, but there are some brilliant deals that go on throughout the year and of course there are peak and off peak seasons.
If you are not limited by School term times then I would suggest going in Jan – May or Sept – Nov, those tend to be the off peak dates and also perfect weather wise.
Mauritius only has Summer and Winter. Summer Nov-Mar and Winter is April – Oct. Of course this is no UK winter, but it can get quite chilly in the evening during July and Aug, so ideally avoid those months.
Written by Alvin Engutsamy