It will pass as Africa’s Hawaii; however, it is a destination that, while similar to other islands, is peerless amongst them. It is a paragon of excellence in travel. With stunning beaches and exotic cultural mix, serene atmosphere complemented by pleasing sunrises and winds, jungles, waterfalls, rainbows and interesting people, those who want to visit or explore Mauritius – Africa’s most beautiful island will no doubt hit the perfect cord!
Mauritius is located just off the coast of Africa close to Madagascar and Mozambique, about twelve hundred miles off the coast of southeast Africa. If you are coming into this island country by air, you are likely to arrive through Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (or SSR International Airport for short), in Port Louis—the Island’s capital city. This is where you should start exploring this gem of an island.
Port Louis is a beautiful town with excellent infrastructure—the type you find in the western world. Because the Island enjoys one of the best-organized democracies in Africa, and in fact the world. There is a general air of development and tranquility across its towns and cities. While in Port Louis, be sure to explore some of the city’s impressive sites and feel the mix of cultures.
Check out the Island’s popular Port Louis Market where people from across the country troop to do their shopping. The market is where you’ll find just about anything, from some of the freshest fishes to clothing—local or foreign fabric, all at affordable prices. Don’t stop there, stroll along the Caudan Waterfront shops to mingle with the locals and soak in the environment.
Grand Baie is one of the island’s tourism gems. It thrives on its loads of superb restaurants, trendy nightclubs, charming watering holes and of course well planned public transportation system that make the city one of the best places to base while visiting Mauritius.
Between 2009 and 2012, Mauritius won the award of “World Leading Island Destination” from the World Travel Awards. The island has also earned the title of World’s Best Beach, which was given with that of Trou aux Biches, beating every other beach on Earth to it. These awards say everything about the stunning beaches that dot this island. Talk about palm trees, coral reefs, white sands that define luxury beach destination, Mauritius has them all!
Here is a tip: the calmest beaches in Mauritius are in the west of the Island. In the south are hidden, rocky coves, while east is simply perfect for windsurfing. You can try out beaches around Grand Baie, Trou aux Biches is equally a very good one, so are Île aux Cerfs, Belle Mare Plage, and Blue Bay; interestingly, all beaches are public, with parking areas and toilets, although hotels have subtly claimed the best ones.
It could be fun lounging around on the beach, sipping cocktails with little umbrellas in them and snorkeling on the reefs, but what if it gets boring or you get tired of it and want something more energetic? Mauritius has that taken care of. The island is not just about stunning beaches; you could step out of the beaches, rent a quad bike and hop around the mountains inland. These forested mountains make for one of the most memorable bike rides you will ever have. They equally provide clear views across the whole of the island.
When I felt the graceful winds of Mauritius and imagined how thankful they must have been to grace the island as they flow over it from the sea to the forests and mountains and back out to sea again, I thought aloud, “anyone who has not visited Mauritius is missing everything!”
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