It has been more than 200 years since Mark Twain set foot on this tiny island situated east of Madagascar. His quote in which he says “Mauritius was made first, and then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius” is probably the most known quote about it. Thus, giving you all the reasons to visit Mauritius over any other destination for your next holiday.
While it may sound just like any other island country with its sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters at first, it is so much more than that. Aptly referred to as the pearl of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius has a marvelous blend of ethnic communities, varied cuisine and ample sunshine that will appeal any kind of traveler. Whether you are into nature, history, adventure, food or some romance, it is time to put Mauritius on your radar, because this tropical island has everything you would need from an ideal island getaway.
Perfect climatic conditions
Unlike other destinations around the world, Mauritius has only two seasons- Summer and Winter. With temperatures ranging between 17 degrees to a high in the 30s, the climatic conditions here make it an ideal destination to visit at any time of the year. This is mainly due to its geographical location. Lying just above the tropic of Capricorn, it relishes a lot of sunshine throughout the year. The best time to visit Mauritius can be both in the summer and winter season as you will be greeted with perfect weather and a lot of fun activities to indulge in.
The island of Mauritius is surrounded by coral reefs which create glassy lagoons out of reach of big fishes like Sharks. The healthy coral reefs are a perfect spot to enjoy water sports and activities such as kayaking, surfing and even sailing. It is also a perfect spot for snorkelling and exploring the marine life through glass bottom boats.
Mauritian cuisine is one of the most diverse in the world. With influences from Indian, French, Asian and African kitchens, you are sure to taste a unique blend of dishes. From fresh seafood to multiple vegetarian options, there are dozens of options to enjoy a full range of culinary delights. You can also try Mauritian snacks such as dhal puri, which is a traditional flatbread filled with some spicy ground split peas and served with chutney.
Mauritius is largely influenced by Indian and Asian customs and traditions. So next time you want to witness the largest Hindu pilgrimage outside India, plan a visit during Maha Shivratri. Each year, around 5,00,000 people make the pilgrimage on foot to Grand Basin, a lake which hosts a giant statue of Lord Shiva. Other festivals like Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Thaipusam, Ugadi and Chinese New Year are also celebrated with great gusto giving you a glimpse into the many cultures that blend together to create the island of Mauritius.
Markets all over the island offer a glimpse into local Mauritian life. From street-food hawkers to artisans selling handicrafts, there are several interesting markets all over the island. Some of the most popular markets are in Port Louis, Quatre Bornes, Flacq, Curepipe and the beachside fish market in Grand Baie.
How is Mauritius for holiday? You can take a catamaran or ferry ride to many of the islands around Mauritius. Some of the popular ones include Ilot Gabriel, Ile d’Ambre, Ile au Ronde, Coin de Mire and Flat Island. While you can explore it on your own as well, there are a lot of popular day trip packages offered as well which include lunch, music, golf courses and a visit to ideal spots for sunbathing and snorkelling.
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Witness traditional performances such as the popular Sega, which is regularly performed on the island. The Sega is usually sung in their native language of Creole with dancers gently swaying to a slow tune and gradually becoming more animated as the tempo increases. To get an authentic experience of the performance, it is recommended to travel along the coastal villages where traditional instruments such as the ravanne and the triangle are still used.
The rugged interiors of the island make it the perfect place to enjoy nature at its best. Plan a trip to the Black River Gorges National Park, which is home to several species of flora and fauna. Mauritius is also home to the oldest botanical garden in the southern part of the island, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens in Pamplemousses which houses giant water lilies and more than 80 varieties of palm.
Chamarel- Land of the Seven Coloured Earth
One of the best places to visit in Mauritius is a small village called Chamarel. The colored layers of sand that can be observed here make it a unique place to visit. Marked by vibrant swirls of red, green, yellow, violet and indigo, you can climb up the observation deck and marvel at the variety of colors. You can even buy test tubes filled with the seven colored sands as a souvenir to take back home.
Adrenaline boosting activities
For those who seek some adventurous activities after a day of sunbathing, explore the island on a quad bike or buggy or a mountain bike. You can also try canyoning in the waterfalls or take to the water and explore all kinds of water sports such as kitesurfing, paddleboarding or sailing.
Sugar and Rum
Mauritius has a history of over four centuries with sugar cane and it continues till date. Explore the island’s old sugar mills and sample unrefined sugars while you learn about the production process through interactive exhibits. But the best part about this visit will be tasting the by-product of the production, the rum.
A trip here will introduce you to some of the friendliest people in the world and give you more reasons to visit Mauritius. Locals here are proud of the island and are more than happy to share it with visitors.
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‘Curated by Neha Bhise’