Situated at 20 degrees South and 57.5 degrees East in the south-eastern Indian Ocean, 230 km from neighbouring island La Reunion and 860 km from Madagascar, the surface of Mauritius consists of about 1865 square kilometres of tropical forest, sugar cane, white sand, and exciting cities as well as dreamy little villages. The 330 km coastline encompasses rugged black basalt cliffs, golden sands and palm studded beaches; all fringed and protected by a huge coral reef.
Consisting of volcanic rock, the rugged peaks of Mauritius reach a maximum height of 828 metres; some jagged and steep, others oddly shaped, the largest one gently sloping. The central plateau stretches on an elevation of about 600 metres and is riddled with remnants of extinct craters; some of them so spectacular that they form veritable landmarks.
Of course a paradise revisited offers activities for the entire family, exciting places to see, a variety of sports and leisure pursuits, the possibility of just lazily hanging out on the white sandy beaches; and a wonderful climate in which to do those things; with sunshine and wind and rain in just the right amounts. There is almost always a sunny spot to be found on the island all year round and tropical cyclones seem to miss it, as it is just such a tiny speck in the great blue Indian Ocean.
What applies to activities can also be said about accommodation; contrary to common belief they are varied and by far exceed the stereotyped luxury hotels commonly associated with Mauritius. Of course there are indeed those very luxurious accommodation types, ranging from 4 to 5 star hotels, beach villas and luxury bungalows; but are complemented by many charming two and three star guest houses, bed and breakfasts, hunting cabins, romantic chalets and even boats that can accommodate individual travellers, couples, families and groups of friends wanting to share the island experience.
And then there is the food! Local delicacies, little culinary sensations, reflecting the many cultures and continents that come together in one single melting pot. Under French rule, Mauritius was named Ile de France, so the obligatory baguette is a staple, but also puris, rotis, naans, farathas to accompany curries and rougailles in any variation, cooked and baked and steamed; originating from India, Madagascar, Africa, China, and beyond, melting on your tongue and delighting your palate. Don’t forget the drinks such as lassi, alouda and definitely that local rum, trickling sweet and tantalisingly like molten lava down your throat!
And if you still have not had enough, try wellness! There are a myriad of treatments in the spas and wellness centres distributed all over the island. You can find peace of mind and deep relaxation under the knowing and gentle hands rubbing and kneading and soothing the aches, pains and stresses of many years away. Anything from oils and hot stones to mud packs are applied in treatments originating from a variety of continents and ancient civilisations, to renew and reinvigorate your tired body, mind and spirit.
As this is not only one of the most beautiful, but doubtlessly also one of the most wildly romantic spots on earth, why not spend your honeymoon in Mauritius? There are many picturesque corners on the island; cosy coves with white sand, black lava rocks and blue skies; enchanted gardens with tropical flowers and shimmering ponds...or consider a private cruise in an intimate setting with just you, your beloved and the brilliant sunset, which later turns into a bright yellow moon...
Better yet - get married on the island, as there are a host of possibilities for theme and romantic weddings in churches, on the beach or some other exotic venue! Formalities can be done quickly and as you are already in paradise, you can combine your wedding with the honeymoon and save even more!
When you come to Mauritius, many treasures await you. So be smart, book wisely and look for local guides who care about the environment, as they will take you to small and hidden places in nature where you can breathe deeply, fulfil all those hidden notions you ever had about tropical islands and listen to the song of the island with your body and soul.
You will doubtlessly experience that Mauritius really lives up to its name as the pearl of the Indian Ocean and it is easy to see why so many return to its shores year after year!
What you should know before booking:
The main language of administration in Mauritius is English, although French is the most widely spoken. Creole is the Lingua Franca and the means that unites “tou Moris”. Of course a large percentage of the 1.2 million Mauritians speak, besides Creole, and a little French and English their respective original tongues, which are Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Arabic, Hakka or Mandarin.
Books could be written about it...Windy and sunny in the East, windy and fresh in the South, often rainy but interspersed with glorious sunny days over the central plateau, sunny in the North and dry and sunny in the West is the general rule, but of course there are many exceptions! The same applies for the best time to travel to Mauritius. Ideal times for travelling are April, May, October and November, as cyclone season usually lasts from December right through the end of March. June and September are good for travellers who don’t like it too hot, and many tourists nowadays seem to have taken a liking to the “winter months” July and August, when days are short and nights can be fresh, but swimming is still possible, especially in the warm and protected North or West. Peak season is without doubt between Christmas and New Year and bookings around those holidays should be done well in advance.