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Mauritius

Mauritius travel guide

Mauritius is an Indian Ocean stunner – but it's more than fine beaches: find lush hikes, super diving and a fascinating cultural mix

Mauritius boasts some of the most dazzling beaches in the world. Renowned for its clear blue waters and white sands, beaches such as Belle Mare and Trou aux Biches make Mauritius a haven for sun worshipers. But if you’re after more than just sun bathing, you’ll be surprised by how much the island has to offer.

Part of the Mascarene Archipelago, the island’s nearest continent is Africa. Its 160kms of coastline is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs making for spectacular snorkelling. Almost every kind of water-based activity imaginable is here and diving is a big draw card with highlights including the waters off Rodrigues Island as well as Blue Bay and Elic-en-Flac on the mainland.

Inland Mauritius is made up of lush forests and impressive mountains, and the Black River Gorge National Park is a great place to hike. Colonised by the Dutch, French and British and with a population made up of Indian, African, European and Chinese decent, the island is a mixing pot of cultures. This has given Mauritius a rich and varied history and a plethora of cultural and historical sites to visit.

Testament to this is the country’s bustling capital city Port Louis, with its famous central market, Chinatown and colonial buildings the city is a great introduction to this small but diverse country.

Wanderlust recommends

  1. Get lost in the vibrant and bustling markets of Port Louis. If you’re shopping for fruits, vegetables, spices or souvenirs, you’ll find them here.
  2. Worship the sun at any of the island's stunning beaches. Belle Mare, Trou aux Biches and Flic en Flac are considered by locals to be among the best.
  3. Take a trip to the island of Rodrigues, which offers some of the country’s best diving.
  4. Live it up in the party town of Grand Baie. Great restaurants, shops and its buzzing nightlife make for a great night out.
  5. Get spiritual at the Grand Bassin, one of two natural lakes and a sacred Hindu site. Try to visit during the Maha Shivaratri festival to see pilgrims walk on fire.
  6. Visit the sleepy town of Mahébourg. Established in 1805 the former bustling port town is now a charming fishing village.
  7. Jump on a ferry and head to the tiny island of Ile Aux Cerf, the white sands and turquoise waters of its beaches make for a popular day trip.

Wanderlust tips

Mauritius offers some great hikes. Most are in the Central Plateau area around the Black River Gorges National Park, but hiking on Lion Mountain, north of Mahébourg and on the east coast of Rodrigues island is also recommended.

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