Beaches, sure, but what else was there to do in Mauritius? I’d seen the perfect palm-fringed coastline on many a magazine, but a lot of Mauritius’s other magical elements had been glossed over by those glossy brochures, so much so I was amazed and captivated by this small island paradise from the moment it came into view from my flight.
This small but perfectly formed African nation provides an amazing road-trip destination thanks to its scale, the perfect relaxation break thanks to its resorts or the ultimate adventure playground thanks to its national parks and water-sports.
1. Island Hopping
If Mauritius isn’t perfectly petite enough for you then grab a catamaran or fishing boat and take to the islands. Favourite spots include Ile aux Cerfs and Ile d’Ambre, but there are a whole host of small islands offering a range of different activities.
2. Unique Sleeps: Bubble lodge at Bois Cheri
For a different kind of stay, you can check into this bubble lodge nestled into the hill country of the Bois Cheri tea plantation. With a transparent, domed roof, it’s the perfect place to sleep under the stars before picking your tea fresh in the morning.
3. Paradise Resorts: Trou aux Biches Beachcomber
Perhaps the most luxurious yet relaxed resort I’ve stayed at on the ideal location of Trou aux Biches, one of the best beaches on the northern side of the island. The villas with private plunge pools at Beachcomber overlook the beach and are suitable for both a couples get-away, mates or families thanks to the relaxed vibe.
4. Sunrise and Sunset
Need I say any more? Although with mainly grey skies due to the impending Cyclone during my visit the two magical sunrises and sunsets were so captivating in their vivid colours I completely forgot I was on a photography assignment and quietly watched the sky-porn unfold with a Phoneix, the local beer in hand.
5. Direct Flights from London
Air Mauritius (LHR) and British Airways (LGW) offer direct flights to Mauritius, and at 12-hours overnight, you can easily make it a long-weekend getaway without the hassle of changing flights like many other far-flung island paradises.
6. Year Round Climate
With only two seasons, Mauritius offers up temperatures between 17 and 30+ degrees making it an ideal year-round destination. That said, January to March tends to be wet as it is cyclone season and one even struck the island during my visit in April, so something to keep in mind when researching the best time to visit Mauritius.
7. Scuba Diving
From ship-wrecks to dolphins, scuba diving in Mauritius is a must if you are qualified. waters, clean views and excellent visibility make it a perfect place to get qualified as well.
Not qualified or not into Scuba? the island is surrounded by reefs so you can just swim out with your snorkelling gear and see the fishes in the incredible clean water.
Stand up paddleboarding is huge in Mauritius thanks to the calm waters from the reef protected island, most hotels will have gear ready and available to start your day right at sunrise.
In fact, all water sports are excellently catered for in Mauritius. Whether it’s jet-skis or kitesurfing you are after, keep an eye when booking accommodation as plenty of hotels will throw in these activities with the room rate.