Despite its small size (it is possible to drive from north to south in a about two hours), Mauritius landscapes change dramatically within a few kilometers, from quiet beaches and sugarcane crops in the north to the lush forests and huge waves of the south through high mountains and peaks within the parks and natural reserves of the center. This huge diversity of landscapes attached to the supremacy of the car as virtually the only transportation on the island make driving in Mauritius also a pleasure with unexpected images at every road.
Like the landscapes, beaches vary in appearance depending on the area you have chosen to enjoy your holiday on the island. Thanks to the pleasant
MAURITIUS, MIXTURE OF CULTURES
Although the most famous and tourist image of Mauritius is usually offered by its beaches and natural resources, it is certain that the island hides a very important and diverse cultural tradition. The Mauritian cuisine, music and customs are linked to a long legacy thanks to the different nationalities that have been coming to Mauritius during its long history. The first colonists brought European customs and traditions and they mixed them with the deep island roots. The latest waves of immigrants have made the Mauritian population predominantly Hindu. Thanks to that, Mauritius is a country of colorful markets and spicy food. However, this population is so varied that supports Asian culture, Muslim, Buddhist and Catholic in its tropical harmony. So much so that in the capital, Port Louis, it is possible to find in the same ride the St. Louis Cathedral, a mosque, a couple of Chinese pagodas and several Hindu temples. Also, in this same city is located what they call 'Aapravasi Ghat', a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for being the place where the first Indian immigrants arrived in Mauritius.
THE BEST HOTELS OF MAURITIUS
Tourism in Mauritius has traditionally focused on romantic holidays and honeymooners, so its shores offer luxurious and beautiful hotels with all the expected amenities. Although today tourism is opening and there are many more options, from family trips to holiday with friends, the fact is that the type of accommodation used by travelers are still luxury resorts across the island. Each has normally its private beach, swimming pools, restaurants and all kinds of details that turn those lazy days on a dream vacation.
One of the most famous and luxurious hotels in Mauritius is Four Seasons at Anahita, a real pleasure for the senses defined by the company as a 'tropical sanctuary of luxury'. Located on the east coast of the island, this magnificent resort has a quiet private beach of white sand and palm trees, beautiful villas and suites of stone and wood, and several tropical pools surrounded by exceptional restaurants. In addition, they also offer golf lessons in the fields nearby, two tennis courts, yoga classes overlooking the mountains or cycling, plus water sports options that can be found all around Mauritius.
If it is desired, however, to enjoy the traditional classic luxury resorts the perfect place to do it is the Oberoi Mauritius Hotel, the best service quality provided in a unique tropical atmosphere. The Oberoi is one of the oldest and most famous hotels in the country and boasts luxurious amenities, private beach and the typical features that try to make the stay an unforgettable experience.
WHAT TO DO IN MAURITIUS
As a sun and beach destination, Mauritius offers multitude of options related to the sea. The pleasant water temperature makes possible that in almost all its beaches the visitor can practice sports like kayaking or canoeing, diving, snorkeling, sailing, parasailing, kite surfing and windsurfing, although those last ones are normally practiced in the beaches of the south. All these activities can be booked directly on the beach with several agencies but can also be done even before the arrival by the Mauritius Attractions website, which also has excursions to the northern islands and the famous Ile Aux Cerfs, one of the natural wonders of Mauritius with endless beaches full of starfish. The agency also organizes trips to the east coast to swim with wild dolphins, excursions to the famous Seven Colored Earth, made with volcanic lava, and to visit various waterfalls as Alexandra or Chamarel, distributed by its nature reserves. And back to the sea, the company Blue Safari features glass floor boats and even the popular underwater scooter, a new invention that immerses those adventurers ones to the Indian Ocean to discover all its treasures. Aquatic island options are countless.
But the attractions of Mauritius go even beyond its amazing water activities. The colonial legacy and the sugar island tradition have left its mark on three key points in its history: the Eureka house and Labourdonnais Castle, two houses of the Mauritian colonial time now converted into museums where you can see the social difference of those years and the Sugar Adventure, a tour through the sugar factories that still continue to operate. Sugar and rum are two of the hallmarks of Mauritius along with the dodo, the extinct animal that looked like a mixture between a swan and a duck, that settlers found when they arrived at the island and died a few years later precisely because of their arrival. The image of this particular bird has become a national icon and it is very easy to find it decorating official documents or as souvenir in the many markets across the country. Speaking of animals, Casela Park offers visitors the opportunity to walk with lions from an extensive list of activities including hiking, which can be performed in all the mountainous of the interior of the island.