Mauritius is a unique holiday destination, seamlessly blending different cultures into a rich melting pot of beautiful beaches, luxurious hotels and exciting tourist attractions. This island in the Indian Ocean has over 330 kilometers of coastline, surrounded by coral reef. We visited before starting the blog and I’m sharing my memories and 8 reasons why you should visit Mauritius as part of #Throwback Thursday.
1 – Beautiful Beaches
Mauritius is famous for its crystal clear water and sandy beaches. The East coast where we stayed is less developed than the North coast and the beaches tend to be less crowded. There’s a pleasant breeze as you’ll see from my photo of Long Beach below.
The Ile aux Cerfs is located inside the East coast lagoon, so the water is very calm and the views towards Black River Peak are impressive. The North coast beaches are also very popular and there are lots of water sports on offer including water skiing and windsurfing.
2 – Black River Peak
Also known as Le Piton de la Petite Riviere Noire, this is the highest mountain in Mauritius. The peak is 828 meters high and the hike up is of average difficulty, though its best to use a guide as it’s steep at the top. We didn’t have time to climb it but admired the views from a distance – apparently you get a 360 degree panoramic view of the whole island so it’s well worth the effort.
3 – Chamarel Waterfall
Situated very close to Black River Peak, Chamarel is a village with two natural wonders. The first of these is the highest waterfall in Mauritius, at 83 meters high. The lush vegetation makes a stunning backdrop and you might even spot some monkeys scampering around. The second phenomenon is the Seven Coloured Earths, of which more later.
4 – Ganga Talao
This holy crater lake is also called Grand Bassin, and is considered the most sacred Hindu place in the whole of Mauritius. During the Shivaratri festival, pilgrims walk barefoot to the lake from their homes.
5 – Luxurious Hotels
Mauritius has some fantastic hotels and we stayed in two of them – firstly the world renowned Le Touessrok, reopening as Shangri-La Le Touessrok Resort & Spa in November. Located on stunning Trou d’Eau Douce Bay, it overlooks the turquoise water of the Indian Ocean. We had a great time exploring the resort’s two islands, Ilot Mangénie and Ile aux Cerfs, with its 18-hole championship golf course.
Long Beach was our second port of call, a five star spa hotel with an urban beach chic vibe. Also located on the East coast, all the rooms have sea views and some like ours are seafront villas. We particularly loved the activities on offer at this hotel – not only did we cycle to the nearest village but we also tried out the climbing wall and enjoyed the nightly entertainment in the plaza.
6 – The People
One of the things that makes Mauritius so great is its people – there’s no official religion here and Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists all live in harmony. The cuisine is a tantalizing combination of Indian, French, African and Chinese influences, with many dishes that are specific to Mauritius. There isn’t an official language either, but Mauritian Creole is a French based language which borrows a number of words from English, African and Asian languages. In the hotels and restaurants, everyone speaks English fluently.
7 – Seven Coloured Earths of Chamarel
This particular attraction really has to be seen to be believed! A geological formation with seven different shades of earth, it’s thought that they resulted from molten volcanic rock cooling at different external temperatures. Visitors can observe blue, brown, green, purple, red and yellow shades. It’s not possible to walk directly on them but you get a great view from the observation points.
8 – Trou aux Cerfs Volcano
Thankfully this volcano is dormant, although it could become active again one day. It’s name means “Hole of the Deers” in English and it’s 80 meters deep and between 300 and 350 meters in diameter. It’s best to admire the view from the top, as the sides are incredibly steep.
All in all, Mauritius is so much more than just a beach holiday, although it’s equally good for those who want to just kick back and relax.