THE LAND OF SUGAR AND SMILES
Sitting in the azure Indian Ocean off the East Coast of Africa, Mauritius boasts stunning beaches, mountainous scenery, colonial towns and some of the best hotels, luxurious spa experiences and golf courses in the world.
A holiday to Mauritius will allow you to immerse yourself in a diverse cultural mix blending Indian, European, Chinese and Creole influences. This, coupled with a warm welcome and exceptional personal service, ensures that Mauritius is one place you’ll never want to leave.
Luxurious resorts, spread over acres of tropical private land, can be found on this breath-taking Island – would you like your sunset over the water or land? With a host of sophisticated attractions and activities, the resorts are a holiday unto themselves. Best in Life have access to only the very best resorts on the Island. Please contact us for further information.
BEACH RESORTS AND WATER-SPORTS
Surrounded almost entirely by reefs and lagoons, the coastline boasts stunning beaches which are home to the many glittering hotels. An array of opportunities for water-sports of every kind is on offer including water-skiing, sailing, fishing and snorkelling trips. A day trip to the beautiful Ile Aux Cerfs on a catamaran is not to be missed on your holiday to Mauritius.
A GOLFER’S PARADISE
Mauritius is home to 14 golf courses in total, a number of them world class and designed by famous names, including Bernhard Langer and Ernie Els. They range in difficulty but all come with picturesque views.
Dining is a real pleasure and the eclectic cuisine represents the French, Indian, Chinese and African influences that have all played a part in Mauritius’ history.
Mauritius is a very safe and family-friendly holiday destination. Many of the hotels offer extensive kids’ clubs with a fantastic range of activities for little ones up to teens. The water-sports will appeal to kids of all ages and adventurous teenagers could try some quad biking or deep sea fishing.
A range of charming, romantic getaways and super luxurious resorts in Mauritius offer honeymooners special gifts, amenities, spa treatments and romantic candlelit dinners in a dream setting.
Whilst it would be easy simply to stay in your hotel for the duration of your holiday in Mauritius, it is well worth hiring a car for a day or two to see some of the diverse and beautiful scenery on this small island. Black River Gorge is the country’s only national Park in the south of the island and home to dense forest and hundreds of plant and bird species. Tamarin Falls and the Pamplemousses Royal Botanical Gardens are also worth a visit. Don’t miss the hustle and bustle of the shops and markets in Port Louis, the island’s capital. Below you find some interesting tour suggestions on the Island.
REBALANCE WITH YOGA AND SPA TREATMENTS
If copious amounts of rum and endless Chinese and Indian buffets have left you feeling bloated and sluggish, it’s time to stretch out and rejuvenate your body and mind at a yoga class. There are numerous hatha yoga studios around the island, and most hotels include classes as part of their activity schedule. For something a little different, you could even take part in laughter therapy at Veranda Pointe aux Biches, although you may find your spectators at the bar are laughing a little harder than you.
To reward your efforts, treat yourself to a massage tailored to your specific preferences at one of six Seven Colours spas on the coast. Everything from the fragrance to the mood lighting is chosen by you, in accordance with the needs of your chakras. Depending on availability, beachfront massage beds allow you to ease into blissful relaxation to the sound of the ocean. Just contact us, and you are on the way to the SPA.
GO HIKING IN BLACK RIVER GORGES
You don’t need to look further than Black River Gorges if you are raring to explore. The country’s largest national park covers roughly 2% of the island and is home to waterfalls and a variety of wildlife, including some of Mauritius’ most endangered species. Hikers in the park may be treated to a glimpse of the rare pink pigeon or echo parakeet, as well as deer, wild boar and cheeky macaques. Most trails can be completed in three to four hours – staff at the park’s two visitors centres will be able to advise you on which to choose. Pick up a map or consider hiring a Best in Life guide for insider tips and tales about the area.
SURFING ALONG LE MORNE PENINSULA, MAURITIUS
Mauritius’ best surfing spots are tucked behind the craggy Morne Brabant along the quieter southwestern shores. Visible from much of the island, the iconic, 556m high Morne Brabant is a stunning rock formation that tumbles into the sea, forming a beautiful peninsula that is shaped like a hammerhead shark. According to popular legend, a group of escaped slaves made their last stand at the top of the sky-scraping mound, choosing to jump from the cliffs rather than being recaptured by approaching soldiers. And thus the crag earned its name – ‘le morne’ meaning ‘the mournful one’ in French.
Under the shadows of Le Morne is Mauritius’ ultimate surfing spot, One Eye – so named because when a surfer finds the sweet spot in which to catch the perfect wave they will see a small hole, or ‘eye’, in Le Morne’s jagged rock face. The pros at Club Mistral, a worldwide surfing organization based on the nearby Indian Resort, can point you in the direction of One Eye during a one-hour private lesson (2,800 Mauritian rupees). For beginners, it is best to test your luck on the west side of the peninsula, at what has become known as the Kite Lagoon, due to the increasing popularity of kite-surfers. In fact, if you are looking to strap a harness on, there are two recommended operators in the area, who can get you kitted: Son of Kite and the International Kiteboarding Organization Yoaneye Kite Centre.
While most of the top-notch wave-catching goes down around Le Morne, the laidback surf town vibe lives just slightly further up the coast on the west-facing sands of Tamarin Beach in Black River. Locals love to wax nostalgic about Tamarin Beach, and in many ways this sandy cove still feels like a throwback to earlier times – especially since the centrally located (and favourite hangout) Tamarin Hotel looks as though it has not been renovated since the 1970s.
Tamarin Bay used to offer some of the best surfing on the planet, but changing climates and wind patterns have resulted in it becoming less popular spot for expert surfers. However, the area – unmarred by high-walled resort compounds – remains a great place for newbies to get their sea legs. The best time to surf is between 8am and 9am, when weather is clear and the kiosks have yet to open their shutters. Best in Life give all beginners to swing by the Tamarin Hotel’s front desk to sign up for surfing lessons.
Temple hop your way to enlightenment
Mauritius seems to have achieved the kind of multicultural harmony that many nations can only hope for: tolerant and accepting, whilst preserving a palpable air of spirituality. Temples, mosques and churches are scattered across the island, from grand old buildings to rudimentary shrines on the roadside. Mauritius is home to the third largest percentage of Hindus in the world after India and Nepal, and the religion is practiced by almost half of the Mauritian population. Christianity, Islam and Buddhism follow in numbers of followers, respectively. After a morning lounging on the white sands of Trou aux Biches, take a short walk inland to Maheswarnath Temple on the north side of Triolet village (near the bus depot).
It is Mauritius’ largest Hindu temple, comprising a cluster of white-washed buildings, each dedicated to a different god. Usual temple etiquette applies (bare feet and modest clothing), but don’t be afraid to interact with the locals – a simple smile may be returned with a story about Shiva or invitation to make an offering.
Learn to read palms in Pamplemousses
A short drive northeast from the capital takes you to Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden, also known as Pamplemousses Botanical Garden. Constructed in 1770, this 62,040 acres expanse of land is the oldest botanical garden in the southern hemisphere, and hosts myriad indigenous and exotic flora such as giant lilly pads, lotus flowers and frangipani. However, visitors expecting a visual feast of floral colour should be warned. The predominated feature of the garden is its array of endemic and non-native palm trees. Hire a local guide at the entrance for a mere 50 rupees – they will help you to distinguish between the species (making it far more interesting), as well as test your ability to identify a variety of spices and scents. If you are lucky, the guide will introduce you to the eerily enchanting blood tree. There are no food or drink outlets within the garden – vendors sell water and snacks in the car park at the entrance.