Mauritius is a fascinating, world-in-one-island slice of paradise. Its very name of conjures up images of tropical luxury and stupendous extravagance. While in many destinations famed for cobalt-blue seas, white sandy beaches and luxury hotels, you may eventually find yourself wishing for something to do besides sunbathing and swimming, it’s often hard to know what to do next in Mauritius. The island is loaded with historic sights, cultural diversity, geographic variation and almost limitless activities to distract you from the daily grind of beach and pool. But perhaps its single biggest asset is the relaxed charm of its warm and welcoming people.
Mauritius is the most developed of the Mascarene Islands, but with a bit of effort and resourcefulness you can escape the crowds and find your own patch. The smells, noises and bustle of the mercantile capital Port Louis, Africa’s wealthiest city, are never far away, while the busy garment markets in the Central Plateau towns of Quatre Bornes and Curepipe and Black River Gorges National Park's dramatic virgin forests give the lie to Mauritius being just another beach destination. But what beaches! From the stunning sand-rimmed lagoons and popular wide public beaches to the picturesque islands off the country’s coastline, there’s truly something for everyone here. Add to this the joys of Chinese, Indian, French and African cuisine, the rousing beat of séga music and the infectious party spirit of the locals, and you soon understand why Mauritius really is so many people’s idea of paradise on earth.
Best places to stay in Mauritius
Mauritius, Reunion & Seychelles travel guide
You're going to like this: dreamy beaches, surreal landscapes, top-notch hotels, delicious cui-sine and a wealth of cultural experiences. Mauritius, Réunion and Seychelles offer a unique combination of nature, culture and pleasure.
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Famed for its brilliant coastlines of peach-tinged sand and crystalline water, Mauritius is an island idyll par excellence. And with such a strong focus on beach-lazing and other relaxing pursuits, most globetrotters do not realise that the island is perfect for an active vacation...
Coastline of Mauritius
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Your journey to Mauritius, Réunion & Seychelles starts here. You'll find the tools to plan your adventure: where to go and when, how much to budget, plus in-depth info on the best places to dive.
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Mauritius is rightly famed for its sapphire waters, powder-white beaches and luxury resorts. But there's so much more to Mauritius than the beaches, including bird-watching and hiking in the mountainous interior, world-class diving and...
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This chapter contains the Health and Language chapters from Lonely Planet's Mauritius, Réunion & Seychelles guidebook.