10 reasons why Mauritius is not only about beaches
Now, we’re not denying that our beautiful Indian Ocean beaches form a very large part of the island’s attraction, but there is so much more to Mauritius than sun, sea and sand.
Part of what makes this tiny country such a perfect holiday destination is the mix of classic tropical island atmosphere with a rich cultural backdrop of art, history, street food, creole cuisine and endemic flora and fauna, to name but a few. Discover all this – and much more – on your next visit…
Beautiful rare birds
Thanks to the pioneering work of the Mauritian government and various wildlife agencies, visitors to Mauritius still have an opportunity to spot one of the island’s critically endangered endemic birds. For the best chance to see a rare pink pigeon, echo parakeet or Mauritius kestrel, head to Ile Aux Aigrettes, La Vallee de Ferney reserve or Black River Gorges National Park.
Black River Gorges National Park
As one of the lesser known attractions in Mauritius, Black River Gorges certainly punches above its weight. With 17,000 acres of undulating valleys, plunging waterfalls and thick green forest, this protected wilderness harbours some of the finest views in the country and is a haven for all manner of endangered species.
Delicious street food
You won’t fail to notice the aroma of street food stalls wherever you travel in Mauritius, but you’ll find the widest choice of delicacies in and around the island’s markets. Head to Port Louis for the best selection of favourite local snacks like dhal puri, roti chaud, gajak and sweet potato cakes.
Gorgeous historic buildings, temples, mosques and churches
Visitors to Mauritius are often surprised to discover the rich breadth of historic buildings, temples, mosques and churches scattered across the island, many of which add a colourful and cultural depth to your travels. Some of the most striking include the tiny red-roofed Notre Dame Auxiliatrice in Cap Malheureux, Maheswarnath Shiv Mandir temple in Triolet and the Plaza Theatre in Rose Hill.
Fabulous fine dining
Fanatical foodies travelling to Mauritius will not be disappointed with the variety and quality of fine dining options on offer, particularly in the island’s high end resorts. Many top hotel restaurants have launched new menus this year, several offer exclusive wine-tasting sessions, and one – Constance Belle Mare Plage – hosts the annual Festival Culinaire Bernard Loiseau, which pairs up-and-coming Michelin-starred chefs with local chefs from Constance Hotels & Resorts.
A world of art
Mauritius has a thriving art scene, with galleries around the country displaying works from both homegrown and international artists. Visit Galerie du Moulin Cassé in Péreybère for a permanent collection of works by Malcolm de Chazal, or 3A The Excellence of Art in Black River and Partage Gallery in Flic en Flac for contemporary art and installations.
Authentic Creole cuisine
There’s no better insight into local Creole culture than visiting an authentic restaurant serving traditional dishes passed down through the generations. Seek out down-to-earth venues like Chamarel’s Palais de Barbizon or the all-organic Escale Creole in Moka to get a genuine flavour of Mauritian Creole cuisine.
World-class golf courses
It’s not difficult to see why Mauritius has become renowned as a top flight golfing destination over the past decade or so. Not only are many courses designed by some of the world’s best golfers, they’re also set in exceptional surroundings and present both the amateur and professional with a genuine challenge. Try the championship course of the Heritage Golf Club on the Domaine de Bel Ombre, or the Ernie Els-designed course at Four Seasons, the Gary Player-designed course at One&Only Le Saint Géran or the Legend Course at Belle Mare Plage for starters.
With an emphasis on holistic wellness combined with a love of slightly more unusual treatments such as caffeine-rich chocolate massages and 24-karat gold facials, it’s little wonder Mauritius is considered one of the best spa destinations on the planet. The finest facilities on the island include the Nira Spa at Shanti Maurice, the Iridium Spa at St. Regis and the Seven Colours Spa Village at Heritage Awali.
Adrenaline and adventure activities
Adrenaline experiences are fast becoming part and parcel of many mainstream vacations, with plenty of hotels offering their own tailored adventure sport packages, for activities such as kitesurfing and diving. Beyond the resorts, other pursuits like canyoning, abseiling, kayaking and mountain biking can also be arranged for those seeking an extra challenge.
So, start your flight with Air Mauritius and book your next big adventure with us today.
Photos: Black River Gorges National Park, Gajak, Echo Parakeet, Fort Adelaide, Fine dining at Constance Hotels and Resorts, Malcolm de Chazal painting, Creole, Golf at Heritage Resorts, Heritage Awali Spa, Kitesurfing