Mauritius may sound like just another island country with its sandy beaches and clear waters, but it is so much more than that. A small country, just about 1.5 times the size of Delhi, you’d be amazed at what all one can experience here.
Whether you are into history, nature, adventure or food, travelling with friends, family, or looking to plan your honeymoon; the island will not disappoint. Here are eight reasons why you should be booking your next holiday to Mauritius:
1. Indulge in Water Sports
The island of Mauritius offers an amazing diving experience. When you dive here, you enter the world of bright corals, multi-coloured marine life, and ship wrecks dating back to the 18th and 19th Century. If you are not a certified diver you can either get your certification here or opt for one of the uncomplicated dive sites. Of course, there are some sites only accessible to the advanced divers. Mauritius offers a lot of options for those who want to sail the sea. Choose from one of the speed boat tours, catamaran tours or hop onto a traditional boat to spend a romantic day island-hopping.
2. Go Dolphin Spotting
Mauritius is popular for its dolphin cruise, which ideally starts early in the morning, just a little before sunrise. You are taken to the open sea where you can spot dolphins and even enjoy a refreshing swim with these magnificent creatures. Tamarin Bay or Flic en Fac are the best beaches for this activity.
3. Visit Chamarel Coloured Earth
Chamarel is a small village in Mauritius and a major tourist draw. What makes this place unique is the seven coloured layers of sand! Climb up the observation deck and marvel at the hue of colours, ranging from yellow, red, brown, violet, purple, green and even blue. Buy test tubes filled with the seven coloured sands of Chamarel as a souvenir to carry back home. On your way back, stop by the Chamarel Waterfalls for another great photo op.
4. Take a Dip in the Grand Bassin
Head over to Grand Bassin (Ganga Talao), which is a natural lake within an extinct volcano crater. According to mythology, the water here is sourced from the sacred Ganges river in India. Taking a dip in this lake during the Shivratri festival is considered auspicious. At the northern side of the lake you will see a 108 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva, which is the second largest statue in the world.
5. Enjoy a Guided Tour of Ile Aux Aigrettes
Declared a Natural Reserve in 1965, the secluded island of Ile Aux Aigrettes is made up of coral limestone and has been devoid of human presence for a long time. You will find the most exotic species of flora and fauna here, including the famed giant tortoise of Mauritius. Keep a look out for the Pink Pigeon, a bird which has been rescued from going extinct.
6. Spend a Day at Port Louis
Port Louis, the bustling capital of Mauritius boasts of French colonial architecture and offers exciting shopping and entertainment venues. You will also find world-class hotels and restaurants in this area. Visit Champ de Mars, the oldest race course in the Indian Ocean region where the official flag-raising ceremony marking the independence of Mauritius took place in 1968. Later, head to Le Capitaine, a popular restaurant where the movie Break ke Baad starring Deepika Padukone and Imran Khan was shot.
7. Shop at Le Caudan Waterfront
Facing the harbour, Le Caudan Waterfront offers upscale shopping and a range of entertainment options, including a casino. Shop in one of the 170 boutiques for brands like Gucci, Mango and others, and later, rest your tired feet at the cafes.
8. Try Dholl Puri
Most people would call this the national dish of Mauritius and they would not be lying. A cross between parantha and dal kachori, it is a flat bread stuffed with ground yellow split peas. Enjoy it with Mazavaroo, the Mauritian chilli paste you will find slathered on most of the local dishes. If you are a sucker for spicy food, don't forget to buy a jar for yourself.
Reaching the Island and Visa Details
Mauritius is well connected by air from most major cities in India. Indians Nationals travelling to Mauritius are granted a 60-day Visa on Arrival, provided they have a valid return ticket and adequate funds to meet their cost of stay.
Best Time to Visit the Island
Mauritius is beautiful all year round, so the best time to visit actually depends on you. If your top priority is pleasant weather, plan your trip between May to December, which is the winter season.
For those who do not mind the heat and want to explore Mauritius minus the crowds and at much cheaper rates, off season is the best. Temperatures are around 33 degree Celsius from January to April, so remember to carry an umbrella and of course sun screen.
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