Postcard-perfect Mauritius is everything you imagine a tropical island to be. Ringed by 160km of chalky white sand, glassy turquoise sea and the world’s third-largest coral reef, beaches don’t come much better than this. And thanks to its location close to the equator, year-round sunshine makes it a winning winter sun destination.
Much of the island’s tourism clusters around the northern and eastern coasts, home to glitzy hotels, manicured golf courses and watersports galore - diving, kitesurfing, paddleboarding, banana boating, you name it. The west coast is protected from prevailing winds, so seas are calmer (look out for dolphins!) and beaches are flatter, making them great for families. The south coast is the island’s most rugged stretch, where miles of sugar cane fields give way to rocky shores.
But step away from the coasts and you’ll find a very different Mauritius. The island’s dramatic interior is crammed with mountains, volcanoes, dense ebony forests and thundering waterfalls, making it far more diverse than many realise. Hiking and nature walks are spectacular here, and you might spot rare birdlife and wildlife; due to its isolation, Mauritius has developed very unique flora and fauna – the ill-fated dodo originated here. And because it’s so tiny, you’ll never need to travel more than 45 minutes to reach the middle.
Don’t overlook Mauritian culture too: a fusion of French, Indian, Creole and Chinese influences. French colonial mansions, Indian temples, British tea plantations, Creole sega music and diverse cuisine are all reminders of the island’s rich history. This is far more than a beach destination…