MAURITIUS – SO FAR AND YET SO FAMILIAR…
You’ll be fascinated by Mauritius, a sparkling jewel in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. The contrasting colours, cultures and flavours of this charming island make it the perfect setting for an unforgettable holiday. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy unparalleled luxury here, along with a level of sophistication which easily surpasses other tropical destinations. You’ll discover the true meaning of beauty here — something that will bring you back to the shores of Mauritius, time and again. The country gets it name from the Dutch prince Maurice van Nassau.
The island has an area of 2,040 square kilometres and is located 20 degrees south of the equator and 57.5 degrees east. English is the official language, although French and Creole are commonly spoken. On the northwest coast of Mauritius, its capital Port Louis is the administrative and business centre of the island. The city is full of cultural and historical treasures, such as Aapravasi Ghat, recognised as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. It’s a must-visit for anyone visiting the multicultural capital. You’ll love seeing Chinese pagodas, the Kaylasson temple, the Jummah mosque and the Saint Louis cathedral, all in the same neighbourhood.
Development in recent years has concentrated on the north coast. As a result, Grand Baie now has a number of restaurants and clubs. If you’re a party animal with a passion for music, you’ll find plenty of options here. But there’s more to nightlife in the north of the island.
It’s also home to many of the most popular sites in Mauritius, such as the charming chapel with a red roof which has a panoramic view of the lagoon in Cap Malheureux.
THE SOUTH AND THE SOUTHEAST
The south has a spectacularly different landscape to the rest of the island, with its high cliffs battered by the waves. These cliffs were formed in coastal areas exposed to the Indian Ocean, where the coral reef which surrounds and protects Mauritius disappears.
But the south has more to offer than cliffs and choppy waters: further along the coast towards the west, there are a string of incredible beaches, seaside resorts and luxury hotels in various resorts, including the rapidly developing tourist resort of Bel Ombre.
THE EAST – THE JEWEL IN MAURITIUS’ CROWN.
A coastline with magnificent coves and emerald lagoons and a constant, refreshing sea breeze: life moves at a gentle pace in the east of the island, whether you’re a fisherman or a tourist.
Between the mountains and the sea, the east of the island is known for its charming little villages with poetic names: Petite Julie, Mare d’Australie and Queen Victoria. It’s also home to some of the most gorgeous beaches on the island such as Belle Mare: you’ll want to spend all your time there, sunbathing and enjoying the beauty of the long white sandy beach.
THE WEST & THE SOUTHWEST
An adventure playground for anyone who loves the great outdoors. With its white sandy beaches lined with casuarinas, Flic en Flac is a popular destination at the weekends for water sports including swimming and snorkelling. The fishing villages of Grande Rivière Noire and Tamarin have recently seen the development of luxury villas and have also become popular sites for big-game fishing.
LE MORNE – UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE
Beyond the spectacular show it puts on for the island’s residents and visitors, Le Morne has a significant role in Mauritius’ history and collective memory. It was here in the southwest of the island that escaped slaves would hide in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, protected by the area’s isolated cliffs covered with virtually inaccessible forests.
The oral tradition associated with these escaped slaves has seen Le Morne becoming a symbol of their struggle for freedom, their suffering and their sacrifice. Over the years, this place has become a symbol of the fight against slavery and a landmark for all those who have commemorated its abolition, particularly the descendants of slave communities who still live on the island.