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Island hideaways

Top things to do in Mauritius

Taylor Oliver October 21, 2016

Destination executive, Taylor, was so captivated by Mauritius he was keen to share his thoughts on how the island offers a combination of tropical lifestyle plus the opportunity to explore. From pristine beaches to vibrant culture and delicious cuisine – he had this to say about the island…

"You might consider Mauritius as somewhere to simply spend a week or two relaxing on the beach, but on my recent visit I discovered there’s far more to the island. It does have sleek and spectacular beaches, but there’s also a diverse range of sights and activities to make it well worth exploring.

Seven Coloured Earths

Being a volcanic island, Mauritius has a lot of green, fertile land, much of which is covered by sugar plantations. A great example of the volcanic history of Mauritius is at Seven Coloured Earths, in Chamarel, located on the south west of the island. This quirky geological formation is in the middle of a large, dense forest, but when you get here there’s a section without any trees — only dunes creating different colours in the exposed earth.

Taste the rum of the island

I don’t think there’s much better than enjoying the sunset with a chilled fruit juice or two. The rum in Mauritius is also fantastic though, and it’s fascinating to see where it comes from with a trip to Rhumerie de Chamarel distillery. Learn how the vast fields of sugar cane are put to good use and get a glimpse behind the scenes to see where one of our favourite tipples is made. This distillery isn’t far from the Seven Coloured Earths, so I suggest combining the two on your island tour.

Visit historic Cap Malheureux

Northern Mauritius is known for its breathtaking vistas of the neighbouring islands. On a clear day, the small fishing village of Cap Malheureux is the best place to look at the most famous of these islands, Coin de Mire. I learned that it’s here an important moment in Mauritian history happened: British invasion forces hid on Coin de Mire to defeat the French in 1810, and so began 150 years of British rule.

Cap Malheureux translated to English means Cape Misfortune, and is so called due to the many shipwrecks that have happened here. One of my favourite sights on the island, the red-roofed church Notre Dame Auxiliatrice, was built to commemorate the ships that have been stranded along the years. It’s such a beautiful building for photographs, and if you line up the shot so you get the church with the sea in the background, It’s sure to be one of your favourite images of your holiday.

Take to the water and explore by boat

I was fortunate enough to go on two boat trips on my visit; one at sunrise and the other at sunset. There’s something magical about seeing the sun come up or down on the calm waters of Mauritius. One of the biggest highlights of my trip was our sunset catamaran cruise: sitting on the deck of the boat taking in the sights, with a chilled drink in hand as a guitarist played melodies in the background.

Something else that has to be experienced is a sunrise boat trip with local fishermen — available to book with stays at Attitude hotels. After all, we eat the delicious meals the chefs create, so it’s great to appreciate a different part of the process. It’s a very early start, but you’ll be given a packed breakfast and the opportunity is more than worth getting out of bed for.

Spot dolphins off the coast of Flic en Flac

Flic en Flac has developed from a tiny fishing village into a thriving town for tourists and locals. The beach is eight kilometres long, which means that there’s plenty of room to sunbathe, walk along the sand or enjoy a picnic in the shade. Most importantly, however, the west coast of Mauritius is a fantastic spot for dolphin watching.

Hop on board a catamaran from Flic en Flac and spend the day seeing the sights of the west coast. Tamarin Bay is a particular hotspot for these intelligent animals — but I’d recommend going earlier in the day as dolphins tend to be early risers.

Where to stay

I visited the brand new Friday Attitude hotel, exclusive Hayes and Jarvis, on my visit and was immediately struck by the warm décor and choice of places to relax. It also has one of the best beaches I’ve seen in Mauritius.

The ‘Otentik’ experiences available at all Attitude hotels really helped me learn more about Mauritius and the people. We enjoyed a dinner with a local family as part of our stay at Zilwa Attitude — I loved that the whole family were involved and we talked, ate and drank for hours.

Extend your holiday and combine with another destination

Mauritius is ideally located for combining with other destinations for a true multi centre experience. Visit the sparkling city of Dubai before you head to Mauritius, or combine your stay with a safari in nearby South Africa, to get even more from your holiday experience."

Visit our Mauritius pages for more inspiration on holidays to this beautiful island.