Mauritius

The epitome of an exotic island holiday, Mauritius has it all: white-sand beaches, luxury hotels, tropical terrains, rare wildlife and an abundance of marine life under a glittering sapphire sea.
Although the luxurious resorts and gorgeous beaches claim a sizable share of the limelight, Mauritius offers more than a simple fly-and-flop break. It’s also home to an array of flora and fauna, and the best place to discover the natural side of the island is at Black River Gorges National Park, in the south west. Here you'll be able to spot uncommon Mauritian birds, including the pink pigeon, Mauritius kestrel and the echo parakeet. In addition to the wildlife, you can marvel at huge waterfalls and hike the trails that criss-cross the forest.

Likewise located in the south west is the pretty village of Chamerel, renowned for its idyllic scenery. Visitors often come to this part of the island to enjoy Chamerel, but often stop at Seven Coloured Earths, an unusual area of stripy sand dunes which resembles something from a fantasy movie. The Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens are another place to witness Mauritius's beauty, with plants such as giant water lilies and lotus flowers being a particular highlight.

Of course, a holiday to Mauritius must include a good dose of rest and relaxation, so where better to rest than on one of the island’s picture perfect beaches? For escapism, try La Cuvette. It doesn’t have the facilities of some other beaches, but if all you need is sun, sand, sea and a good book, you’ll love La Cuvette. The beaches at Mont Choisy and Pereybere are livelier, particularly at the weekends as they’re popular spots with Mauritian families, too.

Whether you’re happy to get up close to the sea life by diving or snorkelling, or prefer to admire it from a distance in a glass-bottom boat, the chance to see the wildlife beneath the waves is unmissable. The waters around Mauritius are teeming with colourful fish swimming alongside turtles among beautiful coral reefs.

After days filled with exploring this island haven's natural beauty, you can return to any number of exceptional hotels to savour the warm welcome of Mauritian hospitality.

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