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6 Reasons to Visit Mauritius

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This post is brought to you by Air Mauritius.

The beautiful island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean is a place you must visit at least once in your life. The island is well known for its astounding beauty and is a favourite place for tourists because of its tropical climate, beautiful beaches, its tropical flora and fauna, and its wide range of natural and man-made attractions

With an impressive array of attractions and easy access to this island with direct flights via Air Mauritius, it is certainly time you discovered this luxurious gem. Below are six reasons why you should visit Mauritius.

1) Beaches

The word ‘beach’ automatically comes to mind when one mentions Mauritius. The island is known world-wide for having some of the most glorious beaches in the world. The soft white sands and sparkling blue waters have attracted many tourists over the years. Besides sunbathing, one can partake in beach activities such as snorkelling, parasailing and diving to take in the magnificent marine life below the warm waters. Many of the reefs and surrounding areas of the island are protected by the Mauritius Marine Conservation Society which means that the island easily remains a treasure trove of coral reefs, shipwrecks and marine life of all shapes and sizes. Some of the popular beaches to visit are Belle Mare, Grand Bay, Blue Bay, Flic and Flac, Le Morne and Tamarin.

2) Flora and Fauna

Nature buffs will appreciate Mauritius’ collection of flora and fauna as the island is home to some of the world’s rarest plants (over 700 species) and animals. The island was also home to the Dodo bird, now extinct. This large flightless bird lived only on Mauritius Island. One can still see its reconstructed skeleton at the Natural History Museum in Port Louis. The island is also home to some of the largest tortoises in the world. The popular wildlife parks in Mauritius you should check out are Black River Gorges National Park, Ile aux Aigrettes, La Vanille Crocodiles Park and Domaine du Chasseur.

3) History

The famous statue of Paul et Virginie depicting the tragic Romeo and Juliet of Mauritian literature.

Aside from the beaches, why not take in some historical attractions while you are on the island? The historical sites in Mauritius include the Balaclava ruins and the Dutch ruins at Vieux Grand Port which represents the medieval history of the island. One must also check out the ruins of the European settlements. The Government House in Port Louis which was originally built by the French in 1738 was enlarged by the British, who added a statue of Queen Victoria. Fort Adelaide built in 1834 and named after Victoria’s aunt was a refuge for British administrators who were worried that the abolition of slavery might spark a rebellion. It was also a deterrent for the French navy. Pay a visit to some of the castles and old colonial houses like the Eureka House which is reputed to be one of the largest houses on the island, with 109 doors and windows (now a museum) and Chateau de Reduit (only open to the public two days in a year, in October and March), the official residence of the president. Another popular castle on the island is the Chateau de Labourdonnais. The island is also home to a wide range of museums dedicated to the history of tea, photography, the navy and even postage stamps. The Blue Penny Museum on the Caudan Waterfront of Port Louis holds some of the most valuable misprinted stamps in the world. The museum is also home to the famous statue of Paul et Virginie depicting the tragic Romeo and Juliet of Mauritian literature.

4) The Volcanoes

Trou aux Cerfs. Photo credit: deepakkt, Flickr

About 10 million years ago, a big shield volcano erupted during the Pliocene period. It is believed that Mauritius was created by three main volcanic eruptions interspaced by calm periods. These series of volcanic activities are the reason the island has a number of mountains, gorges and valleys. In fact, the ranges of Port Louis – Moka and some scattered isolated mountains are believed to be leftovers of the huge volcano that initially created Mauritius.  But not to worry though as the last volcanic eruption was some 20,000 years ago. Now, a number of volcanic cones stud the island. Kanaka Crater (extinct) and Trou aux Cerfs (dormant), in Curepipe are safe for visits and those intending to hike.

5) Sight See from a Helicopter

One of the best ways to take in the beauty of Mauritius is by taking a helicopter sightseeing tour. Air Mauritius offers this service which can take you straight to your hotel or provide you an unforgettable experience to discover Mauritius in a unique way. Transfers can be arranged from the airport to the hotel and vice versa. You can also choose to fly straight to some of the beautiful gold courses in Mauritius to enjoy a round of golf. Once you arrive at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (SSR), you will be greeted by the crew who will help you board a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter equipped with four passenger seats. The trained pilots will give you an overview of Mauritius as they fly you over amazing landscapes, magnificent lagoons, pristine coastlines and more. The tour usually takes between 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on the itinerary, weather conditions and helipad locations. You can also request for customized tours to your needs. After an hour of sight-seeing, you can also choose to enjoy a two-hour lunch stop at a restaurant or hotel which has a helipad. If you are interested in booking a helicopter tour with Air Mauritius, click here.

6) A Fusion of Cultures and Cuisine

Mauritius is a religiously diverse nation. There is no official religion in Mauritius and the people are free to practice their religion as it is a constitutional right. The inhabitants of the island range from people of Indian, French, Creole and, Chinese descent. There is no official language as the Mauritian people are known to be multilingual. But English and French are widely spoken by almost all Mauritians.  The cuisine available on the island reflects the blend of cultures in Mauritius. One can find a blend of Creole, Chinese, European and Indian influences in the cuisine. From fragrant curries to delicate patisserie cakes, one will definitely be spoilt for choices sampling the many varied dishes on the island. In fact, don’t be surprised if you are served French dishes such as coq au vin with curry or chutney and rice.


How to Get to Mauritius from Malaysia

If you are interested in a holiday in Mauritius, Air Mauritius offers direct flights from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport straight to the SSR Airport in Mauritius. The  flight is about 7 hours long. Flights to Mauritius are three times a week. Return flights are also three times a week. The airline also has an immediate connection into Johannesburg with a 45 minute transit time (both ways). Choosing to fly with the national airline means that your Mauritian experience begins from the moment you board your plane.

To book your tickets, call 03, 214 29161 or email [email protected]. You can also book tickets online here.

Currently, Air Mauritius has a special deal for those travelling from Kuala Lumpur; a return ticket for only RM1,200. Find out more here.

Watch this video of Mauritius courtesy of Air Mauritius:

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