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Madelin Tomelty

When it comes to this utopic island country, we discover there is plenty more to do than just marvel at the beauty of its beaches

Who doesn’t love the beach? Plenty of people, as it turns out, which you’d think would be reason enough not to visit Mauritius any time soon, but you’d be wrong, because this beautiful island has far more to offer than just a guarantee of a good tan. For those who have an irrational fear of sharks, get bored lying on the beach all day or simply prefer to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground, here are ten reasons to visit Mauritius that will make your sand-groping friends rethink their holiday strategy.

 

1. Vibrant villages and towns

No trip to Mauritius is complete without a dedicated village-hopping expedition, where you can sit down to a feast in one of the many restaurants, spend some holiday cash in the boutiques and simply have a chat with the locals. In the north of the island, the narrow streets behind the main road of the popular beach spot, Grand Bay, is home to small local boutiques and a wide variety of restaurants and nightlife, while Cap Malheureux, with its famous red-roofed church, its view of the northern islands and thriving fishing community is particularly picturesque. The town of Vacoas is best known for the Gymkhana Golf Club, the oldest golf course in the southern hemisphere, while in Curepipe you’ll experience traditional Mauritian charm and the coolest temperatures in Mauritius. It’s also home to two of the island’s treasures: Trou aux Cerfs, the crater of a dormant volcano, and the Botanical Garden with its rare plant species (more on these next).

 

2. Giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies

The Pamplemousses garden is known by botanists around the world for its large collection of indigenous and exotic plants, including the giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies that are like something out of a fantasy movie. Here, you might also be lucky enough to feast your eyes on the talipot or coryphe parasol, but given legend says it flourishes only once every fifty-seventy years before dying, don’t get your hopes up for a floral frenzy – you could be waiting a while.

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