The Pearl of the Indian
Discover why Mauritius is one of the most popular island holiday destinations on the planet. The exotic French-Creole cultural blend adds to this magical island's attractions. Port Louis is the capital city of Mauritius, an elegant and charming town offering all kinds of delights for the visitor. Wander between the palms of the Place d'Armes and enjoy the city and harbour views from the old citadel of Fort Adelaide.
Mauritius was known to the Arabs as early as the 10th century, but was officially discovered by the Portuguese in 1505. After occupations by the Dutch, French and British, the island became independent in 1968. Despite being British for almost 150 years, French influence has remained the dominant cultural force.
Known as the 'Pearl of the Ocean', Mauritius is an idyllic volcanic island surrounded by endless white beaches and brilliant blue lagoons formed by coral reefs. The island is one of the world's best deep sea fishing destinations, and there are more than 300 species of plant and nine species of bird endemic to the island.
Traditional arts and crafts can be found besides luxury goods and duty-free bargains. Visit the Caudan Waterfront in Port Louis for a full range of items, look for Chinese and Indian jade, jewellery and other souvenirs at the Central Market
- Snorkel L'llot Gabriel: Take a cruise and spend the day snorkelling at Gabriel Island, known for its unspoilt beaches and stunning marine life.
- Experience Chamarel: Created by volcanic rock, this geological curiosity is the only place in the world with clay earth dunes of seven colours.
- Climb the Lions Back: The sphinx-like mountain known as The Lion provides a great hiking trail. Work your way up to the 'head' for stunning views.