James, our Oceans and Islands Product Manager, gives you his top tips on how to make a vacation to Mauritius more than just a fly and flop.
1. Eat With a Local
There are many things about me that annoy my wife, too long to go into as part of a travel blog, but certainly one thing that especially grates is my restlessness at a beautiful beach destination. I believe my record for lying on a sun lounger is around 90 minutes, before I have sneaked off to the front desk and enquired about renting a car for a bit of an explore. While the Scott Dunn portfolio of hotels does a much better job of occupying me than other operators, it’s fair to say that this is my issue, and I simply have to go exploring. Enter the Island Adventure to scratch this particular itch. Head into the hills with a guide by 4×4, into smaller villages devoid of tourists for street food, a 800m climb to a viewpoint closed to the public and have lunch at an incredibly friendly local’s house. It’s a wonderful experience that really helps you understand a small country like Mauritius – warts and all.
2. Climb Le Morne Mountain
In many ways the symbol of Mauritius and something that inevitably stands out in pretty much every photoshoot, Le Morne mountain is a huge limestone seamount, risen out of the ocean and marks the far southwest point of the island. A UNESCO World Heritage Site with a sad past, you can climb it with a guide who will be able to tell you all about why it became an infamous focus point during the abolition of slavery. Amazing views, incredible history – recommended!
3. Adventures abound
Get a tropical island view with a difference by getting up close and personal with the island’s lush rainforests. You can spend a day ziplining, canyoning & Via Ferrata (an extreme walk involving drops, bridges, ladders and other awkward methods of getting from A to B). Find yourself suspended high up in the canopy or getting doused by a waterfall – a great way to spend a little time away from the beach.
4. Sea Cats
Action time! Mauritius is famed for being almost completely surrounded by a coral barrier reef meaning that, for the most part, the beaches are calm, turquoise and rich with marine life. An exciting way to explore the big blue around the island is via Sea Cats – essentially mini speedboats that you zip around as a group on the south-west corner of the island. The best bit is that YOU get to drive and the boats can take up to 3 people. These little boats are fantastic fun, spin on a dime, and fast! As you take a tour around the lagoons, your guide (in another, larger support boat) will take you to some of the best spots for snorkeling, lunch and if you’re lucky a bit of dolphin spotting!
Of course, this is just a snap shot of what you can do on the island. Speak to one of our Mauritius specialists and we can point you in the direction of some of the most exciting things to do in the Indian Ocean.
5. Learn to Kitesurf
When thinking up the requirements of a dream destination for kitesurfing, it is hard to better the assets provided by Mauritius. Beginners will love the shallow flat water in the huge lagoons, making getting up on the board that much easier. While further out on the barrier reef experts will revel in what is widely considered to be the single best, wave kitesurf spot on the planet. We have teamed up with a kitesurf school that can take you to either extreme, providing tailored, 1-2-1 tuition ensuring you make fast progress. This closely supervised tuition also means they have taught children as young as seven to kite – the ultimate on water family adventure!