What to do in Mauritius, a corner of paradise in the Indian Ocean

    What to do in Mauritius, a corner of paradise in the Indian OceanTrip to Mauritius, a magical and beautiful land off the eastern coast of Africa

    When Mark Twain visited Mauritius in 1895 he wrote in his travel diary "one has the impression that Mauritius was created first and then paradise, and that paradise was copied from Mauritius". Even today these words describe well the wonder with which this island nestled in the Indian Ocean shows itself to travelers who arrive every year from all over the world.

    The Republic of Mauritius has been known since the 500th century when the island was first colonized by the Arabs, then by the Malays, then abandoned for almost 1500 years until the arrival of the Dutch in 1968. From that moment the island passed into Portuguese hands, French, English and finally gained independence in XNUMX, becoming - together with the smaller Rodrigues and Agalega islands - one of the most stable and secure democratic states in the African area. Today it is one of the most sought-after destinations for seaside and nature tourism in theSouthern Africa because of the wonderful beaches, the stupendous coral reef and the natural environment of rare beauty.

    In this guide we will discover the main attractions of the largest of the islands of Mauritius on an adventure in this corner of paradise off the coast of Africa. Port Louis, the state capital, is a city of 150.000 inhabitants located in the north west of the island which hosts the main political and economic institutions of Mauritius. It is often visited less attentively by tourists, who are more interested in the island's beaches; this city with colonial features actually hides numerous attractions not to be missed.

    In the city you can visit the elegant buildings of Place des Armes. where the Government Palace and the refined municipal theatre, built in the mid-18th century, are located, the large fortress of Fort Adelaide, the nineteenth-century fortress guarding the port which from its height dominates the entire surrounding area and is today the venue for exhibitions and concerts. Furthermore, the suggestive central market stands out where you can find all the typical products and buy all kinds of souvenirs. One of the must-see destinations in Port Louis is the Aapravasi Ghat, the museum that tells the story of the Indian immigrants who arrived on the island after being freed from slavery.

    To visit the wildest and most uncontaminated areas of the islands and appreciate Mauritius at its best, you must move to the coastal areas of the western part where the natural environment has a very similar appearance to the African equatorial forests. This vast area develops in a region protected from the winds which offers ideal conditions for practicing a large number of sports on its wonderful beaches. In fact, here you can find everything you need for diving, swimming, water skiing, sailing and kayak and canoe excursions.

    One of the most spectacular destinations in Mauritius is the natural park of Black River Gorges, a large protected area that preserves many elements of the very particular ecosystem with great care for bird species, with renewed attention to endangered species to avoid a new ecological disaster such as the extinction of the dodo in the past. A "sustainable" approach to welcoming travelers and an ecotourism project are being developed here with the involvement of the island's inhabitants.

    The southernmost part offers some of the most beautiful beaches and spectacular cliffs in the area Gray-Gray where the famous "la roche qui pleure", the "crying rock", is located, an incredible rock formation on which the ocean waves crash, creating a magical rain of drops of salt water. In this region there is also the beach of Blu Bay, a bay of very white sand embraced by a bright blue lagoon and framed by rolling hills, a true earthly paradise just a few hundred meters from a protected coral reef where it is possible to dive to admire the multitude of wonderful marine creatures that live among the corals.

    In a north-west direction from the southern tip of the island is the large bay of Great Port, the largest natural inlet in Mauritius; The beautiful city of Mahébourg lies on its coasts, one of the urban centers that best preserves the appearance of the island's colonial past. TO Mahébourg you can visit the suggestive Point Canon, where once stood the defensive fortress of the port and today concerts and cultural and sporting events are organised, the moving monument dedicated to the abolition of slavery and the beautiful national history museum, which brings together a large number of finds that trace the history of Mauritius and in particular the relationship with the sea and navigation.

    For those who love tropical beaches and crystal clear seas, the destination not to be missed is the long eastern coast of Mauritius, where there is a succession of long sandy beaches and lagoons of wonderful shades ranging from emerald to indigo to intense blue. The most famous destinations in this area are Black Rocks and Poste Lafayette where it is possible to windsurf and kitesurf practically all year round thanks to the wind that blows inland and offer some of the largest free beaches in Mauritius.

    In the north of the island is the most famous tourist destination of Mauritius, Grand Bay, known throughout the world for its beautiful sandy beaches, the most luxurious hotels and the liveliest nightlife. TO Grand Bay the most important tourist facilities are located. Thanks to the choice to make the region with a strong "eco-sustainable thrust", it was possible to create a form of balance between mass tourism and respect for the natural environment. In this area of ​​the island there are some of the most iconic beaches, such as Mont Choisy, Troux aux Biches, Bain Boeun and The bowl where it is possible to admire this earthly paradise immersed in the waters of the Indian Ocean in all its beauty.

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