Set in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa, Mauritius is an ideal island retreat. Head along the west coast to the island’s capital, Port Louis, and discover museums, galleries, the central bazaar, and the stunning Jummah Mosque.
To the north, is the Pamplemousses region, where you'll find the celebrated National Botanic Garden, as well as some lovely secluded beaches. The northern region of Mauritius offers several gateways to even small islets, like Serpent Island, where you can spend the day cruising the lapis waters. Whilst the south is home to some of the island's most dramatic scenery, such as the remarkable Black River Gorges National Park, and the picturesque Chamarel Waterfalls.
However, if your interests lie below the water, you must first head to Blue Bay Marine Park, where you can scuba dive and investigate the rainbow corals and darting tropical fish. Along the west coast, you'll find some of the island's best beaches, such as the dreamy Le Morne Peninsula and its protected lagoon, where you can snorkel, swim, and work on your tan. Then there is the east coast, where many exclusive resorts have set down roots on stretches like Belle Mare, where emerald palm trees sway above powder-white sand and lapping turquoise waters.
Mauritius enjoys a tropical climate throughout the year with lovely warm weather ranging from 25 degrees celsius into the 30s. It's a year-round destination, so you can catch rays and enjoy the sunshine regardless of when you visit. November to April are the warmest months with averages above 30.
During this time the ocean is at its most temperate and is ideal for snorkelling and swimming. From July to August, the waves on the east coast pick up, as do the number of surfing enthusiasts.
For good practice, it's always wise to keep a photocopy of your passport in your accommodation. A tourist visa is not required. Your passport will be stamped on arrival allowing you to stay for up to 60 days. Visit GOV.UK for more advice on passports, visas and travel.
Dining in Mauritius is far from boring, with influences from China, India, and Europe, and the tropical resources of home-grown fruit, local spices, and freshly caught fish, the cuisine of this island nation is a fusion of flavour. Try Mauritian-style curries, vanilla tea, or their twist on dim sum.
Enjoy street food like dholl puri, a delicious pancake filled with butterbean curry, and discover the sweetness of the local pineapples and coconuts. Whatever you choose, you'll be bound to try, try, and try it again.