Home to some of the world's most beautiful beaches, as well as a number of rare plants and animals, the island paradise of Mauritius has long-been considered as a perfect holiday destination by people around the world. First colonised by the Dutch in the 16th century, before the French and then the British took over in the 19th century, this small island in the Indian Ocean has become one of Africa's economic success stories, thanks to the millions of holidaymakers that flock there every year. But aside from beaches and crystal clear waters, what else can the island of Mauritius offer visitors?
Long considered to be one of the most beautiful places on earth, a holiday in Mauritius guarantees luxury, and thanks to the laid back and welcoming attitudes of the locals, the atmosphere of the island is renowned as welcoming and charming.
A very popular destination for honeymooners, Mauritius spoils all visitors absolutely rotten, and thanks to the many all-inclusive resorts available, holidaymakers will be spoilt for choice as to where to stay. For an utterly relaxing and romantic break, the green southwest boasts many premium all-inclusive hotels, including the opulent and beautiful Heritage Awali Golf & Spa Resort, which gives visitors the chance to indulge in a few massages before a round of golf, or simply, relaxing by the pool.
One of the most popular attractions is Black River Gorges National Park, the largest national park on the island, which boasts rolling forests, hills and a wonderful amount of green space that takes up roughly 2% of the entire island. Located inland, and home to many species of bird and plant as well as introduced species of monkey, wild boar and deer, many people opt to make a day trip to this beautiful national park.
Port Louis is Mauritius' capital city, and it's a great place to go to get a real feel of the island's clashing cultures and mixed history. Here you can see all the influences from the island's inclusive culture, including African, Indian, Middle Eastern, Chinese and European. The fun lies in the busy streets of the capital, where you can sample different cuisines and see some of the island's wonderful and unique architecture. Be aware, however, that all the activities in Port Louis wind down after dark, and so you will have no choice but to head back to your hotel once the sun sets.
Mauritius is a wonderful place to visit, and not only is it highly relaxing, it has enviable staying power as a top destination for travellers and honeymooners alike. After proving itself to be a recession-busting luxury destination, this little republic really can offer visitors something a little bit different, especially in 2014.