Welcome to Mauritius
A wee little island surrounded by great swathes of ocean. What can you possibly expect from it?
Perhaps its seclusion & beauty! Mauritius is famous for its 4 S's - Sun, Sea, Sand and Sugarcane. Mauritius is the melting pot of traditions, religions and cultures. Various ethnic groups are present here, such as the French, English, Indians, Cantonese and African.
The first visitors were the portuguese, who landed in 1510. The first attempt at coloni zation was made by the Dutch who arrived in 1598 and named the island Mauritius after Prince Maurice de Nassau. They abandoned their settlements in 1710. France occupied the island between 1715 and 1810. Mahe de Labourdonnais, who took over as governor in 1735. After 1810, with the British take over, the abolition of slavery led to the importation of Chinese and Indian indentured labourers. Mauritius gained independence from Britain on 12 March 1968 and become a republic on 12 March 1992.
Situated in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is approximately 855 km of the east coast of Madagascar. Mauritius is a volcanic island, only 1.865 km2 in area. The central plateau reaches 800 m in altitude. The coastline of 330 km is almost entirely surroundes by one of the largest unbroken coral reefs in the world.
The North coast has a very pleasant climate and is sheltered from the wind. Fringed with filao trees, the calm lagoon ideal for water sports laps up on the soft white sandy beaches. The North is the first coastal area that developed and today Grand Bay is a shopping paradise and offers plenty of activities. Mauritians also flock here on a Saturday night for the great nightlife (numerous restaurants, bars and discos). In terms of the beaches, La Cuvette is worth a visit.
The public beach of Roches Noires stretches across to Poste Lafayette where there is always a steady breeze and the fishing is excellent. This area is a very popular summer spot particularly during the hottest months as there is nearly always a sea breeze throughout the year. The Belle Mare public beach is a magnificent white sandy beach. The coast line through to Palmar and Trou d'eau douce is made up of stunning crescent shaped beaches which phase out as you reach Grand Port. In these areas the beach is narrow and the road follows the coast closely until Mahebourg.
The South has the wildest countryside with its beautiful wave sculpted cliffs, rocky beaches, endless cane fields and fantastic panoramic views.
The west is known for its fabulous sunsets and calm waters. It is the first area in Mauritius to have developed eco tourism with the National Park of Black River which can be visited by foot, on horseback, on mountain bikes or from tree to tree in an adventure park. Authentic Mauritian cuisine is served in the nearby buffet Restaurants in Chamarel. La Preneuse is a small beach situated next to the Martello tower. There are some strong under water currents and part of the beach is classed as dangerous bathing. At Tamarin public beach you can surf. There are plenty of swells and the setting is beautiful.
This short intro to Mauritius can be summarized with a quote by Mark Twain, the famous American author. He sums up what experience awaits you:
".....you gather idea that Mauritius was made first, and then heaven; and that heaven was copied after Mauritius."