The more mystical Mauritius is a must…
While Mauritius becomes home to droves of visitors during peak holiday season — drawn to the beauty and luxury of an island holiday in anything from 3 to 5-star accommodation and so many activities available that the list requires a catalogue — there are many lesser-known delights to whet the appetites of the more adventurous. So, without further ado, World Leisure Holidays invites you to enjoy some of these more ‘out of the mainstream’ activities and head into mystical Mauritius, from the safe and luxurious base of one of our resorts!
Best accessed by car through Trois Boutiques, as the approach road is through a sugarcane farm approaching from the south-west, take the first road of the village to the right and you will find Pont Naturel. Well worth the effort and not usually included in holiday packages, the name says it all.
A natural bridge carved from the black volcanic rocks, with rushing waves and flung spume, this natural wonder leaves the visitor breathless and covered in salt spray as the waves roil and crash against the rocks. Black stones and blue water, what a contrast!
Rather go when the weather is fine and just don’t venture too near the edge as the sea can become pretty rough, with 5m-high swells and strong gusts. But for the adrenaline junkie, this is a front row seat to the action!
Ile aux Fouquets
A remnant of Napoleonic wars, Ile aux Fouquets is located in the south east of Mauritius in the bay of Grand Port. It is reachable by boat either from the east of Mauritius, from Trou d’Eau Douce or from the south, Blue Bay, and recognisable by its fortification and lighthouse, whose 1864 structures are presently being revamped by the local authorities.
The ‘Lighthouse Island’ is a 5-hectares islet at the entrance of Grand Port, witness to the colonisation and history of Mauritius, with one side of the islet enjoying smooth contours with a hint of beach sand, while the rear end falls into the abyss.
Built to guide ships to the old capital and port of Mahebourg, the lighthouse is no longer in use, but is still home to thousands of sailor’s stories, veiled by time and history.
Chances are that when you visit, you may well be the only ones on the island that day, so secluded it is!
Poste la Fayette
One of the more secluded unspoiled beaches, now open to the public, Poste La Fayette (not to be confused with the neighbouring village of the same name) is off the east coast of the island. Radisson Blu Poste Lafayette is an adult-only resort that features captivating panoramas, while the sand and clear cobalt blue waters lap just outside the door.
While the coastline features black volcanic rocks, there is a stretch of powder-white sand edging the sea, which makes for a private day alongside the crystal-clear sea. The perfect spot to enjoy that bottle of chilled wine while dangling your feet in the many rock pools, this serene location is the ideal setting for regathering your inner serenity and watching a rose-tinted sunset over the Indian Ocean.
Two white rhinos from South Africa are happily living in Mauritius and welcome a unique one-on-one interaction!
This amazing experience takes place at the Yemen Reserve, which is part of the Casela World of Adventures on the west coast of the island. These two endangered animals were brought to this sanctuary in the aftermath of their respective parents’ poaching.
From the luxurious sanctuary of the chic, modern Sugar Beach resort, surrounded by vibrant tropical gardens, to Casela World of Adventures, is under 8kms.
Visitors to the park can touch the rhinos, observe them closely and learn a little about their behaviour and other characteristics from the expert handlers. Still teenagers, the sanctuary was established to boost their breeding chances and private encounters can be arranged in the morning, where you can feed and caress the rugged skin of these incredible pachyderms.
Return to your luxurious lodgings to a world-class spa and an unforgettable sundowner overlooking the sea.
Walk under water
A jealously kept secret, walking under water is one of Mauritius’ most unique offerings! Known only to some locals, a boat transports you to the secret snorkelling spot, off the eastern coast, to the preserved marine park of Blue Way, in the middle of the sapphire blue ocean. It is here, 5 metres below the surface, that you can walk on the seabed and discover indescribable marine beauty, encountering hundreds of aquatic species.
All you need is a mask and a tuba (no, nothing to do with a brass band!) and swimming skills. While you will be astonished by the variety of marine life, you can rest assured in the knowledge that this activity does not harm the coral. Another option is to have a sumptuous lunch under water!
Marie Reine de la Paix
A monument and open-air church overlooking the capital city of Port Louis, Marie Reine de la Paix (Mary, Queen of Peace) is located on the slopes of Signal Mountain. Visible from anywhere in the city, this prominent site dedicated to Mary was completed in 1941, and the statue of the Virgin Mary is made of white marble, sitting atop the church.
Visit this remarkable holy place from the luxurious Sofitel l’imperial, Port Louis. A heady mix of French grandeur with Asian-inspired design, the five-star resort invites you to savour a fusion of flavours at five restaurants and be spoilt at the award-winning So SPA.
Marie Reine de la Paix is nestled in well-kept, verdant gardens and, it is here that Pope John Paul II, during his 1989 visit to the island, celebrated mass with fellow Catholics. Locals advise a dusk visit to the Marie Reine de la Paix to experience the spectacular vista of harbour lights as darkness descends over the island.
On the baked lands of the west coast, at the foot of La Tourelle, lie hectares of salt pans. While the area has been closed down it can still be visited at certain hours and is easily accessible by a 20km-trip from recently opened Veranda Tamarin, ideally located facing the mythical surf spot of Tamarin Bay, visited daily by dolphin pods and renowned for an inimitable sunset.
Up to a few years ago, an exclusively female workforce could be seen collecting the white salt crystals, but recently, a real estate development has been announced, so Les Salines’ future is uncertain. Best you visit before the opportunity is gone!
Mauritius will astound and delight, so don’t be content with anything but the best, whether that be accommodation or activities! Come and marvel at mystical Mauritius!