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Of all the sand-sprinkled islands dotted around the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is perhaps the most Indian. Settled by Indian sugar plantation workers during the European colonial period, this idyllic holiday island feels like a little piece of the subcontinent, anchored in the middle of the ocean. There is even a local branch of the River Ganges, in the form of Grand-Bassin, a sacred lake that is said to be supernaturally connected to the sacred river in India. For holidaymakers, Mauritius is legendary for sun, sand, watersports and big-game fishing. The best of the beaches and swanky resorts are strung out along the west coast, but there ...

Of all the sand-sprinkled islands dotted around the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is perhaps the most Indian. Settled by Indian sugar plantation workers during the European colonial period, this idyllic holiday island feels like a little piece of the subcontinent, anchored in the middle of the ocean. There is even a local branch of the River Ganges, in the form of Grand-Bassin, a sacred lake that is said to be supernaturally connected to the sacred river in India. For holidaymakers, Mauritius is legendary for sun, sand, watersports and big-game fishing. The best of the beaches and swanky resorts are strung out along the west coast, but there are small resorts and guesthouses dotted all around the island.

Inland are forested mountains, scenic lakes and waterfalls, sprawling sugar plantations and one of the world’s best botanical gardens at Pamplemousses. The pretty and historic capital, Port Louis, is also well worth exploring. Then there’s the island’s rich cuisine, which borrows flavors and ingredients from India, Africa and France.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 560 miles east of Madagascar.
  • Language: English, French and Mauritian Creole
  • Currency: Mauritius Rupee
  • Research: Mauritius | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to March, particularly Christmas and New Year's.