Mauritius

Sarah McCarthy on 18 May 2012

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Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful locations I have visited....I was blown away by the sheer beauty of the island itself, so lush and green, mountains, valleys and waterfalls, powder white sandy beaches and coral reefs. The Mauritian people are so hospitable, always a friendly face and a smile and wonderful service.

Whilst I know that the majority of visitors to Mauritus for the most part enjoy the sunshine, relaxation, hotel hospitality and beaches I personally explored part the island and all it has to offer so let me share my experience with you; On a tour of the Island's South West with breathtaking scenery, we began a magnificent journey with a visit of the Trou aux Cerfs, an extinct volcano for 700,000 years with a 280 foot deep crater. We then travelled through the Plaine Champagne forest, stopping at the Grand Bassin, a sacred lake to the Hindu community.

After the sacred lake, we drove through the verdant mountains stretching toward the coast at Black River Gorges and its waterfalls. The rum part next, where we were let into the secrets of the manufacture of agricultural rum, with a chance to taste it at the end of the guided tour followed by lunch in its restaurant called L’Alchimiste. This restaurant had the most spectacular views (see photos).

We then viewed the magnificent Chamarel waterfall and the Seven Coloured Earths. Its name was inspired by the soil, which is layered in hues of yellow, blue and red, a unique geological curiosity.

The Casale Nature and Leisure Park was a full day trip where we went quad biking for 2 hours through the national reserve where we came across Zebras, Ostriches, African Antelopes, deer, Wild Boar and many exotic birds. We were lucky to be able to pet some Zebras and a Stag. After the quads we had a yummy lunch at the restaurant which again had the most spectacular views.

After lunch we went Zip Lining through the forest; I was never so petrified in my life but felt amazing afterwards. This was the longest Zipline circuit in the Indian Ocean, the last zip line was over 400 metres long; I still cannot believe I did it!

One morning I got up at 6.30am to go swimming with the wild Dolphins. This really was a unique and incredibly moving experience swimming with the Dolphins in their natural environment in the open sea. I also tried my hand at water skiing, a service offered complimentary by the majority of hotels on the island. The water ski activity includes a short boat trip to the starting point inside the lagoon where I get the skis, wear a life jacket and get ready to start the water skiing. I was very pleasantly surprised to find I was up and skiing on my 2nd attempt, it was an amazing feeling.

We also had time to relax and enjoy the sunset on the beach in the evenings, played some tennis and explored the immediate area around the hotel by mountain bikes.

I was lucky to stay in two amazing 5 Star Luxury properties the Lux Le Morne Hotel and Beachcomber Paradis Hotel, both wonderful properties. Service and food was top notch, especially the seafood for which the island is renowned for.

All in all an amazing experience and certainly a destination to which I will return in the very near future.

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