Nestled in the south-west Indian Ocean, this island nation is truly a honeymooners’ paradise. With long stretches of pristine beaches, a tropical wildlife and a rich multi-hued culture, Mauritius has something to suit couples of every taste.
Mauritius is actually a part of an archipelago known as the Mascarene Islands. Being an island, Mauritius is blessed with miles of lovely beaches bordered on one side by gently swaying palms and on the other by azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean. One of the most popular destinations with the tourists is Grand Bay which offers ample shopping and leisure options. Here the recently renovated La Cuvette beach is a must-see for its young and colorful atmosphere. Another public beach which is famous for its cafes, bars and shops as much as for its natural beauty is Peyebere. However if you are looking for something more romantic in Mauritius, head for the Mont Choisy Beach where the sand is always warm and soft beneath your feet and the water a soothing blue. The plus is definitely the grove of casuarinas trees on this beach which offers the perfect shade in the afternoon sun. Finally if you are looking to catch a romantic sunset, head for the Trou-aux-Biches Beach which is steep in a few places but for the same reason easier to watch the sun go down the ocean.
Once you have had enough of lazing around in the sun or leisurely swims, you can always explore the large number of sporting options that the beaches of Mauritius have to offer. Tamarin Bay is well known as a surfing destination but apart from that you can also enjoy its coral reefs, friendly dolphins and breathtaking natural beauty. Then again, the Blue Bay beach is believed to have the best snorkeling and swimming opportunities. And while the Cap Malheureux Beach bears the literal translation of the Unhappy Cape, don’t let that stop you from donning a mask and fins and exploring this crescent-shaped beach. On the other hand if you are looking to pack in a round of golf as well, you could check out the Ile aux Cerfs Beach – one of the few Mauritian beaches with full range of facilities including a golf course, several restaurants and great snorkeling opportunities.
Sample the local cuisine
One of the best ways to explore a new destination is to taste the cuisine of that place. And taste being one of the five senses, a romantic dinner at one of Mauritius’s excellent restaurants can make for an immensely sensual experience for you and your partner. Mauritian cuisine is actually a confluence of varying culinary traditions typical to Indian, Chinese, Creole and African cultures. Some of the dishes not to be missed are the hot and spicy Creole Curry, the Daube de Poisson, European favorites like gateaux piments, gateaux bringelles, baton fromages, Chinese offshoots like fried Rice, Bean Beef Curry and tasty street food like dhol-purrie and tomato chutney. While here, you must not forget to explore seafood made from fresh catches of shrimps, prawns, oysters, fish and served with a red hot sauce known as Sauce Rouge.
If you and your partner share a love for wildlife, Mauritius is the place to be. Famous as the only known home of the now-extinct bird dodo, Mauritius still has a wealth of flora and fauna in the form of marine creatures, animals, birds many of which are among the rarest in the world like the Mauritian Kestrel, the Pink Pigeon, the Echo Parakeet, the Rodriguez warbler, the Fody and the fruit bat. While the National Park is the largest nature reserve in Mauritius, other parks not to be missed for their amazing wildlife are the Blue Bay Marine Park, the Ile Aux Aigrettes Island as well as the Crocodile and Giant Tortoise Park. Finally keep some time aside to walk through a large variety of tropical fruit trees, colorful and perfumed exotic flowers at the Labourdonnais Orchards. If you wish you can even arrive here on bikes or after a hike through lovely trails.
Mauritius is a multi-cultural society composed of several ethnicities and their traditions. One of the best ways you can enjoy on this island is to experience its sega music – a foot-tapping and enchanting musical tradition brought by the African settlers. Among the places of historical interest in Mauritius are the Balaclava Ruins, the Blue Penny Museum which houses the world-famous Blue Mauritius stamp, the Natural History Museum which showcases the flora, fauna and geology of the island, the biggest Hindu temple here known as the Triolet Shivala, the Apravasi Ghat where the first settlers from India landed, Eureka - a villa and showpiece of Creole architecture and many more. Other than these there are many old cathedrals, churches, mosques and pagodas bearing witness to the multi-cultural basis of Mauritian society.
For those honeymooners looking for a night at town, Grand Bay in Mauritius is one of the most popular choices with its numerous bars, discos and restaurants. Other than this, there is the racing track Champ de Mars where you can catch a race on the weekends and enjoy in its fair-like atmosphere. If you are in the mood for sheer indulgence, you can book a session at one of the many spas which in fact have packages for honeymooning couples.
Best time to visit
Since the weather is reasonable throughout the year, you can plan a visit almost anytime you want. However, July and September is most favored time of year by honeymooners as the temperatures and humidity levels are much lower. On the other hand if you wish to make the most of sporting opportunities like diving and snorkeling, then December to March may be a better time to visit.
Accommodation and travel
Mauritius has a host of lodging options, ranging from luxury resorts like to more affordable hotels. You can hire taxis to move around but if you wish to be more independent, a good idea would to go for a rental car or bike. Buses and trams that crisscross the islands offer a cheaper and often more colorful way of travel. Finally Mauritius has two domestic airlines Air Mauritius and Catovair, even though only the former has international flights.