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Mauritius

Mauritius Travel Guide Mark Twain said, 'Mauritius was made first, then heaven was copied from it', and when you consider the natural beauty of the volcanic island, with it’s steamy forests and running streams, palm-fringed beaches and teeming coral reefs, it's easy to understand his sentiment. Most visitors to Mauritius choose package-tour holidays and stay at one of the island's magnificent resorts. The capital, Port Louis, is the tourist hub of the island, but there are literally hundreds of excellent beach resorts lining the Mauritian coast. Most of the resorts sport luxury amenities such as golf courses and spas, and watersports like diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, sailing, and fishing. The one drawback to a holiday in Mauritius is the long flight time for British and American visitors. This is a shame because those who do brave the journey will be richly rewarded by one of the world's true island paradises, a place that somehow manages to be both comfortable and exotic, luxurious and pleasantly 'off the beaten track'. Best time to visit Mauritius The climate in Mauritius is hot and tropical, tempered by cooling trade winds. Winters are warm and dry and summers are hot and humid, but the merciful sea breezes keep things from ever getting too unbearable. Mauritius can be visited at any time of year, though bear in mind that it rains heavily from January to March and that this is also cyclone season. The peak tourist season in Mauritius is from October to April, so if you're planning on visiting during this period be sure to book accommodation well in advance. What to pack Make sure you have a small backpack with you to take on day excursions, and always carry plenty of bottled water around. Pack sturdy shoes to protect your feet on some beaches, as there is a threat of sharp coral and stonefish stings. What to buy Carved wooden figurines, home-made jewellery, perfumes made from essential oils, hand-woven rattan bags, and local spices all make great souvenirs. Eat Creole rougailles, spicy biryanis or tandoori curry dishes are common mains, with gateaux or traditional Indian sweets for dessert. A final word An enticing and exotic destination, Mauritius is a great choice for an island getaway packed with brilliant sunshine, beautiful beaches, and unbeatable outdoor activities.

DISTANCE FROM AIRPORT TO MAJOR BEACH AREAS: 45-60 minutes | TIME ZONE: GMT +4 hours | CURRENCY: The Mauritius Rupee (MUR). It's sensible to order currency in advance of your trip, but ATMs are widespread on the island | LANGUAGES: English is generally accepted as the official language |
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