Travel

Bonzour Mauritius: A short guide to the Indian Ocean island

Are you having island related fever dreams but have already visited the Maldives twice in the last 18 months? If you answered yes to any facet of that question, let’s talk about Mauritius because the island has slowly reopened to international visitors.

The scenic (by scenic we mean stunning) yet remote (and by remote we mean peaceful) island is located off the eastern coast of Africa. With predominantly Indian, French, African and Chinese influences, Mauritius is a true cultural melting pot. Although sunny all year round, peak season runs from October to April. So, perhaps start booking now so you can finally enjoy that one-week social media cleanse you’ve been talking about for months.

Where to hang your sun hat

If you are thinking chic beach resort with a little taste of the island lifestyle, then Shanghai-La Le Touessrok is the place for you. You can choose from a range of luxury rooms, suites or beach villas but the hotel also has a selection of esteemed restaurants and bars, meaning you don’t have to look far for top dining experiences. Making things even better is the resorts prime location on Trou d’Eau Douce Bay. Trou d’Eau Douce is a small fishing village on the east of the island that offers a range of stunning beaches, authentic cafes and bars. Bonus tip: be sure to take the short boat ride to Ile aux Cerfs Leisure Island and spend the day.

Beaches, beaches, beaches

If you love scuba diving, why not take it up a notch with Aquaventure’s underwater sea walk in Belle Mare. Don’t worry, it’s only about three-metres deep but offers fun and a genuinely unique experience. For the lazy days, we thought we’d suggest day excursions to Le Morne in the southwest, Flic and Flac in the west and Mont Choisy in the north. Each beach is more special than the next with its own natural attractions, water sports (subject to restrictions), cuisine and coral varieties. And if that doesn’t sell it to you, then we all know there is no such thing as too many sunsets. Either way, you’re so very welcome.

What to eat

Good food is always within arm’s length, no matter which part of the island you find yourself on. Ingredients in Mauritius are often fresh and locally sourced, so you don’t feel too guilty when you indulge. Instead, let’s talk top three street foods choices. First on the list, we have traditional Mauritian fried chilli poppers (Gateaux Piment). They are both aromatic and flavourful and are considered one of the best street food dishes on the island. Next, Dhal Puri is spiced, stuffed Indian style flatbread filled with split peas that pair exceptionally well with various curries and chutneys. Finally, Bol renversé is an upside-down bowl served with your choice of protein accompanied by thick sauced stir fry, with a side of rice and topped with a fried egg. This dish has that genuine comfort food feel that we all occasionally crave. In terms of restaurants, an honourable mention must be given to Escale Creole, Moka. Not only is the food nothing short of amazing, combining the best of Mauritian cross-culture, but the setting feels authentic, tropical and homey all at the same time, a must-do.

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