Many people spend their lives visiting island after island in search of paradise only to be disappointed. Well paradise does exist – it is the African island of Mauritius, just east of Madagascar in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. Mauritius was first visited by the Portuguese in 1507, then again by the Dutch who settled there and left in 1710. Five years later the French claimed the island before giving it over to the French East India Company who built the first sugar mill there. They then lost the island to the British in 1810. Thereafter the country remained under British rule until it gained its independence in 1968.
Today, visitors to Mauritius will find a country that harmoniously blends different cultures, languages and traditions. The first stop off your Mauritius flight will be the capital city Port Louis. Spend a day or two there, explore its city centre, walk through Chinatown then move on to the real reason you’re there: the beaches.
There is plenty of choice. On the east coast is Belle Mare, on the west, Flic en Flac, it's Mauritius’s longest beach and renowned for its sunsets. At Tamarin Bay, the Black River rushes into the Indian Ocean and the backdrop to this beautiful beach are the imposing mountains. Divers taking flights to Mauritius will want to make their way to the south-west of the island where coral reefs and shipwrecks await beneath the turquoise blue waters.
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