Things to do in Mauritius: A three-minute guide

WHY: This island paradise has it all. There are plush resorts and powdery white-sand beaches. Port Louis, the charming old colonial capital, is perfect for lazy meanders. Athletic types have water sports, hiking and golfing. Foodies can indulge in multi-ethnic cuisine … And the ever-smiling locals elevate magical Mauritius to even greater heights.

VISIT: Part theme park, part safari, part kids' world, Casela World of Adventures ( is 14 hectares of fabulous fun. Wildlife activities span everything from admiring the birdlife to strolling alongside lions to embarking on a safari escapade, while ziplines, canyon explorations and skinny cable bridges will keep adrenalin junkies' heart rates up.

EAT: At Royal Palm Hotel's La Goelette restaurant (, head chef Michel de Matteis crafts a tantalising multi-course menu every night that impresses. For tasty creole cuisine head to La Rougaille Creole ( and order the massive tiger prawns – they come topped with a big dollop of tangy creole sauce and are served alongside buttery rice and salad. Refreshingly low-key Les Palmiers ( is the place for top-notch home-style fare.

LOOK: When the Dutch settled in Mauritius in 1598 they brought sugar cane; then the French came along and cultivated it; and later the British developed the industry into a massive source of revenue. Touring some of the old majestic sugar cane homesteads offers a glimpse into what once was. Chateau de Labourdonnais (, built in 1856 by a Danish trader, is one of the best museums with recent restorations completed by local craftsmen. La Maison Eureka ( is another historical gem furnished with period pieces.

MUST: Cruise to the charming island of Ile aux Cerfs. The sand appears whiter and the turquoise sea seems to glisten brighter here. On a full-day catamaran tour ( you can soak up the incredible vistas on board, stop off for spectacular snorkelling, enjoy a BBQ lunch on the catamaran, before jumping off in paradise.

SLEEP: With six eateries, a diving centre, plenty of sports activities, a kids' club, a teens' club and a swanky spa, there's something for the whole family at Trou aux Biches ( The resort overlooks a tranquil beach, with the 306 suites and 27 villas (all elegantly appointed) spread out over a vastness of luscious tropical gardens.

TIP: Mauritius is a big island and each area has its own personality. If you want to venture beyond your hotel (trust us, you will), you'll need a car or a driver.

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Tatyana Leonov was a guest of Mauritius Tourism and Air Mauritius