Volcanic Réunion & Mauritius
Traverse two breathtaking and unspoilt Indian Ocean islands
Floating in the intense blue waters of the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Madagascar is the island of Mauritius. It’s best known as a holiday destination due to its stunning beaches. Made up of miles of soft white sand, melting into foamy waves fringed with fronds of waving palm trees, the island’s beaches are postcard-perfect. However, if you limit yourself and your trip to the beaches you will miss much of what Mauritius has to offer its discerning visitors. As you move inland, there is so much more to be discovered.
As you explore Mauritius, you will find spectacular landscapes. The seemingly endless golden green bristling leaves in the sugar plantations, dramatic cascading waterfalls, deep cool gorges, emerald forests filled with the sounds of bird’s singing and dark foreboding mountains await. Each is home to its own unique set of fauna and flora. Delicate, net-covered orchids grow in crevices, flying foxes swoop through the darkening night air, and small, brightly coloured lizards dart across rocks.
One of the exceptional aspects of Mauritius is the culture. Even though the island was uninhabited before the Middle Ages, they have been creating a rich and varied history since the 1500s. Colonised by the Dutch, the French and the English, before finally gaining their independence in 1968, the island is a veritable melting pot of ethnicities, languages and cultures. Visit the sacred lake of Grand Bassin and the colourful Hindu temples that surround it, as well as the Jummah mosque in the capital Port Louis.
In the capital city, you will also find a vibrant Chinese quarter, as well as churches built by missionaries in times gone by. The variation of architecture - from the modern and the colonial, to the religious and the secular - gives the city its unique character. This is a whirlwind city filled with hustle and bustle. Visitors can see snatches of India, Africa, Europe and China everywhere and flavours of the Middle East are also thrown into the mix. The tangle of streets opens up endless beautiful vistas, as you wind your way through the city.
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