Situated in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a fantastic destination for a sun-soaked holiday. If you're considering going there for your next getaway, read our guide to find out all you need to know about this beautiful, culturally-rich island nation.
Before we give you an idea of what exactly you can do and see in Mauritius, let us look at a few basic facts about the destination. Firstly, it has a tropical climate and you can expect year-round warm weather - usually over 20 degrees C. The summer months are December through to April, while winter is between May and November; there is just a small difference in temperature between the seasons, but the summer tends to be more humid.
The official language is English, but you are also likely to hear French and Indian languages. Situated on the north-west coast, Port Louis is the capital of the island, and is where your flight will land. Typically, air travel between the UK and Port Louis takes around 12 hours.
Plenty of tour operators offer trips to Mauritius, but if you are planning a luxury holiday, it is worth booking with a specialist company like Wanderforth. Firms such as this can often offer excursions and activities, as well as accommodation.
Mauritius is home to a great selection of high-quality golf courses, so you will be in your element if you're a keen player of the sport. While there are a lot of options when it comes to where to go, the 18-hole Le Touessrok course on the pretty islet of Ile aux Cerfs is a good choice - especially as you can include some time exploring the gorgeous coves here as part of your day trip.
Alternatively, the resort of Belle Mare Plage is home to two prestigious courses - the Legends and the Links - which are both 18 holes. Experienced golfers are likely to be particularly keen to try their hand at the former, which was designed by Hugh Baiocchi, a South African golf champion.
Of course, Mauritius boasts some absolutely beautiful beaches - but where exactly should you go? While the north of the island is where the bulk of the tourist developments of the past few years have been concentrated, and it is not short of gorgeous beaches, the east is probably the place to go to discover the very best.
Indeed, the eastern coast is renowned for its pretty coves and lovely lagoons. Paired with its relaxed pace of life, the east really is the ideal place to unwind. It is here that you will find Belle Mare, which enjoys the reputation of being one of the finest beaches on the whole island.
The beaches of the west and south-west, meanwhile, have a great reputation not only for being scenic, but also for being fantastic for water sports. Deep-sea fishing is particularly well suited to this region, and you can try it at Le Morne, Riviere Noire and Flic en Flac.
If you are travelling as a family, it is worth paying a visit to one of the island's fun parks. Casela, which is close to Flic en Flac, is bound to delight people of all ages thanks to the huge variety of animals it cares for. Among the creatures you can see are giant tortoises, tigers and monkeys, while other attractions include mini quad bike rides and crazy golf.
Alternatively, head to Le Watefront and Leisure Village. Here, you'll find a great combination of rides, huge chutes, wave pools and more.
During your travels, don't forget to pay a visit to Port Louis. This is a great destination to soak up some local culture, particularly if you head to spots like Places D'Armes and Government House to discover the city's historic centre.
Other sights include the Indian Ocean region's oldest racecourse (Champs de Mars), and the vibrant Central Market, where you can pick up some bargains.