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Mauritius is famous for being the unforgettable island paradise of sun, sand and warm blue waters in the Indian Ocean. It entices visitors to luxuriate in five star hotels; laze on sandy beaches; dive in pristine coral reefs; swim with dolphins, turtles and whales; water ski, and cruise the coast in a private catamaran.

While it certainly is the perfect place to rest and relax, the island also offers a kaleidoscopic range of activities showcasing the best of its cultural diversity, heritage and natural sites. Stately mountains, calm coral reefs, dazzlingly white sand beaches, colonial homesteads, Hindu temples, sugar estates, extinct volcanic craters, forest walks, waterfalls, island villages, and shopping towns: the tough decision of one's day is what to do next! Mauritius has something for everyone.

The country's capital, Port Louis, is a shopper's must. It is a mosaic of modern boutiques, local artistry, tasty cuisine and entertainment; and its marina welcomes boats from all over the world.

Grand Baie, on the Northern coast of the island, abounds in luxury hotels, restaurants and nightlife. Shaded by casuarinas trees, the white sand beaches of northern Mauritius are postcard-perfect.

Situated between the mountains and the sea, the East is characterised by charming little villages, long stretches of white sand, exquisite coves and emerald lagoons, cool sea breezes and a life-pace that is purposely easy-going!

The South's landscape differs dramatically from the rest of the island, with soaring cliffs and rough seas. Gris Gris is one of the few areas of Mauritian coastline that is not shielded by coral reef so thick waves crash directly onto the cliffs. The "Roche Qui Pleure" is most spectacular, as the constant squashing of waves against it gives the impression that the cliff is crying.

Further westward around the coastline, beautifully integrated deluxe hotels and resorts are blossoming along the preserved environment and beautiful beaches of Bel Ombre. Dolphins come to rest and breed in the waters off Flic en Flac, and the Morne Mountain with its historical links to slavery is also an interesting place to explore.

Mauritius' coastal temperatures are beautiful all year round. Summer runs from November to April and is hot and humid, with minimum/maximum temperatures averaging 24-34C. Winter (May to September) is slightly cooler and dryer, averaging 18-26C, making them the best months to visit. The interior is often 5 less than the coast, and the highlands draw rain and low cloud at any time of the year. Cyclone season runs from December to March, with heavy rains between the months of January and March.

Click here for our suggestions on events and places to go at various times of year