With its spacious lagoons, protective coral reefs and vast expanse of sea, Mauritius is a prized diving destination. The reef is a treasure trove of brightly-coloured exotic fish, amazing corals and even shipwrecks dating from those times when pirates and privateers trawled the Indian Ocean. For the curious yet less adventurous, submersible crafts and undersea walks remain popular alternatives to take a close look at the sea life.
Whether you wish to view the island's beauty from the sea or you want to revel in a leisurely day, shaded from the sun from the wind-filled mainsail, a wide choice of sea excursions is available to suit all preferences. Full-day excursions and private rentals are available from the northern, eastern, south-eastern and western coasts. You can catch the wind towards one of the islands strewn around mainland Mauritius, particularly to the north; meet the dolphins off the west coast or chart a day's course due east to make the most of the array of pleasures that iconic Ile aux Cerfs holds in store. And for those with a romantic streak, take an evening cruise and watch the sun set in the distance. These can be booked with providers serving the north and west coasts.
Take an exhilarating ride at splashing speed and cast anchor at any of the islets studding the lagoon, close to Mauritius. In the north, Gabriel island, Flat island and the unmistakably-shaped Gunner's Coin are well worth a sea outing. On the south-eastern coast, Blue Bay's marine park is one of the best places to see the beautiful marine life. Go snorkelling or take a glass bottom boat tour of the most breath-taking beaches to be seen. For an uplifting morning swim with the dolphins or viewing a spectacular sunset out at sea, the west coast is the way to go.
Glide the sky on the wings of a great bird and swoosh above the green patchwork of sugar cane fields, over crystal-clear lagoons and dazzling white sand beaches on board an ultra-light motorised airplane. A ULM plan tour reveals the beauty of Mauritius from a sensational viewpoint. Ile d'Ambre or Roches Noires region are particularly picturesque from the air.
Flying close to the sea provides a unique view over the coral reef. The seaplane is another exhilarating way to enjoy wonderful aerial views of the breath-taking nuances of blues and the textured greens that compose the panorama of the south-western coast, embracing its wild beauty at a glance.
Taking off from the international airport, helicopter rides offer an exclusive way to view the island's spectacular diversity of landscapes. This privileged aerial tour is invariably acclaimed as being truly sensational by all those who experience it.
From the million annual visitors Mauritius currently records, 60,000 of these are golfers. The island offers professionals, passionate amateurs and beginners no less than ten 18-hole courses and three 9-hole courses in perfect conditions for the game. Set in spectacular sites and wonderful natural environments, designed for championships by renowned golfers such as Peter Matkovich, Peter Allis, Rodney Wright, many of these courses count among the most beautiful worldwide and are sought out for the original challenges and unique experiences they provide. The 2015 and 2016 AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open seasons marked a major milestone for Mauritius as a professional golf destination. In 2016, Mauritius was awarded the prized title of Golf Destination of the Year for the Africa Indian Ocean and Gulf countries region by IAGTO, the Global Golf Tourism Organisation.
Forever engraved as lifelong memories or imprinted in treasured photos, Mauritius' landscapes offer an abundance of breath-taking views. Among the most panoramic are, Trou aux Cerfs crater in the central highlands, Le Pouce Mountain, Lion Mountain, Le Morne Brabant and Macchabée forest overlooking the Black River Gorges, the rugged windswept cliffs towering over the wild beauty of the Gris-Gris beach.
Mauritius holds over ten natural parks and leisure parks. Each offer the opportunity to grasp the wealth of local flora and fauna as well as acclimated specimens from farther horizons such as giant tortoises, crocodiles, ostriches, giraffes, lions, cheetahs and caracals. Local deer and rabbits can be fed in mini farms and even some of the more impressive animals can be closely approached, or walking tours including a walk with lions. A choice of unforgettable thrills awaits both kids and grown-ups including horse riding, quad-biking, jeep safaris, or to really get your heart racing, go for a zip-line, a canyon swing or a canyoning adventure.
Mauritius holds several beautiful circuits for hiking and nature lovers. The heart of the island, is bordered by volcanic peaks which in addition to being accessible on foot, also offers amazing panoramic views. Black River Gorges Natural Park is the largest on the island. Several tracks are marked to find one's way easily. We recommend the picturesque descent from Petrin, starting in the highlands of the central plateau and going down to the west coast in Black River. It allows the hiker the privilege of crossing primary forests, sighting endemic fauna and passing by deeply-cut gorges and waterfalls.