In the heart of the Indian Ocean lies one of the world’s most treasured and esteemed island-edens: Mauritius. A palm-fringed, volcanic island full of humble charm and luxury resorts; idyllic Mauritius both inspired and intrigued me…
Why? Well, having spent some of my teenage years living in Antigua (Caribbean) where there are visible tensions between local people and (comparatively) wealthy holiday-makers, I was was both humbled and surprised by the genuine geniality of the Mauritian people. Despite the average Mauritian living in rustic ramshackle houses and living off of modest salaries, you would expect the 60% of the island’s inhabitants who work in travel and tourism industry (serving predominantly wealthy, white people people) to have a bit of a chip on their shoulders. This couldn’t be further from the truth – there is such a sincere curiosity and friendliness about the Mauritian community, both in and outside of the resorts which is as magnetic as it is inspiring.
Mauritius has the reputation of exclusivity and luxury – both of which the island certainly delivers. However, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there are accommodation classifications to suit budgets of all sizes. If, like me, you’re not likely to want to fork out thousands for an opulent beachfront villa there are plenty of gorgeous and rustic hotels like Attitude’s Emeraude Beach, which in May can accommodate a couple for £400 (per person) all-inclusive. Not bad if you’re looking for some pre-summer sun! Outside of the resorts and hotels you’re paying next to nothing for food, drink, petrol, and excursions. I highly recommend hiring a car/moped and exploring the abundance of pristine beaches and tropical jungles, indulging on the delicious local street food and cold Pheonix beers!
Considering you’re in the Indian Ocean, which has a patch-work of nationalities influencing the heritage and culture, there were more moments the island reminded me more of the Caribbean than it’s African/Indian influencers. There’s something about whiter than white sand; crystal bays stretching to turquoise reefs; trees overloaded tropical fruits; tumultuous driving on bumpy roads; mini marts selling merchandise from bygone decades; street food sellers whipping up an absolute treat in seconds and the most mesmerizing sunsets which plasters a permanent smile on my face.
There’s something in Mauritius for everyone: whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, windsurfing lover, culture vulture, rum drinker, adventurous foodie or unashamedly a fly and flop kind of person, Mauritius is barefoot bliss waiting to be explored.