Mauritius is located only 220km north-east of Reunion island, but unlike its larger neighbour there's no danger of sharks. The coral reefs tame the wrath of Poseidon, leaving swimmers in placid lagoons teaming with myriads of colourful fish. Here there's nothing but peaceful rogues with fins and friendly names: devil fish, striped catfish and spotted squirrelfish. An entire underwater landscape awaits here. The Moray eels scouring the depths of the ocean are also charming as long as you don't disturb them and the local fishermen call them by their first names.
Budding Robinson Crusoes who prefer to set off and explore the country can easily do so by bike or by car hire. L’île aux Cerfs - Deer Island and the Grapefruit Botanical Garden are just thirty minutes from La Maison d’Été. Mauritius' hot and humid climate provides it with an abundant tropical vegetation and the grapefruits bear witness to this. The magnificent botanical garden, created in the 18th century by Mahé de La Bourdonnais, captain of the East India Company and General Governor of the France and Bourbon islands (now Réunion), has become one of the island's main attractions. Stroll through its groves (if possible with a guide), and under no circumstances should you miss the lake of giant water lilies (with its white, pink and blue lilies), the lotus flower lake revered by Hindus and the park of giant tortoises, some of which are over a century old. As for the mysterious and much talked of Deer Island, on the east coast, the regulars here tend to be motor boat drivers and sun-tan oil sellers.
If an urban excursion is more your thing, then visit the town of Flacq, tucked away in a small bay, where visitors are amazed to discover a Hindu temple with a Shaivite trident on top and a lovely vegetable market where the tomatoes look like suns. After this you cross through undulating seas of sugar cane fields waving in the wind, interspersed with mounds of old volcanic lava. For lovers of crystal clear waters there are 5 miles of yellow sandy beaches stretching out from Pointe de Flacq to Trou d’eau douce, (freshwater hole) and shaded from the burning rays of sun.
In the evening, dining at La Maison d’Eté restaurant is a delight with its roof of Ravenala Palm leaves sheltering you from the cool air. Let 's face it: in its price range, this establishment has to be one of the best on the island. In the kitchen, the Mauritian 37 year-old chef Ravin Dhauro, cooks up an elegant and refined Mauritian cuisine. On the menu is Bream Tartare with vanilla and pink peppercorns and Octopus Salad with vinaigrette of passion fruit and palm hearts.
La Maison d'Eté
Route côtière, Poste Lafayette Ile Maurice
The site covers over 4,000m2 and includes: a Mauritian family villa with 6 independent guest rooms a complex of six small suites with their own terrace, a bar-restaurant, two swimming pools, two sandy terraces, a beauty and massage area and a wild beach. It's situated 35 minutes' drive from the capital of Port- Louis and the seaside village of Grand Baie, 15 minutes from the beaches and the 4 golf courses (including the Belle Mare), 5 minutes from the kitesurfing sites and 1 hour from the airport.