Hotels in Maldives
Places similar to Maldives to visit
Known as the ‘Land of Smiles’ thanks to its welcoming locals, you can’t help but fall in love with Thailand. When you’re not exploring its pristine, tropical coastline or getting lost among the crowds in its charming city centres, you could be tucking into some of the most pad thai, whipped up right in front of your eyes from a street stall.
With 400 Buddhist structures dotted throughout the country, you can’t venture here without visiting a temple or two. Now throw in the fact it sees warm temperatures all year round, and you can't help but fall in love with Asia holidays.
Bali is an island in Indonesia, popular with visitors for its lush, green, forested landscape, rice paddies and volcanic mountains, as well as for its stunning coastline and coral reefs. Just south of the equator, you can enjoy a pleasant temperature all year round, which is why it’s a haven for beach lovers who flock for Asia holidays along the southern coasts such as Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, surrounding the capital Denpasar. Here you’ll find the majority of the island’s hotels, with all the top restaurants and big town nightlife.
Things to do
A largely Hindu nation, Bali is the place to go if you’re seeking peace and serenity. It’s considered by many to be the yoga and meditation centre of the southern hemisphere, with retreats dotted around the island, both inland and on the coast.
If you’re interested in Bali’s spiritual side , make a beeline for some (or all) of its six temples. These popular religious sites include the stunning cliff top Uluwatu Temple on the island’s southern tip, and the beachside Tanah Lot. Both will give you magnificent views of the ocean.
Love waterfalls? You could easily spend an entire holiday searching for its many plunge pools. Head to the central region for the most spectacular ones, including the famous Gitgit Waterfall at 35m high, or Sekumpul, which is actually seven different falls set in one leafy valley.
Adventure seekers are in luck too. Bali is a place to get your adrenaline pumping, be it on land, on water, or under it. It’s a magne for dive enthusiasts, who head here for the wealth of marine life that call these coral rich seas home. To date, 500 reef building coral species have been identified in the seas of this area, which experts call the Coral Triangle.
The rivers of Bali are a water sports playground, with white water rafting and tubing among your options. Can you think of a better way to see the mighty Ayung and Telaga Waja rivers? Over in Bali’s mountainous central, you can hike up sky high peaks towering at 2000m elevations, including Mounts Batur and Agung, which are still active volcanoes. However you see this Indonesian island, you’ll be sure to leave with lasting memories.
Holidays to Mauritius are luxurious, with plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun, snorkel through coral reefs, and enjoy the local cuisine, a fusion of Chinese, French, Indian and Creole influences. Add to that the bustling markets of Port Louis, the volcanic peaks of Trou aux Cerfs, and the virgin rainforests of Black River Gorges, and you’ll feel like you're stepping into another world.
Mauritius is also a gold mine for history buffs. Amidst the mountainous scenery and swaying sugar cane fields, there is a fascinating culture with tremendous diversity to be found on an Indian Ocean holiday. Wander through the pastel-coloured Hindu temples in Ganga Talao and the colonial townhouses in Rue du Vieux Conseil. And when you’re not soaking up the sights of the island, you can indulge in some of the most luxurious spas and golf courses in the world.
Things To Do
Mauritius is foremost a beach destination, but there’s so much more to this island than meets the eye. If you can pull yourself away from its delicate white sands and cobalt blue waters, you’ll discover mountainous trails and hidden waterfalls. So if you want balmy sunshine, pristine beaches and the chance to see some of the rarest fauna and flora on the planet, Mauritius holidays are for you.
Shopping in Port Louis
A holiday to Mauritius would not be complete without a shopping trip to the duty-free capital, Port Louis. Colourful parasols line Le Caudan walkway from above, shading the cobbled streets below. Here, you can pick up diamonds, cashmere and designer clothing for a third of the price back home. A mix of modern architecture and heritage buildings, you’ll find everything from artisanal markets to high street brand names. Debit cards are widely accepted, but if you want to take home some craft stall treasures, be sure to order your travel money before you go.
A Glittering Nightlife
Though the island is small, the nightlife in Mauritius is anything but! You’ve got lively beach clubs, swanky wine bars and glittering casinos. Head to the elegant 55 Lounge Club for late-night DJ sets and sophisticated cocktails. While Banana Beach Club is perfect if you're looking for laid-back island vibes. It has become a hub for locals and tourists, recognised for the Flamboyant tree that towers Grand Bay.
Discover the History & Culture
Mauritius has a relatively recent history, remaining uninhabited until the 16th century. Arab sailors and the Portuguese first discovered the island before colonisation by the Dutch, French and British. It has since gained independence in 1968, with African, European, Indian and Chinese influences shaping the vibrant food, various beliefs and colourful festivals. A focal point of the community today is The Mauritius Turf Club, a famous racetrack built in 1812 to ease relationships between the French and English settlers. Major racing events are still held here regularly, drawing in crowds of 20,000.
Plenty of Family Fun
If you’re looking for things to do in Mauritius with the family, we recommend a trip to Grand Baie. The shoreline is calm, making it the perfect spot for paddling with your little ones. Besides building sandcastles in the sun, you can also hop on a catamaran to watch dolphins swim along the Western Coast. One of our favourite attractions on this side of Mauritius is the glass-bottom boat trips, a big hit with families.
Snorkelling & Watersports
Mauritius holidays are a paradise for snorkelling and watersport enthusiasts. The island is encircled by one of the largest unbroken barrier reefs in the world, creating shallow lagoons on par with the Maldives. Swim out on the bays at Balaclava and Calodyne to spot tiger fish and blue snapper. If you’re more experienced, head out to the deeper ocean for your chance to see dolphins and turtles. Indian Ocean holidays are renowned for watersports, too, from windsurfing and parasailing to waterskiing and paddleboarding.
Mauritius is a UNESCO site, home to some of the most endangered plant life on the planet. Plan a trip to Black River Gorges National Park, and you’ll get the chance to see rare and protected species of plants and birds, including the Pink Pigeon and Mauritius Kestrel. Another spectacular site is La Vanille Nature Park Mauritius. You can explore tropical rainforests, meet a 100-year-old giant tortoise and marvel at one of the largest private insect and butterfly collections in the world.