The mere mention of Mauritius conjures up images of beautiful beaches punctuated with palm trees and gorgeous clear sea water. Nice, but if you're looking for something a little different to do on holiday, check out the following ideas for alternative ways to while away the time in Mauritius...
Visitors staying at Shanti Maurice, a high-end hotel featuring Mauritian and African styled villas with private pools, can now visit Grandma's Kitchen. Opened in 2011, Grandma's Kitchen offers guests the chance to dine at the home of the grandmother of one of the resort's own team members. The experience starts with an introduction at Grandma's local Mauritian home. Fresh ingredients are selected from the local village markets to create dishes such as honey lamb with cinnamon, and fish curry, each with local flavours including tamarind, coriander, and chili. Once guests have learnt how the dishes are made, everyone sits around a communal table, and tucks in! On leaving, visitors receive a mini cookbook with a selection of Grandma's handwritten recipes, along with photos from her life on the island.
Submarine and Underwater Scooter
If you fancy something a bit more active or exploratory, then mini submarines and underwater scooters are available as excursions. Rather James Bond like, these are operated by you (!) either alone or as a couple, venturing down to a depth of three or metres below sea level. As you can breathe normally, (your heads are in a big transparent dome) you don't need to be a diver to try this, and you can chat away about what you can see. Trips last for about 40 minutes, and offer incredible 360 degrees panoramic views, taking in the local marine life and reef.
Rhumerie de Chamarel
To learn more about locally produced rum, visits to the Rhumerie de Chamarel can be arranged. The distillery is located in the heart of a fertile valley in the southwest of the island, one of Mauritius' most popular tourist attractions thanks to the landscapes vibrant colours and huge plantations of sugar cane and tropical fruits. Once inside the Rhumerie de Chamarel you will go behind the scenes with experienced guides, learning all about the rum making process, and of course sampling the variety of rums produced. The distillery also has its own restaurant 'L'Alchimiste' should you wish to make a day of it.