Category Archives: Indian Ocean

A Look at Some of the Most Recommended Hotels in the Maldives

Known for its pristine white beaches and beautiful landscape, the Maldives is undoubtedly one of the most sought after holiday destinations in the Indian Ocean.

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The presence of many fabulous island resorts makes this beautiful country even more appealing to the tourists. In order to help you choose the best holiday resort, our travel experts have come up with a list of recommended hotels in the Maldives. Take a look!

Komandoo Maldives Island Resort

komandhoo-island-resort-01Located in Lhaviyani Atoll, Komandoo Maldives Island Resort is a private beach resort. The conveniently located beachfront property is 80 miles from the capital, Malé, and is accessible via seaplanes. Guests have the option to choose their accommodation from Jacuzzi Water Villa, Jacuzzi Beach Villa and Regular Beach Villas. Guests can enjoy dining at one or more of the four onsite restaurants and bars including Aqua, Falhu Restaurant, Kandu Bar and Thundi Bar. Scuba diving, snorkelling and sailing are among the popular activities that can be enjoyed at the hotel.

Grab best deals to Komandoo Maldives Island Resort

Dusit Thani Maldives

Dusit-Thani-MaldivesSituated near Hanifaru Bay, Dusit Thani Maldives is another well-known resort in the Maldives. The perfectly placed beachfront property is 35 minutes from the capital and 10 minutes from the airport. Dusit Thani is accessible both by speedboat, and seaplanes running at regular intervals from the domestic airports. Promising a romantic stay, rooms in the resort are divided into eight different categories. Offering a wide variety of cuisines and world popular delicacies are the four onsite restaurants and bars including Sea Grill, Benjarong, Salsa Bar and Sand Bar. The option of Borderless Dining is available for the guests who wish to enjoy a romantic beachside date.

Best holiday packages for Dusit Thani Maldives

Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi

Adaaran-Select-HudhuranfushiLocated on the ‘Island of White Gold’, Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi is a beautiful beachfront property. The conveniently located resort is 19 km from the international airport and few kilometres from the famous attractions like the National Museum, Grand Friday Mosque and Presidential Palace. Promising a comfortable holiday experience, accommodation in Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi is divided across Beach Villas and Garden Rooms. Enjoy your meals at the different onsite restaurants, such as Lohis Bar, Main Bar, Main Restaurant and Sunset Restaurant. Moreover, you can enjoy numerous water sports on the island and the nearby beaches.

Book a perfect holiday package for Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi

LUX* South Ari Atoll

Lux-MaldivesSituated on Dhidhoofinolhu Island, LUX* South Ari Atoll is among the most famous luxury resorts in the Maldives. The perfectly placed hotel features a total of 193 private villas surrounded by aqua blue crystal clear waters and pristine beaches. Suites and villas at LUX* are classified into five different categories including Pool Villa, Water Villa, LUX* Villa, Beach Pavilion and Beach Villa. Treat your taste buds to a wide range of cuisines and world famous delicacies at any of the several restaurants and bars of the hotel.

For great value deals of LUX* South Ari Atoll visit here

Best Known Tourist Attractions in Kandy, Sri Lanka

Established by Vikramabahu III of Gampola during his reign, Kandy is an ancient Sri Lankan city. Located in the south central part of the island, the city features some of the ancient Buddhist temples and shrines dating back to 18th century.

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Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988, Kandy is an apt destination to explore Buddhist culture and tradition. Here are some of the most well-known tourist attractions of the city.

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

Located close to Udawattakele Sanctuary, The Temple of Sacred Tooth Relic is one of the most prominent shrines in Sri Lanka. Also known as Dalada Maligawa, the popular site houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. A popular tradition of the temple is the chanting of prayers and hymns by a dedicated group of priests and monks three times a day within the temple complex. Also, every Wednesday, a holy symbolic bath of the relic in scented water is done and the water is distributed among the crowd. It is believed that this water possesses healing powers.

World Buddhist Museum

Nestled inside the former High Court building, World Buddhist Museum is a famous attraction in Kandy. The museum is home to numerous pictures, photographs, models and illustrations depicting various stages of Buddhism in the country. It is the relics of Buddha, the beautifully crafted painted images which attracts visitors and tourists from across the world. Interestingly, the construction of the museum was a joint effort by 17 Asian countries including Bangladesh, Nepal, China, Korea, Malaysia, Bhutan, India and Afghanistan.

Aluvihara Rock Temple

Also known as Matale Alu Viharaya, Aluvihara Rock Temple is a popular temple located in the Matale district of Sri Lanka. Built during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa, the ancient temple houses some of the most beautiful paintings and depictions of Buddha. The temple was the location, where the Pali Canon was first written down completely in text on palm leaves. The reclining statue of Buddha, the arch of dragon, and a painting depicting the hell and the heaven are most popular among the visitors.

Muthiyangana Raja Maha Vihara

Situated in the heart of Badulla, Muthiyangana Raja Maha Vihara is another ancient Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. Believed to have been built by King Devanampiya Tissa, the popular site is regarded as one of the Solosmasthana (the 16 sacred places) in the country. As per Hindu mythological texts, the war between Rama and Rawana (Ramayana) took place near the site. Popular attractions within the structure include thorana (pandol), Makara thorana, image house, The Stupa Bo Tees (bodhi trees).

Thuparamaya

Built after the introduction of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, Thuparamaya is one of the oldest stupas on the island. Built by King Devanapiyatissa, the popular site consists of relics, inscriptions and testimonies written and maintained by Buddha. At the time of its discovery, the site was used as a residential complex for Bhikkhus (monks).

Kadurugoda Viharaya

Located in a small hamlet called Kandaroda, Kadurugoda Viharaya is an ancient Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. Constructed during the Anuradhapura era, the site was discovered by a famous historian P.E. Pieris in 1917. At the time of its discovery there were 56 stupas with remains and relics of Buddha.

Here are Some of the Most Highly Recommended Resorts in the Maldives

The Maldives is a popular honeymoon and beach destination with millions of tourists heading to the country every year to enjoy their time at the numerous luxury resorts and hotels of the island. maldives Indeed, the destination is home to some of the most exclusive resorts islands in the world. Here are five of the most recommended hotels and resorts of the Maldives!

Taj Exotica Resort & Spa

Taj exotica resort maldivesTaj Exotica Resort & Spa is a beachfront luxury resort, located on a stunning island in South Malé Atoll. This 5-star resort is just a 15-minute speedboat ride away from the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. Enjoy beautiful views of the Indian Ocean from its various pristine beaches and its serene lagoon, which are easily accessible to guests. Or relax in its luxurious villas and suites, which have beautiful interiors and spacious balconies; some of them even have freshwater plunge pools! Savour delicious seafood, authentic international cuisines and fantastic collection of wines and cocktails at its award-winning restaurants.view more…

Dusit Thani Maldives

Dusit Thani MaldivesDusit Thani Maldives is a 5-star luxury resort located on the Mudhdhoo Island in Baa Atoll of the Maldives. Explore the Baa Atoll, which is the first ever UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in the country, from the lap of luxury at this conveniently located resort. The hotel places travellers close to the island’s key attractions including the Kihaadhuffaru Island Beach, Kihaadhuffaru Island Pier and the Dharavandhoo Mosque. Enjoy your stay in luxurious beach and over-water villas and residences, all with spacious rooms and contemporary Thai-inspired interiors. Enjoy the best of international and Thai cuisines at its three on-site restaurants. Check here for more

Adaaran Club Rannalhi

Adaaran Club RannalhiAdaaran Club Rannalhi is a renowned luxury hotel at the Rannalhi Island on South Malé Atoll. The hotel promises warm hospitality and offers excellent arrangements for outdoor excursions for guests. You can enjoy stunning views of picture-perfect beaches and serene mangroves due to its seaside location. The hotel is popular with divers since it offers access to wonderful scuba diving sites. Apart from diving, you can also enjoy other forms of water sports here including fishing and sailing. Other local attractions including the National Museum, the Grand Friday Mosque and the Islamic Centre are nearby. read more

One&Only Reethi Rah

Only and One Reethi RahStay at One&Only Reethi Rah, located in the North Male Atoll. Guests will be able to travel easily to major attractions of the region including Madivaru Beyru Dive Site, Republic Square and Maldives Islamic Centre – all of them lie within 50 kilometres of this conveniently located hotel. Choose any one of the private villas or residences of the resort, which are considered to be one of the largest resort villas in the world. All villas and residences offer stunning ocean and beach views and direct access to the lagoon. Enjoy sumptuous seafood and a variety of international cuisines at the resort. check here for deals

Komandoo Maldives Island Resort

Komandoo Maldives Island ResortKomandoo Maldives Island Resort is located on the Komandoo Island at the Lhaviyani Atoll in the Maldives. You will be surrounded by scenic beaches and beautiful lagoons of the Indian Ocean during your stay here. Plus, enjoy spectacular recreational activities and excellent dining options. Couples can enjoy romantic candlelight dinner on the beach or a relaxing massage session at Duniye Spa at the Komandoo Maldives Island Resort. view more

Experience the Grandeur of Galle, Sri Lanka

Blessed with stunning natural beauty and rustic grandeur, Galle is a popular tourist destination in the island country of Sri Lanka.

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The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a pristine beach nearby and boasts of lush surroundings and historical monuments reflecting grand colonial architecture. Read on to know more about the attractions of Galle in Sri Lanka.

Old Gate

The Old Gate is one of the best places to explore the city’s colonial history. The site has a stunning entrance with a beautifully engraved British coat of arms at its top on the outer side. As you explore the Old Gate, notice the engravings on the inside of the gate, which is flanked by a couple of lions and a cock. This section of the old wall was also used as a warehouse to store the spices that were to be exported.

The Dutch Fort

One of the main attractions of the region is the Dutch Fort of Galle, which is best explored on foot. Enjoy an early morning stroll or walk across the ramparts of the fort to marvel at its colonial grandeur. The Dutch Fort is considered to be one of the biggest remaining fortresses in Asia to have been built by Europeans.

Dutch Reformed Church

The Dutch Reformed Church is a part of the Galle Fort and visitors can go through the entire church in around half an hour’s time. Experience the soothing vibe of the serene environs of the church and admire the antiquity of its organ loft, which used to contain a cumbrous Dutch organ. Also, check out the wall hatchments, tombstone engravings, and the orthodox pulpit.

Koggala

Visit the charming coastal town of Koggala in Galle, which is also the hometown of a renowned local writer named Martin Wickramasinghe. His old residence has been converted into a museum called the Museum of Folk, Art & Culture. It displays a fantastic collection of early 20th century local folk artefacts, including folk dance costumes, sports items, household goods, and furniture. The Koggala Lake and its lagoon is a bird watcher’s paradise as the several small islands here attract lots of birds.

Unawatuna Bay

To enjoy water sports and scenic ocean views, head out to the fantastic Unawatuna Bay. Protected by a reef, the bay is popular with tourists and locals alike for its safe swimming and snorkelling opportunities. Visitors can also buy the local handicraft Galle lace, an excellent souvenir.

Top Reasons to Visit Sri Lanka!

Rich and beautiful Ceylon, popularly called Sri Lanka, is a popular destination in Asia. The island country lures travellers with its myriad charms – it has serene golden beaches, lush mountains, grand historical attractions, and exotic wildlife to name a few.

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While here, sip the world-famous Ceylon tea and also enjoy exotic ayurvedic spa experiences to collect memories of a lifetime. Check out some of the top reasons to book flights to this amazing country.

Spectacular Natural Beauty

Sri Lanka is blessed with diverse landscapes spread across and also extending beyond several national parks and nature reserves. It is surrounded by the ocean and has a majestic coastline punctuated by numerous pristine beaches, rocky coves, and lagoons. Also, there are dense forests, wetlands, waterfalls, and misty mountains. A true heaven for nature enthusiasts!

Diverse Wildlife

Wildlife spotting is one of the most famous activities here. The country shelters a variety of animals, birds, and marine species. It is home to the UNESCO designated World Heritage Site; the Sinharaja Forest Reserve and has around 14 national parks. You are likely to spot huge elephants, leopards, sloth bears, sambhar, spotted deer, and many other wild animals. A bird watcher’s paradise, the country is home to around 233 resident species and many migratory species.

Adventure sports

Sri Lanka’s wonderful landscapes make it a paradise for adventure seekers. The country’s long coastline makes it a perfect place for water-based sports such as wind-surfing, water-skiing, surfing, sailing, and scuba-diving across popular sites such as Negombo, Wadduwa, Kalutara, and Beruwela. Go kayaking, white-water rafting, and canoeing on Kalu Ganga, Kelani Ganga, and scores of other rivers are also quite popular. Besides, here are plenty of trekking trails, with some of the most popular ones being at the Sinharaja rainforest, the cloud-forests of Horton Plains, and the Knuckles mountain range.

Cuisine

The delectable local cuisine is another highlight of a trip to Sri Lanka. The country is well endowed with the best of vegetation, including several kinds of rice, spices, vegetables, and fruits. So while here, enjoy its staple rice with an assortment of curries of eggplant, potato, green banana, chicken, or fish. Don’t forget the local favourites; hoppers and pittu (a flour and coconut delicacy). Seafood aficionados will be spoilt for choice with abundant and fresh fish, prawns, crab, squid, and crayfish.

Historical Sites

The island country has a rich cultural heritage. It is home to around six World Heritage Sites designated by UNESCO. Explore the likes of the sacred ruins of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, sacred temples of Dambulla and Kandy, and the historical and colonial heritage of Galle. Discover the gems of the ancient world with a tour of the ancient royal capital Kandy, which now houses the Sacred Temple of the Tooth.

Ayurveda & Spa

The relaxing and soothing Ayurvedic treatments and rejuvenating spa treatments are a must for travellers. Don’t leave the country without getting a massage. The massages truly rejuvenate one’s body, mind, and soul.

Travellers, Here’s what NOT to Miss in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, affectionately called ‘The Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, is truly unique! The diverse landscapes in the form of rainforests, plains, highlands, and beaches amaze one and all.

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The vibrant cities have a magic of their own. In fact, there are quite a few absolutely not to be missed attractions and activities at the destination. Here, take a look!

Jungle Beach

Jungle Beach is the ultimate spot for relaxation. The soft sands and views of the deep blue ocean draw people in hordes. It’s also a treat to enjoy refreshing beverages under the bright sun. Those who are looking for ‘Me-Time’ must walk further into the beach, where it’s delightfully secluded. With almost no waves or currents, the waters of Jungle Beach are considered suitable for swimming.

Kandy Esala Perahera in Kandy

The Kandy Esala Perahera in Kandy is one of the oldest and biggest Buddhist festivals of the nation. It encompasses dancers, musicians, and jugglers who showcase their talents and skills in a graceful manner. The extravagantly decorated elephants startle everyone. This 10-day festival comes to an end with the time-honoured diya-kepeema ritual – a water cutting ceremony which is conducted annually at Mahaweli River in Getambe, Kandy.

Yala National Park

Tourists who want to spot wild animals should head to Yala National Park. It is home to 44 varieties of mammals and 215 bird species. Lucky visitors can spot leopards, elephants, sloth bears, jackals, peacocks, and crocodiles. The best time to visit Yala is from February to July when the water level of the park is very low, encouraging wild animals to come out in the open. It is advisable to carry water, first-aid, and snacks.

Take a Guided Tour of Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is the most important location for tea production in Sri Lanka. It grows a tea that is acknowledged by connoisseurs as among the finest in the world. One may join guided tours to learn about tea production. Formerly, Nuwara Eliya grew coffee but the weather played spoilsport. Consequently, tea was extensively cultivated in the same region and it flourished.

Ride the Train

This is a marvellous experience! Train rides in Sri Lanka make people feel as if they are stepping back in time. This old mode of transport chugs through hills and valleys at a slow pace. The scenic beauty grabs the attention of foreigners and locals alike. Journeying in trains is affordable as the rates are attractively low. The train ride from Ella to Kandy is an outstanding one.

Visit Maldives on a Limited Budget

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Maldives is one of the top beach destinations in the world. The island country is known for its pristine waters, picturesque beaches, bright sunshine, lush greenery, vibrant underwater wildlife and adventure water sports. Here are some tips to help you enjoy a good vacation without straining your finances.

Flights & Arrivals

You can find a good deal on air tickets to Malé, the capital of Maldives, if you book from Asia. Travellers can buy tickets at cheap rates particularly from Sri Lanka, Malaysia and India. Visitors travelling directly from the US, UK and European countries can also find reasonable deals on flights if they are flexible with dates, times and departure points.

For budget travellers, it is important to ensure arrival in the mornings or afternoons. No ferries leave from Malé to other islands after a particular time in the afternoon. So, arriving early will allow you to continue your trip without interruption, as late afternoon or evening landings would mean being stuck in Malé for 24 hours.

Accommodation

Maldives is made up of hundreds of small islands. Some of these are expensive private resort islands, while there are local islands too. These are inhabited by the local Maldivian people and are quite cheap. So, budget travellers should definitely consider hotels in the locally-inhabited islands. However, there is limited choice for budget hotels and locally-owned guest houses.

Also, many locals in the Maldives offer to share their apartments with tourists and this option can get you some really cheap deals. Use Couchsurfing and Airbnb to get good accommodation options at reasonable prices.

Transport

Getting around the islands on a budget is a bit tricky. The best and cheapest option will be to exclusively use ferries for island hopping. However, this will need time and careful planning from your part. Missed or cancelled ferries are common. Do check online for various ferry timetables.
Shared speedboats or exclusive private speedboats are also reasonable for island hopping, with the latter being more expensive. However, travellers will have more convenience and flexibility with these.

For budget travellers, the last option for changing islands should be the seaplanes as they are quite costly.

Food

Travellers can also save a lot by choosing to eat at local food joints rather than at restaurants or hotels. Local eateries and food stalls also sell delicious local cuisine and seafood at lower prices.

Activities

A Maldivian holiday would definitely include adventure sports such as scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, hiking, trekking, canoeing and much more. Try these excursions at the more reasonable centres of the regular inhabited islands. Also, a vacation in the Maldives during the off-season will do its bit to help you grab good deals on activities and excursions.

Most Popular National Parks in Pakistan

If you are a nature enthusiast, you may consider Pakistan as your next holiday destination. The beautiful country has lots of natural wonders.

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Take a look at some of the most stunning national parks in Pakistan.

Ayub National Park

Feel the essence of around 900 hectares of natural beauty. Nestled peacefully in Rawalpindi, Ayub National Park is one of the largest parks in Asia. Cherish a day of blissful sightseeing and enjoy various delightful activities. The park also has an open air theatre. Enjoy the panoramic views of the surroundings.

Central Karakorum National Park

Established in the year 1993, Central Karakoram National Park is a paradise for mountaineers and nature enthusiasts. It is home to some of the highest peaks in the world such as the Gashebrum II, K-2, Broad Peak, and Gashebrum. The sights of these lofty mountains are truly jaw dropping. And to top it all, the national park also has the world’s greatest glacier known as the Baltaro Glacier.

Chitral Gol National Park

Chitral Gol National Park is a stunning valley near the Chitral River. Visit this spectacular park to spot some of the rarest and most endangered wildlife in the region, including snow leopard, golden eagle and markhor. Spread across 19,151 acres of fertile land, it promises a majestic aura in the lap of nature to relax your senses.

Khunjerab National Park

The beautiful Khunjerab National Park is a mystifying destination, which will enchant you to the core. The scintillating park has an abundance of wildlife. Established in 1975, it is spread across nearly 560,714 acres of heavenly terrain in the Gilgit-Balistan province of Pakistan. If lucky, one can spot leopards and other elusive wildlife.

Kirthar National Park

Settled serenely between Karachi and Jamshoro District of Sindh, Kirthar National Park was once home to the largest number of leopards. It is a wonderful place to witness the amazing scenic vistas of high mountains full of flora and fauna.

Magnificent Maldives – An Island Holiday Destination Loved by Tourists

The Maldives is one of the most famous Indian Ocean destinations. Millions of travellers fly to this fabulous island nation every year to laze around on its beautiful beaches, try the exciting water sports and or to enjoy the terrific cultural charms of the place.

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But before lapping up the entire gamut of splendid experiences waiting for you in the Maldives, it is important that tourists learn as much as possible about this island nation which lies southwest of Sri Lanka and India in the Indian Ocean.

Ibrahim Nasir International Airport is the main airport of the country and is served by many well-known and reputable carriers which connect the Maldives with different parts of the globe. Maldivian, the country’s flag carrier, has its main base at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. The airline has a limited flight network which includes mostly domestic and regional destinations.

Once here, travellers can enjoy all the different offerings of the island country. Do try out the special Maldivian cuisine which is extremely popular with foreign tourists. Seafood is a prominent part of the diet here and you will find that most of the famous dishes include fish in some form or the other. Theluli Mas (spicy fried fish), Fihunu Mas (barbecued fish) and Garudhiya (a fish broth served with rice) are some of the must try delicacies in the Maldives.

Maldives

The Maldives has some charming tourist places like Malé, Kudahuvadhoo, Mirihi Islands and Addu City. Malé, the capital city, is home to several tourist attractions and certainly deserves more than just a cursory glance. Tourists will be impressed by [sg_popup id="51"]Malé Friday Mosque[/sg_popup], [sg_popup id="54"]Sultan Park[/sg_popup], [sg_popup id="50"]National Museum[/sg_popup] and the architectural landmark, [sg_popup id="52"]the Islamic Centre[/sg_popup]. A Maldivian holiday, however, is largely about the stunning beaches, rich marine life and exciting water sports. You can find it all at any of the several resort islands in North Malé Atoll. However, [sg_popup id="55"]Banana Reef[/sg_popup] and [sg_popup id="56"]Manta Point[/sg_popup] are two of the most popular places that divers and snorkellers would love to explore!

Travellers must be aware of the country’s weather pattern before planning their holidays in the region. The Maldives is warm and humid for most parts of the year and receives rainfall from July to August and from November to March. December to March is the busiest season for tourism in the country.

Also, pay heed to travel and health tips that can make all the difference between a great and a not-so great holiday! Travellers who have diving and snorkelling on their minds must buy the compulsory Maldivian diving insurance. Also, divers should be aware of the potential ear infections or coral cuts. Other than that, tourists are advised to dress conservatively when visiting local inhabited islands.

Mauritius – A Beautiful Indian Ocean Gem You Must Learn About

A beautiful island in the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is famous for its incredible natural riches and fantastic culture and traditions. It is not surprising that millions of honeymooners, family holidaymakers, and adventurers visit this fabulous island nation year on year.  It is important that tourists learn as much as possible about the country before hitting its shores.

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Mauritius lies some 2,000 km off the southeast coast of the African continent and is connected to most of the world’s major destinations by Air Mauritius, the flag carrier of the country, or other global operators. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is the key gateway to the country and welcomes over 2 million passengers annually.

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Mauritius has long list of tourist attractions, which ensures elaborate sightseeing excursions for the visitors.  [sg_popup id="21"]Mauritius Botanical Garden[/sg_popup], [sg_popup id="20"]Black River Gorges National Park[/sg_popup], [sg_popup id="22"]Île aux Cerfs Island[/sg_popup], [sg_popup id="19"]Port Louis[/sg_popup], and [sg_popup id="23"]Ile aux Aigrettes[/sg_popup] are some of the key tourist spots you’ll love to visit in the country. When it comes to climatic conditions, Mauritius remains pleasantly warm, more or less, throughout the year.

As a result of its multicultural population, a number of festivals are celebrated in Mauritius and each one of them is enjoyed by the locals. Most of the major Indian festivals are celebrated here and so are the Chinese ones. The island is extremely lively during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Along with enjoying the colourful festivals, do sample some of the region’s best known delicacies.  Mauritian cuisine is a mix of Indian, Chinese, and European/ Mediterranean food. You can enjoy rougaille, briyani, curries and other local dishes popular in the country.

In regards to health tips, travellers must opt for comprehensive health insurance for their holidays in the country. Also, visitors to Mauritius are advised to carry insect or mosquito repellents. To enjoy a happy and safe holiday in the nation, one must practise basic safety measures.