Off the Beaten Track in Mauritius
Let Veranda Paul & Virginie be your basecamp from only £1,306pp
Mauritius is a big place. As a sizeable island, there’s a lot of space for a lot of stuff. Here you can find many a thing to pass the time, but it also means there’s plenty of retail space set aside for chilling and getting peaceful just the way nature intended.
Let me introduce to Grand Gaube, lying on the outer cusp of the Mauritius tourist trail. Here a handful of exclusive resorts take advantage of the absence of big league tourism, where rugged headlands and sandy shores form a direct line to the best Mauritian offerings. All the usual pursuits are still within an armspan, but you can also live like a pioneer and see some of the less publicised attractions that call Mauritius home.
One such hotel is Veranda Paul & Virginie, a subtle combination of wood, stone, and thatched roofs that combine to create a peaceful haven for couples seeking an unforgettable island escape. It’s also an excellent basecamp from which see some of the more elusive attractions in Mauritius’ repertoire, given that you can wine and dine at some superb gourmet restaurants in between striking out and seeing the sights.
I could write vast scrolls espousing the many hidden nuggets to be unearthed at Grand Gaube, Veranda Paul & Virginie, and beyond, but here are a few choice selections plucked from the great branches on this side of paradise.
Pointe Bernache, which fantastically translates as Goose Point, is a petite islet off the cost of Île D’Ambre, and is one of those textbook hidden treasures. One can often see local fishing lines draped into the lagoons foraging for supper, a sure sign that the native way of life is alive and strong, far from the glaring eye of mainstream tourism. Yet it’s also a backroad quite unlike any other, where you can net yourself some Mauritian sun just the way it was meant to be, fresh and unadulterated. More often than not you’ll be hard pressed to find another soul, meaning you can meander or sunbathe with only those chosen few.
There’s a sluice of glorious lazy times to be had, and all you need do is get on board with some old school island hopping and collapse wherever the fancy takes you. Want some custom cartography to help you get your bearings? Have a look right here.
Valley De Ferney
We’ve all bought cheesy souvenirs. Sometimes the urge to bag a memento gets the better of us, and in a trance of ill-judgement that glass fish or grammatically dubious car sticker is the greatest treasure known to man. Mauritius, on the other hand, can offer you a keepsake with a bit more clout.
Mauritius lets you adopt a tree.
Valley de Ferney is a 200-hectare nature reserve that stands watch over the rare wildlife of Mauritius. The Bambou Mountains stand vigil over the kaleidoscopic life within the valley, the playground of elusive birds and age-old trees. Treks, trails, and hiking routes let you get intimate with this wild world, over many a road truly less travelled. You can even have a guide act as your wingman, pointing out the curiosities of your route as you get snap-happy with your camera of choice. And when the adventuring is done you have the opportunity to adopt a tree in the good name of conservation, helping to preserve the forests for many moons to come.
If nothing else, how many people can say they’re surrogate parents to a Mauritian tree? We can point you in the right direction just over here.
The Market at Goodlands’ Street is as cosmopolitan as any major city, but still in touch with its rural, rustic roots as a hub of local Indo-Mauritian trade. The ratio of tourists to locals lands massively in favour of the home crowd, so it’s an authentic song and dance all the way through. Fruits of all tastes and geometries sit on wooden box pedestals, all jostling for your eye-time. Local teas and spices are stacked in complex patterns, each a nod to the pride each merchant holds for their wares. But above all, it’s a window into Mauritius’ inner workings, the daily comings and goings of the people that make this island such a joy to explore.
Located a mere 10 minutes from Grand Guabe, this is the place to be on any given Tuesday (or Friday) if you want to get face-to-face with an authentic patch of Mauritius. The road to Goodlands Market is no secret, and you can assess your options here.
Whether you want to explore or relax, you shouldn’t need to live out of a rucksack or jump from bed to bed. You need a sharp basecamp to call home, where your days can begin and end with comfort and luxury, no matter your chosen pursuits. Thus we present to you Veranda Paul & Virginie, a fabulous adults retreat that will supplement your holiday masterplan with luxury and refinement. Here are the essentials:
• 81 rooms, all with views on the sea
• 2 gourmet restaurants, one located on a jetty
• 2 swimming pools, perfect for cooling off
• A spa with cabins for two, the best way to relax
• Free WiFi in public areas, so you can show off your adventures
• A shop selling souvenirs, beach accessories, and other essentials
Like what you see? You can consolidate everything you’ve read here in to one amazing holiday by calling us on 08444 999 333.