Mauritius - Holidays, Flights and Hotels
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Together with Réunion and Rodrigues, Mauritius is part of the Mascarene Islands. This archipelago was formed in a series of undersea volcanic eruptions, as the African plate drifted over the Réunion hotspot. Mauritius and Rodrigues were formed 8-10 million years ago. They are no longer volcanically active, and the hotspot now rests under Réunion. The island of Mauritius itself is formed around a central plateau, with its highest peak in the southwest, Piton de la Petite Rivière Noire at 828 metres (2,717 ft). Around the plateau, the original crater can still be distinguished from several mountains.
The local climate is tropical, modified by southeast trade winds; there is a warm, dry winter from May to November and a hot, wet, and humid summer from November to May. Cyclones affect the country during November-April.
The island's capital and largest city is Port Louis, in the northwest. Other important towns are Curepipe, Vacoas, Phoenix, Quatre Bornes, Rose-Hill and Beau-Bassin.
The island is well known for its exceptional natural beauty; "You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first and then heaven, and that heaven was copied after Mauritius", as Mark Twain noted in Following the Equator.
Brief History of Mauritius
While Arab and Malay sailors knew of Mauritius as early as the 10th century and Portuguese sailors first visited it in 1505, the island remained uninhabited until 1638 when it was colonized by the Dutch. They named the island in honour of Prince Maurice of Nassau. Due to climate changes, cyclones and the deterioration of the settlement, the Dutch abandoned the island some decades later. The French controlled the island during the 18th century and named it Ile de France (French Island). Despite winning the famous Battle of Grand-Port, the French were defeated by the British in the north of the island, at Cap Malheureux, a month later, and thus lost possession to the British in 1810 and the latter reverted the island to its former name.
In 1965, the United Kingdom split out the Chagos Archipelago from Mauritius to create the British Indian Ocean Territory, in order to utilise the strategic islands for defence purposes in cooperation with the United States. Although the Government of Mauritius agreed to the move at the time, subsequent administrations have laid claim to the islands stating that the divestment was illegal under international law.
Information provided by Wikipedia
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Public Holidays in Mauritius
New Years Day - January 1st and 2nd.
Independence/Republic Day - March 12th.
Labour Day - May 1st.
All Saints Day - November 1st.
Christmas Day - December 25th.