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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > March 2017 > ALTERNATIVE honeymoons

ALTERNATIVE honeymoons

If marriage is on the cards this year, half the fun is in planning the honeymoon. Here are four ideas for an imaginative, adventurous romantic trip away
Rising like a prehistoric megalith, Le Morne Brabant in southwest Mauritius once sheltered runaway slaves
WRITTEN BY MATT PHILLIPS. PHOTOGRAPHS: JOHN ARNOLD/GETTY, MARK READ

MAURITIUS

With wild mountains and hiking trails, this aquatic paradise offers surprise adventure

OFTEN CONFUSED WITH the Maldives, its distant and decidedly flat Indian Ocean neighbour, Mauritius couldn’t be more different (blissful beaches and underwater natural treasures aside). Bursting dramatically from the waters east of Madagascar, this island is no coral atoll – jagged peaks of unimaginable shapes rise above tropical forests, sugarcane plantations carpet rolling hills and rivers cascade off 100m cliffs to frothing pools below. Exciting activities away from the beach abound.

Many of the wild expanses, such as Black River Gorges National Park, are criss-crossed with trails for hiking (and a few for mountain biking, too) that will take you through verdant, flowering foliage and deposit you at viewpoints that will vanquish what breath you have left. Looking down over Mauritius’ coastline and seeing the kaleidoscopic collision of blue hues between the encircling reef and coastline is simply spellbinding. And it’s those protected, shallow waters that are perfect for water-based activities, beneath or atop the surface.

Culturally, Mauritius is bursting with diversity, with Indian, African, Chinese and French ancestries at the fore. Taking the chance to embrace this ever-peaceful society, by visiting communities or dining on cuisine as colourful and ethnically varied as the population at family-run tables d’hôte, is one of Mauritius’ true honeymoon rewards.

ESSENTIAL HONEYMOON EXPERIENCES

Standing like a sentinel, the hulking behemoth of Le Morne Brabant mountain looms large over Le Morne Peninsula – it’s so impressive-looking that it’s hard to know whether to face your beach lounger to the stunning sea or towards its vertical slopes. However, the 500m climb up it with a guide from Yanature offers views that put all else to shame (£34pp; trekkingmauritius.com).

Marriage is about trust and sharing, yes? So head to Grand Rivière Noire and rent a two-person SeaKart for a tour of Mauritius’ mesmerising west coast. Take turns behind the controls of this speedy jet boat (from £120 for one hour; fun-adventure.mu).

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March 2017
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