On the central west coast of this stunning Indian-Ocean island off the coast of Africa, less than a half hour's drive from capital Port Louis, the quaint fishing village of Flic-en-Flac (the name thought to derive from the old Dutch fried landt flaak, meaning "free flat land," from when Mauritius was held by the Netherlands from the end of the 16th to the beginnng of the 18th century) is home to a thriving tourist industry centered around its 13 kilometres of coastline including a long, gorgeous, white-sand beach along a shallow, coral-reef-protected lagoon. This includes a variety of hotels, resorts, and guest houses for all budgets, along with plenty of restaurants, shops, bars, nightclubs, spas, and even a casino.

Of course, the main attraction hereabouts is the lovely beach on Tamarin Bay, replete with ample water sports opportunities such as snorkeling, banana boats, parasailing, water skiing, kayaking, sailing, Jetskiing, and of course scuba diving in warm, crystal clear waters at various sites from five to 60 meters deep (16-197 feet), including caves, wrecks, and drop-offs. Cruises on speed boats, catamarans, and other water craft are also popular - especially for fishing and to spot and even swim with the pods of spinner dolphins found offshore.

Land-based options include hiking/trekking, quad bike tours, and a visit to Martello Tower, a 19th-century fort turned into a museum. And special note goes to Casela World of Adventures, a 350-hectare (865-acre) park with a restaurant and a variety of attractions for a day's worth of fun. They include Predator Kingdom, where you can get up close and personal with big cats including lions and cheetahs; enclosures with birds and primates; an African Safari section offering drives (and even Segway and quad rides) through a landscape populated by antelopes, impalas, ostriches, zebras, and white rhinos (feel like petting and feeding one?); rides on camels, inflatable toboggans, ziplines, a canyon swing, and a summer luge; mini golf, and a wildlife-oriented 4D cinema.

There are great surrounding areas of discover, as well, such as Tamarin and Bel Ombre, and
of course a fantastic way to explore it all on your own is to rent a car; check out one popular option here.