If you love relaxing on the beach during your holidays in the sun, there are few better destinations than Mauritius. However, when you combine a week-long trip to the island nation with a few days in Dubai, you've got the makings of the ultimate luxury break.
The main reason to book a trip that takes in both locations is the convenience of stopping off in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on your return journey and breaking up the 12 hour flight from Mauritius to London. Of course, you have the added bonus that you get to enjoy all the luxury on offer in Dubai before you finally get home.
Here's a brief guide on what to expect from each part of your holiday visiting Dubai and Mauritius.
Mauritius: time for relaxation
The main attraction of a break in Mauritius is soaking up the sunshine on its gorgeous palm-fringed beaches. There are numerous stretches of sand all along the main island's coast, including the idyllic Belle Mare in the east and the bustling Grand Baie in the north.
If you can tear yourself away from the sun-soaked sands, it's worth pulling on a mask and snorkelling to explore beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean, as there are coral reefs that almost encircle the island. Some of the best locations for snorkelling are in the north and west, where there are large, calm lagoons to swim in. If you're feeling more adventurous, scuba diving is another option.
The interior of Mauritius is predominantly covered by lush forests, perfect if you want to stretch your legs on a walk and try to spot some of the local wildlife. Alternatively, you can spend a day exploring Port Louis, the capital city, where you'll discover historic monuments alongside modern amenities. Make sure you head to the Caudan Waterfront in the evening for a romantic dinner or a few drinks at one of the trendy bars.
Mauritius generally has a laidback atmosphere, so make the most of the chilled-out way of life and just do as little or as much as you please.
Dubai: a bustling metropolis
Dubai is quite a big contrast to Mauritius, but that's one of the many reasons why these two destinations complement each other so well. After relaxing on an island paradise for a week, you may well be glad to get back to the bright lights of the city. Dubai is renowned for its towering skyscrapers, manmade islands and vast shopping malls. You'll never be far from ultimate luxury in the emirate, whether you want to stay in one of the world's top hotels or be pampered at one of its amazing spas.
Shopping is one of the biggest attractions in the city, so don't miss out on a trip to the Dubai Mall, which is much more than a typical collection of shops. As well as boasting over 1,200 retail outlets and more than 160 cafes and restaurants, it's home to an indoor ice rink, aquarium, underwater zoo and an indoor theme park based on Sega characters.
For the ultimate day of relaxation and pampering before you board your plane home, book a day at Atlantis The Palm, one of the city's top hotels. The spa here offers all kinds of treatments, from facials and massages to Japanese bathing and wellbeing ceremonies. If you'd rather round off your holiday with a memorable experience, take advantage of the marine park, where you can swim with dolphins or test your nerve on some of the Aquaventure park's thrilling waterslides.