Blissfully isolated, the enchanting island of Rodrigues is a mountainous gem that barely feels connected to its big sister, Mauritius, let alone the wider world. Part of the Mascarene archipelago, some 370 miles off Mauritius' north east coast, this tiny volcanic outcrop is authentic, eco-friendly with no pollution, wonderfully panoramic and a perfect place to disconnect from real life.
Rodrigues is eleven miles long and just under five miles wide with a fifty mile coastline which is encircled by a turquoise lagoon sheltering around twenty secluded beaches. Fringed with coconut palms and casuarina trees, the pristine sands of the east coast are the most celebrated and the best for swimming, as well as watersports such as windsurfing, kite-surfing (May-Sep) and sailing.
Diving and snorkelling are also key attractions on Rodrigues, with around 280 species of coral, a dizzying array of marine life as well as a dramatic underwater scenery including canyons and caves. The most famous dive sites are La Passe St Francois and the equally impressive La Grand Passe, while the best beachfront snorkelling is near the reef at Marouk.
The attractive capital, Port Mathurin, has a charming assortment of brightly painted shacks as well as 19th century colonial buildings, such as Governor's House. Port Mathurin is best visited early Saturday mornings when locals descend to shop and gossip at the sprawling weekly market.
A popular day trip is to travel by pirogue (boat) to the blinding white sandbar of Coco Island, also known as Ile aux Cocos, one of the eighteen isles lying close to Rodrigues' shores. As well as the long sandy beach, the island is a natural refuge for seabirds, including terns and noddies.
For a glimpse of Rodrigues some 300 years ago, head south to Anse Quitor and the Francois Leguat Giant Tortoise & Cave Reserve. Stroll amongst giant tortoises, which before colonisation were present in large numbers, see the rare Rodrigues fruit bat and take a guided tour of the magnificent caves.
GMT +4 hours
Flights from the UK operate via Mauritius. The flight from Mauritius to Rodrigues takes around 1.5 hours and have a 15kg luggage limit.
With year round pleasant temperatures, you can visit any time of the year. Tropical showers can be expected at any time, but it’s usually no more than an hour before sunshine and blue skies return. The island can be prone to cyclones, between November and May.