Mauritius is a volcanic island, with its volcanoes dormant since long. The island has known no volcanic eruption since its discovery in the 1560s. The land changes topography from north to south. The north coast is in fact the flattest part of the island. From there the land rises towards the central plateau which reaches a height of 1903 ft (580m) due to several mountain ranges standing in the region. From the central plain the land descends more sharply towards the south coast.
The coastline largely consists of tourist resorts and fishing villages. Passing along the coast you will notice public beaches planted with filao trees, at many places divided by a coastal road that passes through, with hotels, tourist shops and bungalows found on the other side of the road. A number of islets rest just outside the lagoons of Mauritius many of which are visible while you stand on the beach. These include Coin de Mire, Ile Ronde (Round Island), Ile Plate (Flat Island), Ile aux Cerfs, Ile aux Aigrettes and Ile d’Ambre. All these are regularly visited by tourists for scuba diving, nature study and picnics.Until recently majority of the land was under sugar cane cultivation, the cash crop. Since sugar is no longer the main currency earner of the country sugar cane fields are found more dispersed as many plots have been converted for residential purposes and also cultivated with vegetables and tea.
The island is an all year round holiday resort as it is saved from extreme temperatures of its two seasons, summer and winter. Summer stays from November to April while winter is experienced from May to October. The summer temperatures vary from 20°C to 28°C on the central plateau and 25°C to 33° C on the coastline. During winter the average temperature in the central plateau is 19°C while the coast is about 5°C warmer.
The coolest months are July, August and September, but even during these periods the sea water is enjoyable with a temperature not below 20°C. The rainy months are between January and April but rainfall is usually higher on the central plateau, especially at Curepipe. This period is also characterized by the visit of cyclones. Many times cyclones miss the island to end up in Madagascar, while several times Mauritius has experienced devastating cyclones.
However, cyclones are not an annual event. For example the summer of 2008 has not been concerned with cyclones. Hotels around the island have solid structures to resist cyclones and have provisions to offer a range of indoor activities and entertainment in case of cyclones. A cyclone normally affects the country for a maximum of three days.