Rodrigues is one of the Mascarene Islands - along with Mauritius itself, Réunion, the volcanic remnant of Cargardas Carajos and several banks - and these small sub-tropical paradises float in the Indian Ocean's azure waters like a strand of emerald jewels.

The island of Rodrigues may be remote but it is, nevertheless, a popular tourist destination. Although it's the smallest island in the Mascarene Archipelago and a Mauritian dependency, it has a lot to offer in terms of both adventure vacation activities and natural and manmade attractions.

Situated approximately 520km off Mauritius's eastern coastline, Rodrigues has as its capital the thriving hamlet of Port Mathurin, and, when in Port Mathurin, travelers can choose between visiting the lively and bustling fresh-food market, exploring the nearby Mount Fanal lookout point, sampling the exotic wares at the miniature and marvelously colored sales' booths and searching the village's seven streets for a tiny bistro to serve them authentic Creole cuisine.

Although Rodrigues may be known as the "anti-stress" island, it does offer a fine array of pulse-pounding activities including snorkeling, backpacking, cliff diving and deep sea fishing where Sunday afternoon fisherman get to do battle with daunting denizens of the deep like blue marlins, yellow-fin tuna and tiger sharks.

Also on offer is the relatively new sport of kitesurfing - now the favorite of adrenaline junkies all over the world - and the locals say their small island's lagoons are windy all year long and are therefore among the world's most ideal and well-hidden kitesurfing sites.

Culture vultures travelling to Rodrigues can take heart as, although Port Mathurin isn't exactly New York City, there are things for them to see and do. A visit to the town's Craft Aid workshop, for instance, will give tourists an insight into how the Rodrigues craftsmen manufacture their beautifully picturesque baskets, and exploring the imposing Saint-Gabriel cathedral with its dark brown stonework and starkly contrasting white fittings will provide plenty of opportunities for the budding photographer to develop his skill.

Further must-see Rodrigues attractions include the extensive Caverne Patates limestone cave complex - guided tours are available - and the abandoned coral quarry, which provides an interesting insight into a lifestyle where coral was once so plentiful that it was used to build houses.

Rodrigues is so exquisite that anyone who ever wanted to find themselves should take the opportunity to get lost on this idyllically individual island.

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