Mauritius Island Travel Guide
The island of Mauritius is a sought-after holiday and honeymoon destination, offering safe beaches, gentle seas, and a mild tropical climate. Popular holiday activities include diving, deep-sea fishing, and golf, there a number of 18 hole courses on the island, including two championship courses at Belle Mare Plage. However, for many visitors, the attraction is simply the chance to unwind on a beautiful tropical beach.
The small volcanic island of Mauritius fills most expectations of what a holiday in paradise is like. Unlike it’s counterpart to the north, Seychelles, Mauritius also has a range of hotels to suit budget travelers looking for a cheap holiday in the Indian Ocean. Of course, there are also numerous luxury hotels and beach resorts in addition. Most visitors come for Mauritius’ wonderful beaches, and as such, the island is extremely popular for honeymoons.
- Officially known as the Republic of Mauritius, the island nation includes, in addition to Mauritius itself, the islands of St. Brandon, Rodrigues and the Agalega Islands
- In the late 16th century, Mauritius was named in honor of Prince Maurice of Nassau, a Dutch nobleman who carried the grandiose title The Stadtholder of the Netherlands
- Mauritius was the only known habitat of the Dodo bird, which was driven to extinction by early settlers
- In 1847, Mauritius became the fifth country in the world to issue postage stamps
A popular holiday destination, Mauritius has a number of ultra-luxurious resort-style hotels that offer accommodation and facilities of international standard, yet offer guests a personal welcome and exceptional levels of service.
However, for many holidaymakers, it is the inactivity of relaxing on a beautiful, sandy beach with occasional dips in the warm azure waters of the Indian Ocean that is the main attraction.
Mauritius is a place to relax and unwind, but no holiday in Mauritius would be complete without a trip to the neighboring island of Ile Aux Cerfs and a visit to see the giant water lilies at the Royal Botanical Gardens.
The Royal Botanical Gardens (also known as the Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens or Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Gardens) are one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mauritius.
Wander through groves of palm trees and spice gardens, or admire the pond of giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies. The smell of your favorite spices – ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, camphor, and sandalwood – is all around, as are glimpses of Mauritian wildlife. Spot the Java deer and giant tortoise enclosures. There’s also an art gallery and a cemetery.
Ile Aus Cerfs
A visit to Ile Aux Cerfs is a must for anyone staying in Mauritius. The island features palm-fringed beaches of the finest white sand and has facilities for every type of water activity under the sun:
- hiring a speed boat
- taking a ride in a glass-bottomed boat
- water skiing and water scootering
- hire a paddleboat and more!
The lagoon at Ile Aux Cerfs extends for hundreds of meters at ankle-depth, beyond which the clear blue water is of swimmable depth and ideal for snorkeling or diving.
When to visit
Despite being a small island, Mauritius’ climate and landscape vary widely from region to region. May to November sees Mauritius’s winterless rain and lower humidity levels mean the weather is best for your holiday at this time. The summer period of December to April can be extremely hot and humid, and cyclones can threaten the island (particularly during January and February). During this period, the weather can see prolonged periods of rain – not good for your beach holiday!
Heat and humidity
Mauritius has a hot and humid tropical climate, with an average midday temperature of 23°C (73°F).
Summer lasts from December to April, when there are occasional heavy tropical rains. The risk of storms is highest between January and April.
The winter season lasts from July to September and is completely and perfectly pleasant. Daytime temperatures range in the mid-’20s, falling to about 15°C at night, with less rain and humidity. The east coast can be quite cool in winter due to strong winds.
Summer is cyclone season and while direct hits are rare, Mauritius can experience days of rain.
All of Mauritius’s hotels are scattered around the island’s long coastline. While most are resorts, there are a few smaller boutique style hotels that have opened recently. Some of the most popular and well-respected hotels in Mauritius include the Maritim Hotel, the Residence, Hilton, Ambre Hotel and in addition Club Med has some resorts.
Mauritius is one of the most easily accessible islands in the Indian Ocean, and flights to Mauritius are generally to the capital Port Louis. Air Mauritius is the national airline and flies to numerous destinations. In addition, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic offer flights to Mauritius from the UK, while other airlines worth considering include Air France, Condor, Malaysian Airlines, and Singapore airlines.
Mauritius Holiday Ideas
While the island is all about the beaches and luxury hotels that come with them, villa rental is an increasingly popular way to stay on the island. Resorts and hotels have the convenience of generally being all-inclusive, but renting a villa along with a hire car can be a more liberating experience. Diving is fantastic on the island which is surrounded by coral reefs. Golf holidays are big tourism business – many resorts have fantastic championship golf courses attached. The ultimate holiday idea is, of course, a honeymoon in Mauritius, or even a wedding. Mauritius is served by flights to South Africa – maybe combine a beach vacation with a safari?