Mauritius Travel Guide: All you need to know
Our Mauritius Travel Guide will tell you everything you need to know about this spectacularly diverse island nation.
A country of colours
Mauritius is an island of serene azure shores, crisp white sands and emerald green mountains. It’s a picture-perfect paradise
But in addition to its beauty, Mauritius is entrenched with rich cultural history. It’s also considered to be a world-renowned hot spot for biodiversity and eco-conscious activities.
But in addition to its beauty, Mauritius is entrenched with a rich cultural history, is a world-renowned hot spot for biodiversity and can offer luxury you’ve always dreamed of.
Mauritius at a Glance
- Best time of year to visit: May to December
- Capital: Port Louis
- Size: 2,040km2
- Currency: Mauritian Rupee
- Main Language: Creole, French and English
- Flight Time: Approx. 12 hours
- Time Difference: GMT +4
What are some interesting things about Mauritius?
The world’s best beaches, a colourfully diverse history and an eco-paradise all come together here. Combine those cultural highlights with luxury resorts, vibrant nightlife, charming restaurants and thrilling entertainment – it truly has something for every type of holidaymaker.
The island of Mauritius celebrates a wonderfully diverse heritage, defined throughout the years. Nearly four centuries of colonisation have left the island with a combination of Indian, African, Chinese and European influence. This exotic mix-up is expressed in many elements of Mauritius life, including its food, music and architecture.
What should I expect in Mauritius?
Mauritius boasts unique flora and fauna including the Dodo, which was endemic to the island before it’s extinction. However, the country remains one of the world’s best biodiversity zones.
It is fringed by coral reefs, home to some of the rarest birds and marine life and contains luscious green eco-trails in the abundant forested ravines. Incredibly, the national flower, Trochetia boutoniana, grows on just one single mountaintop, Le Morne Brabant.
In addition to being an eco-travellers haven, Mauritius also offers a plethora of luxury, relaxation and entertainment amenities for all to enjoy.
Luxury here is surprisingly affordable, stretch your budget slightly and enjoy all the finer things, without compromise. Indulge in world-class spas, play on famed gold courses, or visit the private and elite Gymkhana Club.
Experience a touch of the exotic with hip-wiggling performances of the Mauritian native music, Sega. Then take it to the streets; central market stalls, Indian temples and ancient colonial mansions all wait to be discovered.
- Click to to take an Instagram tour of Mauritius.
- Click to plan your lockdown meals and we’ll reveal your perfect Mauritius resort
What are the top places to visit in Mauritius?
At just 45km by 65km, no matter where you are in the isle interior you’ll be no more than 45-minutes drive from the sand and sea. So explore to your heart’s content, the beach will be waiting….
Take a look, step by step, through each region and village. Discover everything there is to do there and, of course, what the beaches are like.
Grand Baie (North Coast)
If your preferred holiday-type is fun-fuelled, with plenty of buzz and nightlife, then Grand Baie is just the ticket. A tourism hub, filled with the greatest concentration of hotels, beaches and entertainment. Activities here range from diving to parasailing.
However, it’s not all buzz and vibrancy, serenity is not hard to find in Grand Baie. Head inland to the Pamplemousses Gardens for a relaxing stroll, or travel to the nearby un-inhabited northern village of Cap Malheureux.
Port Louis is the island’s bustling capital. It celebrates the culture with a true international atmosphere. Historic buildings, street-food vendors and the island’s oldest market are just some of the sights & sounds. Enjoy the intoxicating smell of fresh tea leaves and spices as you explore the rustic streets.
You’ll also find modern shopping complexes if you fancy a bit of retail therapy. All in all, Port Louis is a great option for an action-packed day trip.
The east-coast of the island is much quieter and less built up. But, arguably, it’s the most glamourous area with most of the country’s luxurious resorts backing on to its bays.
Some of the most celebrated hotels and stretches of faultless white sands lie here. Quietly honouring a peaceful fishing village ambiance, but with the added luxe of indulgent facilities and perfectly manicured surroundings.
The Belle Mare, Beau Champ and Trou d’Eau Douce regions offer the most spectacular beach-side locations. All of which offer a welcoming sea-breeze which counteract the high temperatures of the summer. Eastern Mauritius is perfect for those who like their glamour and luxury mixed with serenity and island charm.
Home to the islands wilder side, the south coast is perfect if you want to walk the unbeaten path.
Hotels are found scattered around the south, with some found squeezed onto cliff-tops and near calm, rocky stretches of surf. This area of the island oozes culture and a sense of times gone by. From the ancient capital of Mahebourg, to the sleepy fishing village of Baie du Cap, this stretch of coast is Mauritius’s least developed.
In contrast to the east, beaches here are shaped by unusual rock formations and fringed by wild, lush greenery. Choose an island-hopping trip or a trendy forested hotel to compensate for the craggy scenery. But, a major plus point to the topography in the south is it’s one of the best places to see Mauritian wild-life. Try a snorkelling trip to the Blue Bay Marine Park.
Further ashore, you can visit the tiny coral island of Ile aux Aigrettes, which provides habitat for rare and endemic flora and fauna, including the giant tortoise and pink pigeon.
The south is perfect for eco-adventurers, water sports enthusiasts and those who want to be at-one with the outdoors. From the historic Lion Mountain and Bambous Mountains to Grande Riviere, there’s water and landmarks galore.
If you’re a young family the calm of the west coast are ideal. With shallow beaches and plenty of activities around Flic-en-Flac and Wolmar, parents and children alike can enjoy a lazy, yet entertaining, getaway. This part of the country celebrates a large Creole community. Elements of this influence can be sensed in villages like Riviere Noire and Le Mourne.
What do I need to know about Diving and Snorkelling?
Just in case you don’t know by now, diving and snorkelling in Mauritius is superb. Being the proud five-time award winner of the Indian Ocean’s Leading Dive Destination by the World Travel Awards – it’s a must-visit for any diving enthusiast.
A barrier reef encircles almost the entire coastline, the resulting large lagoons are perfect for novice divers. Around 100 dive sites, ranging from 7-45 meters in depth, boast visibility reaching up to 50 meters on a clear day.
Summer is considered the best time to dive, as the warmer temperatures bring more marine life. You can dive directly from many of our Mauritius hotels, which back onto beautiful lagoons accessible right from the shore.
Any more top tips?
While the island is small, getting around on-foot will be a challenge. We suggest hiring a car for a day or two so you can see as much of the island as possible.
Culture and Etiquette
Mauritians are renowned for their hospitality. Visitors generally rave about the service from the people of the island. There are a few cultural aspects to be aware of surrounding the island’s religion and culture. It is polite to accept food and drink when offered and remember to remove leather items including shoes and belt when visiting places of worship. However, Mauritians are very tolerant, and used to visitors, so any faux pas are unlikely to offend.
Mauritius is an island which celebrates diversity in every sense of the word. There’s gems all around to explore, enjoy, and embrace.
Ready to go?
If learning of Mauritius has you yearning of experiencing more of the island for real, you’re in luck. Because we have a list of amazing resorts available across the country now.