Mauritius


Overview

Mauritius travel guide, including map of Mauritius, top Mauritius travel experiences, tips for travel in Mauritius, including the best hikes in Mauritius

Mauritius boasts some of the most dazzling beaches in the world. Renowned for its clear blue waters and white sands, beaches such as Belle Mare and Trou aux Biches make Mauritius a haven for sun worshipers. But if you’re after more than just sun bathing, you’ll be surprised by how much the island has to offer.

Part of the Mascarene Archipelago, the island’s nearest continent is Africa. Its 160kms of coastline is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs making for spectacular snorkelling. Almost every kind of water-based activity imaginable is here and diving is a big draw card with highlights including the waters off Rodrigues Island as well as Blue Bay and Elic-en-Flac on the mainland.

Inland Mauritius is made up of lush forests and impressive mountains, and the Black River Gorge National Park is a great place to hike. Colonised by the Dutch, French and British and with a population made up of Indian, African, European and Chinese decent, the island is a mixing pot of cultures. This has given Mauritius a rich and varied history and a plethora of cultural and historical sites to visit.

Testament to this is the country’s bustling capital city Port Louis, with its famous central market, Chinatown and colonial buildings the city is a great introduction to this small but diverse country.

Wanderlust recommends

  1. Get lost in the vibrant and bustling markets of Port Louis. If you’re shopping for fruits, vegetables, spices or souvenirs, you’ll find them here.
  2. Worship the sun at any of the island's stunning beaches. Belle Mare, Trou aux Biches and Flic en Flac are considered by locals to be among the best.
  3. Take a trip to the island of Rodrigues, which offers some of the country’s best diving.
  4. Live it up in the party town of Grand Baie. Great restaurants, shops and its buzzing nightlife make for a great night out.
  5. Get spiritual at the Grand Bassin, one of two natural lakes and a sacred Hindu site. Try to visit during the Maha Shivaratri festival to see pilgrims walk on fire.
  6. Visit the sleepy town of Mahébourg. Established in 1805 the former bustling port town is now a charming fishing village.
  7. Jump on a ferry and head to the tiny island of Ile Aux Cerf, the white sands and turquoise waters of its beaches make for a popular day trip.

Wanderlust tips

Mauritius offers some great hikes. Most are in the Central Plateau area around the Black River Gorges National Park, but hiking on Lion Mountain, north of Mahébourg and on the east coast of Rodrigues island is also recommended.

 

Further Reading

Travel in Mauritius: vital statistics

  • Capital of Mauritius: Port Louis
  • Population of Mauritius: 1,200,000
  • Languages in Mauritius: English is the official language, but French and Creole are widely spoken.
  • Time in Mauritius: GMT+4 (no daylight saving)
  • International dialling code for Mauritius: +230
  • Voltage in Mauritius: 220V 50Hz AC
  • Visas for Mauritius: Mauritius visa
  • Money in Mauritius: Mauritius rupee (MUR). ATMs are widely available across the island and credit cards accepted most places. Most items are subject to 15% tax, be sure to ask if tax is included in the bill for meals, rooms etc or prepare for a nasty shock.
  • Mauritius travel advice: Foreign & Commonwealth Office
  • Mauritius tourist board: Discover Mauritius

When to go to Mauritius

Mauritius is blessed with warm tropical weather year round. The best times to visit are between May and early December. January to March is the peak cyclone period and best avoided at this time of year.

 

International airports

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU) is 6km from Mahebourg and 40km from the capital Port Louis.

 

Getting around Mauritius

Mainland Mauritius only has one airport. There is a domestic airport on the island of Rodrigues. Flights between the two islands operate daily.

 

Two ferries operate services between Mauritius and Rodrigues. The trip takes 36 hours and they sail four times a month. Book ahead as the service is very popular.

The easiest way to get around the island is by car. Drivers must be over 23-years-old. The bus service is great for those on a budget, which is  cheap, frequent and comprehensive. Cycling is OK for short distances, but the island is too big to cover by bike and there is a lot of traffic.

Mauritius accommodation

Mauritius has a wide range of accommodation options. Camping is possible, but there are no campsites. Guesthouses, holiday homes and one- to five-star hotels make up the rest of the accommodation options.

 

Mauritius food & drink

Rice, noodles, fish and seafood infused with a mix of Indian spices are the staples in Mauritius. The cuisine has strong Indian, Chinese, French and African influences, which make for a rich, diverse and utterly delectable dishes. Spicy seafood carri (curry) served with mines (noodles) is a popular dish. The national drink is rum and the national beer is Phoenix.

 

Health & safety in Mauritius

Mauritius is very safe with no specific dangers. Petty theft is not a major problem but don’t leaving valuables unattended on beaches. Health care on the island is generally excellent.

Take sun cream and insect repellent, as mosquitoes can be a problem. Tap water is safe to drink.