Mauritius is great. There is beautiful summer weather all year round. Also, on the island, there is nothing dangerous for tourists. The whole island surrounds the coral reef, so they cannot swim sharks here and it is safe for swimmers. It has amazing beaches. And people are very friendly.
We will show you in this guide how to enjoy your holiday in Mauritius. What you can do here. Which beaches are the nicest and where you can find them. Where to exchange money and what are the average prices in Mauritius.
Another reason why people around the world travel to Mauritius is wonderful weddings. Mauritius has great resorts that offer all-inclusive services for your wedding day. And for weddings have special price offers as well.
Why do some people decide on a wedding on the beach? The reason is they want to forget the stress about it and enjoy their wedding day.
You can read more about weddings in Mauritius in a separate article.
Mauritius is situating about 570 miles (ca. 917 km) east of Madagascar and about 1,000 miles (ca. 1,609 km) south of Seychelles. Ideal holiday position, isn't it?
You have to know, that the country includes the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues. Rodrigues lies 350 miles (ca. 563 km) east of Mauritius, and the outer islands Agaléga, St. Brandon, and two disputed territories.
These islands form part of the Mascarene Islands, along with nearby Reunion (119 miles ─ ca. 192 km west of Mauritius), a French overseas department.
The area of the country is 2,040km2 (790 sq mi). The capital and largest city is Port Louis. Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is the main airport, and Mauritian rupee is the used currency. Mauritius has a population of 1,281,880 as per the estimates of United Nations.
So, let's describe this wonderful island in more detail.
Our guide based on our own personal experience because we have visited Mauritius several times.
If you want, you can go straight to these categories or read more the whole article.
Mauritius airport (MRU) is relative new airport, after a reconstruction. It is small but with all necessaries, which you need.
For a stay in Mauritius, you need visas (up to 90 days) that you will receive right in the arrivals hall. You have to fill two official documents, on the plane, before the landing. Don't worry, these papers are dealing during your flight, but do not forget the pencil at home.
The first document is the basis for granting a visa to an immigration official. Besides to your personal information, you provide specific details of your flight (No. of flights in both ways), how long you want to stay and where exactly you will stay.
The other document is the basis for officials in charge of protecting the island from the introduction of diseases. Whether from people or from imported goods. Mauritius takes care that tourists do not indulge the island with something unwanted.
That is why you are filling of which countries you have visited in the past six months, etc.
This document you have to give to officers after the immigration desk, so it is two-step control at the airport.
At the arrival, it is good to have already reserved taxi transfer. If not, you can use the taxi at the airport, but it comes out a little more expensive. But you do not have to worry, people in Mauritius are not scammers, so the price is not so overpriced. The standard transfer price should not exceed $150.
Renting a car is better to deal with locals than with large companies like Hertz because it will cost you twice cheaper.
At the airport, you can also exchange your money to Mauritius rupees. There is a good exchange service calling Shibani Finance. There you can exchange all your money.
There are also other companies, but you always want the rate which offers Shibani, or better. You can bargain in Mauritius. It is not as widespread as in the Arab countries, India or Thailand, but you can bargain for the price often.
At the departure, there is a good idea to wrap your luggage. In the departure hall, there are two places where you can do it and the price is 200 Mauritius rupees per one luggage.
Before you visit check-in desk, you can also buy a coffee in Artisan cafe (something like Starbucks) as your last point at Mauritius. Here you can say goodbye to this fantastic island and spend your last rupees.
Don't forget to one important thing ─ if you are buying something more expensive, you can ask the seller for a special document which allows you to ask refund taxes.
For example, if you want to buy a hand-made model of a ship and this is generally a good idea, because it is beautiful handmade work on the island and Mauritians are very professional in that.
You need two documents, the first one you hand over in the departure hall ─ before check-in desk. The second one give to officer after the check-in.
The people of Mauritius are very friendly people.
The majority of the population are Indo-Mauritians (people of Indian descent) who make about 70% of the population. Creoles (the original inhabitants of the island or mixed-race) are about a quarter of the population. There are approximately 30,000 Sino-Mauritians from the Hakka and other Chinese sub-ethnic/linguistic groups.
Franco-Mauritians (Mauritian of French ancestry) are numbered about 13,000. The Franco-Mauritian group, mostly are the descendants of former slave-owners, comprises the largest group of people of European origin on the island.
There is a smaller population of people of British descent living in Mauritius, most of whom have Mauritian nationality. The term Anglo-Mauritian, which may also include Mauritians living in the UK, is used unofficially. There's also a substantial new arrivals of white South Africans, numbering about 20,000, and is a growing community.
In our experience, Mauritians are also very proudly people.
Wonderful video about Mauritians from Drew Binsky.
Mauritius was a French, and later a British colony. Because the British did not interfere with the events on the island (only today you have to drive on the road to the left) so the French influence is more pronounced.
Today, almost every Mauritian speak in French or Creole language, which has the basis of French and every French understands it.
It is a paradox that although English is the official language, most people prefer to speak in French.
Also, the French influence is known in the Mauritians kitchen.
Mauritius is not very rich, and he has to import many things from Africa, France or New Zealand. The average salary is about 15-20 thousand of rupees. On the other hand, Mauritius tries to follow Seychelles and develops a large IT base on the island.
On the island, most people are Hindu religions, who are very peaceful and friendly. And it is the only country in Africa region, who has Hindu as a main religious.
Both Christmas and New Year celebrate similarly to Europeans or the USA. Gifts they give to others on the 25th in the morning.
The Mauritians do not solve too much the Christmas shout, and on Christmas Eve Day they go shopping with kids. That's why almost every shop on this day is opened for an exceptionally long time.
Mauritians are very contact people, it is good to greet and shake hands, ask how they are and discuss a few words with them.
A tip is not required (except restaurants), but if you give it, you are rewarded with a warm smile and Mauritians are grateful for it.
Mauritians do not hurry in their lives. Fortunately, the achievements of modern times have not hit them yet.
The streets in the capital are overcrowded, and people often blow, but that's not impatience. It only puts others into action without thinking badly.
Mauritius has a wide range of sights and things you should experience. On the one hand, it is an old volcanic crater or special seven-colored earth. Island has also a beautiful nature and waterfalls.
You can visit the remains of Creole buildings. Mauritius is also known thanks to the most expensive postage stamp in the world and there is a museum.
It is also worth the visit of factories for manual making ship models. These boats are many times cheaper than in Europe or the US. And do not be afraid to buy them, the seller will provide you with special packaging to plane.
You can also enjoy beautiful beaches. You can rent a car and go around the island, or can book a boat trip ─ a catamaran or a speedboat around the island parts.
Mauritius also has a beautiful botanical garden. There is also a special park where you can see not only birds but also try adrenaline experiences.
Mauritius produces great rum, so visiting the local Rhumerie factories is also a great idea. Also the sugar cane processing factories that make rum or sugar are worth to visit.
Savor local tea that is strong and good.
We will describe all these things in detail afterward:
Chamarel park is the major tourist attraction of the country. It exhibits a unique landscape featuring clay earth of 7 colors at one single place. The colors of these dunes are brown, violet, red, green, purple, blue and yellow. Another beautiful place to relish in Chamarel Park is the waterfall of Chamarel.
It is close to each other, so you can see it at one point. There are long queues at the cash desk, so I recommend starting early in the morning.
Entry fee: 250MUR per person
Opening hours: from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm in summer and 5 pm in winter
Book online: https://www.chamarel7colouredearth.com/
Private tip: The café in this location really worth a visit!
A National Park that stretches over an area of 6,574 hectares and is habitat to many species of flowering plants, wild animals, and birds. Amongst the most popular sightseeing places of Mauritius, national park houses numerous picnic areas and long hiking trails for nature lovers. Further, the park is an ideal place for tourists who wish to experience panoramic views of the island's landscape, including its daunting peaks, gorges, and waterfalls.
Entry fee: free of charge
Opening hours: from 9 am to 5 pm
Private tip: Try this beautiful hiking trail ─ you can make fantastic photos here
In my opinion ─ the nicest beach on the island. Locals will tell you that the best is Pereybere beach, but trust me, is not. On the Pereybere you can meet many locals, that is right, but also many wandering dogs as well. The beach is also small and you don't have enough space to lie comfortably on the sand.
Locals don't tell you that Trou aux Biches is the best beach. The reason probably is, there is a huge hotel ─ resort, where local security guards hotel sunbeds and just it is a place for visitors. Even the beaches on Mauritius are public and you can swim and walk everywhere you want. Trust me, Trou aux Biches is the best one on the island for tourists. Just check the pictures.
Trou aux Biches is located on the north-west side, that is the best side of the island for beaches generally.
The beach doesn't have public showers, only toilets on the left side of the beach (but showers are under construction right now).
At this picture, you can see the east-south of the island, where the nice mountain Le Morne showing us its beauty. And at the background begins the Flic en Flac beach, the second most beautiful on Mauritius. Flic en Flac is also the longest beach on the island.
Location of the Le Morne: https://goo.gl/maps/BkFN9N4CHVL2
The beach has public showers and toilets.
A must see not only for people who love a quality rum. The nicest factory, in my opinion is Chamarel rhumerie close to Chamarel park. They produce the best pure rum. You can also visit the New Grove rum factory, which produces the best-flavored rum ─ coffee, vanilla or honey you just have to have.
(Just for understanding - both rhumeries produce all types of rum, pure and flavored, but after my personal testing I can confirm that the best pure rum makes Chamarel and the most delicious flavor makes New Grove.)
Entry fee: 700MUR per person
Opening hours: from 9 am to 4:30 PM pm (Sunday closed)
Private tip: In New Grove factory you can go to the bar for free and test a rum, jams, and honey for free. You have to pay only if you want to see the factory. Chamarel is the closed area with one gate and this option like in New Grove is not here, you have to pay the whole ticket (but worth it).
If you are at once in Chamarel location, I have to recommend to you a local Creole fantastic restaurant Palais de Barbizon. It runs Mauritian family and they make very tasty Creole food. You don't have an option to choose food, they cook every day from local products and make one menu for visitors, which consists of different delicious dishes in plenty of plates. The menu costs 900MUR for two people but definitely worth for it.
Officially Grand Talao, but everyone knows this famous place called Grand Bassin. A place for all Hindu people who have to visit this place every year.
Before this area stands two huge statues called Durga Mata Murti and Shiva Murti. They very breathtaking.
Map: (very close to Bois Chery area, you can join it as the one visiting place) https://goo.gl/maps/RCmAkd3h9K12
Private tip: Beware of monkeys! They go here free, they are very pert and can scratch you, so do not go near them. You can take photos from afar.
I have not been there yet, but the locals recommend it very much. And next time I definitely will be there.
Opening hours: from 9 am to 5 pm
Entry fee: 770MUR, book online (it is cheaper) https://booking.caselapark.com/
Private tip: Go early morning, because it takes a few hours and then you can go swim and lie on the close Flic en Flac beach.
Everyone has to know the famous postage stamp Blue Mauritius! The museum is in the capital ─ Port Louis, which definitely has to be on your itinerary travel list.
And what to see in Port Louis? For example the phenomenal food market, the Mercado market. Why worth to see it? You can see the marketplace as of the last century. Lots of beautiful fruits and vegetables, evoking local people, the aroma of spices, and you just have to experience it. Just amazing.
Above the city there is also a fortress with cannons (Citadel Fort Adelaide), as a remnant of the city's protection from a foreign fleet. The fortress itself is nothing interesting (free entrance), but there is a beautiful view of the city and the bay. Beautiful pictures.
I guess it will be the first thing you will to do after you arrive (after a few hours of flight). Mauritius has several beaches with a beautiful sand. Do not be afraid that you will see black boulders somewhere in the sea, it is a remnant of volcanic influences, and these stones are not inconvenient.
As I describe above the Trou aux Biches like the best beach on the island, and Flic en Flac as the second one, which will be the third one?
In my opinion it is the Mont Choisy Beach. Why? Only sand is there during your steps to the sea, no stones, corals etc. You are almost alone here. And a nice pine grove behind you.
Indeed, the word fun is an overstatement whenever good food is not involved. If you are yearning for seafood or Mediterranean cuisine, then the La Table du Chateau in Grand Baie is the most excellent place to be. If you want to eat cheap, the best is Kiosque Magique restaurant near the favorite Trou aux Biches beach.
You could also take your taste buds on a culinary adventure by trying the Indian cuisines at Namaste making the food to be more efficient in this country.
Nonetheless, you could also try a few of the local dishes at Seabell Restaurant. The best regarding food is readily available and most restaurants being 4 star and above are world class and among the best in the world.
From sightseeing trip to once-in-a-lifetime experience, Mauritius has something for every tourist. A single thought of the country brings pictures of its sandy beaches, azure lagoons, blossoming forests and historic sites to one's mind. Being a favored wedding or honeymoon destination, the country houses ample of lavish hotels and high-class villas.
With so much to see, a large number of travel companies offer travel packages to tourists that include sightseeing tours, hiking trips, spa & massage packages, sea & water activities and adventurous activities.
One of the most visited sites of the country, Mauritius Botanical Garden features a unique collection of palm trees. Most famous for its giant water lilies and spice garden, this place showcases lakes with tadpoles, frogs, turtles, and fishes.
Garden is open every day from 08:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Entry fee is $10 for an adult, children under the age of 5 have free of charge entry.
Small warning: Close to the botanical gardens are locals and immediately, after they see the tourists in the car, showing them where is a parking lot. They all point to their private parking. So, do not look at them and drive to the municipal parking lot, which is locating at the west of the garden. Map here.
Ile Aux Cerfs is profoundly admiring for its spectacular white sandy beaches lined with palm trees and waters of all shades of blue. Besides, the island is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a BBQ. The beaches also house services like restaurants serving country's tastiest foods.
Port Louis is the most significant city and main port of Mauritius. The town includes several places of tourist attractions like Caudan water-front, museums, theatre, markets and the Mauritian Chinatown. The area also exhibits some French-styled buildings that enhance its overall charm.
Free entry. Small warning: Take a look, at the entrance, is a man who looks like someone who selects the admissions, but it's just a trap (harmless) to tourists. Walk around him.
Grand Bassin is a lake located in the secluded mountain area. It is declaring as a holy lake by the Hindus living in Mauritius where they perform rituals and honor Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Maha Shivaratri.
Close to the lake, there is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman and Goddess Lakshmi. Mauritius travel packages are incomplete without visiting this sacred site.
A 605m high volcano, Trou Aux Cerfs is located in Curepipe area of Mauritius. There's a small lake in the middle center of the crater from you can see a spectacular view of significant parts of the country.
Additionally, the volcano is considered as dormant and has been formed millions of years back.
Another essential tourist attraction included in the travel packages is the tiny coral island known as Ile Aux Aigrettes. It is a nature conservation site and protects natural resources and endangered species. You can see some of the world's rarest birds over here.
Gabriel Island is known for its pristine beaches having crystal clear water. Also famous for activities like snorkeling, this site offers excellent diving sites and is a unique place for enjoying a day of relaxation on the beach.
A beautiful garden surrounded by waterfalls, Eureka House with its 109 doors and windows is one of the largest homes on the island. It is open for public as a museum dedicated to art, music, antique maps, and Chinese as well as Indian housewares.
Tip for you: Go to the gardens behind the house until you reach the waterfall trail. If you have at least average fitness, see the waterfalls.
There is a list of perfect beaches in Mauritius you really must see:
It's a long beach on the west coast. The Blue Lagoon makes this beach extremely attractive. No wonder Flic en Flac beach attracts a large number of tourists and offers everything you would require to make your holiday comfortable like apartment houses, restaurants, food junctions, shopping area.
High waves strike the beachside almost the entire year. Situated at the mouth of Tamarind River, this beach is a favorite spot for tourists and is one of the largest traffic attracting center.
This beach is one of the fascinating places to be there. Just 15 minutes drive away from Port Louis. The overgrown cocos around the beaches make it look remarkably calm and beautiful.
Mauritius is a beautiful place that has a good nature with beaches, blue ocean water all around and waterfalls with beautiful greenery worth mentioning. With fantastic water forms, this island is well-known for its present diverse marine life, and also many people come here just to practice and have fun in their favorite water sport on the cheap holidays to Mauritius.
With its different experience, it has ever become a sneak-out spot for the many honeymoons of couples, an adventure for lovers, and also the families.
There are two ways to get to Mauritius - by boat or plane. Most people who come by boat are cruise ship passengers who only visit for a few hours or days after docking in Port Louis, Mauritius Island.
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