Stunning beaches, striking volcanic mountains, delicious food and diverse culture makes Mauritius an Indian Ocean gem and well worth a visit. With so many attractions it hard to choose what to do.
If it’s nature you’re after, Mauritius delivers. You can swim with dolphins and if you’re lucky enough, you might get nudged by a hawksbill turtle like I was! You can climb mountains, look for rare birds in the ebony trees and of course dive or snorkel.
Luxury here is more affordable than you would think.
The main tourism area is centered around the Grand Baie area in the north. The southern part of the island is more tropical and wilder in nature. The east coast has some of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Black River Gorges and the rainforest are found in the mountainous interior.
When to visit
Although Mauritius can be a year round destination there are definite seasons.
January – March : Cyclone season
February : Is the warmest month of the year
May – September : Dry, with temperatures around 24 degrees C, and evening temperatures of 18 degrees C. There is also less rain, and fewer mosquitos around.
June – August : If you are a surfer, then this is the best time for you.
October – Easter : High season. Days are sticky and hot. An ideal time to hit the beach. It is also the time for game fishing.
December – March : Great for diving as the waters are at their clearest.
There is accommodation to suit all budgets.
On this visit we rented a villa. It was fabulous and had everything we needed. It was a short walk to the beach, and about a 10 minute walk to Grand Baie. It was a pleasure to be close to the action, but also to be in a wonderfully tranquil space. Christophe, the owner, was extremely helpful and a pleasure to deal with.
On a previous visit I stayed at La Pirogue Hotel and Spa. It is located south of the capital, Port Louis, at Flic en Flac. The thatched bungalows are tucked away, under coconut palms. They offer a range of rooms to suit all your requirements.
Eat & Drink
This selection is based around the Grand Baie area.
La Rougaille Creole.
Royal Road, Near Sunset Boulevard, Grand Baie, Mauritius
This restaurant is tucked away, in a busy little street, just off the main drag in Grand Baie. The food was fabulous being a wonderful fusion of flavours as well as some stunning seafood. More details and reviews can be found on Tripadvisor
The Happy Rajah
Super U Complex, Grand Baie, Mauritius
If you love Indian curry then this is a must visit restaurant. It is in a shopping complex, about a block and a half back from the main road in Grand Baie. There is another branch in Phoenix. Look at the menu ( La Carte) for more inspiration.
Coastal Road, Near Tamil Temple, Grand Baie, Mauritius
For something a bit more special this is the place to go. We had a fabulous modern lunch which was beautifully presented. The views over the ocean were sublime.
Take one of the many catamaran cruises. Gabriel Island is famous for its unspoilt beaches and crystal clear water. Swimming out in the bay we were surrounded by turtles that surfed the waves and dived under us. It was the highlight of the trip. Snorkelling is also a must as this area is a marine reserve.
Visit Bois Cheri a 250 hectare tea factory and museum about 12 km north of Riviere des Anguilles. Aim to go in the morning as most of the activity happens then .Don’t miss the tour and tea tasting in a beautiful pagoda styled restaurant on the top of the hill with spectacular views. I loved the vanilla tea . Any hint of vanilla now and I am right back, standing in the factory.
Rhumerie de Chamarel
Also worth a visit is the Rhumerie de Chamarel Even if you are not a rum drinker, and I must admit it’s not my favourite, it is still worth a visit either to do a tasting or lunch at the restaurant. The meal and the presentation was stunning and of course it was accompanied by a number of delicious rum cocktails.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens
Also known as the Pamplemousses Botanical Garden. If you love the thought of majestic trees and exotic spices then this is the place for you. Of particular interest to me were the giant amazon lily pads. I kept looking for a frog, but sadly one did not appear. The Lotus flowers were in bloom and the wading birds were having a feast paddling around the pond they were growing in.It was very realxing to sit and watch them. Remember to take a hat and some water as it gets really hot strolling around.
For all the shopaholics, and I must admit to being one, head to the Cauden Waterfront in Port Louis with a myriad of shops and restaurants to satisfy your needs. You will find duty free shops, craft shops, designer labels, textiles and more.Look out for the small kiosks selling divine local fast food treats.
The Central Market in Port Louis is a delight. It’s a good place to watch the hawkers, buy souvenirs and check out the fresh produce. Don’t forget to try the street food while you are there. Pineapple doused in chilli, although it might sound strange, is particularly good.
Mauritian Rupee (MUR). Obviously currency fluctuates.
At the time of writing 1 US$ = 35.5 rupees, and 1 € = 37.8 rupees
ATMS are found all over the island and can be used to withdraw cash.
I suggest you draw / change some money at the airport on arrival.
When visiting religious places ladies remember that you need to cover up. I usually carry a sarong.
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