Amazon Lily pads in Pamplemousses Gardens

Sunset, Grand Baie Mauritius

 

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.

 

Sleep

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.

Grand Baie Mauritius
Navani Villas Mauritius

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.

Le Capitaine

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.

Line fish at Le Capitaine Grand Baie

 

Do

 

Cruise

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.

Bois Cheri

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.

Bois Cheri Tea Museum

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.

Rum distillery at Chamarel Mauritius

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.

Amazon lily pads in Pamplemousses Gardens

 

Shop

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.

Central Market Port Louis Mauritius

 

Currency 

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.

 

Tips

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.

HERE ‘S A REMINDER TO SAVE TO PINTEREST FOR LATER

 

Mauritius an island paradise
Mauritius an island paradise

 

Mauritius Island Guide
Mauritius Island Guide

 

Mauritius the romantic isle in the Indian Ocean
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19 thoughts on “Mauritius the romantic isle in the Indian Ocean

  1. wow – you had me at swimming with the dolphins and being nudged by a turtle! Mauritias wasn’t on my travel list but now that I’ve read this I think I will be adding it very soon.

  2. Wow what a great guide! You have so much information, it seems like all the questions that I would have about what to do and when to go have been answered. So informative!

  3. Mauritius is a small island but rich in nature and things to see. I would love to visit this place and enjoy its tranquility. Those amazon lily pads are quite huge or is it just the picture since it’s zoomed? Hope to see more photos of places of the beautiful Mauritius in this post. 🙂

    1. No they really are huge and quite amazing to see. I guess each of these leaves was at least 1.5m in size and I believe that they can get even bigger.

    1. The packages are really expensive, but there are loads of more affordable options if you just dig around a bit.

  4. I’ve never heard of Mauritius before but it’s definitely on my list now! I love how you wrote out the travel seasons for the island!

  5. I loved the giant amazon lily pads…a frog on it would have been epic :). Mauritius seems like a great place to spend a vacation in.

    1. I hoped for a frog and the sound of Paul McCartney and the frog chorus in the background as well!

  6. Wow Mauritius is truly a dream destination. I would love to swim with the dolphins and go on a cruise And would definitely want to visit that rum distillery!

    1. You had best take a driver with you! They are extremely generous with their tasting portions 🙂

  7. It’s my first time to hear about Mauritius. It seems that there’s a lot of things to do there. It’s good that you found a great villa to stay. I’m just wondering, is there a place where you can rent their traditional costume?

    1. Karla, I am sorry I have no idea about the national costume, but the sega dancers were a very simple outfit that I am sure you could buy in any of the markets.

  8. you have written quiet a comprehensive guide here for visiting mauritius. I have bookmarked it. I like the way you have put in all the details including when to visit as per one’s preference, where to stay, what to eat and all the other details required to make for a smooth trip. Thank you!

  9. I’d love to go to Mauritius! You have made the pl ning easier because of your tips. I wish I could travel more to farther places like this. The culture is very different yet offers same natural wonders to see!

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