Capital City: Port Louis
Currency: Mauritian Rupee
Official language: French and English are the two official languages, with French being the more predominantly spoken language in Mauritius.
Welcome to the melting pot of French, Indian, Creole and Chinese culture that brings you luxury island style life at a very affordable price tag! What was once a haunt for pirates, has risen to become one of the most luxurious island paradises ever with its white sandy beaches and stunning volcanic mountain backdrops. On offer here are temples, colonial houses, botanical gardens and off course an abundance of watersports, to name but just a few highlights. A touch of the exotic - like the famous dodo icon - seamlessly blends in with the remains of the old British colonial era such as the tea plantations. Mauritius seems to be the perfect fit for all tastes and budgets with entertainment options ranging from luxurious spas to gourmet cuisine, animal parks to nature walks, and everything in-between. For the real touristic atmosphere, head on over to the north near Grand Baie, otherwise explore the east coast with some of the world’s most stunning white beaches. Families will love the flat, calm waters of the west coast beaches and the southwest is renowned for its awe inspiring clifftop walk excursions. Friendly, welcoming and unremittingly beautiful, Mauritius offers not only fantastic weather and exquisite beaches, but also a distinct cultural identity that is well worth exploring. Mark Twain once said that Mauritius was first made, and then Heaven was copied after that image, which kind of explains the reason why it’s so famous as one of the most idyllic islands in the world. Mauritius is well known for the very attractive price tags that come with all-inclusive island holiday packages at top establishments, making it one of the cheapest island destinations out there
Must see places in Mauritius
“Por Loowee” is the capital of Mauritius and the place you’ll want to head to for shopping, dining the museums, religious building exploration and a taste of the renowned cultural blend. Don’t miss the Caudan Waterfront with its 170 boutiques and crafts stalls, for some of the best duty-free shopping opportunities that Mauritius has on offer.
Le Morne Brabant Mountain
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Mauritius’ most famous landmarks. Rising out 556 meters above sea level, the area is marked by the eponymous Baltic monolith that stands proud as a guardian over the area.
Black River Gorges National Park
If you’re a nature lover, the forested hills and hiking trails of the Black River National Park will leave you breathless. Macaque monkeys are a regular sight along the rails of the Black River Peak Viewpoint, which is where you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the island. The Peak also happens to be the highest point on Mauritius. A massive 33 foot statue of Shiva guards the entrance to the crater lake of Grand Bassin, which is a sacred place for Mauritian Hindus.
What was once a fishing village has risen to become one of the most popular tourist hotspots in Mauritius today. Also known as Le Trop, Grand Baie is well known for its shopping and entertainment opportunities, sights and beaches nearby. This is also where you will find the Aquarium of Mauritius where you can feed the fish.Grand Baie also has an interactive museum as well as L’Aventure du Sucre, which is known for its rum tastings and decadent lunches at the Le Fangouring restaurant.
Casela Nature & Leisure Park
The Pink Pigeon used to be what drew tourists to this sanctuary, but today the buzz has shifted towards walks with lions in the wild in the neighboring Yemen estate. The sanctuary with its savannah-style landscape is where you can head to experience somewhat of an African safari, complete with a mini-safari bus to go and view the zebra, ostriches, giraffes, elephants and hippos. For the more adventurous, there’s the longest zipline in the Indian Ocean to keep you entertained.
Witness the awe inspiring natural phenomenon found at Chamarel, where the colored earths are believed to have been formed by rock stratas cooling at different speeds following volcanic activity millions of years ago. Nearby, there’s also a waterfall that makes this destination that much more appealing to pay a visit to.
Les Vanille Reserve des Mascareignes
This animal breeding park is nestled among the lush natural fauna. Kids adore this destination for the very fact that they can experience what it feels like to hold baby Aldabra tortoises, crocodiles, fruit bats or iguanas. This reserve is also known for its thousands of Nile crocodiles, which is why it’s also sometimes referred to The Crocodile Park. There’s also an insectarium as well as a fossil museum, a jungle playground and the Hungry Crocodile restaurant for delicious local cuisine.
Domaine de L’Étoile
For the more adventurous at heart, this eco-estate offers experiences such as quad biking trips, horse riding, buggy trips and the opportunity to watch the free roaming deer that frolick among the ebony and cinnamon trees. You’ll also find a children’s activity village located here that boasts attractions such as karting and the longest zipline circuit in the world.
With 109 doors and a complete wrap around the balcony to hide away from the tropical heat, this French Colonial mansion was once home to the island’s biggest sugar Baron. Perched against the Moka Mountains, this is a sight not to be missed. Here you can explore the stunning garden with its ebony and bamboo and off course the swimming hole beneath the waterfall.
Isle aux Aigrettes
Also known as Egret Island, this sit is thought to be the final resting place of the dodo. Nowadays, one can see the massive Aldabra tortoises and Pink Pigeons in their natural surrounds under the ebony trees
Ile Aux Cerf
Privately owned but yet still worth visiting, the island of Ile Aux Cerf is one of those typical postcard-picture ideas one gets when you think of Mauritius. With more than 4km of sandy bliss, there’s enough room for A LOT of visitors to have their own idyllic ocean vista in front of them. The island is also well known for its 18 hole Le Touessrok golf course, as it actually makes up most of the inland part of the island.
Roughly 550km northeast of Mauritius is Rodrigues Island, known for its calming sights and sounds. Port Mathurin, the island’s capital has only 7 streets, populated by Creole people. On offer here are some scenic walking tours, diving, kitesurfing, deep sea fishing and stunning beaches.
The characterful ancient capital of Mauritius is the spot where the Dutch first landed back in 1598. On offer here is a taste of authentic Old Mauritian culture with the rustic restaurants and the pink paved waterfront en-route to the bay where the British fought over the island with the French. There’s also the national history museum where you can get behind the story of old Mauritian legends and architectural influences.
Things to do in Mauritius
Explore the stunning beaches
Northern beaches such as Trou aux Biches, Mont Choisy and Péreybère are some of the best beaches to head out to for enjoying a good swim. Mauritius has an abundance of beautiful, unspoiled beaches that are set to take your breath away.
Visit the Marine Park
Whether it’s snorkeling or a trip out on a glass bottom boat, you just have to see the stunning fish and coral that lies tucked away in Mauritius’ marine park, Blue Bay. There’s also a private island just off the coast, Iles des Deux Cocos, which can be explored.
See the bird life
At Casela Bird Park in the west of the island you’ll have the opportunity to see the collection of more than 140 species of birds. This park has 90 aviaries spread out over 25 hectares of land, and the main attraction here is the Pink Pigeon, one of the rarest birds in the world.
Take a dive
For some of the best diving opportunities, take a boat out to Flic-en-Flac in the west coast, or head out to Trou aux Biches, or even perhaps the Northern Islands during the months of November through to April.
Explore the weird wonders
The untamed south coast of Mauritius has lots of interesting things to see and explore. There are the strange rock formations like the blowhole at Le Souffler, the rock bridge at Pont Naturel and the clifftop of Gris Gris.
Indulge in a culture fest
A trip over to Mahébourg is set to keep you entertained with the quirky character found here. The waterfront has some delicious gajaks (snacks) on offer while you view the scenery across the bay of Grand Port to Lion Mountain.
Ride a Quad
For the more adventurous at heart, a quad bike tour in the Moka Mountains is set to thrill and entertain unlike anything else. The 1,500 hectare Domaine Les Pailles is a nature park that has on offer stunning sights, a sugar mill, a rum distillery and 4 restaurants serving delicious delicacies.
Pick the time right
Tourists visit from October to April
Mauritius is really a year-round destination, but the peak season for the island runs from October through to April, which is the hot and rainy season.Cyclone season typically runs from January through to March. May to September is “winter” time in Mauritius, which is when you can expect warm and dry temperatures.
Did you know?
Bonjour is the French greeting phrase for Hello
- Venison - when it’s in season
- Camarons - fresh water prawns in hot sauce
- Dholl Purri - a wheat pancake stuffed with ground peas served with curry
- Gateaux Piments - chilli cakes
- Alouda - almond flavored ice milk drink
- Because the locals are really big on great hospitality, they’ll probably offer you food and drink, and it’s always polite to accept these “gifts”
- When visiting religious places one should dress modestly and always remove your shoes before entering the building.
- Make sure you’re dressed modestly whenever entering religious buildings