The Indian Ocean island of Mauritius, is a top tourist destination. The climate is perfect, making it an all year travel destination. The hot summer begins in April and ends in December while a cooler and drier climate prevails from May to November.
The country has a fascinating topography, from craggy mountains and pristine beaches to wild swamps and mangrove areas. It has also unusual species of plants and animals. Mauritius’ tropical beaches are some of the world’s best and they are the perfect retreats for relaxing.
Its tourism industry is well-developed with a good network of transportation and roads. You’ll find plenty of accommodation to suit every budget from posh hotels and chic resorts to inexpensive hostels and self-catering cottages. It has a multicultural setting with a harmonious mix of Indian, Chinese, and Creole traditions. As such, the local cuisine displays an interesting array of authentic flavors and colors.
There are no health issues to worry about. If you get sick, the country’s health facilities are adequate. Mauritius is a safe and easy travel destination.
What to Do and See in the Country
Ten or More Best Beach Destinations
The northern coast of the country is the most developed with scores of hotels, resorts, guest houses and inns. Troux aux Biches is just 20 kilometers from Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius. It boasts stretches of white sandy beaches and casuarina trees. You’ll find quiet lagoons and delightful coves in the area.
Grand Baie resembles a mini French Riviera from its upscale boutiques and pricey restaurants to its glitzy nightclubs and bars. The horseshoe bay is pretty and this is where you can hop on a boat to explore the islands in the North. Grand Baie offers all sorts of water activities such as diving, windsurfing, deep-sea fishing, and yacht cruising.
Pereybere is not as developed as other beach spots in the country but it is quiet. It has all the facilities that a visitor would need such as hotels, restaurants, and banks. There is less of the touristy feel of other popular beach areas.
A day trip to the northern tip of the country is worth doing where you will visit Coin de Mire, Ile Plat, and Ilot Gabriel. Coin de Mire is a nature reserve that is home to rare species of birds while Ile Plat is an ideal snorkeling venue.
Moving to the east side of the country, you’ll find another batch of lovely beaches. The region is not as well-developed compared to the coast in the north but this is an advantage for it is here that you will find plenty of pristine and untouched beaches. Trou d’Eau Douce, a fishing village, makes a great base for exploring other places such as the renowned Ile aux Cerfs.
Belle Mare is another beach destination to consider consisting of 10 kilometers of sand. The finest beaches of the country are found here such as Pointe de Flacq and Palmar beach.
Hit the west side of Mauritius and you’ll see more amazing beaches. Start at Flic en Flac, a wonderful expanse of fine sands that goes all the way to Wolmar. If you are an avid diver, there are excellent diving spots in the area.
Another spectacular place is Le Morne, a beautiful stretch of sand spanning 4 kilometers in the southwest of Mauritius. The panorama is simply amazing with a ‘hammerhead’ jutting out of the peninsula. Exclusive hotels were recently built on the nicest beaches but you can still find deserted ones. The southern part of Mauritius has arguably the most beautiful scenery in the country with wild coasts, hanging cliffs, and verdant forests. Its charm lies in the fact that it is not an exploited area with fewer hotels and tourist developments. Blue Bay is breathtaking with its azure waters and untouched coral reefs.
Just about 1½ hours plane ride from Port Louis is Rodrigues Island. If you want complete solitude, you’ll find deserted beaches on this island. With a laid-back lifestyle, it’s an ideal place to relax. Corals abound on this rocky volcanic island and boat tours can be arranged to visit smaller islands such as the Ile aux Cocos, Ile Hermitage, and Ile aux Chats.
Its tourism industry is welldeveloped with a good network of transportation and roads. You’ll find plenty of accommodation to suit every budget
Mauritius is not only about palm-fringed beaches and water sports. It also has an abundance of nature reserves. Ile Ronde is about 20 kilometers from the mainland spread over 170 hectares. Here, you will find endangered plant and animal species unique to the island. The smaller Ile aux Serpent is known for its bird sanctuary.
Central Mauritius may not have stunning beaches to offer the visitor but it is home to the Black Forest Gorges National Park. Nature lovers who brave the arduous hikes are rewarded with amazing views of Port Louis, the islands, and the spectacular coast.
Mauritius is not only about palm-fringed beaches and water sports. It also has an abundance of nature reserves
A trek that’s highly recommended is the 15- kilometer route from La Petrine to Grand Riviere Noire. The scenery is picturesque and if you are there from September to January, look for the rare dodo tree. Include the wild guava and black ebony trees in your quest for interesting plant species. It is also an ideal spot to bird watch and if you’re lucky, you might see the Mauritius kestrel and cuckoo-shrike.
Try to visit Pamplemousses. This village is named after the grapefruit trees that the Dutch brought from Java to Mauritius. You will be fascinated with the distinct and rare species of plants on display in the gardens.
Ile Aux Aigrettes is a ‘must see’ place for its rich wildlife and interesting plants. Pink pigeons, Aldabra tortoises, and Telfair’s skinks, a reptile, are found on the island as well as native plants.
Casela Nature Park is a delightful recreation park that showcases 1,500 species of birds from around the world. You can even do ‘safaris’ in the park on arrangement where you will catch a glimpse of fruit bats, monkeys, wild deer, and pigs. La Vanille is a zoo, nature reserve, and crocodile farm south of the Riviere des Anguilles. It has a thriving breeding programme for giant Aldabra tortoises.
Five Great Water Activities
Snorkeling, diving, cruising, fishing, and surfing are some of the water activities that you can indulge in Mauritius. Water sports enthusiasts will find Mauritius a haven: from island cruises and yachting to undersea walks and submersible tours.
Tamarin in West Mauritius is a surf region and it is also known as a start off point for watching dolphins. Close by is Grande Riviere Noire where you can indulge in fishing. From the estuary, the ocean plunges 700 meters abruptly making it an ideal place to grab game fish. Even sharks wander in these waters.
Rempart Serpent in the west region of the country is a recommended diving site. It is teeming with marine life including the scorpion fish and lion-fish. Other spectacular areas for diving are Colorado in Blue Bay and La Passe St. Francois on Rodrigues Island.
For non-divers, take a crack at undersea walks. It is a bizarre feeling wearing a diver’s helmet and being tied with a weight belt but it is a unique experience. Submersibles are also available for those who want to see the colorful marine world but would not like to dive.
Six Museums and Ruins
While in Port Louis, make an effort to visit the Blue Penny Museum that displays two of the rarest stamps in the world. Other museums in the city that might be of interest are the Natural History Museum and the Mauritius Postal Museum.
Water sports enthusiasts will find Mauritius a haven: from island cruises to undersea walks and submersible tours
The Beau Plan sugar factory in Pamplemousses is another site worth visiting. Built in 1797, it tells the history of sugar production, rum making, and other tales worthy of recounting.
Alternatively, have a peek at the National History Museum in Mahebourg with its displays of naval treasures and instruments. Check the Martello Tower Museum in La Preneuse built by the British in the 1830s to fortify the country. Those curious of the French influence on the country should visit Bacalava and Baie de l’Arsenal where you’ll see ruins and a flour mill.
Five Educational Tours
A beach holiday is not only about having fun. You can also do educational tours in Mauritius by visiting tea estates, a vanilla farm, a rum distillery, a biscuit factory, and a perfume plant.
Check the Bois Cheri Estate in Mahebourg if you’re interested in teas. The estate covers 250 hectares. Nearby is Le Aubin, a preserved plantation house. A rum distillery and vanilla nursery are on the estate grounds. Sample the biscuits made from manioc at the Rault Biscuit Factory in the same area. If you have time to spare, visit the oldest sugar estate of Domaine de St. Felix in Souillac and watch how energy is harnessed from cane residues. A heady tour to do is the perfume distillery of Domaine de l’Ylang-Ylang. Check out the various plants and flowers in the nursery and connect with your olfactory senses as you smell the ylang-ylang, eucalyptus, and baie rose.
There is no shortage of things to see and activities to do in Mauritius, from enjoying immaculate beaches and the fascinating underwater to tracing its colonial history and heritage. Singles, groups and families are going to feel right at home here with its world-class facilities, friendly people, flavorful international cuisine, and bustling markets. Mauritius has lots to offer every type of visitor from the budget conscious tourist to the extravagant traveler. It has a diverse range of attractions and activities making a trip to this nation in the Indian Ocean a truly remarkable and unforgettable one.