Known as the star of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius is a beautiful island paradise. It's filled with white sand beaches, dazzling blue seas, and miles of unbroken coral reef. On your holiday to Mauritius, you’ll take in beautiful sights and be able to listen to the peaceful sounds of the stunning sea.
The natural beauty extends inland, where you’ll find volcanic peaks, glistening lakes and neat little fields of sugar cane. The island has such varied multicultural influences that give it a rich culture and history. It's perfect for exploring, with something exciting and new around every corner. On one corner you might find baroque colonial buildings, and on the other, Hindu and Buddhist temples. It’s a mixed bag that fuses into one fantastic holiday experience.
But if you’re not one for exploring, then have no worries. It’s just as easy to relax, as holidays in Mauritius also offer some of the world’s most luxurious resorts. There are excellent facilities, Michelin Star restaurants, and spas to be pampered in. From these incredible resorts, you can easily explore the rest of the island.
Mauritius also has some of the best beaches in the Indian Ocean. They’re often sheltered from some of the harsher seas, so you’ll get gentle waves that are easy to swim in. As a result, you get great snorkelling and even greater diving.
With all this to do in Mauritius, you’ll find yourself questioning, why don’t I spend every holiday at this fantastic destination?
Shop till you drop in Port Louis
The island’s capital, Port Louis, is a bustling modern city, filled with hints of its rich history. And a diverse mix of cultures is reflected throughout. It’s buildings alone are designed from a mix of architecture styles and influences, including colonial Dutch, French, British, and modern East Asian.
You should start your exploration at the Caudan Waterfront. With its excellent selection of restaurants, bars, and shops, it’s a perfect starting point. The central market is also a brilliant place to pick up gifts or souvenirs to take home. Local tea, coffee, rum, and spices are all available from friendly locals who are keen to barter. You can also buy exquisite woodcarvings, colourful straw bags and textiles to take home.
Definitely make sure you check out China Town as well. ‘Camp des Chinois’ as it’s known, is filled with traditional restaurants and grocery stores stocking delicacies. The best time to visit has to be the during the annual festival, but at any time of the year, it’s a vibrant fusion of cultures to explore.
The Blue Penny Museum focuses on the island’s colonial and maritime history, along with its culture. A tour of the exhibits will put into context the variety of styles and influences the island has.
Visit the glorious Botanical Gardens
As well as having beautiful beaches, Mauritius has a stunning natural landscape. Rich with an incredible variety of plants and wildlife, it's a great choice for a 5-star holiday. The best place to see some of the wild plants is at the Pamplemousse Botanical Garden. The oldest botanical garden in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s one of the most wonderful places on the island to visit, with a serene and in-touch with nature feeling that’s hard to match.
The centrepiece of this location is the main pond filled with the giant Victoria Amazonica water lilies. These striking plants unfold from their prickly furry centre to show off their huge leaf. The largest is wider than you are tall. Their attractive flowers are also well-worth seeing, as they change colour from white when open to red when closed. These super strong lilies can carry 40kg of weight and are some of the largest lilies in the world.
Eat like a king
Try the Mauritian food, influenced by the melting pot of cultures and the people who have settled here over the years. Much of the local cuisine centres on the freshly caught seafood. It's best enjoyed grilled at a beach barbecue while watching the sunset.
What’s more, there’s a fantastic range of restaurants in Mauritius. Inspired by French and other continental cuisines, you’ll find dishes that combine the tropical, fish based diet of the region with the traditional luxury fine dining style of European settlers. It’s ideal for trying new flavours while still knowing you’re going to get fantastic quality food.
You can also sample a fantastic range of street food with Indian, Asian and French Creole influences. This incredible variety is available all over the island. Definitely try Dhal Puri, a delicious flatbread with a filling of cooked yellow lentils. It's a staple street food across Mauritius. You fill the puris with a variety of curries and chutneys and eat it standing on the street watching the world go by.
Where to Stay
It's best to pick a resort on the island’s west coast, where you’ll be close to the island’s bustling capital, Port Louis. This will give you the best of both worlds. You'll have the isolation to completely relax when you want it, but with the chance to explore the island’s local culture. It's also the best place to discover the shopping scene when you need a break from your sun lounger.
There are also great locations on the west coast. Sugar Beach resort in Flic en Flac is an elegant colonial plantation house with a contemporary twist. Its modern facilities are hidden behind its old-time charm, and it’s a fantastic destination if you’re looking for something a little bit different.
Mauritius’ East Coast combines spectacular coastline and resorts with first class service. It’s perfect for a more romantic getaway. Here, luxury hotels are numerous and compete to deliver the very best service. You’ll have to take advantage of their one-upmanship by getting the best deal on a deluxe resort.
Bel Ombre is another great option for a luxury holiday located on the island’s more dramatic southern shores. Its proximity to the spectacular open nature reserve set on an old sugar plantation makes it the perfect base to get out and explore Mauritius’ natural wonders.
Indian Ocean Destinations
Safety and Security
For up to date advice on travelling to Mauritius, please visit Safety and security - Mauritius travel advice
BEST TIME TO GO...
Mauritius has a year-round, consistently warm and sunny climate. Temperatures can reach 35 degrees during the summer months between November and April, but even during the Mauritian winter, which runs April to October, temperatures are still around a balmy 22 degrees. The best time to see the famous Victoria amazonica water lilies is in the summer months, they are particularly beautiful in January, so it’s well-worth planning your Mauritius holiday to co-incide with this.
Time difference: GMT +4 hours
Currency: Mauritian Rupee.
Language: English and French.
Flight time from the UK (London): Approximately 12 hours.
Arrival Airport:Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.
Entry details for British passport holders: You do not need to obtain a visa before departure, a visa, normally valid for three months, will be issued on arrival. Passports need at least 6 months validity from your entry date. Before you depart, check the latest travel advice at www.fco.gov.uk.
HERE TO HELP
A local Signature representative will meet you at your arrival airport and direct you to your pre-booked transfer vehicle. You'll receive a welcome pack containing information about the local area and all contact details. A welcome meeting will be arranged at your hotel and should you need advice during your stay, local representatives will make scheduled visits.