A trip to Mauritius is a journey into luxury that few will have been accustomed to. With a higher concentration of five-star hotels than any other place on earth, all bordering perfect white sandy beaches, Mauritius is ideally geared up to provide you with a holiday experience of a lifetime. From high-energy water sports and gourmet dining, to world-class golf courses and laid-back spas, visitors to Mauritius will find it hard to want for anything.
The pear-shaped island is fairly compact, making it easy for the intrepid visitor to explore different parts if they wish. The north, around Grand Baie is the hub of the tourist area, whereas the south of the island is greener and more rustic in comparison. To the east, world-famous hotels and celebrity retreats make the most of the perfect beaches there, and to the west, the flat beaches and calm waters make it a top pick for families.
When to visit
Peak time for Mauritius holidays runs from October to April, where it is hotter, wetter and has more risk of extreme weather events. The winter, which runs from May to September, is warm and dry, with much more bearable temperatures. With cut price rates during the ‘winter’ season, it can be a top choice for a family summer holiday destination.
Tips for exploring the island
Mauritius may be a small island, but it’s a big business for the locals. Although the place is well geared up to make the tourists happy, it is also geared up to make money wherever possible. To really get the most from the island experience, try some of these handy tips to maximise your budget and see more while you are there.
1. See what days out and trips are available locally rather than just relying on the ones that the hotel has organised. Some locally-run excursions can be better value for money than what’s on offer in house, but do make sure your operator is properly qualified and insured for your trip. If your holiday is all inclusive however, then it makes sense to stick with the hotel-run excursions.
2. The Hindu Temple is a must-see attraction, but expect to encounter monkeys! Make the most of the opportunity to get close by taking some fruit with you to give to them. Hold on to your sunglasses and hat though – they do like to steal the odd ‘souvenir’.
3. Take a lunch pack from the hotel if you go out for the day. Although there are plenty of places to eat in the towns around the island, if you’re going out walking or sightseeing, it can be nice to not have to stop anywhere for lunch and to maximise your available time.
4. Exchange your money at independent exchange desks, where you will get a better rate than at the airport.
5. Another great day out is the Valley of the Colours. Here you can enjoy zip lines, quad biking and a guided tour of this incredible natural wonder.
6. Don’t be afraid to negotiate on prices. Although the Mauritians are not as open to negotiations as the Taiwanese or Balinese locals, you will find some who are willing to broker a deal if you ask them politely.
7. Head over to the Flaq market in the East of the island, where you can get a great deal and practice your bartering skills while buying your souvenirs.
8. Don’t underestimate travelling time. Although the island is fairly compact geographically, the roads between towns are in poor condition and windy. This means it could take up to two hours to travel from your hotel to your excursion for the day, so make sure you build this into your itinerary.
Overall, Mauritius is a haven for holidaymakers all year around. Whether you plan to spend a week on a sun lounger, devouring a few good books, or prefer to spend your time there swimming with dolphins, scuba diving and exploring the cultural sights, the island of Mauritius can be whatever you want it to be when you spend time there.