Holidays in Mauritius
When it comes to describing Mauritius, we’re going to leave you in the inspirational hands of American writer Mark Twain: “From one citizen you gather the idea that Mauritius was made first and then heaven; and heaven was copied after Mauritius."
‘Nirvana’s blueprint’ is a nickname that Mauritius utterly deserves, with miles and miles of palm-speckled sugar-white sands lapped by limpid-blue sea. It’s a tropical scene fitting for any luxury holiday and a superb selection of resorts, including some of the best family-friendly hotels in the Indian Ocean, match the five-star views.
While its beaches and snorkel-worthy waters are certainly beautiful, Mauritius’ interior further confirms the heavenly appraisal by the proud local Twain wrote about. An emerald oasis of lush jungle, waterfalls and soaring mountains make for an adventurers’ playground, with hiking trails providing prime access. Rum distilleries, colonial plantations and the capital of Port Louis offer a delightful insight into the island’s melting pot of cultures – once ruled by the Dutch, British and French and now populated by Africans, Indians, Europeans and Chinese, Mauritius has layer upon layer of heritage and traditions.
A holiday to Mauritius has a bit of everything – adventure, history, unbelievable underwater worlds and brilliant beaches. And that’s why it was once called a prototype for paradise.
With pristine beaches skirting the whole of Mauritius, the powder-soft sands only interrupted by the swaying shadow of an occasional palm tree, it’s hard not to have a romance-fuelled holiday on this dreamy island. A Mauritius beach is made for a honeymoon. Five-star honeymoon resorts give you prime access to this slice of paradise, with options like a candlelit beach dinner or private in-villa dining only serving to ramp up the romance. Aside from the romance on tap for couples, Mauritius’ beautiful beaches are backed by emerald-swathed mountains seeping with waterfalls – a scene that is guaranteed to make your heart soar.
Family spirit is something that’s embedded in Mauritian hospitality and they love to share it with every visiting family. Here, hotels just love to help take the pressure off families, allowing you to completely relax and enjoy quality time with your loved ones. Most family resorts in Mauritius have interconnecting rooms and spacious suites, making them ideal for those with young children, and you have the pick of some of the best kids’ clubs across the Indian Ocean, like the ones found at Long Beach Mauritius and Heritage Le Telfair. Plus, a lot of Mauritius resorts offer all-inclusive plans, so you don't need to worry about the food and drink bill spiralling out of control while you're there! There’s no end to the activities they can offer, from cookery schools to water sports lessons, a golf academy to a dedicated day care for your really little ones.
It goes without saying, we wouldn't blame you if you chose to relax on some on the best beaches in Mauritius but there are also plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs. Several resorts have tennis courts, while a range of water sports are often complimentary, including sea kayaking, jet-skiing and more. For something a little more leisurely, a Mauritius holiday offers lots of things to do, too. A helicopter tour offers an epic birds-eye view of the entire emerald isle, while back on water a cruise of the islands off the north coast puts you in touch with vibrant birdlife, sweet spots for snorkelling, diving and more relaxing beach time.
Hiding among the leafy interior of Mauritius is a fine collection of golf courses, ranging from world-class 18-hole courses to scenic nine-holers. Better still, many of the hotels which boast their own golf course will offer you complimentary access throughout your stay, with courses at One&Only Le Saint Geran, Constance Belle Mare Plage and Heritage Le Telfair among our favourites.
If you want the island's complete story and a variety of things to do in Mauritius, then head inland. You can hike through the island’s lush interior, including through the rolling hills of Black River Gorges National Park, atop the dormant volcano of Trou aux Cerfs or to the waterfalls of Chamarel and Exil. Mountain bike trails also vein the rich swathe of rainforest, while a 4x4 drive takes you past fruit plantations and villages, offering an authentic glimpse into Mauritius culture and local life, where you can observe artisans at work. You can even try traditional dishes such as gato pima (pea fritters) for a delicious taste of Mauritius food. Other highlights include Pamplemousses Botanical Garden, a fascinating collection of plants that date back to French colonial rule, and the buzzing market of Mahebourg.
Where to stay in Mauritius
Mauritius has more strings to its bow than most people give it credit for and the same goes for its accommodation. If you want to stay on a talcum-white beach you can, but you can also stay high up in jungle-covered peaks or even in your own bubble! Mauritius has a little bit of everything, whether you're into your golf or you fancy a healthy slice of tropical seclusion.
Best time to visit Mauritius
Mauritius has two main seasons, with its summer from November to April and the winter occurring from May to October. The island is a year-round destination, with both seasons having their advantages. Deciding on the best time of year to visit Mauritius depends on what you’re looking for from your holiday.
The peak summer season is hot and humid, with temperatures (especially on the coast) rising above 30°C. During Mauritius’ summer, there’s a chance of rainfall, although it usually comes in the form of short and sharp afternoon showers. These never last for long and actually help in clearing the humidity, before drying up pretty quickly. January and February can occasionally see cyclones but thanks to the country’s tiny size, they generally miss Mauritius. Having said that, January and February offer the best visibility for divers, though it’s great throughout the year.
Mauritius’ winter is a lot cooler, with temperatures ranging from the mid to low-20s (degrees Celsius), and a lot drier. Warm, sunny days are aplenty, although you might need to pack an extra layer for the evenings. July and August is popular with families because of the school holidays and plethora of great family-friendly hotels. In September and October it’s still generally dry and the temperature starts to heat up in anticipation of the summer season, making this one of the best times to go to Mauritius on a luxury holiday.
Mauritius travel essentials
Mauritius is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. Its location is very remote, lying to the east of Madagascar and its nearest neighbour is the island of Réunion, around 220km away to the south-west.
The direct flight time from London to Mauritius is 12 hours.
No vaccinations are currently recommended for Mauritius. If you’re entering Mauritius from a Yellow Fever zone, possession of a valid Yellow Fever inoculation certificate is required. For any current travel health advice, you should seek guidance from your GP at least four to six weeks prior to travel.
British passport holders don’t need a visa to visit Mauritius.
The time difference is GMT +4 hours.
The currency is the Mauritian rupee, although Euros, dollars and credit cards are all widely accepted.
Strangely, Mauritius doesn't actually have an official language! Thanks to its colonial history, both English and French are widely spoken across the island. However, Mauritian Creole is seen as the native language and is spoken by most locals.
The main island of Mauritius is around 1,865 sq km, which is around the same size as the county of Buckinghamshire (1,874 sq km) – Turquoise's home! There are over 330km of beaches lacing the island's fringes and, if the traffic was kind, you could drive across the entire island from top to toe in around two hours. Mauritius' compact size means it's perfect for hiring a car yourself and exploring at your own leisure – something we highly recommend!
The capital of Mauritius is Port Louis. Located on the island's north-west coastline, Port Louis was originally settled by the Dutch in the 17th century, who imaginatively named it Noordt Wester Haven (North West Harbour). However, after the French arrived, in 1736 the governor Bertrand François Mahé de Labourdonnais took the initiative to develop it into the island's commercial hub and capital. He renamed it in honour of the French king at the time, Louis XV. Over the years, Port Louis has remarkably survived a slew a natural disasters, including fires, plagues and tropical storms.
Today, the capital is a fascinating melting pot of cultures. The centre comprises colonial buildings which stand as legacies of past Dutch and French occupation, characterful Chinese and Indian neighbourhoods and the buzzing Central Market.
Meet our Mauritius Specialists
Mauritius Special OffersView All Mauritius Special Offers
Sign up to our newsletter for the latest news and offers