Mauritius is one of the most beautiful islands in the Indian Ocean and you will know how to plan your visit it in this compact travel guide with top things to do, best time to go and where to stay
It has some of the finest beaches and diving in the Indian Ocean, probably only beaten by the Maldives and Seychelles, plus beautiful nature parks and a vibrant local creoule culture mixed with Portuguese, French and British influence .
Here below is a map of the island to familiarize you with the regions and a route from the airport to the capital Port Louis and then the area of Grande Baie up Northwest. Note that this is the only highway in the island – count with one hour from the airport to Port Louis (47km) and another 30 minutes to Grand Baie (30km more). Traffic can be heavy when driving through Port Louis. I will mention more details by region in the next sections.
WHEN TO GO TO MAURITIUS
The best time to go to Mauritius is between November to March, when its drier and it will be warm across all the island with more than 30 degrees celsius and water temperatures of 26-27 degrees celsius. Do expect an occasional rain that will usually go away quickly, as result of the high humidity.
A good alternative is to go between August to October as the weather will be quite good on the West Coast of Mauritius, with temperatures around 25 degrees celsius. The East coast will be windier and cooler, still ok for a swim in the Southeast (Blue Bay and Ile aux cerfs area). Water temperature will remain pleasant in most of the West coast and also on the South
I was there in August for the 1st time and got temperatures in the West Coast of about 27 degrees and almost no rain, but weather is of course unpredictable sometimes.
HOW TO GET TO MAURITIUS AND GET AROUND HERE
The best way to get to Mauritius is via plane to the international airport Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam located in the southern part of Mauritius. Big international flight companies fly to the main airport such as Air France/KLM or Fly Emirates. You can also take Air Mauritius but of course quality will be slightly lower in comparison to bigger companies, even if their quality is acceptable to fly.
From the airport you can connect by taxi in one hour to the capital of Port Louis in one hour to cover the 50km distance for circa 35€. A transfer to Grand Baie would take 10 minutes more and would cost 45 to 50€. To other locations costs will vary, but never expect to pay more than 50€ to go elsewhere in the island as a rule of thumbs. Do take the official taxis, avoid private transfers or any offers from taxi drivers outside the taxi line.
As an alternative to taxi and my preferred option, the best way to get around Mauritius is by renting a car. It’s a relatively small island, so distances will never be much more than 1 hour.
Note that they drive on the left here and there is only one highway connecting the airport to Port Louis and Grand Baie in the Northwest. The rest of the country is made up of just regional roads, that can be narrow at some points on the coastline, so you need to drive carefully and plan extra time to get to your destination to avoid any traffc issues.
In terms of driving safety, overall local drivers in Mauritius are quite reasonable and is safe to drive even at night outside main cities
HOW MUCH TIME TO PLAN FOR MAURITIUS TRIP
The recommended time to stay in Mauritius is at least 2 weeks, assuming you will be driving or taking tours to visit most of the top attractions in Mauritius.
You could a shorter period of 8 days if you explore only one of the coastlines but then you will have limited time options to visit the other side of the island and plan some excursions.
You will most likely also want to relax some time at the beach, so in 2 weeks you can cover all the top attractions in Mauritius during 10 days and the other 4 days you can stay at the beach near your accommodation just to enjoy the beautiful ocean views and swim in the warm Indian Ocean waters.
WHERE TO STAY IN MAURITIUS
The best places to stay in Mauritius are mostly located on the Northwest coastline and cover a wide range of budget options. I can ŕecommend you to stay at Balaclava, Trou aux Biches or Grand Baie area to explore the Western coast. Le Morne down south is also beautiful and has one of the best beaches, if not the best one, in Mauritius.
Blue Bay area on the Southeast can also be a great surprise as it has some of best beaches and snorkeling options, it was a great place for me to stay on my 2nd trip to Mauritius. The most impressive is that its only 10-15 minutes from the international airport, often used by flight crews, but you don’t ever hear the planes. A final mention to Belle Mare that in the dry season is an excellent option and is home to great sunrises and has some of the finest golf and sports resorts options, only to be compared to
Hotel chain Beachcomber is a wonderful hotel chain located across mosf of the island with medium to luxury kind of resorts with excellent pools and service options. hotel that you can choose from different locations – Trou aux Biches is by far my preferred hotel in Mauritius.
As alternative to hotel chains, if you prefer more value friendly options without so much , look for apartments in Pereybére or Mont Choisy as they are greatly located near Grand Baie and have themselves lovely public beaches bays nearby.
Ask me for recommendations based on your accomodation expectations when doing a personalized itinerary.
WHERE TO EAT IN MAURITIUS
Mauritius has developed its restaurants infrastructure to cater to tourists high standards, so you will have plenty of international cuisine options spread across the island. Creole local kitchen is also available so that you can have a taste of the local cuisine also in modern restaurants. Local typical restaurants can also be an interesting option but beware of non-bottled beverages, ice and fresh salads as the water here isn’t indicated for drinking.
I must say that i was very positively surprised in most of the restaurants I went to, I liked in specific the nice mall area of La Croisette, near Grand Baie, and some of the waterfront restaurants, including a Portuguese chain called Galito’s, a look-alike from the more famous Nando’s, but that I found to be tastier and a great spot to grab breakfast outside the hotel.
But there was one that was for me the culinary highlight that I recommend everyone to do: the Chamarel Rum distillery. With a perfect location near the lovely nearby waterfall and mountains, I really liked the grounds and great distillery tour. The menus are tailored to fit local cuisine with the various products of the distillery but also regional produce. There is a good selection of dishes with and without alcohol, vegetarian options and amazing desserts. It was by far the best meal I had in Mauritius,
TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN MAURITIUS
The top things to do in Mauritius are a combination for me of beaches, cultural sites and some adventure experiences across the islands. It can be easily extended depending on what you would like to do and where you are located in the island. These are the top 10 attractions you must do in Mauritius:
- Le Morne Brabant area
- Casela Park
- Chamarel Waterfall
- 7-Colored Earth
- Blue Bay Marine Park
- Ile aux Cerfs
- Port Louis
- Ile Plate (Flat Island)
- Flic en Flac Beach
- Belle Mare Beach
I will have some separate posts to describe these top 10 things to do in Mauritius.
Having said this, ask me for a personalized itinerary because Mauritius is one of those places that requires a specific route that needs to have you maximizes time on the road with quality time at the beach.
Enjoy the best beach of Mauritius in Le Morne, see how to get there and what to do in this amazing Le Morne peninsula
Explore the reasons why you should see the 1001 shades of blue in the Maldives
Discover the 7 reasons why you can’t miss the Seychelles biggest island
My name is Renato Azambujo. I live currently in Hamburg, but was born and raised in sunny capital of Portugal, Lisbon. I also lived in Switzerland for some years, before settling in Germany for the last years.
I am huge passionate about travel, photographer and a global explorer, always looking to the next destination.
I have so far visited over 70 countries across the 5 continents, because I really love knowing about new places, interact with different cultures and get to know myself better after each journey.