An islander once told Mark Twain that “Mauritius was made first and then heaven; and heaven was copied after Mauritius”. Its miles of palm-fringed sandy beaches, almost entirely encircled by coral reefs, offer sanctuary for those who want to spend days lounging on the beach. The crystal clear waters are perfect for diving, snorkelling, swimming, kayaking and that’s just the beginning. What makes Mauritius different is that it has so much to offer beyond the beach. Whether it’s skydiving out of a plane, hiking through the mountains and National Parks or soaking up the culture, this is truly a destination with something for everyone. The islands’ Dutch, French and British legacy is reflected in colonial mansions and botanical gardens, while hospitable locals of African, Indian and Chinese heritage give the island an authentic feel, with colourful markets and temples, fusion cuisine, and the sashaying séga.
Get the most out of your (luxury) trip to Mauritius with my travel guide. Find out more about:
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
- Travel requirements
- Getting around
- Inspiration, highlights, & travel tips
- Suggested itineraries
- Recommended luxury hotels (+ reviews)
TRAVEL GUIDE TO MAURITIUS: BEST TIME TO VISIT
Mauritius benefits from a mild climate all year round with an average temperature of 25ºC (77°F) and a pleasant water temperature suitable for swimming both during summer and winter. Almost all activities you are looking forward to do during your holidays can be made at any time of the year. However, the most agreeable times to visit the island are from April to June and from September to December to avoid the peak of summer and winter, the only two seasons in Mauritius.
- Summer in Mauritius lasts from October to April, with sunlight from 5:30 am to 7 pm at the peak of the season. The heat peaks combined with a high degree of humidity, are felt from December to February, while periods of heavy rainfall are expected in February and March. The Indian Ocean records a cyclonic activity relatively intense each year during this season, but Mauritius, with its small size, is often spared (although there’s always a chance a storm may hit the island). Diving and deep-sea fishing enthusiasts will opt for this time to travel to Mauritius. It is also tropical fruit season, take the opportunity to taste litchis, mangoes, dragon-eye fruit and other delicious local fruits available on the market stalls.
- Winter in Mauritius is rather mild with an average temperature of around 22°C (71°F). The nights are cooler and the hours of sunlight range from 6:45 to 17:35 during the peak of winter. The months of July and August are the windiest for the greatest pleasure of surfers, kite surfers and windsurfers. The winter sky in the evening is wonderful in Mauritius, perfect for stargazing and watch the Perseids, the annual rendezvous of shooting star enthusiasts in August.
Mauritius also has a microclimate with different temperatures and climatic conditions depending on the region. The center of the island located on a high plateau, benefits from cooler temperatures and higher rainfall than the coastal zones. There may be a 3 to 5 degree difference between these regions. The North and West of the island are warmer and drier while the East is constantly under the influence of the south-eastern winds, which can be very strong in winter.
TRAVEL GUIDE TO MAURITIUS: HOW TO GET THERE
Most travelers arrive in Mauritius via Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport, the main gateway to the island destination. Several airlines now offer direct flights between Mauritius and Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia, including Air France, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Emirates, Saudi, turkish Airlines, and Mauritius’ national proud, its flagship carrier Air Mauritius. Click here for a continuously updated list of airlines that offer direct flights to Mauritius.
Before you buy a plane ticket, consider reading my tips & tricks for buying the cheapest plane ticket.
TRAVEL GUIDE TO MAURITIUS: ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
Requirements for entry in Mauritius differ from country to country, and are subject to change. Prior to departure, always check with your government and your nearest Mauritian embassy or consulate what documents you need for travel to Mauritius. Some important points:
- Most passport holders from the EU, Asia and USA don’t need a visa to enter Mauritius. On arrival, your passport will be stamped allowing entry to the country for 60 days. You’ll need to be able to provide evidence of onward or return travel.
- If you are visiting Mauritius, your passport should be valid for the duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required. It should have at least one blank passport page.
Make sure you read my 10 tips to plan a worry-free trip.
TRAVEL GUIDE TO MAURITIUS: GETTING AROUND
Do you want to take advantage of your holidays in Mauritius to explore the island? There are several ways to get around by car, with or without a driver, in a van or on a bike. Taxis are available outside the hotel or through the concierge, you can also opt for public transport as well.
- If you want to discover the island by yourself at your own pace, the best thing is to rent a car, a scooter or a bicycle, depending on the distance to travel, and to bring a map or a GPS. The rental prices are quite affordable. Always keep in mind that driving is on the left-hand side in Mauritius, and the priority is given to those coming from the right. Do not hesitate to ask people on the road if you do not find your way!
- Local tourist operators can organise excursions across the island and sea trips to the islets surrounding Mauritius; the journey will be done by bus or car depending on the number of people. Taxis also offer day packages to visit different regions, above normal trips. Taxis are found at the hotel, at the airport and on the various dedicated parking areas in towns and villages, close to the bus stations.
- Those who want to immerse themselves in Mauritian life and make encounters, try at least once to travel by public bus. Almost all the main routes of the island are served by the different bus companies operating in Mauritius. In town, the operating hours are from 5:30 am to 8:30 pm and in rural areas from 6:30 am to 6:30 pm. Before going out, check the operating hours of the buses in the region at the reception or with your host.
- A helicopter ride will be perfect for a more special trip. Besides the tours to see Mauritius from above, the companies operating in Mauritius, Air Mauritius and Corail Helicoptères, offer the airport/hotel/airport route, provided that the resort in which you are staying has a helipad.
TRAVEL GUIDE TO MAURITIUS: INSPIRATION, HIGHLIGHTS & TRAVEL TIPS
There are many reasons why Mauritius should be on your bucket list:
- Staying at a five star resort
- Visiting the capital city Port Louis
- Relaxing on the island’s dreamy beaches
- Snorkeling and diving in the island’s clear waters
- Hiking in Black River Gorges National Park
- Kitesurfing and windsurfing
- Attending a local Saga dance show
- Visiting the oldest botanical gardens in the southern hemisphere
- Explore Mauritius’ Creole, Indian and colonial heritage
- Savor delicious cuisine
The following, comprehensive articles may also inspire you and help you plan your holiday to Mauritius:
- Top 10 best luxury hotels & lodges in Mauritius
- Top 10 best things to see & do in Mauritius
- Mauritius vs Maldives vs Seychelles: which one is best?
- Tips & tricks for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel
- Tips & tricks for buying the cheapest plane ticket
TRAVEL GUIDE TO MAURITIUS: SUGGESTED ITINERARIES
Most travelers will stay in Mauritious for a week, being pampered in a luxury hotel of their choice. If you are more into exploring the island, two weeks is long enough to experience the best Mauritius has to offer, from its celebrated beaches and islands to the historic capital, varied wildlife and wide assortment of watersports. In case you have enough time, I recommend to spend part of your trip in the North, the West & Southwest, and the East & Southeast
- The North of Mauritius is renowned for being a highly touristic area with beautiful sandy beaches such as Grand-Bay, Péreybère and Mont-Choisy. It is the place where tourists enjoy strolling, water sports, shopping or savouring the delights of local cuisine, whether in a restaurant or in a food truck. The North also conceals other treasures away from the coast, its historical sites and heritage will be appealing to you.
- Recommended hotel: The Oberoi Beach Resort Mauritius
- The West and South-West coast of Mauritius offer a completely different experience. It is the sunniest and driest region of the island, with a nature and landscapes that will remind you of the African savanna. There are many places to discover and a lot of activities and leisure to experience, at sea or inland, in the heart of nature. The beaches of Flic en Flac, Tamarin and Le Morne are the most popular for family outings, surfing and kitesurfing and for its heritage as well. Leisure parks will delight young and grown-ups alike, and nature lovers will also be delighted to discover the Black River Gorges National Park or take a trip out to sea and watch dolphins. The region benefits from a pleasant temperature all year round, during summer and winter, and has a myriad of activities and leisure for the whole family during your holidays in Mauritius.
- Recommended hotel: JW Marriott Mauritius Resort
- The East & South of Mauritius are the most preserved parts of the island; the south stands out from the other regions with its incredible cliffs and impressive waves, creating a feeling of closeness to nature. The area offers magnificent views of the mountains and sugar cane fields as far as the eye can see. The south of the island is a concentrate of history, the region has witnessed the various landings of explorers during centuries and houses a lot of remnants from the past. The east of the island is home to Mauritius’ best beaches and most upscale hotels.
TRAVEL GUIDE TO MAURITIUS: RECOMMENDED HOTELS (+ REVIEWS)
I recommend to read my top 10 list of the most fabulous hotels in Mauritius if you are eager to know how I rank Mauritius’ top hotels, based my own experience.
Below, you find my detailed reviews of the best hotels and resorts in Mauritius (with pros, cons, & tips to save money per hotel).
- Review: Shangri-La Le Touessrok Resort, Mauritius
- Review: Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita
- Review: The Oberoi Beach Resort Mauritius
- Review: One&Only Le Saint Géran Mauritius
- Hotel review: St Regis Resort Mauritius