what springs to mind when you think of Mauritius? Perhaps it’s the white sandy beaches and the clear turquoise ocean?
There is so much more to Mauritius than these stereotypical scenes. The island may be small but it has so much to offer.
I recently took a one-week trip to Mauritius for a family vacation. After experiencing so many interesting and fun aspects of the island on my trip, flying all the way to Mauritius to simply lie on a beach would’ve been a crime (great news for those of you that like to get out and explore).
The official language of the island is English; however, more people speak French and Mauritian Creole. The fact that almost all the locals speak English makes this an ideal destination for English-speaking travelers.
The country thrives on tourism and the export of sugar cane. Thank God there wasn’t a need for malaria pills or special immunizations.
Once you arrive, you can either rent a car or let someone else do the driving for you. We knew we would be too tired to drive on our arrival, so we booked car transfers before hand instead. Your hotel will likely offer this service. Also, it’s very easy to get a local taxi, which you can often negotiate the fare price or the local bus, which is much cheaper and convenient.
A good portion of the island is surrounded by an outer reef, which creates calm and great for water sports, which creates a safety net for water sport enthusiasts who have a fear of sharks.
If you are in desperate need to getaway and R&R, the welcoming locals, the laid-back island vibe, and the stunning views will definitely rejuvenate your spirit.
Almost every beach on the island offers various activities to relax, snorkel, do boat tours and has world-famous spots for wind and kite-surfing.
Since we went in the winter, the weather was a little unpredictable, but mostly light showers during our stay. I personally love hot humid weather when I’m visiting an island because I want to be in or by the ocean most of the time. If you prefer balmy weather and lukewarm ocean water, like I do, I suggest visiting in their summer (November to May). The wind is also calmer during the summer, which will provide those glassy ocean conditions which are perfect for surfing and kayaking. However, if you like mild temperatures or any water sport that requires wind, such as kite surfing, then winter is the best time to visit.
Mauritius’ capital of Port Louis is often overlooked by us tourists, who predominantly come in search of beaches. However, this bustling commercial city is bursting with culture, heritage and charm. The narrow streets are split into different cultural quarters with street vendors selling everything from fabrics to spices. The best way to discover Port Louis is by walking around since the traffic can be really bad.
We had lunch at the mall by the port and indulged in some shopping at a factory store precinct just outside of the capital city.
There are so many different things going on here that you could spend more than one day and not cover it all.
Overall a day in Port Louis is very fun one of the best places to see in Mauritius for the wonderful cultures and traditions.
We stayed near Grand Baie, which is a charming quaint coastal town and port located in the north-west of Mauritius. It’s bustling with shops and waterfront cafés and is well worth a visit. Tucked behind the main road is a lovely little market selling local wares and souvenirs and if you visit around 5pm you’ll see the daily fish market on the waterfront. The selection of tropical fish is quite something if you’re into seafood.
The Beach House, Grand Baie – a super casual bar and restaurant on Grand Baie beach, serving the biggest and freshest Madagascan prawns. It is a little bit pricey, but it is worth it. And you must try the Mauritian prawn curry (drools), what a lovely spicy seafood delight.
Mauritian food is a unique mix of African, Indian, and Chinese cuisines. If you are adventurous, i do recommend you stop along the road where local people are having lunch or serving street food and try their great food.
Grand Baie is known for its fun-filled night out offerings, bars and discos as well as more opportunities for shopping. I highly recommend a stop in this little town during your Mauritian tour.
One of my favourite highlights was La Vallée Des Couleurs Nature Park, where we spent the day quad biking and conquering the third longest 1.5 km long zip line, which gives you a beautiful bird’s eye view of the different panorama unfolding as you glide across.
The nature park is special because of its discovery of the 23 colored earth in the late 90’s, a unique geological feature in this part of the world. All the different colors really pop up when it doesn’t rain. There are blues, greens, reds and yellows that are thought to be the result of the erosion of the volcanic ash.
Mauritius is completely surrounded by beaches and beautiful coastline. It offers beaches to relax, snorkel, do boat tours and has world-famous spots for wind and kite-surf. All the water activities we did were shining stars of the and made it all that much more worth while. The second day in Mauritius we spent the morning swimming with the dolphins in the open sea, which was a surreal amazing experience that I will forever cherish.
After that we made our way to enjoy the rest of the morning and afternoon enjoying beach time in Flic en Flac, located on the west coast of the island. We spent the day on that island doing nothing other than eating, drinking rum and relaxing on the beach and replenishing the vitamin D deficiency we were suffering from in the cold winter Johannesburg, South Africa.
Although i didn’t go on my own dime, Mauritius can be done on a budget. I recommend getting a package that is all-inclusive from a travel agency.
Hotels are usually within a short walking distance to the beach and offer all of the amenities needed to make it a place you will want to spend days relaxing at.
Mauritius was a trip definitely worth repeating. The perfect island getaway.