Mauritius is often referred to as a paradise. American author Mark Twain once said that, “Heaven was copied after Mauritius”. I recently enjoyed a fabulous vacation in this beautiful country, and I couldn’t agree more.
Mauritius has everything you would expect to find in a coastal country, from pristine white-sand beaches with azure waters and lush greenery to year-round sunshine and beautiful local culture. Talking about the culture, you will find one of the most diverse cultures in Mauritius, with a mix of Indian, African and European influences coming together to create something so authentic and beautiful that one can experience only after visiting this paradise country.
There are plenty of things to do and experience in Mauritius, from the various rum distilleries for which the country is very famous to the tranquil tea estates, there’s something for everyone’s liking. And as if this was not enough, there are more than 90 beaches to just grab a drink and relax for the whole day. Without wasting any more time, let’s dive deeper into every travel-related aspect.
Welcome to the Ultimate Mauritius Guide! This is your one-stop destination for everything Mauritius. Get to know about the best places to visit in this country, where to stay, what to eat and everything else there is.
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For the ease of navigation, below is a table of contents. Clicking on any, will lead you to that specific topic. Also note that I have included location of every place in the form of Google Maps link.
Top Places to Visit in Mauritius
Mauritius is a small country located in the Indian Ocean. Don’t let its small size fool you! There are many interesting places to visit in Mauritius. Let’s take a look at them one-by-one. For the ease of understanding, I will list the interesting places region wise.
La Vallée Des Couleurs Nature Park
Spread over 450 acres of land, La Vallée Des Couleurs Nature Park is situated in the south of Mauritius near Black River Gorges National Park. The name literally translates to “The Valley of Colours Nature Park”. The park has diverse flora and fauna, including endemic species. The range of natural landscapes, with its plateaus, mountains, valleys, waterfalls, pools and ponds unfolding inside this green amphitheater provides an unforgettable experience.
Various activities are available here such as Zip-Lines (including the world’s third longest zip-line at 1.5 kilometres), Quad-biking, Suspension bridge (Nepalese bridge), Mountain Luge cart and many more.
There are three restaurants too inside the park to satisfy your hunger.
The highlight of the park is the 23-coloured earth. Because it is found at the foot of a volcano, La Vallee des Couleurs in Mauritius inherited a beautiful consequence of a million-years’ of chemical reactions from volcanic ashes which changed in composition over time as rains, moisture, oxygen, and carbon dioxide interacted, resulting in a palette of 23 colours ranging from red to brown, pale yellow, ochre, purple, bluish, and greenish.
These photos and video definitely don’t do justice to just how beautiful this place looks in person.
You will also find giant tortoises here, some of the biggest in the world, for which Mauritius is famous.
This place should definitely be on your list when visiting Mauritius. I assure you that every penny you spend here will be worth it.
Google Maps: La Vallee des Couleurs Nature Park
Black River Gorges National Park
Another not to miss drive in Mauritius is the one through Black River Gorges National Park. Whether you start in Chamarel on one hand or in Bois Cheri on another, you are in for a memorable drive.
Black River Gorges National Park is located in the southwestern part of the country and features multiple picnic spots, view points and more than 50 kilometres of beautiful hiking trails. Now, there are various places to visit when driving through this national park. Let’s start with Bois Cheri Tea Plantation.
Bois Cheri Tea Plantation
Bois Cheri is the largest tea producer of Mauritius. Tea has a very deep connection with the natives of Mauritius and you will get to know all about that here at this place. This 250-hectare place also houses a museum depicting the history of Mauritian Tea. The hour-long tour of the tea-processing facility ends with a stop at the museum. This is followed by the most exciting activity at the place: tea sampling. One thing to note here is that in the winters, the tea processing tour takes place only on Wednesdays.
A small drive takes you to a restaurant where tea sampling takes place. The restaurant overlooks the tea plantations with a pond in the middle, making it the perfect place to taste different varieties of tea and have a relaxing time.
Google Maps: Bois Cheri Tea Factory
Grand Bassin is another interesting and a significant attraction in Mauritius. Also known as Ganga Talao in Hindi (Talao meaning a pond or a lake), it is a crater lake situated in a secluded mountain area. Hindus make up around 48% of population in the country and Grand Bassin is considered the holiest site for Hindus in Mauritius.
Grand Bassin is a very peaceful place with a great view and various temples and idols of lords dotted around the lake. There are also giant statues of Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga just around the corner. Lord Shiva’s statue is 108 feet high and is the third highest statue of the Lord in the world.
It is open throughout the year and can be visited at any time of the day. There is no entry fee per se. However, one can always donate any amount they like in the temples.
Google Maps: Grand Bassin
Alexandra Falls is one of the many falls dotted along this route in Black River Gorges National Park.
If you are driving from Grand Bassin, you will find a sign on the left (on the right if you’re driving from the other side) to a narrow road which will lead you through a forest to a big parking lot. The falls are fairly large and the viewpoint, which is at a little height, gives a fabulous view of the surrounding mountains and the southern coastline of Mauritius.
Google Maps: Alexandra Falls
Black River Gorges View Point
A 10-minute drive from Alexandra Falls takes you to the Black River Gorges View Point. This is the main view point in the national park, offering views of the beautiful valley and the surrounding mountains.
From the small parking lot, a cemented path takes you down to the viewpoint. Beware of the monkeys here as they tend to get playful with the humans there. 😉
Google Maps: Black River Gorges view point
Rhumerie de Chamarel Restaurant & Rum Distillery
Next stop on this beautiful drive is the Rhumerie de Chamarel. Nestled in the fertile valley of southwestern Mauritius lies the renowned Rhumerie de Chamarel. Mauritian Rum is famous worldwide and the Chamarel distillery has a rich history, deeply rooted in the Mauritian tradition of rum production.
As you make your way to the distillery, you will be treated to scenic views of the vast plantations of sugarcane.
The distillery produces all types of rums, from the Premium White Rums and Gold & Spiced Rums to the Aged Rums and Extra Old Rums.
There are guided tours available that take you behind the scenes to provide a thorough explanation of the rum making process. At the end of the tour, you also have the option to taste different rums produced here.
There’s also a restaurant – L’Alchimiste – specialising in a unique cuisine, prepared with local products sourced from the estate itself.
Google Maps: Rhumerie de Chamarel Restaurant & Rum Distillery
Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth GeoPark
The Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth GeoPark is a destination in itself, one which is worth visiting for sure! Revealing 600 million years of history, the first and main geopark of the island is a true spectacle of nature. The 8.5 hectare nature park houses the 7 Coloured Earth as well as the Chamarel Waterfall amongst many other attractions like a bird park and tortoise park.
The entry pass includes entry to the 7 Coloured Earth as well as the Chamarel Waterfall.
The 7 Coloured Earth is a unique geological wonder that shouldn’t be missed. The 7 colours visible at this place are red, brown, violet, green, blue, purple and yellow. They are best visible when sun-rays fall directly on the sand.
There’s also a coffee shop offering snacks and beverages, a souvenir shop and a turtle park near 7 Coloured Earth. This place is open year round.
The Chamarel Waterfall is the tallest single-drop waterfall in Mauritius at 100 metres high. Fed by the waters of three distinct streams pouring into Saint Denis River, it has a powerful rush with a peak flow rate in excess of 40,000 m³ per minute. The waterfall is on the left when driving to the 7 Coloured Earth geosite from the main entrance.
Google Maps: Chamarel 7 Coloured Earth GeoPark
Le Morne Brabant
Le Morne Brabant is a peninsula at the extreme southwestern tip of Mauritius. The famous Le Morne mountain is located here. Le Morne is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While I did not personally do it, I recommend taking this guided hike* to the top of Le Morne, from where the famous underwater waterfall is visible. The waterfall is a result of underwater currents, and sand and silt deposits moving along with the flow of water creating the illusion of the fall.
Google Maps: Le Morne Brabant
The western part of Mauritius will remind you of the African landscapes, with several coastal villages, each with its own characteristics. These villages offer tourists some great experience with their culture, food, nature and the encounters with locals.
Flic en Flac
One of the most beautiful villages on the West Coast of Mauritius is Flic en Flac, known for its beautiful beach with casuarina trees that stretch over a few kilometres, but also for its many food outlets and its nightlife. The local street food, whether it be a food truck or a restaurant along a street, is a must-try.
Google Maps: Flic en Flac
Tamarin and Grande Rivière Noire
Just south of Flic en Flac are the villages of Tamarin and Grande Rivière Noire. Located close to the Black River Gorges National Park, the mountains and the vegetation take various shades of ochre, recalling the African savannah. Once isolated fishing villages, Tamarin and Grande Rivière Noire are today prized by wave lovers and those who seek a quiet life by the seaside.
Google Maps: Tamarin
Google Maps: Grande Rivière Noire
Just north of Flic en Flac is the village of Albion, known as the quietest little village of the island and home to the famous lighthouse of Pointe aux Caves, as well as known to be a fishing hotspot. Located about halfway between Flic en Flac and Port Louis, the surroundings of the village are bordered by wild cliffs.
Google Maps: Albion
Casela Nature Park
Casela Nature Park is yet another adventure park located close to Flic en Flac, in the western part of the island. The park is spread over 350 hectares and is divided into 5 zones – Thrill Mountain, Predator Kingdom, African Safari, Pangia Birds and Rides & World of Events – each with its own unique characteristics.
Now, I will be honest here. I did not find this park to be worth visiting. If you love wild animals and birds, then it can be on your list, (given that you have not visited many zoos or witnessed animals in their natural habitat) but other than that, it’s got nothing special to be honest. The only attraction I found here is the Tulawaka. Note, that if you go in the middle of the day for this ride, be ready for long queues.
The African safari is included in the entry ticket and it’s a good experience but not all that great.
I recommend visiting this park only if you have some spare time left as it’s a big step down in terms of the experience there, especially after visiting La Vallée Des Couleurs Nature Park.
Google Maps: Casela Nature Park
Now, this is the part of Mauritius where it gets so much more exciting because there’s just so much to do and see here. We will start with the capital city, Port Louis.
The capital city of Port Louis is a vibrant town located in the North-west of the country. Founded by French Governor Bertrand-François Mahé de Labourdonnais in 1735, the city is the economic hub of the island and is very lively during the day, teeming with life. There’s something for everyone here, from the colourful markets and street food to heritage sites and a vibrant culture. An entire day may not be sufficient to see the whole of Port Louis but you can always try to cover maximum number of things possible in a day or come back any other day to cover the missed places.
If you have hired a car, it’s best not to take it into Port Louis and park your car just outside the town as its best to explore the town on foot and the traffic in the town tends to get very bad during the day. I recommend parking your car at “Park and Ride by the Docks”. It’s a paid parking facility that charges on an hourly basis. They also have a complimentary shuttle running every 10-15 minutes that takes you to the downtown area or near the Caudan Waterfront. Do note, that the place is only open till 7:00 PM everyday.
Caudan Waterfront is a shopping centre located right near the harbour. It offers an all-in-one formula with its various brands, restaurants, cinemas and museum. You can simply take a stroll there and enjoy the view of the harbour and the mountains of Port Louis. The place is also very pleasant in the evening, offering a different atmosphere than during the day.
The Port Louis Waterfront is a very nice place to just grab a drink and relax or wander around the various shops and restaurants. I personally was very impressed with how clean and tidy everything was in Port Louis, aside from the vegetable markets.
The Port Louis Market or the Central Market will captivate you with the aromatic smells of fruit and vegetables. There’s also a craft and souvenir market next to the vegetable zone.
Near the Caudan Waterfront is a shopping mall with many luxury brands available for you to choose from. In a separate section of the mall is another craft and souvenir market.
The famous colourful hanging umbrellas you might have seen in pictures is right outside this shopping mall. There are various restaurants and cute cafés dotted along the street, with some of them even offering views of the harbour.
Just across the Caudan Waterfront is the Mauritius Postal Museum, a beautiful preserved stone building that will enchant philatelists and lovers of postal history.
Next stop is the Aapravasi Ghat which traces the history of Indian indentured labourers who arrived in Mauritius in the 19th century, after the abolition of slavery. This centre encloses documentation and artefacts, and also features a ten-minute film on the testimonials of the workers’ descendants. Aapravasi Ghat is a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. This place will surely entice history lovers.
Heading inside the town across from the highway which splits the waterfront area and the main city, there’s the Bank of Mauritius featuring an unexpected collection of coins that have gone throughout history in its museum. The museum is open only on weekdays and guided tours are also available.
Just across the street is the Natural History Museum where one can discover the history and wildlife of Mauritius, and the famous extinct Dodo.
Chinatown is a must-visit, having all kinds of shops, from traditional medicine to souvenir shops and grocery stores where you will find ingredients only available in that area. At the entrance of Chinatown sits the Jummah Mosque, an outstanding building constructed at the end of the 19th century for Mauritians of Muslim faith, and which is still open for daily prayers.
The Jardin de la Compagnie, few minutes away from the Government House, will offer you a nice breath of air in the shade of the centenary trees and big Banyan trees. If you want to have a bird’s eye view of Port Louis and the harbour, head over to Citadelle, also known as Fort Adelaide. It houses shops and serves as a venue for shows and other cultural events.
At the foot of the hill sits the Champ de Mars. Dating back to the early 19th century, it is one of the oldest horse racing tracks in the southern hemisphere. The Champ de Mars is a part of the Mauritian heritage.
Apart from these places, there are many other places to be explored in Port Louis. Exploring the town on foot is the way to go, as you will be able to see some unexplored places while also taking in the culture. I highly recommend staying back in Port Louis till the night as the city looks great with lights around, really giving a feeling of a very developed city.
Google Maps: Port Louis
Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
Located in Pamplemousses, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Garden is a botanical garden created in the 18th century. The unique flora and fauna of Mauritius can be seen here, while you can also take pictures of the giant water lilies.
The park is also home to a variety of birds, deer and tortoises.
While it is a nice place, I personally did not find it to be worth it. You can of course just visit it to relax and it is a great place for a midday picnic. However, there are many other activities around to do instead. It is a matter of personal choice in this case.
Google Maps: Pamplemousses Botanical Garden
One of the most popular sites in the North is the red-roofed church, Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice, in Cap Malheureux, one of the emblematic postcards of Mauritius. The red roof really stands out amongst the surroundings.
I recommend visiting this place around sunset as the backdrop of the colourful sky combined with the church itself, is a sight for the eyes …and for a good picture.
Google Maps: Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice
In the north of Port Louis lies the village of Triolet which houses the Maheswarnath Mandir. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is the largest one on the island.
Google Maps: Maheswarnath Mandir
L’Aventure du Sucre
In Beau Plan, L’Aventure du Sucre is a good place to learn about the history of sugarcane. One can also enjoy some sweet treats and rum tasting, in addition to a meal at the museum’s restaurant.
Google Maps: L’Aventure du Sucre
The north is the most happening place on the island and is the place for clubbers. Grand Baie and its surrounding areas are known for their active nightlife; you have a wide choice between the various nightclubs, bars and pubs there.
Grand Baie is also very famous for shopping amongst tourists. There are many options like the shops on the coastal road, the shopping malls of the region or the bazaar having items ranging from clothing, accessories, handcrafts to food, among others.
Google Maps: Grand Baie
Tours to the Northern Islands
The North is the place from where all the day tours to the Northern Islands depart. I recommend this tour from a local operator*. The tour begins from the Grand Baie public beach and you can visit all the three islands – Flat Island, Gabriel Island and Coin de Mire – all at one go. This tour begins at 8 AM, meaning that you will be one of the firsts to arrive at the islands, as all the other tours start off between 8 and 9 AM; another plus of going for this particular tour.
There are also some dolphin tours that take place in the morning that depart from either the North or the West of Mauritius. Also, sailing enthusiasts can opt for kite surfing or windsurfing in the region of Cap Malheureux and Anse La Raie. The various certified Scuba Diving centres will lead you to the most popular diving spots of the north such as the Gunner’s Coin, Holt’s Rock, and the famous Whale Rock which is about thirty meters deep.
The Eastern part of Mauritius is comparatively quaint, with various beaches and small villages dotted along the coast. This part of the island is also the windiest, with a pleasant soft breeze in summer and becomes cooler in winter, beaten by the south-east winds.
Ile aux Cerfs
Ile aux Cerfs is the cliché of the tropical paradise island with its gorgeous sandy beaches, turquoise waters and coconut trees. The island also features an 18-hole golf course and restaurants. There are several ways to get to Ile aux Cerfs. There is a regular shuttle boat from Pointe Maurice next to Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok hotel; at Trou d’Eau Douce landing station, there are many operators that will offer you the service, or you can organise a catamaran trip from the south-east or Trou d’Eau Douce to discover the coast from the sea, stop over at Grand River South-East to admire its majestic waterfalls, take a swim there, and end the day at Ile aux Cerfs.
Google Maps: Ile aux Cerfs
The village of Mahebourg was founded at the beginning of the 19th century by the French and was named after Mahé de Labourdonnais. It’s a highly historical town with various interesting places to visit including Pointe Canon, The Naval Museum, Cavendish Bridge, and Pointe du Diable among others.
Google Maps: Mahebourg
Ile aux Aigrettes
Leaving Mahebourg towards the south, Ile aux Aigrettes will offer a unique experience with nature. This island, located halfway between Mahebourg and Pointe d’Esny, is a nature reserve managed by the Mauritian Wildlife Fund. It is part of a conservation and rehabilitation programme for Mauritian indigenous and endemic fauna and flora.
Google Maps: Ile aux Aigrettes
Blue Bay Marine Park and Gris Gris
Blue Bay is a popular beach for local picnickers and a protected marine park. If you continue your journey towards the south, there are several stopovers to make in Souillac: Le Souffleur, La Roche qui pleure, Gris-Gris and Rochester Falls.
Google Maps: Blue Bay Marine Park
Google Maps: Gris Gris
The central part of Mauritius is home to many attractions and activities. Beau-Bassin/Rose-Hill, located southbound just after Port Louis, is a well prized place for shopping and eating, with its large variety of restaurants and street-food.
Still moving south, you will reach Quatre Bornes, a very lively town known especially for its clothing fair twice a week. You can have a look at the various shops and eat on the go in one of the streets of the city centre.
Vacoas/Phoenix is home to the oldest golf course in the southern hemisphere, the Gymkhana Club. Curepipe, the highest town in Mauritius, offers a stunning view of the island from the top of Trou aux Cerfs, a dormant volcano prized by joggers and walkers from the region.
Le Pouce Mountain
Probably the best activity in Central Mauritius for adventure seekers is climbing Le Pouce Mountain, the third highest mountain in Mauritius. It is located in the village of Petit Verger Saint Pierre. Unlike Le Morne, this hike does not need to be guided one, meaning you can do it on your own. The starting point of the hike is not clearly visible on Google Maps, so I have highlighted the starting point here in this Google Maps link (courtesy of fellow blogger Let’s Venture Out).
There are a few things to keep in mind when hiking Le Pouce. Firstly, if it has rained the night prior to your hiking day, be very careful as it tends to get very muddy and slippery. Secondly, you don’t have to worry about the sign boards. They are everywhere. Just make sure that when you see the signboard visible in the picture below, take the right turn for “La Classique du Pouce”. We made a mistake and went to the left and ended up wasting a few minutes.
And finally, do not give up. The hike is moderately hard and can get a little challenging for someone who does not go for many hikes but let me tell you, the views from up there are gorgeous, with Port Louis and the whole northern coastline visible on one side and the southern part visible on the other.
For a thorough guide on hiking Le Pouce, I recommend referring this great guide published by Let’s Venture Out.
Where to stay?
South Mauritius is home to some excellent resorts. In Bel Ombre, you have:
- Tamassa Bel Ombre;
- OUTRIGGER Beach Resort;
- Heritage Awali Golf and Spa Resort;
- Heritage Le Telfair Golf & Wellness Resort;
- Shanti Maurice Resort & Spa among others
Near Le Morne, you have two of the most celebrated resorts in Mauritius, JW Marriott Mauritius Resort and LUX Le Morne. These all fall in the luxury category and are comparatively expensive.
In East Mauritius, again there are great resorts to choose from. One of the best on this part of the island is One & Only Le Saint Geran. Other options include:
- Constance Prince Maurice, Mauritius;
- The Residence Mauritius;
- C Mauritius;
- Constance Belle Mare Plage Mauritius;
- LUX Belle Mare;
- Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita among others
Cheaper options include Sunrise Attitude; Solana Beach Mauritius; SALT of Palmer; Tropical Attitude among others.
In the west, there are many luxury resorts including:
- Sugar Beach Mauritius
- The Oberoi Beach Resort Mauritius
- Sofitel Mauritius L’Impérial Resort and Spa
- The Westin Turtle Bay Resort & Spa, Mauritius
- Le Méridien Ile Maurice
In the north, again there are many luxury properties including:
- LUX Grand Baie
- LUX Grand Gaube
- Zilwa Attitude
- Domaine de Grand Baie (the one where we stayed at and the one which I recommend if you are looking for an accommodation for a longer stay)
- Hotel 20 Degres Sud – Relais & Chateaux
- Paradise Cove Boutique among others
More pocket-friendly options include:
- Recif Attitude
- Coin de Mire Attitude among others
Where to eat?
Mauritian food is a journey on its own. I want to make it clear that I am a vegetarian. The recommendations below are what the official tourism website of Mauritius states. What I will recommend though are some Indian restaurants as well as some others that I tried during my holidays there.
This is what the official website of Mauritius tourism notes about the culinary experience in the country:
Mauritian cuisine has been influenced by the different settlements originating from Europe, Asia and Africa through the centuries and is unique. The cuisine is an important part of the Mauritian culture and hospitality.
Wherever you go, you will find restaurants and snacks on your way. Among the dishes of the traditional cuisine to try, you have the famous Creole-style rougaille, a sauce prepared with crushed tomatoes, onions, garlic, and thyme with sausages, meat or salted fish, the various currys, including the tasty chicken curry with shrimp or fish curry with eggplant, fish vindayes, prepared with turmeric, onions and mustard seeds, all theses with or without chilli, accompanied with white rice and a soup of pulses or “bredes” (local greens)… a delight! You must also try the biryani, oriental-style rice with spices cooked with vegetables and any meat, and the surprising Chinese magic bowl.
Your stay in Mauritius will not be complete if you miss out on street food, ranking in the world Top 10, according to The Telegraph! Faratas, Dholl puris, boulettes (dumplings), boiled or fried noodles, gateaux piments (chilli cakes), samoussas, are the most popular among the wide variety of street food available to you, all very tasty and addictive. For the sweet tooth, there are just as many choices such as the Napolitains (in no case similar to those found in France), the moutay cakes, oundé, ladoos, among many treats.
There are also original drinks that will refresh you and perfectly pair some of the food you will taste. There is the famous Mauritian tea, hot black tea with sugar and milk, the delicious Alouda, sweetened flavoured milk with tukmaria seeds and grated agar-agar jelly, the best are found in markets, and the various tamarind or lemongrass juices, and of course, the local beer and the limitless rum-based drinks evoking flavours of holidays!
A restaurant I highly recommend visiting is Sitar in Tamarin. It’s an Indian restaurant serving high quality food with a very nice ambience, paired with great service. If you are near Port Louis or Tamarin, do visit this restaurant once. They also have a second restaurant in the Bagatelle Mall of Mauritius in Rose Hill.
In Port Louis, Namaste Restaurant is another great Indian restaurant. Just across that is L’Artista, an Italian restaurant serving pastas, pizzas and risottos. We visited both of these restaurants and I recommend them if you are looking for Indian or Italian cuisine near Caudan Waterfront.
In Mont Choisy Le Mall is Luigi’s Italian Pizzeria and Pasta Bar, another great authentic Italian restaurant serving pizzas, pastas and many other things. Italian Pizza da Mario is another great place serving Italian food in Grand Baie.
We also had meals at McDonald’s in Mauritius. There are some 15 of them dotted all across the island and are value for money.
If you get a chance to visit one of the many Paul cafes on the island, I highly recommend doing so and trying their Chocolate Eclair. It’s very good! If you don’t get to visit one in the city or forget to visit one, then you don’t have to worry as there is a Paul cafe in the departures hall at Sir Seewasagoor Rangoolam International Airport.
Best beaches in Mauritius
Mauritius has the most amazing white coral sand beaches and crystal clear lagoons, which contrast vividly with the backdrop of black volcanic mountains. A good way to discover the differences between the North, East, South and West, is to drive around the coast visiting the different beaches. Each region is unique and has so many treasures waiting to be discovered. The North, with its flat, sandy beaches and stunning weather, is action packed and has plenty of activities on offer. The East boasts large turquoise lagoons and is windier, especially in winter. The South with its wild, steep cliffs is a stunning part of the island that is a must-see. The West and South-West are hot and dry, perfect for surfing and kitesurfing, among other activities.
There are more than 90 beaches in the whole of Mauritius. There is no thing as a “best beach” but some are better than others. Therefore, I will recommend the best beach in each region of the country, based on those I visited.
Starting with the south, the Le Morne Public Beach is probably the most famous of them all in this region. With the beach facing west, it makes it one of the best places to watch a sunset, combined with the perfect backdrop of Le Morne Brabant. The white-sand lined beach along with the turquoise water makes it a very relaxing place.
Google Maps: Le Morne Public Beach
In the west, the Flic en Flac Public Beach is very famous amongst tourists, with the vibrant nightlife combined with the beautiful white-sand beach making it perfect for an enjoyable time.
Google Maps: Flic en Flac Public Beach
In the north is the Mon Choisy Public Beach. The 1.4-kilometre beach has beautiful white sand, shady trees and clear and calm waters.
Google Maps: Mon Choisy Public Beach
The Belle Mare Public Beach in the eastern part of the island is yet another great beach, with beautiful black rocks and shady trees.
Google Maps: Belle Mare Public Beach
Getting around in Mauritius
Now, the attractions on the island are spread out and getting around is a bit time consuming. While there are local buses plying on most routes connecting almost every town, you will have to rely on them to get from point A to point B. In town, the operating hours of the bus service are from 5:30 AM to 8:30 PM and in rural areas from 6:30 AM to 6:30 PM.
The best way though to get around Mauritius is in your own rental car. I highly recommend you to hire a car as soon as you land at Sir Seewosaagur Rangoolam International Airport. There is almost every car hiring company you could possibly think of just outside the terminal in the arrivals area. We hired a car from Pingouin Car Rental, a local car hiring company. We did not face any issues with them and were impressed with their customer service. The condition of the car was also really nice. If you are thinking of hiring a car in Mauritius, I recommend checking their offer once as they have some great perks like car protection and second driver included as part of basic package.
Some points to remember while driving in Mauritius:
- You probably won’t require an international driving permit. Mauritius allows visitors from major countries to drive using their national license for 28 days. I recommend you to check whether your country is eligible for the same.
- Cars in Mauritius are right-hand drive. The country follows the British driving system, meaning they drive on the left side of the road.
- The speed limits are 30 to 60kms/hr in residential areas, 70 to 80kms/hr on open roads and 110kms/hr on motorways/highways. There are clear speed limit boards everywhere so it’s always good to have an eye out on those. Speed cameras are easily noticeable as they are painted bright yellow. You’ll usually find signs warning about speed cameras ahead.
- The roads in Mauritius are in very good condition, with proper road markings everywhere. I personally found the roads of East Mauritius to be comparatively bad but they may have been repaired by the time you visit.
- Be very careful when driving through roundabouts. Although almost all drivers in Mauritius are courteous and you won’t usually encounter people speeding excessively, it’s always good to be extra cautious at roundabouts.
- Parking is free at almost all shopping malls, supermarkets, beaches and basically at almost every tourist attraction. The only place where you will probably have a hard time finding a vacant parking space and will probably have to use a “Pay & Park” service is in Port Louis, Rose Hill and Quatre Bornes. If you are visiting Port Louis, I recommend parking at Park & Ride by The Docks.
- The price for a litre of petrol is Rs72.10 (US$ 1.60) and that for diesel is Rs60 (US$ 1.35) per liter as of October 2023.
- Google Maps is reliable in Mauritius and works well most of the time. In case of doubts, it’s always good to ask the friendly and helpful locals for directions.
Points to remember
There are some things to keep in mind when travelling in Mauritius:
- Almost all tourist attractions, supermarkets, malls and basically everything except restaurants and bars closes around 5 pm in Mauritius so plan your day accordingly.
- When visiting religious sites like Grand Bassin, it is advisable to dress appropriately to respect the sanctity of the place.
- It is also advisable to carry mosquito repellant while going for hikes and other outdoor activities.
1. Is it safe to visit Mauritius? Yes, absolutely. The people in Mauritius are some of the friendliest you may ever meet. Crime rate in the country is very low but it’s always better to stay alert at all times.
2. How expensive is Mauritius? Well, it depends. If you are someone who prefers to relax in a nice luxury resort, it can certainly be on the higher side, as luxury resorts in Mauritius usually are pricey. However, if you get out and about exploring everything the country has to offer, you don’t need to break the bank for that. It also depends on which time of the year you are visiting. If you are planning to go to Mauritius around New Year, the trip may be twice the price of visiting in the months of April and May when it’s still warm.
3. What is the currency of Mauritius? The currency of Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee, which is divided into 100 cents. There are coins of 5, 10, 20, 25 and 50 cents and of 1, 5 and 10 Rupees. The bank notes denominations are in 25, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000 and 2000 Rupees. 1 US$ usually equals to about 6.8 Mauritian Rupees.
4. Is tipping culture present in Mauritius? As such, no tipping culture is found in Mauritius.
5. How much is Mauritius behind/ahead with respect to Greenwich Mean Time? Mauritius is four hours (+4 hours) ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
6. Which is the most widely-used language in Mauritius? Although the official language is English, Mauritians are fluent in French and Creole.
7. What are the type of electrical plugs used in Mauritius? The electrical plugs used are the British three-square pin and two round pin plugs, with voltage of 220/230V.
8. What are some emergency numbers to keep in mind? Some emergency numbers to keep in mind are: Police: 999 or 112; Fire Services: 995 or 115; SAMU Ambulances: 114; National Directory: 150; Tourist Info: 152; Weather: 171 and 96 for cyclone reports; Airline information: 603 3030 (Note that these numbers are listed on the official website of Mauritius Tourism. It’s always better to ask the locals for the latest updates).
9. Which airlines fly to Mauritius? Air Mauritius is the flag carrier of Mauritius. It offers nonstop flights to London, Paris, Geneva, Mumbai, Delhi, Johannesburg, Rodrigues and many other cities. Other airlines that fly to Mauritius include Emirates from Dubai, British Airways from London, Vistara from Mumbai. Saudia from Jeddah, Kenya Airways from Nairobi, Air France from Paris and Austrian Airlines from Vienna amongst others.