The best time to explore the island is between May and early December, since Mauritius is prone to heavy rain from nearby cyclones during the first two months of the year, and becomes crowded with French families in August during the month’s school holiday. Temperatures generally range from 18°C to 24°C in winter and 25°C to 33°C in summer.
Public beaches on Mauritius abound. In the north, visitors can enjoy the sands of Grand Baie, Mont Choisy, Trou aux Biches, and Pereybere, the latter of which is considered a peaceful local favourite. Beaches in the west are ideal for families, since Tamarin Bay has small waves, and Flic en Flac boasts many amenities. The east offers visitors Belle Mare and Post Lafayette. The southern part of Mauritius features picturesque Le Morne and its Brabant mountain range, Blue Bay, and Gris Gris, where waves make whistling noises as they slam into rocks.
Those with children will appreciate the Waterpark Leisure Village on the eastern coastal road of Belle Mare.
From the Martello Towers to the Balaclava ruins, Mauritius is rich with history. Travellers should be sure to check out the Creole house built in the 1830s, Eureka, with its stunning backdrop of Moka Mountains and river waterfalls. No trip to Mauritius would be complete without heading to Troilet, a village harboring the largest Hindu temple, the Maheswarnath.
“One of the oldest botanical gardens in existence, Pamplemousses Gardens was once a private British and French horticultural research center. Now its stunning water lilies, fish ponds, medicinal plants and other gems are open to the strolling public.”
Those with a passion for nature will find plenty to marvel at on Mauritius. The island is home to approximately 700 species of indigenous plants.
The 16,680-acre Black River Gorges National Park houses nine bird species and 311 native flowering plants that only inhabit Mauritius. Close to Flic en Flac, Casela Bird Park features giant tortoises and 140 types of birds from around the world, including one of the rarest, the pink pigeon.
One of the oldest botanical gardens in existence, Pamplemousses Gardens was once a private British and French horticultural research centre. Now its stunning water lilies, fish ponds, medicinal plants and other gems are on display to the strolling public. The Labourdonnais Orchards are home to exotic tropical fruit trees and vividly-hued flowers with beguiling scents.
In the southwest part of the island, Charamel Falls and coloured earths are unmissable. The falls plummet hundreds of feet down the side of a steep cliff, providing majestic photo opportunities. The village of Charamel’s coloured earths were formed by volcanic rock that cooled at separate temperatures, eventually forming sand dunes with distinct layers of colour.
Located in the capital city of Port Louis, the Blue Penny Museum displays two of the rarest, most valuable stamps ever printed. It also presents a wellillustrated history of Mauritius’s discovery and ensuing settlement, featuring plenty of maps and photographs.
Positioned in a colonial mansion below the centre of Mahebourg, the Natural History Museum displays relics from shipwrecks and the Battle of Vieux Grand Port. It tells the story of the battle and contains renderings of extinct species once found on the island, including a type of giant tortoise and the dodo. Best of all, it’s free for everyone.
The Blue Penny and Natural History Museums are two of the more well-known educational attractions on Mauritius, but should you happen to hit a patch of rainy weather or want to explore a museum off the beaten path, the L’Aventure du Sucre is an equally intriguing option. Located in a former sugar factory in business from 1797 all the way to 1999, L’Aventure du Sucre gives the history of sugar, Mauritius, the rum trade, and more, equal attention. Ideal for the whole family and half-price for kids, the museum features quizzes for children and interactive exhibits, as well as four types of unrefined sugar available for tasting.
Land and Water Sports
Mauritius is home to both the oldest golf course in the southern hemisphere and the oldest race course, the Champ de Mars. Visitors can play golf on first-class courses with stunning backdrops, and enjoy the island’s thrilling races with horses imported from around the world. Horses are also available to ride.
Families may enjoy Mauritius’s multitude of walking, hiking, and cycling opportunities. Choose a path through Black River Gorges National Park, Kestrel Valley, or up Trois Mamelles. Rent a mountain bike hourly or by the day, then join a guided bicycle tour or set out to explore on your own. For more adventurous souls, quad-biking and 4×4 trips with trained guides are also available on an hourly or longer basis. The intrepid visitor can even go sky-diving to experience one of the most awe-inspiring natural views in the world from above.
Along with an impressive selection of athletic activities on land, many of the island’s beaches provide opportunities to dive, water-ski, kite-surf, parasail, deep-sea fish, and participate in a host of other water sports.
Shopping and Accommodations
Flacq Market, located on the eastern end of the island, is the largest open air market in the country. Grand Baie also provides extensive shopping opportunities.
Mauritius’s accommodations match its stunning surroundings, ranging from luxury resorts and spas to self-catering studios and apartments.
Besides the rich array of historical sites, breathtaking beaches and world-class nature reserves already mentioned, there are countless other places of interest on Mauritius; everyone who goes seems to bring back his or her own collection of treasured mustsees. Head to Mauritius and explore an island offering a little bit of something for everyone.
“Mauritius is home to both the oldest golf course in the southern hemisphere and the oldest race course, the Champ de Mars.”