Today I’m telling you something about Mauritius, a tropical island settled in the Indian Ocean.
I have already choosen this small island, located near to Madagascar and Reunion Island, for my vacation three times, because in my opinion it’s one of the best destinations for a trip to a tropical island. I’m going to explain you why.
To me the 3 strong points of this island are:
- the sea is beautiful and easy to swim everywhere along the shoreline: no tides, sargassum or dangerous sea;
- the time difference between Central Europe GMT+1 zone is only plus 3 hours during our winter, so no heavy jet lag;
- the island is safe, there is almost no criminality nor dangerous animals in nature.
But let us look a little deeper into these and other good reasons for preferring Mauritius.
Mauritius island: it’s easy and safe to get there
- Travel documents: no Visa is required for EU, Australia and USA citizen traveling to Mauritius for vacation;
- Climate: the island is rarely hit by heavy cyclones, officially the hurricane season goes from November to May, but the most risky period is late December to March. I went to Mauritius three times between late November and December and I always found wonderful climate.
- Mauritius is an independent, multicultural and peaceful Republic: the most widespread religion is Hindu, followed by Christian and Muslim. All 3 religions coexist here in peace and tolerance. Different customs and habits are here widely tolerated, and this can be observed for example on the beaches where you can see women go bathing in bikini, others with indian sari and islamic women wearing the so-called burqini. No one cares about the differences. You can wear your bikini on all beaches but remember that topless is not allowed on public beaches (and in some resorts too).
- The island is a very quiet, where major crime is almost unknown;
- The people are welcoming an kind, you will feel comfortbale.
A holiday in Mauritius can be on a budget
Yes, I know that this sounds unbeliavable, because the island is well known for its 5star luxury resorts, but there are many other type of accomodation available too, such as private houses, villas, apartments in condos, small boutique resorts and guesthouses from which you can choose. Prices start from 40-50 euros per night for two persons, accommodation can be simple but always very clean and carefully kept.
Avoid staying in expensive resorts and participating in packaged tourist activities, plan your travel yourself: this way a vacation in Mauritius can really cost you a little.
Let me tell you some examples.
Last time we were on the island – December 2019 – we rented this beautiful villa on the beach (picture above), located on the eastern coast of the island, which costed us only 1400 euros per week. The house came with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, so perfect for families or large groups (but also for couples looking for privacy). Check availability of this accomodation here on Booking.com>>
Many other accomodations in villas, apartments and private homes are available on Airbnb and HomeAway, just check that the property is authorized by the Ministry of Tourism (not all private rentals are). Check it here>>
Even for your meals you can not spend a lot, obviously always visiting local restaurants, not the hotel ones. The mauritian local cuisine is very good, similar to indian cuisine, one of the main dishes is curry chicken with rice or fish. Any price example:
- lobster costs about 25 euros per person
- grilled fish and prawns, with various side dishes, beer and water, the total is about 28 euros for two.
- if you choose chicken instead of fish, you can have a complete meal for just 10-12 euros per person, including drinks and coffee.
TIPS: two very good restaurants in Mauritius with local cuisine: La Marmite Mauricienne, located on the beach in Flic en Flac (Western coast of Mauritius) and Chez Rosy, in the small village of Souillac on the southern coastal road.
Flights prices from Europe can be cheap too (of course not during holidays season), you can fly direct to Mauritius island from Paris thanks to AirFrance/AirMauritius, from London with British Airways and from Rome with Alitalia. The last time we went on the island I flew from Bologna (Italy) via Dubai with Emirates for just 550 euros per person.
The best season to travel is October and November, when the weather is nice and not to much hot, and flamboyants are blooming.
Good reasons to visit Mauritius: sea, beaches, natural and cultural attractions
- The magnificent beaches surround all the coasts of the island, there is no “bad beach” in Mauritius, the sea slopes gently and as I said before swimming is very safe and easy, even with children.
- The island is not affected by the sargasssum nightmare which unfortunately is ruining many of the islands and coastal areas of the Caribbean, so in Mauritius no sargassum on the beaches.
- The beaches in Mauritius are all public, even those in front of the resorts, no one can prevent you from visiting that beach, all are accessible to anyone.
- If you don’t want to spend all your time on the beach, there are many points of interest to visit: from the mountainous hinterland, with its lush nature and many natural parks, where you can admire for example the coloured vulcanic earths, or visit the Pamplemousses botanical garden with its water lilies (blooming in January). There are many interesting colonial and religious buildings to visit too: mosques, Hindu temples and Christian churches.
I struggle to find flaws, but could highlight the 2 following things:
- traffic jam: it is better to avoid peak times around the capital Port Louis and in the island centre around the town of Curepipe, which is the most intensely populated area of Mauritius. Just avoid these intersections, the other roads are mostly free. If you don’t like to drive yourself you can take a taxi, they are always available at no high price, you can rent them for an entire day for excursions too.
- snorkeling: Mauritius is not the best destination if you are searching for a good snorkeling. Even in the renowned Blue Bay area, there is only a little corals and fish to see.
Do you have questions about Mauritius? feel free to contact me >> 🙂