Mauritius holidays

Holidays to Mauritius are luxurious, with plenty of opportunities to soak up the sun, snorkel through coral reefs, and enjoy the local cuisine, a fusion of Chinese, French, Indian and Creole influences. Add to that the bustling markets of Port Louis, the volcanic peaks of Trou aux Cerfs, and the virgin rainforests of Black River Gorges, and you’ll feel like you're stepping into another world. 

Mauritius is also a gold mine for history buffs. Amidst the mountainous scenery and swaying sugar cane fields, there is a fascinating culture with tremendous diversity. Wander through the pastel-coloured Hindu temples in Ganga Talao and the colonial townhouses in Rue du Vieux Conseil. And when you’re not soaking up the sights of the island, you can indulge in some of the most luxurious spas and golf courses in the world.

Things To Do

Mauritius is foremost a beach destination, but there’s so much more to this island than meets the eye. If you can pull yourself away from its delicate white sands and cobalt blue waters, you’ll discover mountainous trails and hidden waterfalls. So if you want balmy sunshine, pristine beaches and the chance to see some of the rarest fauna and flora on the planet, Mauritius holidays are for you.

Shopping in Port Louis

A holiday to Mauritius would not be complete without a shopping trip to the duty-free capital, Port Louis. Colourful parasols line Le Caudan walkway from above, shading the cobbled streets below. Here, you can pick up diamonds, cashmere and designer clothing for a third of the price back home. A mix of modern architecture and heritage buildings, you’ll find everything from artisanal markets to high street brand names. Debit cards are widely accepted, but if you want to take home some craft stall treasures, be sure to order your travel money before you go.

A Glittering Nightlife

Though the island is small, the nightlife in Mauritius is anything but! You’ve got lively beach clubs, swanky wine bars and glittering casinos. Head to the elegant 55 Lounge Club for late-night DJ sets and sophisticated cocktails. While Banana Beach Club is perfect if you're looking for laid-back island vibes. It has become a hub for locals and tourists, recognised for the Flamboyant tree that towers Grand Bay.

Discover the History & Culture

Mauritius has a relatively recent history, remaining uninhabited until the 16th century. Arab sailors and the Portuguese first discovered the island before colonisation by the Dutch, French and British. It has since gained independence in 1968, with African, European, Indian and Chinese influences shaping the vibrant food, various beliefs and colourful festivals. A focal point of the community today is The Mauritius Turf Club, a famous racetrack built in 1812 to ease relationships between the French and English settlers. Major racing events are still held here regularly, drawing in crowds of 20,000.

Plenty of Family Fun

If you’re looking for things to do in Mauritius with the family, we recommend a trip to Grand Baie. The shoreline is calm, making it the perfect spot for paddling with your little ones. Besides building sandcastles in the sun, you can also hop on a catamaran to watch dolphins swim along the Western Coast. One of our favourite attractions on this side of Mauritius is the glass-bottom boat trips, a big hit with families. 

Snorkelling & Watersports

Mauritius holidays are a paradise for snorkelling and watersport enthusiasts. The island is encircled by one of the largest unbroken barrier reefs in the world, creating shallow lagoons on par with the Maldives. Swim out on the bays at Balaclava and Calodyne to spot tiger fish and blue snapper. If you’re more experienced, head out to the deeper ocean for your chance to see dolphins and turtles. Mauritius has plenty of watersports, too, from windsurfing and parasailing to waterskiing and paddleboarding.

Natural Marvels

Mauritius is a UNESCO site, home to some of the most endangered plant life on the planet. Plan a trip to Black River Gorges National Park, and you’ll get the chance to see rare and protected species of plants and birds, including the Pink Pigeon and Mauritius Kestrel. Another spectacular site is La Vanille Nature Park Mauritius. You can explore tropical rainforests, meet a 100-year-old giant tortoise and marvel at one of the largest private insect and butterfly collections in the world.

 

Map of Mauritius

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19°C - 31°C

Mauritius has just two seasons - wet and dry. The summer (December to April) sees the warmest weather with high humidity levels and winter (June to September) is when you’ll see the most rain. Temperatures can still reach a toasty 25°C in winter, so there’s no need for your cosy knits.

View live forecast

 

12 hours
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International (MRU), which is located 48km southeast of the island’s capital city Port Louis.

Mauritius is best for...

Nature enthusiasts: If you love getting out and exploring the great outdoors, Mauritius is the place to do it. Explore mountain ranges decorated with beautiful fauna and flora, before trekking through its wildlife-filled national parks, where endangered species such as the pink pigeon have been spotted. But you can’t come all this way without seeing the island’s biggest natural phenomenon, its underwater waterfall.

Sunbathers: Settled on the Indian Ocean, the beaches in Mauritius are its greatest asset. And with daytime temperatures rarely dropping below 20°C, there’s plenty of opportunities to work on your tan. The west of the island is known for its long, quiet stretches, but if you fancy some activity in between sunbathing, the south is a magnet for surfers.

Foodies: With flavours originating from China, France, Africa and India, the food scene in Mauritius is exciting to say the least. Spicy food lovers should try the hot creole chicken curry and seafood fans should opt for fish vindaye, which is flavoured with onion, turmeric, mustard seeds, garlic, and a ginger sauce.

Fast facts for Mauritius

Language: The official language in Mauritius is Mauritian Creole and English. However, most locals are bilingual so you may hear some other languages such as French, which is also commonly spoken.

Currency: The currency in Mauritius is the Mauritian Rupee (MUR).

Local time: Mauritius is 4 hours ahead of the UK (GMT+4). 

Fly to: Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International (MRU) is the main airport in Mauritius and takes around 50 minutes to reach the centre of Port Louis. As you exit the airport you’ll find plenty of buses and taxis waiting to transport you to your resort.

Flight time from UK: 12 hours

Tourist Information: Further tourist information can be found at Mauritius’ tourism website.

Visa / Health: Before you travel, check the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

Do I need a visa?

You don’t need a specific Mauritius visa in order to take a break in this stunning destination. Instead, your passport will be stamped when you arrive, allowing you to remain in the country for up to 60 days. To find out more about visas, please refer to the FCDO’s entry requirements.
 
Should I get travel health insurance?

To protect yourself against the cost of medical treatment, a comprehensive travel health insurance policy is always advisable. It’s worth checking that your policy covers everything you need it to, particularly if you’re taking part in any activities that might be considered risky.
 

Mauritius safety and security

For up-to-date advice on travelling to Mauritius, please visit the FCDO website.

Any other tips?

  • While taxis on the island are convenient, they can also be costly. To keep the cost of travel down, look out for ‘tip-top’ buses, which link the suburbs to town centres. Tip-tops tend to be retired commuter buses so, though they might not be as comfortable as a cab, they can be a lot cheaper.
  • Don’t pass up the chance to try street food. Quatre Bornes market is a great place to start, where you can sample everything from Gateau Piment (spicy chilli cakes) to samosas and dholl puri (savoury pancakes made with turmeric and cumin).
  • If you pay a visit to the Hindu temple, close to Gran Bassin, it’s worth taking some extra bits of fruit for the colonies of monkeys that live there. There’s a practical side to this, as they’ll quickly hunt out and steal any food you might have on you, including packed lunches. A well-flung banana should distract them for long enough so you can make your escape.
  • To add a little adrenaline, book a zip line tour of the famous Valley of the Colours.
     

Mauritius weather

You’ll find the weather in Mauritius is perfect all year round. There really isn’t a bad time to visit, as it’s always pleasantly warm with plenty of sunshine.

Located just north of the Tropic of Capricorn, the island’s temperature doesn’t vary a huge amount throughout the year. It rarely drops below 17°C or rises above 31°C, so it’s neither too cold nor too hot.

As it’s in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite to the UK. The warm season is from early December until the beginning of April, where the average daily high temperatures are 29°C. The hottest day of the year usually falls at the start of February when the mercury hits about 30°C. It’s definitely shorts and t-shirt weather, with a daytime temperature that doesn’t drop below 23°C.

The ‘cold’ season isn’t really cold at all, so you can put away those coats. Running from mid-June until the end of September, the lowest temperature (usually in August) is around 19°C with highs of around 25°C. Some holidaymakers prefer to visit in the spring and autumn, when the island is less busy, prices are a little lower, but the climate is still lovely. The average temperature in October is 25°C while it hovers around 26°C in April.

You’ll be pleased to know that humidity is moderated by the southeast trade winds that blow cooling breezes across the island. The hurricane season is from November to April - though they are rare.

It’s wettest in the summer, when rain falls an average of 11 days a month, but showers won’t interfere with your holiday. The refreshing bursts don’t stay for long and you barely have time to shelter before the sun comes out again. In fact, there are up to eight hours of sunshine a day so make sure you pack that sunscreen. It’s a good idea to also throw a jumper or cardigan into your suitcase so you’re prepared for cooler evenings. If you dream of beach sunsets, choose a resort on the western-facing coast.

You’ll find some regional variations in the weather in Mauritius. The northern and western areas of the island are protected by mountains so tend to be warmer and drier than the eastern and southern regions. Temperatures along the coast are about three to five degrees higher than inland, meaning the central plateau has cooler weather that’s perfect for hiking. The north receives slightly more hours of sunshine than the south.

Even in the winter months the water temperature is an enjoyable 22°C, making it warm enough to go swimming in the sea and take part in water sports throughout the year.