This enchanting island with its contrast of delightfully rich colours, breathtaking beaches, fascinating interwoven cultures and exotic tastes makes Mauritius one of the most remarkable holiday experiences of a lifetime. Situated in the magical turquoise hued waters of the Indian Ocean every moment is a memory to treasure. Whiter than white sandy beaches protected by beautiful coral reef barrier encircling most of the coastline welcome you. Be assured of an outstanding holiday experience.
With apt eloquence the writer Mark Twain said; "You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first and then heaven was copied after Mauritius" says it all.
Named Mauritius by the Dutch Prince Maurice van Nassau, this beautiful island transcends all your expectations with its bewitching beauty. Mauritius gives you the opportunity to sample a distinctive comfort and luxury that compels you to return to its shores repeatedly. Although the official language is English in Mauritius, French and Creole are also commonly used. Its population is 1.2 million and the literacy rate is around 90%. The co-ordinates for this enchanting island are latitude 20° south of the equator and longitude 57.5° east of the equator.
Warm sparkling sapphire seas, sandy white beaches, tropical temperatures make this holiday dream a remarkable reality when you take a trip to Mauritius. You have to pinch yourself to make sure you are here!
Mauritius, enclosed in the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean, is well known for its abundant water sports. A wide number of beach hotels offer their guests complimentary water sport facilities. There are numerous activities suited to all the family. The marine life is extraordinary. Guests can explore the myriad treasure of colourful marine life in the remarkable calm clear waters of breathtaking azure-hued lagoons at leisure. Deep sea fishing can be arranged with a huge variety of species to catch. Evening strolls on the magnificent beaches can be enjoyed by the guests as well as the spectacular sunsets, local bars, restaurants and vibrant nightlife on offer, especially in Grand Baie.
Airlines that fly to Mauritius include Air Mauritius, Emirates and British Airways. Although the flying time is around 12 hours - the lengthy flight is worth it when you get to your amazing destination...
Passports must be valid for at least 6 months for visitors from date of entry in Mauritius. All visitors must hold legal tickets and documents for their return journey or onward travel. Visitors must have sufficient finances for the duration of time in Mauritius.
Mauritius in General
The official language in Mauritius is English. French and Creole are frequently used as are Hindi and Bhojpuri. Hotel employees in Mauritius are commonly fluent in Italian, German and Spanish.
There is a rich multi-ethnic culture in Mauritius, which includes the Hindus, Christians, Muslims and Buddhists who co-exist side by side. There is a diverse mix of races including Chinese, African, Indian and European descent which combine to create a rich multicultural society. This harmonious blend makes the Mauritians a community that work and play together.
Tele-communications - International Direct Dialling
services are accessible in Mauritius. International phone cards are obtainable at retail shops. Post offices are to be found in most towns and villages. Internet services are commonly available at cybercafes and GSM networks. Most hotels in Mauritius provide postal and internet services.
The Mauritian Rupee (Rs) is available in Coins and Notes. Change counters are easily available at the airport. Foreign currency notes, drafts, travellers cheques and other banking currency may be carried to Mauritius without restriction.
Private Sector: Monday to Friday: 8.30am - 4.15pm / Saturday: 9am - noon (some offices)
Public Sector: Monday to Friday: 9am - 4pm / Saturday 9am - noon (reduced staff)
Banking Hours: Monday to Thursday: 9am - 3.15pm / Friday: 9.15am - 5pm. Banks operate at the arrival and departure of international flights at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport.
What to wear
In the winter months namely June - September light woollen clothing is required for the cool evenings. When visiting religious sites please show respect and wear clothing that covers your legs and arms. You may need to wear a headscarf or remove shoes. Nudism is not permitted on the beaches and is frowned upon anywhere else.
When to Travel to Mauritius
Climate: The climate in Mauritius is relatively mild and pleasant. Throughout the year temperatures are quite moderate with infrequent rainfall making the most ideal time to travel to Mauritius between the months of April and June and between September and December.
Since Mauritius is situated in the southern hemisphere, the summer and winter months are in reverse to the seasons in Europe.
November to April - Most of the rainfall occurs in the months of February and March. Since daylight then falls between 5.30am and 7pm, scuba diving is best during December to March. The climate is warm and muggy with highs occurring in the months of December, January and February. Rainfall is plentiful, in particular on the central plateau. The best time for deep-fishing in Mauritius is between October and April. During the cyclone season Mauritius escapes the onslaught due to the small size of the island. However, most of the beach resorts have adequate protection in their architecture to resist the strong winds. The strong winds may affect only the vegetation and certain wooden buildings.
May to October - Temperatures drop during these months. At this time, the prevailing winds blow from the east and southeast over Mauritius. In August the
temperature drops to its lowest - 20°C on the coast. The day gets shorter and lasts from 6.45am to 5.45pm on most days, making this the best season for surfing in Mauritius (specifically from June to August). 600 metres above sea level the average temperature is between 20°C in August and 26°C in February on the central plateau in Mauritius. Temperature is higher on the coast by about 3 - 5 degrees. The northern and western parts are warm and dry compared to the eastern and southern parts of Mauritius.
Places of Interest
Old buildings and contemporary life blend beautifully past and present in Mauritius. Monuments, buildings and statues line the colourful avenues in Port Louis. The striking Place D'Armes is the focal palm-lined square that links Government House to the capital's port. Fort Adelaide is a historic building that hosts shows and concerts. Tourists and other visitors are welcome into the city adorned with statues of diverse figures in Mauritian History. The 18th Century French Colonial buildings of Government House are further down the road.
Built in the 19th century - along a cultural itinerary recognised as being the oldest in the region is the Theatre of Port-Louis. A little further up is the very popular racetrack known as the Champ de Mars. This is the second oldest race club in the world after the English Jockey Club in the southern hemisphere. Since the official flag-raising ceremony in 1968 marking the independence of Mauritius this has often been affiliated with national and political events.
Mauritian cuisine is initiated from 3 continents just as the origin of its people. A variety of delectable fare is on offer from Indian, Creole, Chinese to European at any one sitting. A truly delicious experience.
A variety of specialised restaurants are available for visitors to savour the local fare. The combination of flavours by integrating various styles in a menu make the cuisine a delightful mix of Creole, European, Indian, Muslim and/or Chinese cooking. With the Mauritian flair for adventurous cooking skills
cultivated through its population of different cultural heritages and indigenous cooking methods the outcome is exquisitely delicious Mauritius cuisine .....in a finger-licking-good class of its own!
Romantic strolls on the beach, balmy starry nights, al fresco dining, dancing, etc. all invite you to a warm dreamy holiday in Mauritius.
Along the north and west coast of Mauritius, life is buzzing at the lively nightclubs, pubs and restaurants. Visitors can find most types of music they are partial to including French, English, techno or jazz.
For special occasions international DJs are often invited. Casinos are also available around the local towns.
Shopping prospects are plentiful for visitors. Whether souvenirs or full-fledged indulgence there is a little something for everyone to take back home. A rack of fragrant spices, colourful pashminas, indigenous Mauritian weave baskets, or even a diamond necklace - the variety for shopping is endless.
Additionally, duty-free items now include cellular phones and other types of telephone related elements, watches and clocks, binoculars, sunglasses, engravings and antiques, popular photographic and cinematographic equipment and accessories and paintings. Embroidery, pottery, cut stones, basketwork are very popular items. Special orders can be placed and delivered within a few days on leatherwear and jewels, since there is now no duty on these. Leading brands of clothes and knitwear are sold at reasonable prices.
For a 'wow' factor, visit Mauritian jewellery shops where east meets west making Mauritian jewellery matchless in style and design. Customs duty has also been reduced on cosmetics and perfumes and VAT refund claims can be made at the airport by showing receipts and the goods bought, for visitors returning home from Mauritius. Airline companies charges apply for ship models according to size and weight.
Festivals and Holidays
Mauritius is an intriguing combination of varied cultures and religions. Emerging from three continents, the residents have brought traditions and beliefs from their ancestral countries.
In Mauritius, religious events are celebrated in a spirit of peace and harmony throughout the year. 15 public holidays are fixed in Mauritius every year, such as 1st and 2nd January, 1st February, 12th March, 1st May, 2nd November and 25th December. The remaining public holidays are religious festivals which vary from year to year depending on the lunar calendar.
Major credit cards are accepted at most hotels, banks, tourist shops and restaurants. ATMs are found in most tourist spots.
Visitors with a valid driving licence issued by in their country of residence need to have their licence endorsed at the traffic branch at Line Barracks, Port Louis and may drive during their time in Mauritius. Self-driving is a common and flexible way to safely tour the island. Driving is on the left - as in the UK.
220 volts and 3-pin plugs.
Although no vaccinations are required, yellow fever certificates are necessary for travellers from areas where yellow fever may exist. Please do consult your GP or health centre.
Not compulsory, but is usually expected.