If you want a vacation where you will be able to relax heavenly, enjoy the long and endless sandy beaches, clear warm colored blue turquoise water, luxurious hotels, and get to know different cultures, then you definitely should not miss a trip to Mauritius. It will fascinate you with its magic!
Surrounded with sparkling white sand and crystalline turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, Mauritius island covers approximately 1,865 square miles with 330 miles of coastline. It is surrounded by coral reefs, a central plateau and impressive mountains.
History of Mauritius
The Republic of Mauritius is situated in the South West Indian Ocean (20S / 57.5), about 2000 km from west Africa, and besides the main island of Mauritius, also consists of Rodrigues, Agalega and archipelago of Saint Brandon.
The first Europeans to visit Mauritius were the Portuguese at the beginning of the sixteenth century. This island was named Mauritius, when the Dutch who settled in the island in 1598 named it after Prince Maurice of Nassau.
1715, the French occupied the island, renaming it “Isle de France”. During French colonial rule to 1810, they built the capital and main port, Port Louis, named after the ruling king Louis XV. Port Louis became an important center for trade (sugar and rum to the surrounding islands) and naval operations against the British. The defense did not last long, so, in 1810, the British conquered the island.
In 1835, the British abolished slavery and this led to the importation of Indian indentured laborers to work in the sugarcane fields. They settled in Mauritius and their descendants nowadays constitute the majority of the population.
Mauritius achieved independence on 12 March 1968 and the main income here nowadays comes from the tourism.
Thanks to this turbulent history, people of Mauritius are multicultural and multiethnic. Half of the population is Hindu, approximately 5% is Muslim, and the remaining population comprises mainly Chinese and Sino – Mauritians, Creole (descendants of African slaves) and Franco Mauritian (the original settlers of the island). Here you can hear many languages such as: native language Mauritian Creole, English, French and some Asian languages.
You will also find churches, mosques, temples, and Chinese pagodas scattered around the island.
Mauritius is the ideal year-round destination, with an average temperature of 22°C in winter (May to September) with a variation of temperatures from 17°C at night to 24°C in mid-afternoon and 31°C in summer (November to April). In the pleasant between-period, from September to November with temperatures between 25°C and 28°C Mauritius does not suffer from a monsoon climate.
It seems that, in the summer, tropical climate with the minimal temperature of 33°C can sometimes be exhausting. This, combined with the great time at the beaches, can often result in skin burns.
Things to do
Although Mauritius has been synonymous with honeymoons spent lying on beaches with ethereal powdery white sands, on this paradise island has so many things to see and do.
Mauritius offers a variety of water sports and activities including snorkeling, deep-sea diving, deep-sea fishing, yachting, catamaran cruises, parasailing, and scuba diving. Depending on the season, you can choose the activity you want. June through August is best for surfing, December through March is the best time for diving, when the waters are at their clearest.
Beautiful vast protected lagoons offer excellent conditions for Sea Kayaking, where you can enjoy great paddling experience from mangrove mazes to river mouths, as well as huge crystal clear lagoons and isolated islets.
From October through April is excellent time for big game fishing, when the large predators feed close to shore. The main species that can be found in this waters are blue and black marlins, sharks, tuna and bonito.
Explore the beaches
The coastline of Mauritius is approximately 330 km long and almost everywhere you can find the great sandy beaches with crystal clear water. The entire island is surrounded by coral reefs which have created big lagoons that provide calm water conditions, ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
Each of the four coast (North, East, South and West Coast) offers a special atmosphere. The North is famous for the plenty activities on its beaches offering water sports. The most famous beach is Grand Bay, and is one of Mauritius most touristic villages with beautiful beaches and crystal clear lagoon.
The east is wilder and less developed than other parts of Mauritius, but offers a spectacle view of the beach of wild nature. Also, the south of Mauritius is considered to be a more virgin region of the Island providing wilder scenery. Here you can see the big waves crushing against the rocks, and because of that the beaches on the Southern part of the island are not recommended for swimming.
West coast offers beautiful beaches and magnificent sunsets. Flic en Flac is one of the longest beaches of Mauritius, which offers a turquoise blue lagoon with shallow water. The beach is entirely protected by the coral reef and offers best swimming possibilities without strong sea currents.
Enjoying the greenery
Mauritius is not only an island with beaches, it consists of unusual flora and fauna. Here you can enjoy in the green grounds and watch the different and unusual types of animals. If you rent a car you can see black rocks, rugged panoramas, crashing waves, windy surfing beaches, and stunning Mauritian countryside.
Here you can see a multitude of tea plantations, you could even take a guided tour through the plantations and to enjoy the stunning panoramic views.
Walk through sugarcane fields in Mauritius inland, or better, visit L’Aventure du Sucre – a sugar museum with its own sugarcane fields. Museum provides an overview of the history of sugarcane and its importance for the island and the people who live here.
How to get there
The National airline of Mauritius is based at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in Port Louis.
All airlines fly into Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (SSR) in the island’s southeast. Air France and Air Mauritius are the two major airlines serving Mauritius with daily flights taking off from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. Also, there are two scheduled airlines fly non-stop to Mauritius from the UK: Air Mauritius; and British Airways both from London Heathrow. The best non-direct service is with Emirates, via Dubai, from London Heathrow and Gatwick.