Mauritius was created first, then paradise
We’ve put together a complete guide to the island paradise – how to get there, which coast to choose, how much money to bring, how to see an underwater waterfall, where to ride turtles and swim on giant lilies.
“You will be told that Mauritius was created by God right after paradise. In fact, it was paradise that was created in the likeness of Mauritius.”
What do I need to know about vacationing in Mauritius?
1) The state of Mauritius includes the island of Mauritius itself, Rodrigues Island, as well as the archipelago of Cargados-Carajos, the Agalega Islands and many small islands. But it is not necessary to travel between all of these islands (as, for example, in the Maldives or the Seychelles): a holiday only on the island of Mauritius is enough for you and 2 weeks or a month.
Mauritius has great nature, national parks, attractions, great places for windsurfing, surfing, kite surfing, delicious food and lively parties. But most of all, of course, Mauritius is suitable for a paradisiacal beach vacation.
2) The best time is from October to May. June-September is winter, but in principle even then you can relax quite comfortably: the daytime air temperature is around +25C, and the water temperature does not drop below 23C. By the way, despite the small area of the island, the weather can be quite different even on neighboring beaches because of a special microclimate.
3) The time in Mauritius is 1 hour ahead of Moscow. For many it will also be a big plus, because the acclimatization will go much faster and unnoticed.
4) Never forget to use sunscreen – even in the shade, even in winter. Mauritius is located close to the equator, so you can get burnt in no time.
5) There is nothing more beautiful than the sunsets on the beaches of Mauritius – every day they are different and unique.
6) Most beaches have a very shallow entrance (for holidays with small children – a plus, but for some may be a disadvantage).
7) Sometimes there can be strong currents near the shore, and you can get corals, so it’s better to bring slippers for swimming just in case.
How to get there?
You can get to Mauritius from Moscow and St. Petersburg with Air Mauritius flights via Paris, London or Amsterdam in partnership with European airlines. Air Mauritius flights from European airports are operated by comfortable Airbuses A350-900 or A340-300. It is possible to choose different transit airports in Europe. For example, you can fly from Moscow to Mauritius through Paris and return through Amsterdam. You can make a stopover (stopover) at any European airport if you have a visa. In that case travel to Mauritius can be varied by visiting one or two European capitals.
However, you do not need a visa to visit Mauritius. Russian citizens can get a free stamp in their passport upon arrival, certifying the border crossing.
If the trip is planned in advance, the hotel or apartment can be booked from 1500 rubles per day, although the cost varies depending on the location. It is cheaper in the east and south, but the north, west and southwest are more popular among tourists and therefore accommodation there is more expensive.
Which coast should I choose?
The island of Mauritius is quite small (smaller than Moscow, but larger than St. Petersburg), and you can drive around it in a few hours. Nevertheless, the question of where, after all, to settle, you will have. We tell you:
The north is the most developed, partying and, consequently, the most crowded part of the island. If you do not want to look for the best places, and plan to move several times, then choose Grand Bay, or a resort somewhere in the neighborhood and do not make a mistake. The north has it all!
1) The capital city of Port Louis (just stroll around the waterfront, downtown streets, see the university, theater, stores and casinos);
2) Grand Bay Resort – the night capital of Mauritius (no need to think what to do in the evening);
3) The beaches of Grand Bay and Pereybere, considered some of the best on the island;
4) The famous botanical garden “Pamplemus” with its giant lilies.
The west coast is also good for different types of holidays. You can just lie on the magnificent beaches of Tamarin and Flick-en-Flack, or swim with dolphins, watch lions in the Casela Safari Park, enjoy the beauty of Black River Park. Colorful Chamarel Land and Chamarel Falls, the highest on the island, are also located in the west. Tamarine, by the way, is also one of the best places for surfing.
The most southwestern point of Mauritius is Le Morne. It is a peninsula, a mountain and the beach of the same name. This is where the famous underwater waterfall is located.
The south of Mauritius is considered the more secluded part, for a quiet and relaxed holiday. It is not a party place, there are fewer tourists, outside the hotel will have to find something to do. But the prices for housing are lower, and beautiful nature. Especially want to highlight the park-reserve La Vanille, where you can look at crocodiles and ride a turtle!
Another secluded place you’ll find in eastern Mauritius. The only thing is that on the east coast the wind always blows, it has already become a trademark.
1 Mauritian rupee = 1,97 rubles (according to the exchange rate as of 17.09.18). Simply put, multiply all prices by two. You can exchange currency right after arrival at the airport, the exchange rate is not very different from the city exchange offices. In restaurants, supermarkets, shopping centers, you can easily pay with a card, but in small shops will need cash, – however, such a situation practically in any country.
In Mauritius, prices are much higher than in Southeast Asia, but in general no more expensive than in Europe. Here are a few examples:
- A snack on the beach – about 150 rupees,
- Lunch at a sidewalk cafe – from 200-300 rupees,
- Dinner – from 400-500 rupees,
- 1 kg fish – from 500 rupees,
- 1 kg of shrimp – 1500 rupees,
- Entrance fees to the parks – 200-300 rupees.
However, the quality of food stores is the highest, and the choice is huge (meat from Australia and South Africa, cheeses from France and Belgium, and fresh seafood). So if you prefer to live in an apartment, you can safely cook for yourself.
What is a must-see?
Mount Le Morne – climbing the mountain, which was inscribed in 2008 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a “must do”. The hike can be done with a tour group or you can do it on your own. Only the trails are open until 16:00, so it is better to arrive early in the morning to have time to climb to the top and explore the memorial complexes on the mountain. The fact is that Le Morne is a symbol of the fight against slavery (in the 18th and 19th centuries, runaway slaves hid in various caves, gorges and in the forest thicket of the mountain).
The Underwater Waterfall (near Le Morne) is a unique natural phenomenon best seen from a bird’s eye view. A 15-minute helicopter ride for two costs 15,000 rupees. Air Mauritius organizes such trips . But just look at the video and photos of the underwater waterfall, and you will definitely want to go there.
In fact, there is no waterfall, it’s an illusion, which is created by coral reefs, sand and silt deposits. All this moves because of the strongest underwater currents, and it seems that the water flows into a giant canyon.
The colored sands of Chamarel are dunes formed by layers of red, blue, green, yellow, purple, brown, and purple sand. Walking on the dunes themselves or make photos, lying on the colorful sand, you can not: for tourists made special paths around and organized viewing platforms. In the same park live giant turtles. Nearby is the highest waterfall in Mauritius – Chamarel Waterfall. The area of the park is huge, so it is worth laying down for its visit a few hours for sure.
The botanical garden Pamplemousses – in Mauritius, every attraction, the miracle of nature. The biggest water lilies – Amazon Victoria – grow in this park whose leaves are up to 2m in diameter and can bear weight of up to 50 kg. So you can take a risk and make a great photo!
You can also visit the sugar factory L’Aventure du Sucre, the Rhumerie de Chamarel rum distillery, the Creole Maison Eureka, the giant turtles in La vanille park, the other waterfalls of the island – Tamarind Falls, Rochester Falls. So you understand that you will never get bored in Mauritius, don’t you?
How to travel around the island?
The best way is to rent a car. Economy car will cost 30-40 euros per day. Gasoline costs about 50 rupees a liter. You can take a moped (you’re probably thinking about this, right?), but there is no point: the price will be about the same, and not accepted “ride a moped” in Mauritius. But be careful: in Mauritius there is a left-hand traffic!
Do without a car theoretically possible. Between the main points and attractions of the public transport runs. If you don’t want to go to the places you can’t reach by bus, you can take a cab all day long which is a great savings if you want to visit several places at once.
How are the locals doing?
The locals are very friendly. Here’s what Marina, who visited Mauritius in spring 2018, has to say about it: “The locals were happy to help us navigate. Hindus are more sociable, Africans not so much, but maybe because Hindus know English better and Africans communicate in French. We did not notice any negativity or animosity. Children looked at us with curiosity and smiles on the buses, especially on the outskirts of towns. We felt calm and safe while traveling around the island.
Yes, in English you really can not communicate everywhere, you can learn a couple of French phrases, and you will not have problems.
Paradise vacation in Mauritius
Mauritius is a wonderful corner of the planet, where eternal summer reigns. The wildness and diversity of its nature are stunning, and even though the island is very small, its beautiful wealth and diversity can captivate and amaze. Bathed in the warm waves of the Indian Ocean, inviting and versatile, Mauritius is a paradise for fans of any tourist destination.
Here, under the sunny skies, you can see a truly colorful population, harmoniously coexisting representatives of different nationalities and religions. But not only the nature and traditions of the interesting island, there is also a huge number of interesting historical and cultural monuments. Therefore, you can safely go on holiday in Mauritius in 2022, and read about the features, sights and entertainment – read the article.
General information about Mauritius
A brief historical background
The island was uninhabited when it was discovered by the Portuguese explorers. At the time it was otherwise known as Sishna, after the name of the sailors’ ship. At the end of the 16th century, the Dutch landed in Mauritius. They developed trade and established a settlement here, as well as agricultural land: plantations of cotton, tobacco, sugar cane, where slaves worked.
In the 18th century, the Dutch abandoned the island and it passed into French hands. The French developed the infrastructure more actively: they built forts, paved roads, and imported many slaves. Coffee, corn, fruits and vegetables were cultivated in Mauritius.
In the 19th century – new changes. The island became British. By that time, its population was already under a hundred thousand people. Slaves turned into workers, the Chinese and Indians settled on the island.
Well, like many former colonial possessions of different empires and countries, Mauritius gained its independence only in the sixties of the 20th century. The first years were marred by clashes of different ethnic groups, of which there were enough on the island. Since the 90s, the state has developed as a republic.
Interestingly, Mauritius has no state language.
The country is developing mainly as an agricultural industry, there is a textile industry – and tourism is very developed. The economy of Mauritius is growing and so is the number of travelers who want to experience the exoticism of the country.
Summary of geography and climate
Mauritius is located on an island in East Africa. It’s washed by the Indian Ocean. The country consists of several islands and archipelagos. The capital is Port Louis.
The island itself, according to studies, is of volcanic origin. Mauritius is “stacked” with several plateaus up to 800 meters, there are also plains – near the coast. The picturesque shores of Mauritius have been lovingly “decorated” by nature with coral reefs.
The country’s climate is maritime, tropical. February and March are not the safest months, because at this time, the island is attacked by cyclones, causing strong winds and precipitation, even flooding. The average annual temperature is at least 23 degrees Celsius. Mauritius has many rivers, rapids and waterfalls, craters of long-dormant volcanoes, and interesting mountain peaks.
Of the vegetation here is dominated by pine and eucalyptus, some mangroves are preserved, there are also palm trees. The fauna of the island state is interesting because it evolved for a long time without human intervention. Unfortunately, some of the animals have been exterminated (such as the dodo), and some animals were brought to the island. Now there are mongooses, monkeys, maynas… but of the native fauna there are still necel parrots, geckos, skinks.
The long wet season (December to May, less obviously also summer) is followed by a short dry season (autumn). It is hot and humid in summer, cooler in winter. Because of all this, a good time to travel to Mauritius would be late summer to early autumn.
Mauritius on a map
Planning a trip to Mauritius: Transport, accommodation, visa, safety
How to get to Mauritius, transport infrastructure of the country
The only airport for international flights is located near Maeburg (50 kilometers from the capital). With early booking, the cheapest one-way ticket from Moscow will cost about 30,000 rubles and will require several grueling transfers. The optimum variant, with just one connection, can cost up to 40000 rubles.
There are different ways to get out of the airport. So, to the capital it is an hour and a half drive and 1,000 rubles.
You can use the domestic airlines and go to neighboring islands, you can choose the ferry.
In general, the island mainly travels by bus. Bus routes connect all the most popular tourist destinations, they are quite comfortable. A one-way ticket on public transport will cost $ 1, and if you buy a pass in advance, you have to spend $ 63.
There are also cabs, and cab drivers ignore the meters, so it is better to agree in advance. You will have to pay about 50 rubles per kilometer. You can rent a car with a driver for the whole day and pay about 4000 rubles, but you can drive around whatever you want. You can also rent a car, scooter or bike.
The hotel infrastructure of the country: where to stay
On the island there is no generally accepted classification by the number of stars. However, hotels in Mauritius in general are very comfortable and have a French owner. Service in them is very good, for cleanliness and quality of the environment constantly monitored.
Accommodation in Mauritius will cost between $ 300-1000 per month, depending on the number of rooms and the location of the apartment. At the beach resorts – also the range is large: from 10 to 250 dollars a night for two. Metropolitan hotel will cost per day for two in the amount of $ 60 – and how the purse allows and wants to soul.
Visa for Russians in Mauritius
Mauritius is not the most budget resort state in the world, but strongly encourages tourists, who are happy to go here to rest. Russian tourists who are planning to stay in the country for no more than 60 days do not require a visa. It is necessary to show the documents, return tickets, proof of accommodation and money. And you’ll be happy to be let into the country for free.
Safety in Mauritius
The most dangerous thing in Mauritius is its nature. Crime in the country is strongly discouraged. Here is something to think about before you fly to the island paradise:
- understand that the weather can change, and have with you outer light clothing;always remember to protect yourself from the sun;
- Wear slippers on the beaches, as there is a lot of coral on the island;
- Stay away from the local fauna: there are no poisonous representatives, but you can get allergies;
- Have medical insurance with you;
- Under no circumstances should you purchase local narcotic weed on the beaches. It is sometimes sold under the guise of souvenirs in seashells, and having it with you is a violation of the law. So choose your souvenirs carefully!
Holidays in Mauritius: beaches, attractions, entertainment
Mauritius is nice, because it is slightly bigger than Moscow, which means that you can travel around the island and see all its corners. Here are the most interesting of them.
Beach holidays in Mauritius
The beaches in Mauritius consist of sand, you can find fragments of coral, but in the tourist areas beaches are carefully cleaned. Which places are suitable for a beach holiday, and how they differ from each other:
- Flick-en-Flack is the best, according to the locals themselves, resort in Mauritius;
- Tamarina Cove, an ideal place for wild-goose chase tourists as well as surfers;
- Belle Mar, a place for lovers of seclusion in the lagoon and swimming in quiet water;
- Pereiber, an area that will appeal to fans of discos and parties.
Attractions in Mauritius
The capital city is spread out on the coast, with bays and mountains nearby, so it combines nature with civilization.
While in Port Louis, it is worth a walk through its streets. The government house of wood and stone, colonial architecture and sculpture gardens allow you to plunge right into the atmosphere of the country. There are exotics: the Jummah Mosque and the more familiar St. Louis Cathedral. Fort Adelaide is a 19th century citadel, built in Moorish style. Around the fort, by the way, there is a field where horse races are held.
Definitely worth a look at the Botanical Gardens. It is located on the outskirts of the capital and was founded in the late 18th century. A brave botanist, Pierre Poivre, simply stole some seedlings from the Dutch in their other colonies and planted them here! As a result, this garden allows you to see such beauties as orchids, araucaria, a laurel tree, a breadfruit tree, and 35 species of palm trees. The layout, the trellis and especially – the gate – are charming. The garden has a beautiful lake with many aquatic plants.
While in the capital, be sure to visit the local market. Thanks to the mix of cultures in the market you can buy a variety of products and souvenirs:
- Arab carpets;
- textiles from France;
- models of ancient ships;
- products of snakeskin;
- a statuette of a dodo;
- fruit pâtés.
By the way, it is strictly forbidden to take coral and seedlings out of the island.
In the capital there are museums dedicated to the extinct birds of Mauritius, postage stamps, an art gallery. In the surrounding area is a museum “Eureka”, where you can learn new knowledge from a variety of fields of science and culture.
Other cities in Mauritius
Maeburg, which is located near the airport, is now almost nothing famous – it does not play a special role in the economy of the country, but it is an important transport hub. The most interesting place there is the ancient Chateau Robillard. In addition to architectural beauty, the castle also functions as a Museum of the History of Mauritius. Be sure to visit it, especially if you like the maritime theme: it shows old maps, models of ships and weapons from the times of naval battles.
The town of Rose Hill is more lively and full of colonial architecture, with a university, theater, gallery and an incredibly interesting shopping rows of the Arab district.
And in the central part of the country is the town of Curepipe, and it is here that the Royal College and town hall building stands, as well as another beautiful Botanical Gardens.
Small towns and natural beauties of Mauritius
And yet, the stunning nature and small villages are as good as the museums and primitive colonial buildings. Nature in Mauritius is very varied. So, any tourist should definitely visit the northernmost point of the island of Cape Cape-Malere and charming tiny church Notre-Dame-Oxillatris with a bizarre roof and interior decoration, and a font, which is shaped like a large seashell.
Not to be overlooked is the small village of Triole, despite the size of the village itself, it is home to the largest Hindu temple of Mauritius, Maheswarat. This place is also famous for its clear lagoon and excellent beaches, very suitable for those who like snorkeling.
The small village of Chamarel, in the south of the island, impresses tourists with its natural beauty. The fact that the sands there – the most different shades of the spectrum: red, yellow, purple, blue, purple … Despite the precipitation and wind, the sands do not mix together. Walking here is best with a tour, and the dunes themselves are not allowed to run, but if you really want to take away a piece with you, you can buy sand in the village itself.
In Mauritius, you can see several craters of extinct volcanoes. The most famous is called Tru aux Cerfs. Also the island is rich with waterfalls, for example, a popular waterfall Tamaren. Fans of the mountains want to go to the Black River Gorge National Park, where there are more than 50 trails for tourists: it’s a great view of the highest peak of the island, Mount Riviere Noir.
Popular and reserve La Vanille in the south of the island. There you can see the amazingly, incredibly huge turtles and even ride on them. There is also a crocodile farm – it’s better not to ride them. And the kids will enjoy the cute and funny chameleons, iguanas, monkeys.
Of the bodies of water in Mauritius, we can mention the lake Grand Bassin, which is located at an altitude of 500 meters above sea level. It is sacred to Hindus, and therefore there are many temples and statues.
Entertainment in Mauritius
In general, the biggest entertainment will be a trip to the above and all other places of the island. However, in the major cities and resorts are available and “international” entertainment. So, Belle Mar is praised for the possibility of excellent diving, Port Louis for the abundance of entertainment (carriage rides, musical evenings, ethnic cuisine), Catre Bourne for the local fair.
Lovers of shopping will be pleased that in Mauritius will be able to buy products from famous brands is much more profitable than in Europe, including jewelry can be cheaper by almost half.
What to eat on the island? The cuisine of the island is a mix of English, French and Indian cuisine. The main dishes are rice and curry, coconut milk. You can try traditional dishes: “samussa” cakes, rum, and, of course, seafood!
Prices for food in supermarkets and stores are quite democratic, for example, a liter of milk or a kilo of potatoes will cost $ 1, a kilo of chicken breast at $ 5, and a bottle of good red wine at 9. The average bill in small cafes is 10-12 dollars, and in a restaurant about 20 dollars.
Mauritius is a wonderful island, where the traditions of many cultures, east and west combine harmoniously. Holidays here will be remembered for the nature, and because of the attitude to tourists, and because of the convenience – take a car (or sit in the bus), travel around a small island and see everything, everything. Be sure to think about it, maybe you will have an unforgettable vacation in Mauritius in 2022.