If you're searching for sensational service, a plethora of activities, platinum white sands and lush green interiors, then a luxury Mauritius holiday is ideal for you. Sometimes cited as a blueprint for paradise itself, this may just be the perfect tropical island.
The best thing about Mauritius has to be its 177km of spectacular, vibrant coastline. Surrounding coral reefs ensure that the island is a great destination for watersports, diving and snorkelling.
However, there’s also plenty to do on land. The thriving capital, Port-Louis, is home to the Champ de Mars, the oldest racecourse in the Indian Ocean. To the south of the island, the lush and mountainous Black River National Park and Valley of Colours National Park are also 'must-sees'. Dining on the island is also unforgettable experience – a unique mix of Chinese, French, Indian, Creole and African cultures means that the cuisine derives from a rather fantastic fusion of flavours.
Mauritius holidays provide the opportunity to have lazy days on the beach admiring the clear blue waters, or to enjoy the truly special experience afforded by the many luxury hotels. Exclusive, chic and friendly – what are you waiting for?
A melting pot of cultures and traditions, the island’s colourful past makes the Mauritius of today a vibrant place to visit. Service here is renowned as being some of the very best in the world and you’re guaranteed a very warm welcome by a nation proud to show off their tropical island. The landscape here blends from the central lush green interior, to the platinum white sands of the beaches, surrounded by turquoise waters enclosed by a coral barrier reef. With plenty to offer on land, as well as on, under or by the sea, your luxury Mauritius holiday will provide an idyllic island escape.
The island’s fantastic natural landscapes and climate has ensured the creation of many incredible golf courses - its Gymkhana Golf Club, founded in 1844, is the oldest in the southern hemisphere. Experiencing the marine world by snorkelling or scuba diving is one thing, but in Mauritius you can walk on the seabed around the clear lagoon in Grand Baie. After a brief introduction, you will be given your lead boots and diving helmet with breathing tubes for a slow motion tour of the underwater reefs.
Time Difference: GMT +4 Hours
Flight duration: 11 hours 40 minutes (direct)
Currency: Mauritian Rupee (although the US Dollar and the Euro are widely accepted)
Capital: Port Louis
Language: Mauritian creole, English, French
Visa information: British nationals acquire a visa on arrival, usually valid for three months
Mauritius is the most developed of the Mascarene Islands. It's situated off the coast of the African continent in the south-west Indian Ocean, about 900 kilometres east of Madagascar, and boasts 160 kilometres of coastline surrounded by coral reefs.
British Airways and Air Mauritius fly direct from London Heathrow. Emirates flies from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Newcastle via Dubai.
Mauritius has a tropical maritime climate, with relatively little seasonal variation in temperatures. It is generally pleasant and sunny on the coast all year round. The western and northern regions are warmer and relatively drier than the east and the south. High season is from October to April, with the pleasant temperatures found between September and December.
The weather in Mauritius is quite mild with the temperatures quite steady throughout most of the year with rare periods of rainfall. Due to its location in the southern hemisphere the winter and summer months in Mauritius are opposite to our European seasons.
From November to April is the summer season, and December to February represent the peak temperatures. The highest rainfall usually occurs after this period during February and March. The summer season is also the best time of year to experience scuba diving and deep-sea fishing in the region, specifically December to March.
The winter season runs from May through to October and the temperatures drop during these months as the winds increase in strength. The temperatures reach their lowest during August though this is also the best time of year for surfing which can be best enjoyed in the south west of the island.
Honeymooners, families, golf lovers, watersports enthusiasts, connoisseurs of fine food and wine, lovers of art and culture. Kite surfing is very popular in Mauritius and the island makes for a great dual destination with Africa; we suggest combining a week’s safari with a week on the island paradise.
Visitors to Mauritius will find themselves in beaches galore – there’s over 160km of them. One of the most popular is definitely Grand Baie, a beautiful, buzzing resort boasting sheltered turquoise waters – although the amount of boats in the vicinity means it’s not the best place for swimming. Alternatively, head to Trou aux Biches, a stunning white sand beach ideal for families, as the water is shallow and clear, the reef is close to the shore, and the beach is shaded by casuarina trees. Île aux Cerfs is perfect for watersports enthusiasts, while Blue Bay is a protected marine park and is great for organised snorkelling excursions and glass bottom boat trips. The Mauritian marine life is vibrant and diverse – whales, sharks and dolphins can all be spotted offshore, the east coast and Rodrigues Island being among the best locations for sightings.
You’ll discover sugar plantations everywhere you go in Mauritius, and it really is worth visiting one during your holiday. Be sure to call in at the majestic plantation house Eureka, a stunning example of authentic colonial architecture surrounded by immaculate gardens and even a waterfall.
If you’re taking children with you, spend a day at the Vanille Reserve des Mascareignes, a crocodile park in the south of the island. Nature trails take you through lush rainforest to meet crocodiles, giant tortoises and macaque monkeys, before you finish the day at the jungle playground. The kids will have a brilliant time, and we’re sure you will too.
Mauritian gastronomy is distinctly global, thanks to the fusion of French, Indian, Chinese and African cultural traditions. Local specialities include lobster, octopus curry, Creole fish rougaille and chicken stew. The market in Port Louis is a great place to discover some authentic local flavours, from Chinese dishes to spicy chick-pea pancakes, as well as to take advantage of the island’s textile trade. Port Louis is also home to a popular casino and several cinemas, but it is Grand Baie that has become the island’s chief tourism hub. This sheltered bay on the island’s northern coast is the busiest beach resort, and boasts plenty of shops, restaurants, bars and beaches, as well as an exciting nightlife scene.
Eating out at lunchtime is more popular than in the evenings, and there are loads of gorgeous restaurants scattered across the island. If you’re in Port Louis, La Bonne Marmite receives rave reviews, thanks to its warm welcome and delicious mix of Indian, Chinese and Creole cuisine. Le Château de BelOmbre on the south-west coast is also a popular choice. This romantic restaurant is a former colonial mansion set among sugar fields and fertile hills – perfect if you’re looking for an authentic Mauritian dining experience.