When you think about Mauritius, you think about white sandy beaches, sapphire blue waters and luxurious hotels.
It is true that the ocean makes Mauritius a unique place on earth but there is much more than that.
So today let’s discover the island’s history, people, culture and food !
In this travel guide, you will also find the best water and outdoor activities, the nicest places to stay and a list of the secret beaches…
When to visit
Mauritius has a mild weather all year around. However, there are two seasons.
Summer, which starts in November and ends in April. The summers are often very hot with temperatures from 27°C to 33°C.This time of the year is ideal for travelers who enjoy sunbathing on the beach or swimming in the refreshing lagoon.
Winter, starts in Mai and ends in October. It is less hot but the average temperature is still 25°C. This is perfect for travelers who prefer cooler temperatures or wanting to do some excursions in nature.
It is the low season, so you can enjoy the deserted beaches!
Mauritius was uninhabited until the 16th century.
First, the Dutch colonized the island in 1638. They named it after the prince Maurice of Nassau, a member of the Dutch royal family.
In 1715, the French colonized Mauritius and brought African slaves to work in the sugar cane fields.
In 1814, it became part of the British Empire. After the abolition of slavery, the British settlers brought Indian laborers. Those laborers left India with the hope to live a better life. Instead, they were treated the same way as slaves and could never return to their homeland. Their descendants now compose 70 % of the Mauritian society.
In 1968, Mauritius became independent. Looking at the history of the island, we better understand its impressive ethnic diversity today
Culture, language and people
Ki manyère ? This is a way to say hello and how are you in creole language. Most of Mauritians are trilingual: English, French and creole! The different communities also speak Hindi and Chinese.
Mauritians are very welcoming, kind and helpful, which is also why it is such a popular holiday destination.
Today, there are 1.2 million inhabitants on the island. Different ethnic group now live peacefully together: Afro-mauritians, Sino-mauritians, Franco-mauritians, creoles and a majority of indo-mauritians.
There are different religions as well: Hinduism, which accounts for 48% of the population, Christianism (32%) and Islam (17 %). There is a minority of Chinese Buddhism (2%).
On the island, you can find beautiful temples, mosques and churches. One of my favorite temple is Sagar Shiv Mandir, a beautiful temple in honor of the lord Shiva on a small island. This temple, surrounded by water, offers a peaceful atmosphere for prayer and contemplation.
The Sega is the traditional music and dance of Mauritius, which was imported by the slaves from Africa. The Sega reflects the Mauritian way of life. The lyrics tell stories of everyday life in a very joyful way!
Places to stay
I suggest creole villas, a great villa rental in Mauritius. On their website, you will find 15 amazing villas located all across the island in beautiful sceneries. Each villa has something unique.
Here are other few places I recommend you:
-Marguery exclusive villas
-Otentic, eco tents and eco safaris
-Tree lodge Mauritius
Below you will find a few dishes, which you should absolutely try while in Mauritius! Mauritian street food is amazing. Also considered as one of the best in the world!
On the island, you can eat very well and for cheap. However if you are eating in touristic places, it will be much more expensive.
Briani: a spiced rice. You can have a chicken, fish or vegetarian Briani.
Dholl puri : It’s a mauritian crepe. Its main ingredient is lentil.
Mine frite: Fried noodles; an amazing dish inspired from a Chinese dish !
Alouda: A very refreshing milk based drink. It also contains basil seeds and agar agar !
The top 5 activities
- Snorkeling and diving on the west coast
You want to admire the wonderful sea life. The good underwater visibility, the amazing biodiversity and the warm waters make Mauritius the perfect destination to do some snorkeling and diving.
- Parasailing in Belle Mare
Do you want to admire the view from above? Take a boat on the belle mare beach, which will take you to the parasailing platform located in the middle of the blue lagoon.
- Discovering blue bay’s marine park
Blue bay’s Marine Park is a unique place. You can swim or snorkel to admire over 50 species of corals and multi colored fishes!
- Sailing to the northern island with a catamaran cruise
Discover the different islands: Gabriel island , ile Plate, Ile Ronde. Enjoy the day on a catamaran. There are many different excursions providers in Grand Baie and Pereybère, which organize the catamaran cruises.
- Discover the southern coast
It is the wildest coast in Mauritius as there is no coral barrier. You can enjoy really nice landscapes, which you will not see anywhere else on the island !
My favourite secret beaches
1) Ile des deux coco
Ile des deux coco is a deserted and private island on the south of the island. The beaches of the island are quiet and located just in front of the Blue bay marine park.
- Ile aux cerf
All around the island, you will find amazing beaches. Do not hesitate to walk all around the island to find the most beautiful ones.
- Trou d’eau douce
The village of trou douce has an amazing beach. The best part is between Trou d’eau douce and Palmar.
- Gris gris
In the south of the island, you will find a very wild and authentic beach in between the cliffs.
- Le morne
Le Morne is an iconic image of Mauritius. On its peninsula you will find quiet and stunning beaches. The peninsula is also free from development. Le Morne is the best place to enjoy the sunset !