Mauritius is the premier holiday destination island on the Indian Ocean. ItÍs a famous honeymoon location, or for a relaxing trip with your family. The amazing beauty and natural aesthetics of this country will definitely leave you spellbound.
Calling Mauritius an island paradise is no overstatement. A single visit to the country, it's vast sandy beaches, deep green forests, amazing historic locations and indulging in it's delectable local cuisines will be memories to forever cherish. Mauritius is undoubtedly among the prettiest places you are ever going to visit, which is why it is often at the top of the list for newly weds for the perfect, private honeymoon. It has tons of famous and amazing beaches, where you'll want to lay in the sand and swim in the clear waters all day, and then head out for a delicious bite in the restaurants nearby. Indeed, Mauritius' food is one of it's many charms, with a scrumptious mix of flavours from Europe, India and even China. Take a scenic boat tour, with the vistas calming you through and through, or toughen up and trek up the Les 7 Cascades, a group of 7 waterfalls in a forest, a famous Mauritian trek. Visit the historic Le Morne Brabant, where slaves used to hide in refuge from the countries of nearby, and also check out Eureka, a 19th century Creole house preserved in perfect condition to make a fascinating museum of the times that have passed. The great Mauritian nightlife and endless avenues to shop make Mauritius an even better and complete place to visit. This breathtaking island is one place you cannot miss in this short life!
There are many great areas to stay on this wonderful island. There are tons and tons of hotels in Mauritius, and you'll have to choose according to your requirements. Many of these are along the coast, since beaches are Mauritius' prime attraction. North Mauritius is considered the most beautiful and touristy area of the island. Places like Balaclava, Grand Baie, Port Louis, Trou aux Biches are some fantastic locations. The west is another famous place, with the very popular village of Flic en Flac. It is a superbly well equipped village, with breathtaking beaches and lots of things to do. The east, on the other hand, is the perfect place to just relax and spend a few days kicking back in a resort, with a great number of them available here. Apart from that, there is not much to do here. Moving to the South, it is another very popular area with the famous Le Morne and Blue Bay. Great experience snorkelling and absorbing the picturesque views of the Blue Bay are famous in the region. It is also home to some great beaches.
Local food in Mauritius is of a wide variety, due to influx from many international cosines. Flavours from India, China, Europe, especially France, dominate the cuisine. Curries and spices are a major part of the Mauritius cuisine, along with French tastes in the several dishes found in restaurants. Street foods in the country are a rage as well, like dholl puri, gateau piment, the Indian 'sev', and several others. And of course, you cannot afford to miss out on the famous Mauritius rum! There are high end restaurants in hotels and traditional smaller restaurants all over the island.
Mauritian Rupee (MUR)The Mauritian Rupee is the only accepted currency in the country. Visa, MasterCard, American Express are widely accepted throughout. Though you should carry cash since a lot of the places you'll be visiting won't have card services.
You can exchange currency at several places in Mauritius. Along with booths of various exchange offices, banks in Mauritius exchange currency as well. ATMs can also be used. Do enquire about international transaction costs beforehand.
Thought Mauritius isn't overly expensive, travelling all over the island and experiencing all the wonderful activities can be a bit heavy on the pocket. That being said, you can save costs on food and modes of travel. Daily budget per person in Mauritius can be in the region of Budget trip : MUR 1500 - 2000 Comfortable trip : MUR 3000 - 5000 Luxury trip : MUR 6500 - 10000
Getting around Mauritius is easy. While renting a car is considered the best way to explore the island, the bus services provided on the entire island are exceptional. Many of these buses have now also become air conditioned, making for a comfortable ride. Private and government companies both provide services throughout the country. Taxis are also available, however make sure you only travel by metered licensed taxis, as the others may potentially be dangerous.
Hinduism, Christianity, Islam
Mauritians are extremely polite people. Strangers will greet you on the streets if you make eye contact and shop and restaurant owners will wish you a good day as you leave. French culture is apparent in Mauritius, such as the customary kiss on the cheek. Dressing neatly is considered enough, and since there are a lot of beaches, people are often seen in short clothes during the day. Tips are expected in Mauritius, and you should tip according to how good the service was. MUR 5 - 10 every day to the housekeep at the hotel and to the porters who help you is sufficient. While MUR 100 - 200 is enough for guides and your daily driver.
Several languages are spoken in Mauritius, and there is no proper official language. However, English and French are the two languages used in the Parliament, and as such the two languages have huge number of speakers in Mauritius. The Mauritian Creole, a French based language, is the most widely spoken language in the country.
Mauritius has been under the rule of 3 European colonisers since it was initially found by the Portuguese back in the early 16th century. The Dutch came in first, right at the end of the century. They introduced the sugarcane to Mauritius before leaving in 1710 for South Africa. The French settled in Mauritius next, 5 years later. Mauritius was renamed to Isle de France, and it is this period during which it saw it's first sign of development. Port Louis was made capital and Mauritius became a prosperous trading island. There was loads of sugarcane and rum on the island to be supplied, and Mauritius grew exponentially. In 1810, the British arrived. They conquered Mauritius and soon after abolished slavery. The island developed greatly under the British as well, who made efforts to educate the population so that they could be of aid to them in occupying the lower spots of governmental work. Mauritius finally gained independence in 1968, and adopted the British parliamentary model. Today, it is one of the premier tourist destinations, and also among the most stunning, in the Indian Ocean.
Though Mauritius in general is safe from violent crimes, you should always be careful here about petty crimes. After dark, the beaches and unlit streets make you an easy target if you're alone. Incidents like pick pocketing, robbery etc are occur every now and then. Grand Baie is a very crowded and commercial area, and one of the worst affected areas. Avoid renting apartments that aren't registered with the Ministry of Tourism, and be careful around ATMs while handling cash. Travelling in groups will mostly keep you safe.
Mauritius has decent offerings as far as nightlife is concerned. Check out clubs like the Banana Beach Club, Les Enfants Terribles, Big Willy's, C Beach Club, the Tamarin Hotel among several others which make Mauritius a buzzing place after sun down.
Shopping in Mauritius is a must-do activity. With an abundance of shopping options, you will find yourself spending hours shopping at times. Mauritius is famous for it's textiles, handicraft, intricate jewellery, among several locally made items. Even Chinese items have a good market in Mauritius, as well as the markets in districts like Goodland which are very famous for their Indian clothes. Among the many centres to shop in Mauritius, the most famous include the capital Port Louis, the tourist village of Grand Bay, the Bagatelle Mall, and the famous Flic en Flac village.