Mauritius Travel Guide

Mauritius, one of the shining holiday and honeymoon routes, started to attract the attention of Turkish tourists, travelers, and vacationers when Turkish Airlines started direct flights there.  besides enjoying the beautiful beaches, there is a lot of activities to do on this island, which is a beach paradise. Moreover, Mauritius is a very strange country.

  • Mauritius is an African island located on the east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
  • Mauritius, which was colonized by the British and then the French, still carries the traces of both countries.
  • The native language of Mauritius is Creole and the official language of the state is English. The majority of the country’s population (70%+) can speak French. The percentage of French speakers in the population is higher than English speakers.
  • All the beaches on the island are public.  The hotels on the coast cannot close down or own the beaches. Guests from other hotels or residents of the country can use any beach at any time they want.

As we learned from our taxi driver,

  • There are no homeless people in the country.  The understanding of the social state is highly developed.  The state provides homes and jobs for impoverished people.
  • The people of Mauritius are a diverse community.  Although there are mainly Indian and African people, there are many Mauritian people of European and Chinese origin.
  • The country also has great diversity when it comes to religion.  Followers of Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism can easily live together.
  • Mauritius citizens are entitled to free education and healthcare services.

You could even say Mauritius is a utopic place. Of course, with a 3-day impression, it’s debatable whether you can make such a claim.  But it made me feel utopian, and I think that what I learned during our short stay on the island (mostly from our taxi driver) and the modern look of the country has influenced my opinion. Methodical roads and residential areas; clean, public beaches; friendly people; sea, mountains, waterfalls and beautiful weather… Mauritius impressed me and made me feel like I was in the middle of a utopia.

Transportation

Transportation to Mauritius

First of all, I should mention that Turkish citizens can enter Mauritius without a visa.  You only need to fill out the document given to you during the flight and show your hotel reservation and return ticket when you go through passport control. Turkish Airlines has direct flights to Mauritius.  The first leg of the Madagascar line takes about 9-10 hours.  (So, after the plane takes off from Istanbul, it flies to Mauritius first and then to Madagascar.)

Transportation from the Airport

Mauritius Airport (by the way I have to say it is a very nice and modern area) is located in the south of the country. The airport, which is one hour away from the capital, is far away from places where tourists usually prefer to stay, like Grand Baie and Flic en Flac. Some hotels have guest services.  If your hotel does not have such a service, the easiest way to reach the hotel with your luggage is by taxi.

Taxis are definitely not cheap.  However, some companies have a fixed price list. We used Taxi Mauritius.  Our journey from the airport to the hotel (which lasted one and a half hours) amounted to 32 euros.  The same company also has day-trips fees.  There are other similar companies. For example, Mauritius Taxi Transfers and Taxi Mauritius also had good customer reviews.  However, when I checked it out Taxi Mauritius offered a more affordable price on the dates I checked it out.  You can check both links and make your decision according to prices. You make a reservation by e-mailing your arrival time and the name of your hotel to the company. When you arrive at the airport and you will find your taxi driver waiting for you. Our taxi driver gave us the interesting information you read above about Mauritius on our way to the hotel. We were quite satisfied.

Domestic Transportation

As you know Mauritius is an island. The places you can visit are not very close to each other, but you can go from one end to the other in an hour or two.  As I mentioned before, transportation by taxi is quite comfortable and convenient, but not very affordable (at 2018 rates). Buses are the cheapest means of transportation.  You can find buses from Port Louis to all parts of the country. Buses are a better option than a taxi unless you’re traveling from one end of the island to the other.

Many people prefer to rent a car rather than using public transportation. However, as I mentioned before, traffic flows from the left on the island. This can be a lot of trouble for people that are not used to it.

Duration

We stayed for three days.  I wish we could stay longer.  I think you can easily spend 5 days in Mauritius.  If you’re a vibrant person any more than that will bore, you.  But if you say, “I’m very tired, I’ll just lie on the sand” then you can consider staying in Mauritius for longer.

Climate

Mauritius has only two seasons: summer and winter. However, the winter months are quite warm. Since it’s in the southern hemisphere the seasons happen in opposite times to Turkey. In other words, winter months are experienced between April and October and summer months are experienced between November and March.  As you can see from the chart, the temperature ranges only between 15-30 degrees.  Especially in October, when rainfall is low, it can be an ideal time for a Mauritius holiday. We went in August, so it was wintertime in Mauritius, and we had a holiday that was quite warm and there wasn’t much rain.

Things you can do 

Port Louis

Port Louis is the capital of Mauritius.  I think it’s a place you can go out of curiosity just to see how the capital is. Shopping lovers can also find shopping malls in Port Louis.  However, it is important to remember that Mauritius is not a very cheap country.

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanic Garden

The botanical garden of Mauritius is one of the most beautiful botanical gardens I have ever seen.  It is separated from a classic botanical garden with its giant water lily pond and giant turtles.  Especially the turtles impressed me a lot.  (I was also astounded by their resemblance to Master Oogway in Kung Fu Panda.)

The entrance fee is 200 MUR (Mauritian Rupee) and you can easily buy tickets at the gate.  1-1,5 hours is enough to see the whole botanical garden.

Taken from TRT Haber website

Le Morne

Mauritius is also home to a very strange natural phenomenon. Aerial view of the Le Morne region shows an underwater waterfall.  This is actually an illusion. It seems like there is a waterfall in the sea due to the reflections of alluvial and sand layers.

Black River Gorges National Park

Black River Gorges National Park is located in the south of Mauritius. This park stands out with its two special spots beside its lush nature: Seven Colored Earth of Chamarel and Chamarel Falls. The waterfall is admired for being poured through the lush mountains, but I think the 7-colored soil is more interesting. (After seeing Iguazu, my expectations of waterfalls have increased.)  In this place that is also called the Chamarels Colorful World, the lava that has come out as a result of the volcanic eruptions has turned into minerals and the earth has taken seven different colors. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit the park, but if we ever get a chance to go again, Black River Gorges National Park is on our list.

Beaches

I decided to talk about the beaches under a separate title because the decisions that are made in Mauritius are always shaped considering the coasts.  You can also follow the map above.  The most popular beaches of the island are generally located in the north and west.

One by one they are:

Grand Baie

It is one of the most preferred holiday destinations. It also has the busiest nightlife in the country. But I think the beaches of the places we’ll talk about next are more beautiful.

Pereybere

This region is located in the Grand Baie, but this coast is a little further south. It’s a very nice and quiet public beach.

Trou Aux Biches

Very nice area.  It’s located just south of Grand Baie. Its where both the sea and the beach are the best. It’s a bit quieter than Grand Baie.  Also, at sunset, the view of this place is simply spectacular.

Flic En Flac

The coast where the hotels preferred especially by the couples on their honeymoon are located. Hotels in the area are quite expensive.  But the beach is also really beautiful here. Flic en Flac also has a beautiful sunset view.

Tamarin Bay

Its another region preferred by people who are on vacation. It’s located further south of Flic en Flac.

Belle Mare

Another area often preferred by honeymoon couples. Unlike the other beaches I mentioned, Belle Mare is on the east coast of the island.  Although I have heard that the eastern part of the island is windier, Belle Mare is the choice of many people because of its beautiful coast.

Hotel 

There are two things to consider when choosing a place to stay in Mauritius: beaches and prices. Based on these two criteria, those with larger budgets usually prefer Flic en Flac and Belle Mare. Hotel prices around Grand Baie and Trou Aux Biches are generally more affordable. Especially for those who want to go out at night and find something to do around, the Grand Baie is an ideal option.

We stayed at the Coral Azur Hotel Mont Choisy. It was a 3-star hotel, but it felt like a 4-star hotel.  We were extremely satisfied. Our room was nice, the hotel was very clean, the staff was very polite and helpful, the food was nice, our beach was small but pleasant, moreover we were very close to very beautiful beaches. Pereybere was a 10-minute walk to the north and Trou Aux Biches was a 15-minute walk to the south. We fell in love with the place!

Our hotel had a very interesting application. Wi-Fi was only available in the lobby and there was no internet in the rooms.  However, a smartphone was placed in each room instead. These devices, called Handy, are connected to the Internet at any time and can directly call up to 20 countries including France and the UK.  You can also take Handy from the hotel and carry it with you anywhere you want. We left our phones in the hotel safe and toured with Handy.  It was very convenient for us.

Recommendation for honeymoon couples: Trou aux Biches Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa.

We liked this hotel very much from the outside. We liked it so much that we even went and used the beach. The facility was quite nice as far as we could see.  For example, the suites on the beach looked very nice.  (We pretty much eyed up the hotel.) Well, after all, we couldn’t stay there (because it was expensive), so I can’t say much about their services.  But we think it could be a great option for honeymoon couples.

Food

I can’t say much about the food.  Because our time was short and we liked the food of our hotel so we could not approach the food of Mauritius with the spirit of discovery. On the other hand, there is one thing I can talk about because it caught my attention: peddlers on the beaches. These sellers sell hot fast food.  You can see simple dishes like hamburgers in some carts. Others sell things like rice and ground meat. We couldn’t try them out because we ate more than enough in the hotel (I know I couldn’t help at all about food…)

But I was interested in people’s attitudes. We absolutely did not get harassed by the sellers. There was no seller rubbish like “Come on, come on, come on!, Hey lady, let me give you some food, look at our menu…”. I don’t know if this is because of manners, contentedness or a law-related situation. But I liked not being constantly disturbed while relaxing in the sand.


Information about the article:

Dates of travel: 19-20-21-22 August 2018
Date of Translation: 30 November 2019
Translated by: Dilan Sen 

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