Our week in Mauritius really thrilled us 🙂 We liked the island very much and despite its small size has a lot to offer. In the following article we want to tell you everything you need to know about Mauritius.
Table of contents
Where is Mauritius located?
Finding the small island state of Mauritius on the map is not even that easy, because the island is only about 2,040 km2 in size. This makes Mauritius smaller than Saarland (2,569 km2), the smallest area in Germany. The largest extent of the island is 64 kilometers in length and 47 kilometers in width.
Mauritius is located in the southwestern part of the Indian Ocean. The French island of Reunion is about 200 km to the west and the Seychelles is about 1,750 kilometres to the north. The distance to the island of Madagascar is 870 kilometers, to the African mainland about 1,700 kilometers, to the Indian southern tip about 3,850 kilometers and to the Australian west coast more than 5,700 kilometers.
Mauritius’s place in the world’s like
Here are some interesting facts about Mauritius:
– Mauritius has about 1.3 million inhabitants
– The capital is Port Louis
– The official languages are English and French
– The total length of the coast is 177 km
– Large parts of the main island are surrounded by a reef
– The largest cities are Port Louis (150,000 inhabitants), Vacoas-Phoenix (106,000 inhabitants) and Beau Bassin-Rose Hill (104,500 inhabitants)
– In addition to the main island of Mauritius, Rodrigues, the Cargados-Carajos Islands and the Agalega Islands are national
– The second major island of Rodrigues has about 40,000 inhabitants and is located about 600 kilometers to the east
– Mauritius has been independent of the United Kingdom since 12 March 1968
– Left-hand traffic in Mauritius is considered a remnant of the English colonial period
– The currency is the Mauritius Rupee (MUR) – 1 euro is about 40 rupees
– Morisyen, a Creole language, is used by almost the entire population in everyday life
– The most common religion is Hinduism, to which 48 belong to the population
– Mauritius is located on the African Plate and is of volcanic origin
– The highest mountain in Mauritius is the Piton de la Petite Rivice Noire at 828 meters
– Mauritius has 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the cultural landscape of Le Morne and the Aapravasi Ghat camp
– The most famous bird is the dodo, also represented in the coat of arms of the island, which was exterminated already around 1690
– Mauritius is also famous for its stamps, the Red and Blue Mauritius, which are now worth up to 5 million euros
Direct flights to Mauritius
Mauritius International Airport is officially named
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport of Mauritius
and is served directly by several airlines. From Germany there are direct connections with Lufthansa, Condor and Eurowings from Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Cologne, Bremen and Düsseldorf. Other direct services are available with various airlines (Air France, British Airways, Corsairfly, Edelweiss Air, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Emirates) from Paris, Dubai, La Réunion, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Antananarivo, Jeddah, Cape Town, Vienna, Seychelles, Istanbul, London, Perth, Durban, Shanghai, Zurich, Delhi, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Amsterdam.
The flight time from Germany is about 12 hours.
The best time to visit Mauritius
Mauritius is generally a year-round destination. The weather shows hardly any temperature fluctuations during the year, so that the thermometer never falls below 20 degrees even on cold days. The South-East Passat provides a pleasant tropical climate throughout the year. The east coast is in the direct area of the trade winds, while the west coast is well protected by the mountains in the rain shadow. As a result, it rains 2.5 times more often on the east coast than on the west coast.
Due to the location of Mauritius in the southern hemisphere, the seasons are opposite to those in the northern hemisphere. Winter (June to October) is the driest and summer (December to April) the wettest season. The average temperature is around 23.3 °C on the coast and 19.4 °C at the higher altitudes.
In Mauritius, an average of about 15 tropical storms (cyclones) are observed each year, mainly from mid-November to mid-May.
Entry and visa requirements for Mauritius
German nationals do not need a visa for Mauritius for a tourist stay, a visit or a business trip. To enter, you only need a passport, which must be valid for at least 6 months. It should be noted that the import of plants and food is prohibited.
No special vaccination is required for direct entry from Germany. Mauritius is (as of May 2019) yellow fever-free, zikavirus-free and malaria-free. More information can be found on the website of the Foreign Office.
The most famous sights of Mauritius
For us, it is always quite helpful if we enter all the sights of our destination in a map. This is going really well with Google MyMaps. This allows us to plan relatively easily what we combine best on which days, when, to keep the paths as short as possible. Some of Mauritius’ most famous sights include:
– The Seven-Colored Earth
– The Chamarel Waterfalls
– Black River Gorges National Park
– Alexandra Falls
– Ganga Talao – Grand Bassin
– A hike to Le Morne Brabant
– The island of Ile aux Cerfs
– The church of Notre-Dame Auxiliatrice de Cap Malheureux
– The Chateau de Labourdonnais
– The Botanical Garden
– Swimming with dolphins
– Natural beach of Flic en Flac
– Aapravasi Ghat
– Strolling through the capital Port Louis
– The Rum Factory Rhumerie de Chamarel
– The Blue Penny Museum
– Hike to the Pieter Both
– La Vanille Nature Park
– Bois Cheri Tea Plantations
– Trou aux Cerfs Volcano
– Casela Tierpark – World of Adventures
Here you will find a map in which we have drawn all the sights of Mauritius such as photo spots, waterfalls, well-known beaches and activities:
Car rental, bus and taxis
On the island it is best to get around by bus, taxi or rental car.
By bus: On the island there is a narrow network of bus lines, which run regularly, but are progressing very slowly due to the many bus stops. A trip usually costs between 0.50 and 2 EUR. However, there is no fixed schedule for the buses, so you may have to wait a while. Normally, buses run from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. On some routes there are “express” buses (slightly more expensive), which stop fewer stops and travel the shortest route.
By taxi: A very popular method to explore the island are taxis. Here you can even rent a driver for the whole day. Prices are negotiated before departure and for a whole day are usually between 50 and 80 EUR, depending on the distance. Payment is made at the end of the trip or day. Taximeters are known, but are usually not used.
By car: For us it quickly became clear that we would book a rental car in Mauritius for the whole week, because we are not just in the hotel on the beach, but wanted to see something from the island. As with all our other holidays, we have booked our rental car on billiger-mietwagen.de. Here we found a good offer for the class YC for 255 euro – including all insurances, unlimited kilometers, fees and taxes, so that we didn’t have to book and pay anything on site. That makes a price of 36 EUR per day,which is really fine. Since there is left-hand traffic in Mauritius, it was still important for us to book a rental car with automatic transmission.
On the island there is only one major expressway (M2) that runs from the southeast (International Airport) to Port Louis and Grand Baie. The remaining roads are rather smaller, but mostly in relatively good condition. There is only super-lead-free or diesel for refuelling in Mauritius. The prices are set by the state, the service at the filling stations is included.
SIM maps and offline maps for Mauritius
Since we didn’t want to buy an extra SIM card with mobile data for Mauritius and there was no navigation device in the car, we have already downloaded the free navigation app “HERE WeGo”at home, where you can also download offline maps for all destinations. The navigation on the island worked very well with this app and GPS and so we were able to save the extra costs for a SIM in Mauritius. Mauritius is not soooo big and we found that the roads were all quite well developed. Only the signage is sometimes lacking, which is why you can sometimes get used to the many smaller roads and junctions. Therefore, this offline map was really perfect 🙂
But if you want to buy an extra SIM with mobile data, we got the tip to buy a map of Emtel or Orange with data volume on site. These are available in several shops and petrol stations on the island and you only have to present your ID when you buy them.
Supermarkets in Mauritius
On such a small remote island, we always have some concerns that the products in the supermarket are really expensive, because almost everything has to be imported. We were all the more astonished that there are really large supermarkets in Mauritius (e.g. Winners, Spar Supermarket and Monoprix) and that the products there are also offered at reasonable prices. For example, a 1.5 litre bottle of water costs just 0.35 euros, the large cola 0.90 EUROS and a bun less than 7 cents. Even the good children’s chocolate, which we have seen in other countries at unbelievably expensive prices, is here at the price level of a German supermarket 🙂
So you have to do without almost nothing and can also take care of yourself relatively cheaplyin Mauritius (if you don’t have an all-inclusive offer in the hotel).
Hotels in Mauritius
Mauritius has a huge selection of hotels – from small Airbnb apartments or holiday homes to luxurious 5-star all-inclusive resorts.
There are many international hotel chains on the island such as Hilton, Holiday Inn, Shangri-La, LUX, Four Seasons, The Westin, Intercontinental, Club Med, Sofitel, Le Meridien, Beachcomber, Constance and many more. The prices for a mega-luxury villa can be several thousand euros per night in the high season (especially in December). Of course, you can also book smaller hotels for just 20 EUR per night. The offer is really huge and there is something for every budget. Hotel prices are lowest in June and July.
We had a hotel in the southwest of the island on the Le Morne Peninsula for the first 3 nights with the Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa. The next 3 days we stayed in the Constance Belle Mare Plage on the east coast of the island. And since our return flight started at 8 o’clock in the morning, we spent our last night directly in the new Holiday Inn Mauritius Mon Safe to be at the airport so fast.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Mauritius
The World Heritage Site in Mauritius currently includes two UNESCO World Heritage Sites,both World Heritage Sites. On the one hand, “Aapravasi Ghat”, an old camp for Indian immigrants in the capital Port Louis. And in 2008, the cultural landscape of Le Morne was also included in the list of World Heritage Sites. The numerous oral traditions on the role of the mountain for the suffering and for the liberation of the slaves were honored.
Diving in Mauritius
Even though we were only in Mauritius for a week, we as enthusiastic divers did not want to miss the underwater world of the island in the Indian Ocean. For our 2 dives on the west coast we had chosen the dive center Pro Dive Mauritius. The entire area around Trou aux Biches with 25 different dive sitesis submerged, including five wrecks (including the Stella Maru).
Our first dive site Three Anchor was only a short drive from the shore and extends at a depth of 12 meters to 20 meters. The name of the dive site comes from the anchors that have been located at this dive site since the 17th century. The highlight of the dive was the many large turtles that we saw here. Either they lay calmly and resting on the rock and coral formations or swam leisurely through the water. Again and again a great sight, which makes our diving heart beat faster ???? In addition to the turtles, we have also seen moray eels, anemone fish and nude gills.
The second dive we did at the wreck of the Japanese fishing boat “Stella Maru”. This wreck is located at a depth of 15 to 25 meters and was sunk in 1987 after 30 years of service to create an artificial reef. Today it is one of the most famous wrecks in the area of Trou aux Biches. The 44 meter long and 7 meter wide wreck is well suited for beginners, as it is relatively easy to dive. We dived from the bow of the ship to the middle part to the stern and saw all sorts of interesting things: from dense schools of fish in the engine room, to a serene hedgehog fish, a trembling ray to fascinating nude gills. We liked diving at the wreck very much, because it is very varied and there is something new to discover at every corner.
Our most beautiful pictures & the best photo spots of Mauritius
Even though we were only in Mauritius for a week, we saw a lot and experienced it together. Here are some of our most beautiful photos:
We hope our pictures can bring you a little closer to the beauty of this great island. And maybe they inspire you to a great holiday in Mauritius? 🙂
All travelogues from MauritiusDay 1: Mauritius – Travel Guide, Things to Do & Tourist Attractions (Travel Report)
Day 1: Holidays in Mauritius – Travel Planning, Flight & Car Hire (Mauritius)
Day 1: The 5* Hotel Dinarobin Beachcomber Golf Resort & Spa (Mauritius)
Day 2: Le Morne Brabant – Hike to the top by your own (Mauritius)
Day 2: The Seven Colored Earth & Chamarel Waterfall (Mauritius)
Day 3: Black River Gorges National Park & the Grand Bassin (Mauritius)
Day 4: Constance Belle Mare Plage – The 5* Resort on the East Coast (Mauritius)
Day 5: Casela Nature Parks – World of Adventures (Mauritius)
Day 6: Diving on the West Coast of Mauritius with Pro Dive (Mauritius)
Day 6: The Church of Cap Malheureux & Port Louis (Mauritius)
Day 6: The Botanical Garden in Pamplemousses (Mauritius)
Day 7: Swim with dolphins in the Tamarin Bay (Mauritius)
Day 7: The island of Ile aux Cerfs & Snorkeling in the Blue Bay (Mauritius)
Day 7: The underwater waterfall off the coast of Le Morne (Mauritius)