Mauritius is a beautiful tropical island in the Indian Ocean, near the Seychelles, the Reunion Island and Madagascar. It has a fascinating history and a multicultural population, and its nature is stunning. It attracts tourists mainly for its beaches and for the many water sports and activities on the beaches, including scuba diving.
As well as the beaches, the island has a wide variety of natural attractions including hundreds of indigenous plants. Arab sailors discovered Mauritius in the 9th century, and the island was later colonised by the Dutch, the French and the British. Mauritius became independent in 1968 and is today a peaceful democracy.
Climate and When to Visit
The climate is tropical and hot around the year. It is also humid, but the humidity and the heat are relieved slightly by the trade winds. The island has two seasons, and the winter months from May to November are generally the most pleasant time for holidays to Mauritius. Although it never gets cold in Mauritius, especially on the beaches, the winter months are drier and cooler than the hot and humid summer months from December to April.
The high plateaus in the middle of the island have cooler weather than the coastal areas, but the high areas also get more rain. The west coast is usually the hottest and the east coast is the windiest due to the southeast trade winds. January and February are the peak months of the region’s cyclone season. During these months the island often suffers from heavy rain, although Mauritius is usually safe from actual cyclones.
The Beaches and Popular Water SportsThe beaches are considered to be some of the best in the world. There are many public beaches for sunbathing and for water sports. Grand Bay is one of the most popular beaches and offers many activities including windsurfing, sailing and water skiing. It was one of the first beaches to develop a tourist industry, and today it has a range of entertainment options that attract tourists and locals.
Blue Bay in the southeast of Mauritius has sailing and windsurfing opportunities, too. Surfers often head for Le Morne and Tamarin. One beach that attracts visitors with its beautiful scenery and great swimming options is Pereybere, a cove near Grand Bay. There are many lagoons on the island and the beaches are mainly made of long stretches of white sand.
Scuba Diving and Fishing
Mauritius offers excellent opportunities for scuba diving. The best months for diving are November to April. Divers can enjoy a rich marine life and beautiful coral reefs, and there are many 18th and 19th century shipwrecks around the island. The Cathedral off the west coast is a popular diving site.
Dolphins can be seen near many beaches, including Tamarin. Deep-sea fishing is a popular activity and possible catches on fishing trips include yellow fin tuna, marlin, dolphinfish and even sharks. The west coast is considered one of the best areas for game fishing.
Other Activities and Places to Visit
Port-Louis is a fascinating place to visit to get to know local culture. There are markets that sell local produce including vegetables and fruit, herbs and local handicrafts. The Chinatown area is a great neighborhood to explore.
Mauritius also has many opportunities for eco-tourism. Visitors can hike in the mountains, cycle or try kayaking in the rivers or on the coastal regions. Mauritius has a varied natural life that includes many tropical forests, waterfalls, rivers and a variety of flora and fauna. Popular activities include tours to the Moka Mountains, where it is possible to arrange horseback riding.
Mauritius offers a range of accommodation options for visitors. It is home to many luxury resorts and all-inclusive hotels that cater to even the most demanding guests. Most resorts are located on beautiful beaches, and some have private beaches reserved only for hotel guests. All-inclusive hotels can arrange excursions and activities, such as sailing or big game fishing.
Mauritius attracts many couples on honeymoons. A holiday to Mauritius is an excellent choice for a romantic break, whether you prefer a relaxing break in a spa resort or a more active trip. Many resorts also cater especially for families and offer family-friendly activities in the hotel or on the beaches.
Most visitors to Mauritius visit the island in the Mauritian winter, May to November. However Christmas and New Year are also high seasons for vacations on the island. The Christmas season is a busy time in Mauritius and booking holidays in advance is recommended.