8 USEFUL TIPS FOR TRAVELING TO MAURITIUS

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When you think of Mauritius, you probably picture paradise beaches, palm trees, luxury resorts and honeymoons. But is it possible to afford a trip to this fantastic island without going on an organised tour? The answer is yes.

In our article, we’ll share some useful tips for traveling to Mauritius on how to plan a fantastic DIY trip to this amazing island. Here’s our list “8 Mauritius travel tips”!

8 tips for traveling to Mauritius

Not usually opting for luxury resorts, Mauritius had never been a destination we had considered for a low-cost, itinerant trip. However, doing some research, we realised that our perception was wrong.

So, after careful planning, we booked a 10-day trip to discover this paradise. In this article, we will share useful information and tips for traveling to Mauritius, organize your DIY trip and give you answers to the classic questions “Mauritius when to go?” or “How to get to Mauritius?” or “Mauritius where to sleep?”. Let’s check our list “8 Mauritius tips and advice”!

8 tips for Mauritius: Some facts about the island

Mauritius is an island located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, and is a single island, not a group of islands (it’s one island so stop saying ‘I’m going to Mauritius islands’!). It became a republic in the late 1960s, after having been a British colony and having spent several periods under the control of France and Holland. In addition, the island has a history of immigration from countries such as India, which is reflected in the Mauritian Creole language, a fusion of several languages, and the variety of ethnic groups that coexist here.

The capital is Port Louis, located on the west coast of the island, and it takes about an hour and a half by car to cross the entire island from north to south. The island is renowned for its beautiful beaches, but the interior, although less well known, is rich in places to explore and learn about.

8 tips for Mauritius: When is the best time to go to Mauritius?

We went to Mauritius in September, which is the end of summer there. It was still pretty warm, though, with temperatures around 25-26°C during the day and night. It was a very pleasant climate, quite different from our harsh winters. There might be a few short rain showers during the day, but they usually don’t last long.

We also heard from locals that in July, which is the peak tourist season, the island is pretty crowded and many activities might not be available because they’re already fully booked.

So, if you can, we’d recommend planning your DIY trip to Mauritius in September. That way, you can avoid the crowds and enjoy the weather. Also, we were told that in January and February there can be heavy rains and storms, which can cause power outages and make it difficult to travel. So, if you’re planning your trip, try to avoid this period.

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DIY trip to Mauritius: Clouds Passing in Mauritius

Tips for traveling to Mauritius: How to get to Mauritius

Flights connecting Italy to Mauritius airport are mainly operated by three airlines: Air Mauritius, the island’s national airline, Turkish Airlines and Emirates.

In the case of our DIY trip to Mauritius, we opted for Air Mauritius and had a very positive experience. The flights were on time, the cabin crew was friendly and the food served was of excellent quality. The cost of the ticket was around €600 per person, but you have to consider that September is a low season.

Flights with Air Mauritius make a stopover in London, at Gatwick Airport, and in Paris, at Charles de Gaulle Airport, before continuing directly to the island. Thus, the journey is divided into two segments: a leg of about 1.5 hours to Paris, followed by a flight of about 11 hours from Paris to Mahebourg Airport, the island’s main airport.
On the other hand, Emirates’ route includes a stopover in Dubai, with two legs of about 5-6 hours each. The choice between these two options depends on your personal preferences and the availability of flights at the time of booking.

DIY trip to Mauritius: The currency

The official currency is the Mauritian rupee, with an exchange rate that equates to about 2 euro cents.

During our DIY trip to Mauritius, we exchanged money both at the airport and at a local bank, and the exchange rate at the bank was more advantageous than at the airport.

Many locals accept payment in euros, especially if they are banknotes and not coins. In addition, you can use your credit card almost anywhere on the island, which makes payment convenient and limits the need to have large amounts of cash in Mauritian rupees with you.

8 Mauritius travel tips: the roads

To explore the island independently during our Mauritius DIY trip, we chose to rent a car from a local company called Monet Car Hire. We had a very positive experience with this company: the car was in excellent condition, the rental price was affordable, and what was particularly appreciated was that no deposit was required.

Upon leaving the airport, we were met by Jean, a representative of the company, who escorted us to the car. Jean also gave us a short test drive to get used to driving on the left, as the island follows English driving.

Afterwards, he took us to a petrol station where we refuelled and bought a local SIM card for our phones.

The roads on the island are generally well maintained, although there may be a lack of lighting on the side roads at night.

On the main roads, which are similar to motorways and have more lanes, there is adequate lighting and clear signage. We encountered no traffic problems or queues, and driving on the island was relaxed and quiet, with no reckless drivers.

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Secondary road in Mauritius

Crime

What crime?
In Mauritius, crime-related problems are extremely rare. Of course, as anywhere in the world, we cannot say that they are totally absent, but the feeling of safety on the island is remarkably high.

During our DIY trip to Mauritius, we never had the impression that we were in a dangerous situation.
The locals are incredibly friendly and sunny.

An interesting aspect of Mauritius is its religious diversity, where Christian churches coexist alongside mosques and Hindu temples. Even more surprising is the fact that, during religious festivals, people of all faiths celebrate together. It is a testimony to the interreligious tolerance and harmony that characterises the island. Incredible huh?
If you don’t believe us, check your embassy website.

Tips for traveling to Mauritius: where to stay

To optimise travel, we chose to book accommodation in the north for the first part and accommodation in the south for the second part. This allowed us to reduce travel time, as the distances between the two ends of the island take about an hour to an hour and a half by car, and to explore more easily the places of interest that were spread over several areas.

In the north we chose the resort of Mont Choisy, while in the south we stayed near Blue Bay.
Both accommodations, booked through Booking.com, turned out to be excellent. They were clean, well maintained and equipped with all the necessary amenities to make our stay enjoyable.

The cost of the accommodations was extremely low, probably because in the low season, we spent around €50 per night per accommodation.

In general, we recommend staying in areas served by shops, supermarkets and restaurants and not isolated, so that you don’t have to use your car for every need.

Mauritius travel tips: Where to eat

As for meals, during the day we opted for a light lunch with stuffed sandwiches bought in the morning (we recommend the delicious bakery called Le Fournil in Grand Baie). There we could have breakfast with delicious croissants and buy excellent quality baguettes for lunch.

Alternatively, on the beaches, we often found little trucks selling very good quality take-away food.

For dinner, we preferred to dine out, except on one occasion when we opted for take-away food.

Mauritian cuisine is influenced by several cultures, including Asian (with dishes like udon), Indian (with specialities like samosas) and, of course, African.

We found it best to enjoy the local cuisine, as in any foreign place. The time we ate the worst and spent the most was at an international restaurant, while the best dining experience was at a typical restaurant where we enjoyed the traditional Mauritian wedding dish called Seven Curries.

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DIY trip to Mauritius tips and advice: street food lunch

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DIY trip to Mauritius tips and advice: one of our accomodations

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DIY trip to Mauritius tips and advice: Seven curries

We hope this article has spurred you on and encouraged you to plan your own DIY trip to Mauritius and that our tips for traveling to Mauritius will be useful!

Want to know more about this fantastic island? We refer you to our related articles, in which we tell you about the wonderful beaches of Mauritius, the hinterland and the experiences it has to offer and a suggested itinerary to follow! Stay in touch with us and above all…trip to try!

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