Last month, one of my best friends and I made the last-minute decision to go visit her sister who's working on the beautiful island of Mauritius. It's a place that was on my bucket list for years already, and since we were both in serious need of a tropical vacation, the opportunity came at the exact right time.
Mauritius is a country that has more to offer than you'd expect: idyllic landscapes, a hot burning sun (my advice is to check UV-index before exposing!), big city vibes, diverse activities for any kind of person, surprising fauna and flora and spicy food. Mauritian people are also super tolerant in terms of cultural diversity, what makes them one of the most open-minded population groups worldwide. To help you plan your future trip to Mauritius, I wanted to share our personal travel itinerary including hotels we visited, and some tips to get you around in the area.
♥ FLIGHT: from Brussels, the easiest and cheapest way to get to Mauritius is via the direct 12-hour flights with Air Belgium. The airport in Mauritius is called Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (located in the more southern part of the island). Air Belgium flies to Mauritius every Tuesday and Friday evening, while return flights are on Wednesday or Saturday morning.
♥ COVID measures: currently, you need to have a negative COVID PCR test to fly (taken not more than 72 hours before departure). Make sure you check travel information via your national organizations in advance. When you stay at a hotel, a rapid antigen test is taken upon arrival.
♥ CAR rental: We rented a car via our friend Dhiraj: bit of a weird form of contact, but you can e-mail them on firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We paid 30 euros per day. Careful: in Mauritius, they drive left. Believe me when I say it will happen more than once that you turn on the windshield whipers instead of your blinkers.
♥ In case of bad weather: Mauritius is a relatively small island, so you easily get from A to B in a few hours. Also the weather can vary upon regions. So when the weather on your side of the island seems a little off (like sometimes at Chamarel mountains), just look at your weather app and follow the sun.
♥ SPF50 (or in my case, SPF100) will be your absolute best friend forever. Don't underestimate how fast you get sunburnt here because of its location close to the equator, where the UV index is way higher than in Europe.
Day 1: Hop off the plane by noon and go straight up snorkeling
♥ Activities: Go snorkeling with one of the fishermen at Blue Bay and have lunch at Ile des deux Cocos
♥ Viewpoints: Souffleur, Pointe d'Esny, Baie du Cap Maconde
♥ Dinner: local resto La Rougaille Créole for dinner and live music
♥ Hotel: we stayed at the appartment of my friend's sister, which is located in Trou aux Biches. I recommend you to get an AirBnB or Hotel in this area since from here you easily get everywhere!
Day 2: Roadtrip through the Chamarel mountains
♥ Activities: We visited the area of Chamarel and had a guided tour at the rum distillery since it was a rainy day. As an alternative, you can visit Port Louis to have a glimpse of real and raw Mauritian lifestyle. There are several market places and temples to visit.
♥ Lunch: we had lunch at Chamarel Panoramic Restaurant. Food is kinda basic to be 100% honest, but the massive view over the bay makes up more than enough for it!
♥ Viewpoints: Chamarel viewpoint
♥ Hotel and dinner: we stayed at LUX* Le Morne, which I recommend 10/10!! Dinner was served in buffet, which was extensive and delicious.
♥ Other: Grand Bassin Hindu Temple (Lord Shiva), Black River Gorges National Park, La Prairie Beach
Day 3: A day full of adventure, ending in Mauritius' nightlife
♥ Activities: We enjoyed the beach and several pools of our hotel from early morning until noon and then pursued our trip to Chamaral leisure park with Seven Coloured Earths, waterfalls, Ebony Forest and zipline, and huge turtles to admire.
♥ Hotel and dinner: we went out at N'JOY, which is Mauritius' finest hotspot for a trendy dinner with cocktails, accompanied by a live band. Everything at this place eventually turns out to be a party!
- Tamarin, Black River, Grand Rivière Noire, Casela World of Adventures
- If you're a rooftop hunter, you should go to The Cloud Rooftop & Lounge Bar which is in the neighbourhood of N'JOY
Day 4: Tuna fishing in the morning and spending all day by the sea
♥ Activities: we signed up for tuna fishing, starting around 6AM (no worries, you can be late) in Flic-en-Flac. We didn't catch any fish and got really sea sick instead, but nevertheless had a great time (and story afterwards). So if you get sea sick quickly, this is something you should keep in mind before floating on a boat for around 6 hours. Despite the stomach problems, I had a once in a lifetime experience.
♥ Hotel and dinner: we stayed at Maradiva luxury private villas. If you stay here, make sure you get one with seafront view, since the villas are rather close to one another and otherwise you'll only enjoy the nice view on your neighbour having scotch in his pool. The hotel has several restaurants like a Meditteranean and Indian one, but we tried out the Japanese Tepanyaki restaurant called Teppan. The coolest and friendliest staff and divine food in a real intimate setting. I highly recommend!
♥ Other: you can go swimming with dolphins and turtles in the area, visit tea or vanilla plantations or stop by numerous food markets (where they sell African types of lychees and spicy caramel pineapple).
Day 5: Waterskiing with view on the mountains and watching the sunset
♥ Activities: We enjoyed the perks of our private villa with outdoor pool and shower, as well as the beach right in front of us. Included in your stay at the resort were some water activities, such as water skiing! Afterwards, we were guided by the wind and spontaneously decided to watch the sunset on a public beach in Flic-en-Flac with some local people accompanied by street food.
♥ Hotel and dinner: We arrived late at our next hotel, LUX* Grand Gaube. Think retro and boho style all mixed up. Nice hotel, but I preferred the one at Le Morne.
♥ Other: another nice, maybe more modern hotel, is LUX* Grand Baie.
Day 6: Full day catamaran cruise to the islands
♥ Activities: We booked a full day catamaran cruise with Topcat and visited the islands in the north of Mauritius. We sailed past Coin de Mire straight to Gabrielle Island and back, and had a bbq on board with plenty of drinks. They also offer sunset cruises or champagne breakfast cruises. Great atmosphere guaranteed!
♥ Hotel and dinner: We went to the famous Banana beach for dinner and drinks, where live music was as well provided, afterwards we stayed another night at LUX* Grand Gaube.
♥ Other: do a boat tour to Ile aux Cerfs
Day 7: Seeking the thrill and climbing Le Pouce
♥ Activities: After a great last breakfast, we chilled at the beach at Grand Gaube in the morning and afterwards drove off to Le Pouce. This is Mauritius' third highest mountain with an altitude of 812 meters. We climbed all the way to the top and down in around 4 hours. Nature and 360° views are just in-credible.
♥ Hotel and dinner: if you're an Italian food lover, and you get tired of the spicy curry food after a while... I really advise you to go to Da Giulia e Antonio. Their recipes are on another level with very original creations. Also, the staff is always in for a joke. Must-go for sure! Afterwards we stayed at my friend's sister's place at Trou aux Biches again, because the next morning I had my plane back to Brussels. From Trou aux Biches we drove to the airport in 1:30min.
♥ Other: You can also choose to climb Le Morne, calculate around 8 hours for the hike up and down. Pamplemousses Botanical Garden seems worthwhile too.
I sincerely hope this guide can help you to plan your perfect trip to Mauritius! If you have any recommendations yourself feel free to leave a comment or contact me so I can update this guide where needed. It's a truly magical island and you'll wish you'd never have to leave. Enjoy it to the fullest!